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Raising chickens for first time

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have never raised chickens before and I want to start. I don't really know anything at all about raising chickens so I need some help. How should I make my chicken coop how many female and male chickens should I get for laying eggs only. How should I start raising them any advice would help?
post #2 of 11

Read Read Read.

 

You might begin with the resources right here at BYC.  There is a lot of good information.  Just click the Learning Center tab at the top of this page.  Click through the various categories of information and informative articles.  There is lots to enjoy and to better enrich your understanding.  Best regards.

 

 

Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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Practicing Sustainable Agriculture At The 45th Parallel

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post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred's Hens View Post

Read Read Read.

 

You might begin with the resources right here at BYC.  There is a lot of good information.  Just click the Learning Center tab at the top of this page.  Click through the various categories of information and informative articles.  There is lots to enjoy and to better enrich your understanding.  Best regards.

I agree! Search on the internet, read chicken books, read chicken magazines, etc. Good questions to ask yourself is, how many chickens am I planning to get?

What breeds?

What am I raising them for(meat, egg-laying, pets, etc)?

Are they going to be free-ranged(not restrained to a fenced-in enclosure)?

Will I have a rooster too or just hens?

It is a good idea to get as much information on chickens as you possibly can before you get chickens. Good luck! big_smile.png

 

 

I am a Roman-Catholic Homeschooled Chicken Girl and proud to be one! Proud owner of 1 Easter Egger rooster, 2 Buff Orpington hens, 1 Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen, 1 ISA Brown hen, 3 Cherry Egger hens, 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens, 1 white Silkie hen, 2 Easter Egger hens,1 Mille Fleur d'Uccle rooster, 1 Porcelain Booted Bantam hen, and 1 spunky Black Star hen!
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I am a Roman-Catholic Homeschooled Chicken Girl and proud to be one! Proud owner of 1 Easter Egger rooster, 2 Buff Orpington hens, 1 Silver-Laced Wyandotte hen, 1 ISA Brown hen, 3 Cherry Egger hens, 5 Barred Plymouth Rock hens, 1 white Silkie hen, 2 Easter Egger hens,1 Mille Fleur d'Uccle rooster, 1 Porcelain Booted Bantam hen, and 1 spunky Black Star hen!
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post #4 of 11

welcome-byc.gif  aaWelcome2theBYC.gif

 

K-12 Chicken nailed it


the internet, read chicken books, read chicken magazines, etc. Good questions to ask yourself is, how many chickens am I planning to get?

What breeds?

What am I raising them for(meat, egg-laying, pets, etc


Good luck and Welcome

Steve
               
It goes to show you how simple it is to entertain the human mind ........ get a couple of chickens
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Steve
               
It goes to show you how simple it is to entertain the human mind ........ get a couple of chickens
Reply
post #5 of 11

If you just want the chickens for eggs, you wont need any roosters!  You only need them if you want to have babies :)

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathanya View Post

I have never raised chickens before and I want to start. I don't really know anything at all about raising chickens so I need some help. How should I make my chicken coop how many female and male chickens should I get for laying eggs only. How should I start raising them any advice would help?


Welcome to the forum Nathanya, 

 

The founder of the BYC forum has books in the store here on the forum that would help you.  'Raising Chickens for dummies' and the 'coops for dummies' book.  They are good basic foundation reading.  If you or your library have 'Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens' by Gail Damerow that is also an excellent resource.

 

Good luck as you find your way to having your own flock.  

 

 

 


Edited by ChicKat - 2/15/12 at 8:54pm

"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it. - Pasternak

 

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

Cream Legbar Club  www.creamlegbarclub.com

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"Was dich nicht umwirft, macht dich starker"   "What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger."-Friedrich Nietzsche 

In every generation there has to be some fool who will speak the truth as he sees it. - Pasternak

 

BYC page:  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chickats-page

BYC blog of sorts  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/jottings-ii

Cream Legbar Club  www.creamlegbarclub.com

Reply
post #7 of 11
welcome-byc.gif Have fun! I started last year and I am obsessed, I cannot imagine life without my chickies!! This website is a great resource, you can find anything on here. You are going to have so much fun !
~Lisa, the overworked pet to a herd of Ameraucanas, EE's OE's, Turkens (one frizzled!), Rocks, Sexlinks,  Houdans, 6 varieties/colors of Marans, Polish,  Showgirls, Silkies, Frizzles & Sizzles,  an Austra-white, Orpington, Paint NN/SG mixes,  Mutts, and  5 JC quail and 5 Texas A&M Quail.  And many ongoing chicks :D http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/la-casa-de-pollos-member-page
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~Lisa, the overworked pet to a herd of Ameraucanas, EE's OE's, Turkens (one frizzled!), Rocks, Sexlinks,  Houdans, 6 varieties/colors of Marans, Polish,  Showgirls, Silkies, Frizzles & Sizzles,  an Austra-white, Orpington, Paint NN/SG mixes,  Mutts, and  5 JC quail and 5 Texas A&M Quail.  And many ongoing chicks :D http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/la-casa-de-pollos-member-page
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post #8 of 11

You may do all that reading, of course, and you really must get educated to be successful.  However,  you can also get going right away.   I recommend this  because it is just too much fun to miss out! 

 

If you want to have around hens to be pets and lay eggs, it is very easy!   This is a common thing in urban areas. 

 

If you want meat chickens or those for show, it is a different story, and I am not including the details here.

 

For pets and egg laying, you will need:

 

A house.

An enclosed yard.

A roost

A nest box

Feed

A feeder

A waterer

Chickens

 

The house can be something fancy you purchase, something you get someone to build, something you build yourself, something you find for free on Craigslist to fix up, or something you convert something else into.  The people on this website have lots of good ideas for how to build a chicken house.  I am offering a service in my area of helping people make something that works but is inexpensive.  They can phone me and talk it over, and we can come build if they want our help.  I have suggestions for finding inexpensive materials, converting armoires or other furniture into a house, what to do with an old dog house to make it nice for chickens, etc. 

 

The yard is needed unless you want to just let the hens fun in your back yard all day and go in at night.   Hens love to go out and look for bugs, have a dirt bath, or just have space to walk around in.   I love to watch them! 

 

The roost is what they sit on at night inside the house.

 

Feed is available at farm stores.  Or, you can look on line for a local manufacturer.

 

Feeders can be purchased or built.  On line there are plans available.  Some plans are free.  Some are complex and some very simple!

 

For water, my favorite for my hens is one that is called Avian Aqua Miser.  It is available on line.  My roosters and  hens love it, and it is easy to install and use.  I found it to be well worth the expense!

 

Chickens can be purchased at farm stores, places on line, or via Craigs list.  Some are offered (shipped) from the Backyard chicken website!

 

I suggest you get some young ones.  You can get babies and raise them in an incubator or get some pullets that are just at the age when they can live outdoors.  I just loved my first set of pullets that I purchased last spring.  They were and still are just so adorable, gentle, and surprisingly in touch with one another with such sweet and obvious love! .You might get some around around 5-6 weeks old depending on the weather where you live.  They can't tolerate cold until their feathers come in.  Or, just purchase some young fully grown egg layers. 

 

There are many breeds that lay an egg a day and are gentle and hardy.   Look at Craigs list in your area as a place to start to see what is there. 

 

Go to the farm store and talk things over.  Most areas have them.  Check on line or the phone book for where to find a farm supply store.  The people there tend to enjoy talking chicken with customers! 

 

 

post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 

ok thanks everybody for the help i now and raising 5 rhode island red chicks and it is a lot of fun!!!

post #10 of 11

Welcome aboard! big_smile.png

 

A lot of people have offered a whole lot of great advice here, so all I'm going to say is BE PATIENT.  It can all seem quite overwhelming at first, but take the time to read and research and plan before you ever place an order or commit to bringing any chicks/chickens home.  If you come across a problem or a question that you can't find an answer to, never hesitate to ask people and bounce ideas around.  There is no reason to rush, and the more you know and learn, the easier (and MUCH more fun) it'll be in the long run.

 

Good luck!

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