BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Is it really this complicated? Feeling a bit overwhelmed!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Is it really this complicated? Feeling a bit overwhelmed!

post #1 of 156
Thread Starter 

I am brand new to this, and am looking into what it would take to start a small flock. It doesn't seem like anything I couldn't learn, but it is starting to get complicated. Right now there are baby chicks everywhere for sale, but I can't bring them home yet because I don't have a coop. And once they come home the timer starts ticking. I am not sure if we're buying or building yet, and the latter will take who knows how long. I was thinking if my window to buy the chicks in stores runs out, then I can just order day old chicks online. But eveyone wants a minimum order of at least 15 and I don't want that many yet. I'm thinking like 4 to start. Ok, so maybe incubating? But incubators can get costly, and there is no way to determine how many chickens I will get and what sex. I really prefer to start with females as I hear males can be mean and I want fresh eggs. So if I incubate and get males, then what?I'm not trying to be overly picky, just simplify to start so I can learn the ropes. barnie.gifSo I'm kinda pulling my hair out a bit, thinking maybe I decided too late in the year. I dunno should I just scrap it and try next year? Am I am making this overly difficult? lol.. ! hu.gifAny experienced chickeners have any words of encoragement/wisdom?

I have 14 chickens,2 cats and 2 rabbits. Brand new to chicken keeping, trying to figure it all out! Thank goodness I found BYC!

Reply

I have 14 chickens,2 cats and 2 rabbits. Brand new to chicken keeping, trying to figure it all out! Thank goodness I found BYC!

Reply
post #2 of 156

Think about a hoop coop cheap and easy will get you started.

post #3 of 156

I'd wait until you are settled into where you are going to live.... then build a BIG COOP and start HUGE!  smile.png

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

Reply

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

Reply
post #4 of 156

Since you don't know yet if you're buying or building, or how long it will be or when you're going to have a place to keep them, I would strongly suggest waiting until you get all that figured out and finished first. Then move on to the chickens. Don't get chicks until you have your coop built. You don't want them in your house for any length of time. Too often there are the "HELP! I need to get the chickens out of the house and the coop isn't finished yet! What do I do?" posts. Have a plan, have it ready. If you only want hens, get pullets when you buy. If you incubate, have a plan for the roosters. You will get some. Plan on eating them or selling them or just giving them away. There will be chicks for sale next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #5 of 156
I agree with last post. Building honestly isn't that bad time wise. Get that sorted and then get pulleys. If your family is like mine then you will want more than four to start out. If you get normal production from these four than you most likely won't get but maybe a dozen eggs or so a week. That wouldn't do in my home. Eitherway you decide, make sure you have them a home to be in from the start. It takes away the whole adjustment period.
I have a wonderful wife, 2 kids,18 different types of birds some mixed some purebred golden duck wing Phoenix.
Reply
I have a wonderful wife, 2 kids,18 different types of birds some mixed some purebred golden duck wing Phoenix.
Reply
post #6 of 156

Yes, they need a home first. Get the coop built or bought, then get the birds. We started last year with a trio of grown birds then got chicks about 3 weeks later just so everyone would want to be involved. Our 2 oldest girls "hate" chickens, but nobody can resist cute little chicks. Chicks do need more attention than pullets, but you also get to interact with them from the beginning which will make them more easy to handle - if your into that. Also, if you get chicks, it seems like forever till they start to lay. You can get chicks later on too, not a big deal, but get set up first. Like someone else said, you don't want chickens living in your house or some place insecure so critters can get them.
 

post #7 of 156

Logically you should have a coop before you get chicks;  Yet, you have 6 weeks to make a coop and run from the time you get the chicks.   Local feed stores usually carry chicks up to mid May so from now should have more than enough time to start a coop build and finish before you buy chicks.

 

Make sure you can have chickens in your location!   Build or Buy your coop and run.  Make a brooder area in your garage or house.  Buy your chicks!   As a beginner.... I would get chicks locally instead of incubating....    With basic wood tools and hard work you can build a coop in a few days.

post #8 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4 the Birds View Post

Logically you should have a coop before you get chicks;  Yet, you have 6 weeks to make a coop and run from the time you get the chicks.   Local feed stores usually carry chicks up to mid May so from now should have more than enough time to start a coop build and finish before you buy chicks.

 

Make sure you can have chickens in your location!   Build or Buy your coop and run.  Make a brooder area in your garage or house.  Buy your chicks!   As a beginner.... I would get chicks locally instead of incubating....    With basic wood tools and hard work you can build a coop in a few days.

 Mine are in the coop from day 1. Have your coop ready first, so you don't have to rush to get it done. You can have it done the way you want it that way, instead of cobbling something together in a hurry. 

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply

Chickens off and on for 25+ years and still learning.

Reply
post #9 of 156
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbi-j View Post

 Mine are in the coop from day 1. Have your coop ready first, so you don't have to rush to get it done. You can have it done the way you want it that way, instead of cobbling something together in a hurry. 

Ours are in a brooder for 6 weeks.  This way we can monitor the temps.  At 6 weeks of age they go into the coop.  Isolated from the flock for a few weeks, they have a heat lamp if the temps go below 50 deg F at night.  After that they join the flock!

 

In the Brooder

 

At 6 weeks of age in the coop and isolated from the flock

chicks 437.jpg

 

Hope this helps!

post #10 of 156

Definitely finish the coop first because the chicks will grow up so fast.  It could be 4 weeks or 8 depending on the outside temperature.  My chicks usually are looking to explore by 4th week.

 

Try to connect with local feed store.  Aside from getting feed, it could provide good contacts.  I also keep in touch with a few local farmers for tried and true advise.

 

The details may seem complicated, but keep in mind the main objectives... shelter, food and safety.  The rest are details that will be unique to each situation.  This site is chock full of ideas, just need to pick ones to fit yours.


Edited by ECBW - 3/18/13 at 9:10am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Managing Your Flock
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Managing Your Flock › Is it really this complicated? Feeling a bit overwhelmed!