it's finally happening! Chickens! My journey, learning about chickens.

By shanson68 · Feb 8, 2013 · Updated Feb 16, 2013 · ·
  1. shanson68
    Ok, I am 33 years old,I have lived in town all my life. ( most of which was in a trailer park) needless to say,I could never have chickens. A life changing event recently happened, and now I am waiting for my first batch of chicks.
    Research! I am a person that likes to know eveything that I can about things before I dive head deep into them. I did alot of reaserch on the web, and talked to people that I knew have raised chickens. Once I started talking to people, it was very surprising the amount of intrest people have, and knowledge there is out there of raising back yard chickens. The one place on the web I find myself coming back to is BYC, this is a great place to learn about back yard chickens, and my #1source.
    So first thing is first, I needed to check with my city to make sure there is no orinances, or limitations on chickens in city limits. I figured for sure there would be an ordinance, or at least a number, or sex limitation. I called down to my local animal control ( I figured if anyone would know it would be them) the nice lady explained there are no ordinaces, or limitations on chickens. WOO HOO! she explained the only thing I needsed to do was to repspect the noise ordinance. So, basically Respect my niebors.Im off to full speed ahead now!
    More reaserch! I found out I needed to decide on a brooder, coop, hatchery and chicken breeds. On the brooder, I decided on a large 50 gallon rubbermaid tub. The tub would be large enough to hold my chicks, and easy to clean. I purchased one from Walmart, Then I went down to my local feed store, and puchased pine shavings, and a 50lb bag of chick starter feed. Wait! I need a heat light! I stopped at the local Home Depot, and picked up my new brooder heat light, a heat bulb, and a pack of 100 watt bulbs. I could'nt get home fast enough to get it all setup!

    This is the brooder setup I decided on.


    I setup the brooder almost as soon as I got home! I filled it with the shavings, filled up the water, feed and started up the heat light. I found out that the heat lamp actually made the brooder too warm, so i installed the regular 100 watt bulb, and added a dimmer switch to control the temperature.


    The dimmer switch worked out perfect, it allows me to raise or lower the temperature with out moving the light.
    Now off to find a hatchery! After a ton of research online, and calling Cackle hatchery many times with numerous questions. (Without buying anything) I decided on them. Cackle hatchery customer service has been awesome. The staff was knowledgable, friendly, and no question to them is a dumb question. I decided on 5-Barred Plymouth Rocks, 5-Rhode Island reds, 5-Easter Eggers, and 5-White Plymouth Rocks. I placed the order!
    Now, just waiting on a ship date, and my new chicks. I will keep everyone up dated as it happens. Next up building the coop. I've got an old 8x10 shed I'm gonna turn into a coop, it's gonna be a fun build project.

    Finally, I recived my ship date. My new chicks are shipping Feb 27th.

    Feel free to comment.
    Thanks Steve

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  1. Trefoil
    Congratulations. Just a thought- for the first couple of days it may work out better for you to use textured paper towels for the bedding instead of shavings. The reasons being that the chicks will peck at whatever bedding you have, which works out very well if you use paper toweling and spread some chick starter on it, but doesn't work out so well if they eat the shavings and get croup problems. After a few days they will recognize that the shavings aren't food. Another thing to be aware of is to never put cold water out for them, it will give them pasty butt. Enjoy your babies.
  2. handyman
    Chickens can be addicting. Its a great feeling to raise them from chicks into adulthood and then start getting your first eggs. Good luck in your adventure.
  3. earlybird10842
  4. Cockle-Dood
    I 100% agree with everything you said. I too am beginning my first steps towards a flock and am only a few steps behind you. Thanks to BYC i have met many people in my area that have given me great ideas all around. I am working on my coup/run on the weekends, refurbing and old shed as well. then when that is a GO, its babies galore! I wish you best of luck and the best of experiences with your flock as i am hoping for with mine! God-Speed!

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