My First Chicken Journey Journal

By Lots A Cluckin · Mar 11, 2012 · Updated May 3, 2012 · ·
  1. Lots A Cluckin
    Hi everyone I am starting my first "Chicken Farm" I have decided to get chickens so I could have fresh eggs to eat and sell. I want to eventually have a few cows and goats, and 1 or 2 horses, but for now I will get chickens, maybe next year I will get a goat or two . So this is going to be my "Journal" I will update this very often. You can watch me go through all the steps to becoming a chicken owner. I will also post pictures of my coop when I get one and my chickens when I get them. To see pics with all the updates click this link

    *** 02/29/12 Update Hatchery, Breeds, and Coop ***

    After weeks of researching and digging around on this site I think I have found a Hatchery that I like, now we just need to go it and make sure it is as good as the owners of the hatchery say it is lol. I am sure it is because there are too many good reviews for it to be as bad as a couple of people on here have said it is.

    Since I have a hatchery with a list of breeds they sale I can choose what breeds I want. I mainly want good layers but I want a few "ornamental breeds" also, so again after weeks of research and reading books about the different breeds and what the different breeds are used for (eggs, meat, or show) I finally have 16 different breeds picked out listed below. I am getting 2 of each for the layers and 1 of each for the "Ornamental" for a total of 25 chickens. We will be going to get the chicks around the end of March (this year). We dont have a date set yet but as soon as we do I will let you know.

    Rhode Island Red
    Black Australorp
    Buff Orpington
    Barred Rock
    Speckled Sussex
    Production Red
    Ameraucana (Easter)
    Light Brahma
    Golden Laced Wyandotte
    Silver Laced Wyandotte

    White Sultan
    Mottled Houdan

    And you cant have chickens unless you have a coop. So now that we have our chicken breeds and the number of chickens we want time to pick a coop big enough to hold all of those chickens. We have looked at many building plans and read books on how to build coops and thought about building one our selves, but we realized we don't have a carpenter or even a good builder in the family so we have now decided to buy a pre-built building from the mennonite place in town. We are going to buy a building that was built for a storage shed and convert it into a coop the size of the building will be an 8x10 foot big enough to hold all 25 chickens and more room to add a few more later if we want. We are also going to buy a 10x10 outside dog kennel for the run and put a cover on top for protection from hawks. the square footage of the coop is 80sq ft and the run is 100 sq ft so all together during the day they will have a total of 180 sq ft. We are not going to let them out of there run because we have too many hawks and stray dogs around here.

    ***03/07/12Update Progress***
    So today we got alot done in the "Chicken Lot"...we raked up leftover leaves form the fall and hauled them off into the woods so there not in our yard...We picked up tree branches that were in our yard and the "Chicken Lot" ...we mowed our yard and the "Chicken Lot"....Now we are ready for the coop!!!! I think we are going to get it next week then we still have to get all the supplies like food, feeder and waters, heat lamp for the younger chicks...then we have to modify the building because the building we are getting is made for a storage shed...we need to get electricity in it and we have to add a window and a door for the chickens so they can get out in their run. In all today was a very productive day we got alot done and now we are pretty much ready to get the coop and chicks

    ***03/09/12Update Progress***
    So we went to town and finally got the building for the coop ordered, we are having two extra windows on each side (left and right when you are facing the front of the building) and we are getting a little 12'' x 12'' door for the chickens cut out, and also a ridge vent for better air circulation in the summers, then we will build our own roost for them and nest boxes. The building will be delivered in about 2 weeks. also we went to TSC yesterday "BIG MISTAKE LOL" they are getting a new shipment of chicks monday, we are going to get some as soon as they open that way we have will be able to choose witch ones we want and are not left with the "leftovers"
    In short we are getting the coop in 2 weeks and the chicks on monday

    ***03/12/12 Update CHICKS!!!***
    We went to Tractor Supply yesterday as soon as they got their new shipment of chicks in. The chicks that they had yesterday were "Red Pullets" and "Ameraucana straight run". We got 7 chicks at first...6 "Red Pullets" which consist of RIR's Production Red's and NHR's and the 7th pullet was an Easter egger or so they say Ameraucana. We brought them home set up the brooder and put them in there to get warm and eat and drink. They are all so sweet and come to me when I put my hand down in the brooder. Later that day we had to go back to tractor supply and get smaller feeders of waters because the feeders we bought earlier that day were taking up too much room in the brooder. So we had to get the quart size feeders and waters. But before we left to get the smaller feeder and waters I ask if anyone would mind me getting one more Eater Egger so the one I got earlier would not be the "odd ball out" they all said "sure why not!!" So we got to Tractor supply and saw that all most all of the eater eggers were gone! To make a long story short we got two more easter eggers and one more red pullet that brings our total up to 10 chicks...Darn that chicken math LOL. They are all doing great eating drinking POOPING A LOT!! and sleeping. we had one little red pullet to almost get sick because she had a poopy butt and was clogged up...but we soaked her butt in warm water and it came right off and she is better now. and they three that we got later yesterday are all getting along with the ones we got earlier yesterday. I got up three time during the night last night to go down to make sure everyone was still ok and every time I saw them they were all laying together.

    *** 03/14/12Update Two More CHICKS***
    We went back to Tractor Supply thinking that we were going to get Silkies, Well they ended up not getting them today but they are getting them tomorrow. When we got there they were unboxing their new Red sex-links that they just picked up from the post office, We got two of those and the super nice lady that works there is going to hold some silkies and other bantams for us until we can get back in the morning because she said a lot of people are waiting for the bantams to get there and if we get there an hour or so after they get them in the store most of them would be gone.

    ***03/15/12 Update Twenty-Two More Chicks!!! :D***
    So we went back to tractor supply to get those Silkies I was talking about in the last update. When we got there an employee was putting some chicks in the bins for us to choose from. There was 43 chicks to choose from. There was also another man and woman getting some from the same bin so I started to pick up every one I could and put in the box that way I could choose from those and would not be left with what the man and woman did not I know It might sound mean but I was there first :D but anyway I could not choose from those they were all too cute so we brought them all home when I got done there was only 15 left and the other man only got 6 lol I got over half of them

    ***03/18/12 Sad Update :(***
    One of the little black cochins passed away early this morning of an unknown illness...some time between 4:00 AM and 6:00 AM.

    ***03/19/12 Growing up Update!!!***
    My first seven babies are a week old today!!! Happy week old Birthday little babies that are not so little anymore :( lol

    ***03/21/12 UPDATE GOT THE COOP!!!***
    We got the building we are going to use for the coop today all we need to do is build the roost and run I will add pics in my "My Chicken Jornal" when we get it finished

    ***03/26/12 UPDATE Chicks new home!!!***
    We built a nice brooder box so that when these chicks grow up we can take it apart and store it and use it another time if need be ;) we built the brooder in the new coop and moved them out there...they love it because it is nearly 2x as big as what they had before...they are all doing great in there!

    ***04/03/12 UPDATE some sick chicks!***
    yesterday we noticed that we have a couple of congested sounding chicks....we went to TSC and got some Save-a-chick and Duramycin because that is what the manager that has a bunch of chickens at home recommended to do...She said they might not live and in a few days we should know if they are going to live or [​IMG] fingers crossed hoping for the best.

    ***04/08/12 UPDATE Getting better!!!***
    So has you know we went to TSC and got some Save-a-chick and Duramycin on 04/03/12. We mixed those up in all of there waters for 3 days and now they are doing much better they still have a little wheez but not as bad as what it was so hopefully we won't loose any.[​IMG] But they all seem to be doing great running around fighting eating and drinking so that is a good sign

    ***05/02/12 UPDATE 24 New chicks from Poultry Hollow Hatchery***
    take is link to read about our experience with poultry hollow and pics of the chicks we got from them.

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  1. Tikkijane
    Heh. TSC said they would know the day before, but the store said the hatchery doesn't label any outside of red pullets, bantam assortment. I know I can get my other pullets at the second feed store in town, but then TSC would only let me get a minimum of 6....
    Today I went down and got 6 banties :D - I was hoping to get blue and white silkies but it looks like I came home with 4 buffs and 2 Sultans. I suppose it's ok, but I could have ordered 4 (2 white, 2 blues) with a big order after chick days at the only other feed store in town. I didn't really want to wait, though, because even though the feed store said I could add my 4 banties to the big order, I am not convinced the hatchery would actually let them ship just 4 bantams in with hundreds of other regular chicks.
    If I had waited for that, chances were good that Iwouldn't have gotten any at all because TSC can't say what they would be getting in again, and there would have only been a single shipment there past the end of the other ones at the other place. So, chicken math got me again, lol.
  2. Lots A Cluckin
    Yes Tikkijane, I did get to pick my own....Not so much with the standard chicks (the fist 12 I got) but when they got them bantams in I was waiting for them at the store and we were the only ones there at the moment and the cashier let us go in and put the ones we wanted in the little box. :) but then another man and women came in the fence and started putting some in his then I started grabbing what I could grab that way he would not take all the good ones and that is how I ended up with 22 bantams :DDD
  3. Farmettehopeful
    Sorry to hear about your loss :-( I lost one of my meaties at 2 weeks and fortunately I have no "attachment" to them so I'm not heartbroken but I can't say the same if I lost a layer. Tikkijane: I probably talked to every employee before chick days and none knew what they were getting in until they arrived! When I went to get mine, I "invited myself in" to the blocked off area and told the guy which particular ones I wanted! I didn't care about the meaties but I wanted to pick my own layers :)
  4. Tikkijane
    See, and my TSC never knows what they are going to get, they say. Which means they also have "no idea" which breeds are in the bins. Humph. Did they let you pick your own? They won't even let any people besides their employees get near the chicks at mine.
  5. jan230
    Your journal was great. This is my second year with my girls. I have 6 hens total. I have 2 RIR, 2 EE, and 2 Plymouth Rock. This past year has been so much fun. My husband and son built me a beautiful coop . I worried about winter, but here in PA we had a very mild winter and the hens did great. I got our hens at the local feed store and would love to get some more, but the coop was built for six hens. I wish now it would have been bigger. I love to let them out when the weather is nice. We sit and watch them. They are better to watch than TV. My new puppy is learning not to chase them. I made little aprons for them. They look so cute with the aprons. One of my PR had a lot of feathers picked off her so I put the apron on the beginning of winter. I took it off the other day and her feathers grew back.She looks so good! I am told they will molt this year. Have fun with your chicks. Janet
  6. ColbertCoop
    Congrats! I'm picking up my chicks (first timer too) in a couple hours and I've turned into a nervous nellie about it! Excited, but still nervous. Hope all goes well for us both ;)
  7. Farmettehopeful
    Love the journal! This is my first year with chickens, the layers are rir from tsc and are a week old now and I am getting 3 barred rocks in a lil over 2 weeks. Can't wait to keep reading your progress :)

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