1st timers in Missouri

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 1st-time-flock, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. 1st-time-flock

    1st-time-flock Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2012
    My wife and I and two kids (with a 3rd on the way) have decided to take the exciting step and get some "backyard chickens". We live in the burbs in Springfield, MO. Neither of us had chickens in our families growing up and have never really been around them much at all. But we're (more me- ha) excited about getting them and just the sustainable practice that it is.
    We are looking for advice in the following:
    1. Best breed for our situation- we have an over-sized backyard- about 1/4 of an acre, but no fence (coming in the spring so they can free range a bit). We obviously want a good layer, and friendly, weather here is moderate but we can have the extremes sometimes. We have looked at Rhode Island Reds. Anything better? We'll probably start with just 3 or 4 hens. 6 is the city ordinance limit.
    2. We have decided on a catawba coop. catawbacoops.com. Any other (affordable) tractors?
    3. We have a dog- he is very friendly, not worried about him being mean to the chickens, but we'll watch him. Are there any concerns with the chickens + dog poo in the backyard (i try to scoop but don't always get it all).
    4. Food- how much- what kind- what can they eat as far as table scraps?

    Thanks for the advice! Glad to be a part of the community!
  2. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    [​IMG] from southeast MO!!!

    Happy to hear you're getting chickens! [​IMG]

    Rhode Island Reds would do very well for you. Black Australorps would also be a great choice.

    When picking out a coop many people recommend getting a bigger coop than what you think you need. It makes things easier in the future when you've fully succumbed to the "chicken bug." Also known as "I-gotta-have-more-chickens-itis." Very few first time chicken owners are immune to this disease, LOL. [​IMG]

    No, the dog poop shouldn't be a concern.

    They can eat just about any table scraps. Greens, meat trimmings, apple cores and peels, watermelon rinds, etc. The main exception - that I know of - is raw potato peels.
  3. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    [​IMG] You should check out the learning center and look at some of the pages, there are a lot of helpful tips. If you got to the breeds page, you click what you want in a chicken breed, and different breeds will come up based on what you chose.

    If your looking for eggs in a breed of chicken, and you liked the Rhode Island Red, then others i would recommend would be the Australorp, Barred Rock, Orpington, Brown Leghorn, any of the the sex link breeds, Ameraucanas, New Hampshire Reds, and those are just to name a few. Most of these breeds are really easy to find and buy from hatcheries or breeders.

    The coop from the website looks pretty good, but it's kinda small. I would check craigslist.com to see if there is anything a bit bigger. Also some dogs do better with chickens that others, it all just depends on his personality. I have never had a chicken friendly dog until we got a chihuahua lol.

    Chickens can eat pretty much any type of table scraps there are, as long as they have greens or bread. I wouldn't fed them anything that has a lot of meat, or overly processed food like candy. Good examples of table scraps are things like: old leftover cake/pie, moldy bread(not too moldy) leftover pasta, caserole, salads, watermelon or cantelope rids, burnt beans, leftover rice, anything that has vegetables or fruits or bread and the list goes on and on.
    Again, welcome to the BYC community and have fun raising your chickens!
    1 person likes this.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

    RIR's tend to be active and assertive birds, and don't necessarily do well in close confinement. Google the henderson chicken chart, it is a great breed resource that rates breed tendencies in confinement.
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, 1st-time-flock, and [​IMG]! Great to have you here! You'll get a lot of different answers for your what breed is best question. You don't necessarily have to get the same variety of chicken. I have a mixed flock myself and enjoy the different appearances and personalities. You might consider looking here https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds
    to aid you in your decision. Good luck to you!!
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  6. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
  7. what's kickin' chicken

    what's kickin' chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2011
    [​IMG]Hello [​IMG] this is the place for info. Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon has a lot of info. and I think they have a small/city package...may want to check it out,if you haven't already.... welcome !!
  8. 1st-time-flock

    1st-time-flock Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2012
    Thanks everyone! Glad to be here. I've been doing some more research and will keep doing so. As far as the breeds go, I'm now leaning towards a mixed flock; 2 light sussex and two Barred Rocks. Seems like these are a couple of good breeds for what we're needing/wanting. We'll see, we have plenty of time to do more research and get more opinions. As far as the coop goes, we may be able to get a larger coop when we fence in the backyard.
  9. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] from California, speaking from experience never ever leave your dog alone with the chickens.
  10. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Missouri Ozarks
    Yeah, our neighbor learned that the hard way as well. I think her dogs killed at least 20-30 chickens on multiple occasions before she finally witnessed it and was convinced that it was in fact her dogs killing the chickens, rather than some mysterious predator.

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