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A Newbie Seeking Help

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bluebonnet, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
    Hello,

    I am new to the forums and I'm not sure if this is the right section for this post so if it isn't please forgive me.

    I am looking into getting some chickens for a farm I am planing to start in six months time. I would like to have chickens that lay different colors of eggs. I am having some trouble figuring out which chickens I need to get to accomplish this goal.

    Does anyone have an egg color chart that shows the different colors of eggs? How about a chart showing the different colors of chickens?

    I realize that not all chicken breeds play nicely together and I was wondering if there was a special type of coop set up that I could get that would allow me to raise many different kinds of chickens. My farm is going to be located in central Florida and there are concerns of animals like poisonous snakes, stray gators (Lakes are LOADED with them and although I am not located near a lake they do wander and sometimes travel through drainage ditches and storm gutters or are dropped off by people who kept them as pets etc. and I don't want to take changes! With that said I would not feel comfortable free ranging these birds but I do want to give them a large enclosure where they would have more than plenty of space to roam around. My budget is $1,500 to construct a custom coop to keep the chickens in.

    The chickens are being raised for eggs and manure only. I don't have it in my heart to kill chickens despite being a lady from the deep south that loves fried chicken, cornbread and sweet tea.

    A small flock of 12-14 birds is what I am looking to keep.

    I know that I would like to have white, blue, and chocolate colored eggs. I am not sure what other color eggs exist but I have seen some that are green, pinkish and plum colored eggs. I think there may also be some that are orange and yellow but I am not certain. I would like to have a rainbow of colors.

    For blue eggs I would like to go with Blue Wheaten Ameraucana Chickens. I do have some questions about them. I have been told that true Ameraucana chickens lay only blue eggs and not green eggs. Is this true? I know that I want the true breed and not easter egger chickens. How can I be certain of purchasing true Ameraucana chickens? Do chickens have pedigrees like dogs and rabbits do? What can I expect to pay for a show quality Blue Wheaten Ameraucana Chicken? How many years do they lay eggs?

    I am a first time chicken keeper but a life long pet owner and I believe that the care of the animals comes first and foremost. I have special concerns about the Florida heat as well. Are there any breeds that are especially well suited to the climate here and is there a way that I can keep the coop cool and ventilated for them? Are there special needs that I haven't considered?

    I have lots of questions.
     
  2. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Lots of questions in there. Here's a few answers

    Yes,birds have a standard and similar pedigree history for some are tracked.

    Yes, Easter Evers are often sold as ameraucanas, as I've paid too much for what turned out to just be ee's, but I got my coloured eggs.

    You can't guarantee colour(as far as I know)

    $1,500 may go a long way on materials (are you building yourself?), I'd advise contacting a local high school to see if they could make a project out of it

    The first few years will be the best for egg laying.
     
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

  4. wantedman66

    wantedman66 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi and welcome,yes you do have alot of questions the best thing I can tell you is to navigate this site it is loaded with info and answers to just about all of your questions and concerns.But I will tell you if you want rainbow colors start with marans or welsummers for dark eggs,australorps,buff orpingtons or road island reds for light to medium brown,leghorns for white Easter eggers or ameracaunas for pink,blue and green.just some for you to consider good luck and welcome aboard.
     
  5. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
    Do you happen to know of anyone who sells real Ameraucanas with pedigrees?

    I'm willing to pay well above market price for the right birds which is why I need to do my homework now to ensure that I get the real deal. I'm not out to make a profit and the extra eggs are going to be given to local folks in need. Do chickens stop producing eggs altogether? I know that some can live up to 20 years if very well cared for. I'm keeping them for the manure and possible company after their egg production drops off but I'm curious if they actually stop producing completely. Price is never an issue when considering companion animals.

    I am sad to hear that you can't guarantee color. I thought that is why there were so many different varieties. Perhaps I can find someone who can sell me pullets which is what I would prefer. That way I get the color I want and although down the road if I were to breed them their chicks wouldn't be the same color but that is ok with me.

    I will be attempting to build this coop myself and I have all the time in the world to get it done right. It's a lesson in self sufficiency.

    I'm not a big egg eater. I eat maybe one fried or scrambled egg every month or two. I probably consume only a handful more in cakes and cookies and batter. Egg production isn't a main concern for me. The typical Florida sandy clay soil can use all the manure it can get though and that is where the real value of the chickens comes in for me. I have seen chicken manure go for $15 a 5 pound bag there and in the interest of long term sustainability it is a good idea to keep chickens to produce my own.

    I wonder if it would be possible to grow all of the food the chickens would eat. I'm trying to learn and make a completely self sustaining farm so it will probably take me a year or two to find out but even if I could grow some of it myself it would dramatically cut down on the cost of keeping the chickens. What is a good mix to feed chickens? Surely someone has tried to do this before.
     
  6. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    16
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    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
  7. Bluebonnet

    Bluebonnet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Someday, Texas
    Thank you for the warm welcome. I am cruising around and trying to learn all that I can. I do want a rainbow variety of chicken eggs and I am considering Marans for the chocolate colored eggs. I will have to read up on the others. Ameraucanas can lay pink eggs? 0_0'?
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Katherine [​IMG]from Illinois
     
  9. ScottM

    ScottM Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yep with my ee/ameraucanas I was so wishing for pink, but I got green and tan from them. FYI I think I recall reading that ameraucana purebread may possibly still have brown eggs.

    Profit is a difficult think to achieve, if your coop is $1,500, how many doz eggs is that cost? But various breeds offer different personalities. If ur into it for companionship, get chicks and hand raise them.

    Some ppl grow/mix their own feed. I grow fodder aka wheatgrass to cut into my feed bill$

    Do a search and you'll find more answers on the board, and yes welcome
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013

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