a pre-beginner wondering where to pre-start ....

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by wannabe4birds, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds In the Brooder

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    Hi, y'all; many thx for the kind words of welcome. I'm mos' def looking forward to participating in this forum.

    Since I've not begun anything yet -- other than having interest and beginning to ask questions -- I'm wondering: any recommendations re: the "best" birds for egg-production AND friendliness (maybe even intelligence? I've heard chickens aren't the Hawkings of the bird world, so .... I don't expect a beaked Einstein)? I heard once that Buff oppingtons (?) are good in that direction.

    Too: any especially good books out there to start reading? "Chicken-raising for Dummies" kind of thing?

    Much obliged for ideas, thoughts, etc ....
     
  2. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

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    Hi, this website is the very best place to find the answers to all your questions. Start by clicking on 'Articles' at the top of the page. You'll find breed comparisons in "Reviews" and answers to just about any question in the forums. And btw, chickens are very intelligent, which you will realize when you get yours.
    Buff Orpingtons are a great choice, they are the 'golden retrievers of the poultry world.'
    Good luck!
    Sue
     
    biophiliac likes this.
  3. N F C

    N F C is it nap time yet?

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    Everyone has their own 'favorites' so trying to identify the "best" isn't easy. There are places you can go to research what might work best for you, here are just a couple:
    chicken-breed-focus-project.975504
    chooks.html

    As for books, BYC's own creator/owner (Nifty Chicken) has a "dummy" book for sale in the BYC store:
    index.php

    Sharing your general location (state) will help other members give you feedback. And you can ask for advice on your state thread: find-your-states-thread.270925

    Best wishes to you!
     
  4. I agree with Sue, overall chickens are very intelligent. Some arent unfortunately lol The only chicken I have that I would call dumb just happens to be a Buff Orpington hen. Chickens are kinda like people and they have there own individual personalities, strengths and weaknesses.

    saying that, Buff Orpingtons are great little birds, mine are a little standoffish though. My salmon faverolles are super cute and let me just walk over, pick them up, and pet on them. leghorns will pretty much be the best layer but some people say they are a little flighty while some say if you put in the time they are very friendly.

    To get the best recommendations you should put your location in your profile. Different climates are better for different chickens.
     
  5. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds In the Brooder

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    Hi, Sue -- I guess the bottom line is: chickens are good at being chickens, maybe not so good at being people. Possibly a good thing? Thx a heap ....

    Mitch
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Welcome, I'm glad you are researching before getting your first peeps.

    Breeds: depends on your location, climate, and how you intend to house them, how much land you have available, whether you are in city on fenced lot or rural surrounded by woods. Also depends on what you like in terms of feather color/pattern. And why you want chickens. Mainly eggs? Pets? How will you handle the old birds who have stopped laying? Do you ever want to hatch your own chicks with a broody hen? These questions are just the tip of the ice berg! Check out Henderson's chicken breeds chart.

    Your coop. Plan big. Minimum size that I would recommend is a walk in shed style 4 x 8. Any thing smaller is going to be difficult for you to manage. Run: I recommend that it be at least partially covered to provide shade, protection from rain and snow. I suggest that your run be tall enough for you to easily walk in. Minimum requirements for coop/run are 4 s.f. in coop, 10 s.f. in run per bird. Those are MINIMUM. If you ever intend to add any birds, have a rooster, allow a broody hen to hatch chicks, you need even more space. Plan to free range? YOu still need a run IMO. Remember that chicken wire will keep chickens in, but will not keep predators out. Make your coop predator proof, and be sure your birds are locked in every single night.

    Stay away from the cute little short pre-fab coops. They are all falsely advertised, poorly designed and constructed, can be easily be breached by a predator, lack adequate ventilation, and will not last.

    Other reading: Deep litter management in coop and run, Woods open air style coop, fermented feed, brooding chicks outdoors with the MHP system (check @Blooie 's thread and articles). If you are so inclined, you can make your own incubator for about $25.oo. If you are a gardener, check out the many gardening threads.
     
  7. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds In the Brooder

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    Thx much; is there an area where I should cite my locale (eastern NC)? Or ... should I just note it when I ask questions ....?
     
  8. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds In the Brooder

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    Oh, OK -- I can note it in my profile. Overlooked that when registering. Obrigado ....

    Mitch
     
    N F C likes this.
  9. go to your account then to personal details, put your location there and it will show automatically when you post
     
  10. wannabe4birds

    wannabe4birds In the Brooder

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    Morning! Wow -- beaucoup (beaucoop?) to think about. Here's my situation/stats:

    1. I'm in the middle of a college town (Greenville) in eastern NC. The lot's not fenced (mostly), but I have a 40X40 fenced-in veg garden, which I plan to partly convert for the birds. I'd hope to let the birds free-range some. My half-acre yard is a wildlife sanctuary (literally and figuratively), so .... plenty of 'possums, transient foxes, raccoons, small snakes, red-tailed hawks and owls, not to mention lousy cats and an occasional dog. A coop would have to be like Ft. Knox.

    2. I want the birds as pets, basically, and whatever eggs they'll furnish (for however long). When they age, I'll just baby 'em. No crock pot for them. I've already decided on names {after my great-aunts: Mattie, Bessie, Lela, Ethel, etc). Can't have roosters in town, but don't want/need any. A max of 5 birds.

    The coop plan'll be big, I know. I checked a local farm store's reviews for some pre-fabs, and generally was warned (unreliable, unprotected, too small). I'm glad I had the sense to check that out! I was all ready to run out and order a $200 one.

    A million thx for all the good info!

    Mitch
     
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