Adding chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shaky, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. shaky

    shaky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Austin
    As a complete newbie to owning chickens, I have a few questions:
    1. Please recommend an all-around go-to book to follow.
    2. We have 3 young Orp. hens. Can I put bantams with the Orps?
    3. If so, please recommend a bantam I can keep with the big orps (good with beginners, friendly, decent egg layers.)
    4. Are there any rules to follow when it comes to cold weather?

    We are in Austin, TX. My wife and kids thought chicks would be a good addition, so we got some for Easter. I built a coop and run 11' total length.
    I'd like to add a bantam for myself just because they are so interesting.
    PS-it's a neighborhood home with a backyard coop - no Roos allowed.
     
  2. shaky

    shaky Chillin' With My Peeps

    59
    1
    106
    Apr 15, 2008
    Austin
    Also -
    1. I can't find much info on where/how to place the roost
    2. Clip wings to keep them from flying into the neighbor's yard? Is that necessary with hens?
     
  3. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    I've heard mixed stories about clipping wings, some people prefer it, others don't because if a predator gets in with the chickens the only way they can get away is by flying... [​IMG]
     
  4. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    As far as what breeds you want, I've got several, all of them together. I think the only time you want to keep the breeds separate is if you're planning to breed, but I've got buff orps, jersey giants ( [​IMG] ), leghorns, RIR, NHR, and a few others, all together in my flock of 20. I'm also getting some white rocks and cochins. I'm thinking about using those for breeding, so I might keep those separate. I'm not sure. I don't have any bantams, so I can't tell u anything about them, but here's a link for chicken breeds you might want to look at:

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    This has some details for different breeds and their laying, like egg size, color, frequency, setters or non-setters, etc. It's a good start!!!!
     
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    Books, I'm not sure about, all the info I need I get off of this site....The henderson breed chart will also tell you which breeds are 'cold hardy', otherwise the only thing I've heard suggested is that you give ur chickens extra scratch during the winter so that they get some extra body heat. If it gets really freakin cold you might want to put a heat lamp in there, which is just a hanging lamp with like a 100watt heat bulb in it, but since ur in TX u probably won't have to worry about that. For laying hens ur gonna want some oyster shell to give them extra calcuim so their eggs will have good shell quality, and they're gonna need grit (I just got a 50lb bag of play sand from lowe's and put some of that in their run) Other than that I think that's about it. Food, water, coop, run, oyster shell (when they're laying age), grit (when they start eating other stuff than just their regular food), nests, pine shavings.....roosts.....I think I've got a pic of where I've got my roosts, I just put them off the floor about a foot or two and along one wall.....
     
  6. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    1.) Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens I found the most informative...

    2.) Orp's are notorious for being gentle so go ahead, Since you are not planning on having any roo's should not be a problem, standard roo's would to a number on the Bantam's however I loved my Banty Roo & he was so quite I could not hear him (well sometimes barely).

    3.) I have only had Bantam Cochins - loved them.

    4.) Make sure they have access to water not "ice" and feed scratch with corn &/or cayenne pepper - it ups their metabolism so do NOT give in the heat of the summer. More important then insulation (due to Texas) would be drafts - no drafts. Supplemental lighting may be need if you want them to continue laying after the days become shorter. So people just let them take a break....If you do go with supplemental lighting you add it at the beginning of the day so they still come in at dusk, supplement so they are getting the 14 hours of light.

    5.) [​IMG] I just bought an eglu...

    6.) Do you have a fence? If so I would not bother clipping it helps them evade predators.

    HTH
    N
     
  7. shaky

    shaky Chillin' With My Peeps

    59
    1
    106
    Apr 15, 2008
    Austin
    We have a 6' wood fence. I've heard that the chickens will fly up to roost in trees, but I don't want them in another yard.
    I thought maybe this was a rooster problem, not a hen thing.
     
  8. AtRendeAcres

    AtRendeAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2007
    Clarion County
    Putting buff orpinton with bantam

    you need to put chickens together when they are same size
     

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