Advice for Newbies

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mrs. Fluffy Puffy, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

    Jan 26, 2010
    Texas, Panhandle
    I thought it might be nice to start a thread w/ advice for all the new peeps that come onto this wondeful site! If you have any Tips for raising chicks, or building coops, brooders etc - please post here.

    My Advice:
    If you live in the City, then please consider ordering Pullets from a Hatchery so you won't fall inlove with the adorable chicks and then find you can't keep them because they're roosters. It must break people's hearts to give away their roosters!! ( Favorite ones anyway. )

    Go ahead and get a incubator because you will end up getting one anyways.

    When you are building your coop, go ahead and expand it - trust me .. it will get filled up! You will be glad you did!

    Go ahead and order those beautiful hatching eggs you just saw...go ahead..they're too lovely to pass up so go ahead and fill up your incubator!!

    When you get your chicks, start planning and building your coop because Chicks grow Way too fast.

    I'm sure I'll think of more things later...but for now I'll let other peeps give you advice!
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

  2. annaraven

    annaraven Born this way

    Apr 15, 2010
    SillyCon Valley
    Get pullets. Make sure they're sexed. Otherwise, you'll have to be sneaking around wondering how long you can keep that adorable roo...

    Give eggs to the neighbors. They'll be much more tolerant.

    Cover your run. Hawks are out there, even in the inner city.

    So are raccoons.

    And don't expect your pullets to lay when you expect them to.
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Get friendly with the search button on the blue bar at the top of the page--it's a great tool and doing a bit of research before you jump right in will save tons of time and possibly heartache in the long run.

    Give some thought to what you want out of your chickens (eggs, meat, both, pets, fertilizer, broody or not....etc.) and then find the breed(s) that best match your goals.

    If you're not restrained by laws limiting the number of chooks you can have on your property build the biggest coop/run that you reasonably can. It will still be too small (there's always a new breed and/or color that you just have to have) but you might not run out of room in the first three months.

    Get a first aid kit ready--Corid (for cocci) blu-kote (for open wounds) poly-visol without iron (vits. to help perk up ill birds and also to treat for wry neck) and some place to seperate ill or injured birds (large dog crate is good) are must haves. There's more stuff that you'll probably want to have handy, but the ones I've listed should get you started. The Corid (IMO) is really important since cocci can kill so quickly.
  4. True Grit

    True Grit Songster

    If you're in the north, make sure to get cold hardy breeds with small combs.

  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Whatever coop you think you want, build or get it BIGGER. You will be sorry if you don't.
  6. gmachicken

    gmachicken Songster

    Jan 18, 2010
    Grants Pass, OR
    A straight run means that the chicks can be either a male or female. The ones I got were mostly male!! I thought it meant that they were all the same gender!!LOL It was hard to let the Roos go. They were beautiful.
    So if you want pullets, females, pick from the pullet bin at the feed store!!
  7. Naughty

    Naughty Songster

    Apr 10, 2010
    Quote:And if you get them from the feed store - realize that all day long people let their kids grab at em - and they may get put back in the wrong bin... I ended up with 4 banties - from the full sized bin - although I can't complain cause they were on clearance. Get them early in the year if you can - that's when they havent had as much time being manhandled!

  8. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Consider looking for chicks or pullets locally, rather than ordering from a hatchery. You can go and see for yourself the conditions in which the birds were kept, what the parent stock looks like, etc. The chicks you get won't have gone through the stress of shipping. A hobby breeder may be more likely to breed for quality than just quantity like a big hatchery. And you often get to make a local poultry friend that can offer advice and support.

    Another alternative is to try to buy chicks from a hobby breeder you find on this forum. If they're not in your area you'll still have to get your chicks shipped to you, but the other benefits of buying from a hobby breeder would apply.
  9. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy :

    When you are building your coop, go ahead and expand it - trust me .. it will get filled up! You will be glad you did!

    THIS IS SO TRUE cannot stress it enough!!

    I started with 2 hens, and a 2x4 foot coop. Now? I will have 6 hens and a 6x8 foot coop!! LOL. Chicken math will find you, always...​

  10. greenSearcher

    greenSearcher Songster

    Aug 22, 2010
    Make plans for all the extra eggs or birds. I had only 10 pullets last year, and I had eggs out the yazzou. Anyway, I will try to sell the extra, though being in a rural area chickens are fairly common, so if I still have too many, I have a contact point for the food pantries for our community. My eggs will be most welcome. Of course, I am going to try my hand a breeding, (DH suggested getting a 'bator [​IMG]) so what do I do with all the chicks, pullets and roos??? I actually think I will have more success selling POL pullets and baby chicks- I already have a request for pullets coming up. I figure I can also sell the excess roosters as pet food, I will butcher the bird, but not dress it for those interested. Won't send live birds to be feed. I found it is critical that I have plans for the future birds, year one had 12, this year I am starting with 39 and who knows what the future will bring.

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