Another Newbie Here!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Spark, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. Spark

    Spark Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Hello everyone! [​IMG] I'm new to owning and raising chickens. We don't have any currently, but we're planning on possibly buying some chicks from mypetchicken.com in the future. I've mainly just been trying to do some research and find more info on chickens before we take the plunge. I do have a rough idea of what breeds we'd like to get, though, including rhode islands, black & red stars and easter eggers. I'm also considering leghorns, australops, wyandottes, and possibly plymouth rocks. Info on any of these would be greatly appreciated! We're interested in docile chickens that are good egg layers, but easy to handle too.

    I also had a few other questions regarding chicken care, though I'm not sure if this is the right place for them. Here goes:

    1) We're allowed to own up to 6 chickens in our area. We originally intended to buy only 3, but now we're considering getting a few more. Are chickens generally happier in a larger group? What are the pros and cons of buying more (other than the extra maintenance and upkeep)?

    2) We have quite a few bird feeders and a bench that we spread seed across for squirrels, etc. There's almost always a big pile of seeds and shells underneath that the birds have picked through, and I was worried the chickens might find these "scraps" equally appealing. Could they catch diseases from the birds and squirrels or become ill?

    3) Our garden consists mainly of daylilies, but we do also have daffodils, foxglove and probably many other poisonous/toxic plants that I'm not aware of. Would chickens be likely to try and eat these, or do they mainly stick to foraging low to the ground?

    4) We have a lot of lesser celandine (a type of small, low-growing yellow flower/weed) and I wondered if these are edible. I tried looking them up and for the most part they seem harmless, however some sites say that the leaves become slightly toxic during and after they bloom. We also have an abundance of onion grass and clover popping up in the lawn.

    5) Lastly... Are hawks a threat to full-grown chickens weighing at least 6-8 pounds?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  2. gpamela3499

    gpamela3499 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Near San Fran Ca
    Quote:[​IMG]

    From California

    #1 I heard that most chickens like at least 1 other friend If one is a roo and the rest are hens there should be at least 4 hens to a roo.

    #2 yes wild bird carry very bad diseases to chickens I not a expert but I think contact should be avoided at all times.


    I am not sure about the rest of the questions. I hope I helped a little
     
  3. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    1) We're allowed to own up to 6 chickens in our area. We originally intended to buy only 3, but now we're considering getting a few more. Are chickens generally happier in a larger group? What are the pros and cons of buying more (other than the extra maintenance and upkeep)?

    They love to be in groups, but as little as three can be happy. But you will become obssessed.

    2) We have quite a few bird feeders and a bench that we spread seed across for squirrels, etc. There's almost always a big pile of seeds and shells underneath that the birds have picked through, and I was worried the chickens might find these "scraps" equally appealing. Could they catch diseases from the birds and squirrels or become ill?

    Possibly - I would wait for more answers on this one

    3) Our garden consists mainly of daylilies, but we do also have daffodils, foxglove and probably many other poisonous/toxic plants that I'm not aware of. Would chickens be likely to try and eat these, or do they mainly stick to foraging low to the ground?

    Chickens will eat ANYTHING. Look up the plants you have online and get rid of the ones that are harmful to them. Or coop the girls!!!

    4) We have a lot of lesser celandine (a type of small, low-growing yellow flower/weed) and I wondered if these are edible. I tried looking them up and for the most part they seem harmless, however some sites say that the leaves become slightly toxic during and after they bloom. We also have an abundance of onion grass and clover popping up in the lawn.

    Unknown.

    5) Lastly... Are hawks a threat to full-grown chickens weighing at least 6-8 pounds?

    Absolutely. They will sweep down and pick them up like they were rag dolls. This is the main reason we have ours cooped - too many hawks of many varieties around here.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Spark

    Spark Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 13, 2009
    Thanks for the responses! [​IMG] And to add on to number 1, we plan on getting hens only, no roosters.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Well, I have experience with some of this, and will answer from that.

    RIR's can vary from very friendly to mean as snakes. I suspect those from a breeder are much more docile than hatchery lines. Leghorns aren't usually mean but are flighty and afraid to be handled; they get panicky. I just got some Plymouth Rocks, EE's and Wyandottes 2 months ago. They are calm after I catch them but hard to catch and standoffish. The EE's are the most standoffish. Yet I have read others saying they are very friendly. My Australorps are by far my friendliest, jump on my lap and settle down to be petted. I had mature Australorps who were easy to handle and the roo was not mean. I still have one hen; she is not a lap chicken but she is easy to pick up and handle. They are wonderful year round layers of huge brown eggs.

    Chickens can get mites from wild birds, but chickens are going to get mites, anyway. Yes the chickens will also enjoy these snacks. I wouldn't worry about it.

    I don't know that more than 6 is any better than 6. They do like a group, though; one is not good. My 4 hens (3 varieties) stay to themselves and seem quite content.

    They will eat whatever they want that they can reach. My 7 week olds stretch hard to reach some weed seeds growing in their yard. I have no idea whether they are likely to eat something that will poison them, but suspect not. I have lots of stuff planted, plus there is a field, the older ones free range, and I assume there are things here that are poisonous. My young ones eat some types of plants and pass up others; my older hens passed up the same ones. Yours will love the clover and I believe will love the onion grass as well.

    On hawks, many here say yes, and have witnessed hawk attacks. The hawks around here are a small variety and do not bother my adult birds. But then they may simply have plenty of easier prey; I don't know.
     
  6. wingnut1

    wingnut1 Crazy Bird Lady

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You'll find some great info here! Enjoy!!!
     
  7. n-da-woods

    n-da-woods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2009
    North Carolina
    Hello and [​IMG] from NC
     
  8. addiedunn

    addiedunn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2008
    Martinsville, IN
    Spark,
    [​IMG]
    You're gonna love it here!
     
  9. mwdh1

    mwdh1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Indiana
    [​IMG]
     
  10. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN
     

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