Any advice for beginners

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MarTeeBoys, Feb 23, 2015.

  1. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    24
    Jan 25, 2015
    Elizabethtown, KY
    We are getting ready to start raising chickens. Our chicks (two Rhode Island Reds and two Speckled Sussexes) should be here around the first of June. Any advice for first time /beginner chicken owners. We are going to be raising chickens for eggs.

    Thanks so much,

    Mark and Tiffany
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    14,253
    4,105
    456
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    [​IMG] Glad you have joined us.

    First advice is to visit the Learning Center Articles on raising baby chicks. Have your brooder equipment, feeder/fount in place before they come. Decide on what type feed you want to use and also have it on hand when they arrive.

    Start exploring the coop sections. You need to start building once you get the chicks, to have it ready when they are 5-6 weeks old.

    Wish I had listened to the advice from the forums and books to build a little larger than you think.

    Feel free to ask questions, we are here to help.

    Please do also post under New Members to get a warm welcome from many.

    Good luck in your new adventure.
     
  3. Puddin Fluff

    Puddin Fluff Overrun With Chickens

    5,362
    364
    263
    Mar 30, 2012
    River Valley, AR
    [​IMG] Always build bigger than you think you need. Also don't think you have to have everything perfect. Chickens have survived in the wild in trees and on the ground before we came along and domesticated them. They still could if we just left them alone.

    Don't stress, enjoy! [​IMG]
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    20,162
    8,691
    596
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Read, read, read between now and then. Go to your local library, and check out all of the books available on poultry raising. That way you can read a bunch of different authors without spending a lot of money. Save that money for your coop and brooder build. Read the threads on this forum, as well as the many learning center articles. Got a question? Type it in the search bar, and see what folks have to say about your topic of interest. If at all possible, stay away from the cute little pre-fab coops. They're way over priced, poorly designed, especially regarding perch design and spacing, and ventilation. Don't believe the manufacturer's statement about how many chickens their cute little coop will house. You can probably buy a custom built coop from a local builder cheaper than you can get a pre-fab. Build big. Don't use chicken wire in your coop. It is not predator proof. You'll need 1/2" hardware cloth to seal all openings.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,532
    3,747
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    How exciting to have a new BYC member! You're going to have fun here and fun raising chickens. You're in for so many wonderful surprises!

    I bet you didn't know that, besides producing fresh eggs, chickens of both genders make wonderful pets. Some are especially affectionate and are like kittens and puppies in enjoying being cuddled.

    No matter if you want tame pets or just eggs, you will need to be able to handle your chickens from time to time. Chickens can be skittish if not raised to be comfortable being handled, and the way to achieve easy to handle chickens is to plan your brooder, which will house your baby chicks for the first four to six weeks, so that they will be raised tame and trusting.

    The secret to this objective is to create a brooder with a side access as opposed to simply having a box on the floor that you reach down into to pick up your chicks. I use large cardboard boxes and they're easy to cut nifty doors into that open on the side. This way, you reach in for the chicks at their level instead of diving down on them from above like some bird of prey. And that's the fear instinct that awakens in chicks by approaching them in that way.

    You can set the brooder on a table and it'll be simple to play with and handle the chicks, even for children, if they're going to be included in raising these chicks. This is the most important secret I wish someone had told me when I got my first chicks. The hens I raised years ago in a top access brooder are still running away from me to this day, making it a major production to try to handle them.

    Anyway, welcome!
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. MarTeeBoys

    MarTeeBoys Out Of The Brooder

    15
    0
    24
    Jan 25, 2015
    Elizabethtown, KY
    I plan on building my coop based on plans from the Wichita Cabin Coop. I ordered the plans today and will hopefully start construction around the first of May. I want to have everything ready before the girls arrive.

    Thank you so much for the advice. I look forward to learning all I can from everyone.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by