Backyard chickens

Big Tony

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2017
1
8
17
I grew up on my Grandpa's farm when he was raising chickens, and I've haven't raised them since I was a kid. I am retired now and have a home in a small town, and I would like to raise a few hens in my back yard that is completely fenced in. I only want about 4 Buff Orpington hens, and I would like some advice about raising chickens for eggs. I have a square foot garden also, and I enjoy growing my own vegetables, and I would like the chickens to free range in my yard just for the pleasure of it.
Big Tony
 

penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Dec 29, 2015
57,189
248,665
1,697
Mossyrock, WA
I grew up on my Grandpa's farm when he was raising chickens, and I've haven't raised them since I was a kid. I am retired now and have a home in a small town, and I would like to raise a few hens in my back yard that is completely fenced in. I only want about 4 Buff Orpington hens, and I would like some advice about raising chickens for eggs. I have a square foot garden also, and I enjoy growing my own vegetables, and I would like the chickens to free range in my yard just for the pleasure of it.
Big Tony
]\\


Welcome to Backyard Chickens Tony glad to have you join is your garden fenced ? you will want to free range can be great and dangerous from aerial predators
 

KathryninQuebec

Songster
Jan 1, 2018
82
186
107
Lac-Humqui QC
Welcome Big Tony, I would start in the articles for information. There is so much to know but if you start off on the right foot you will be able to learn more as you go like most of us. This site is invaluable but also get yourself a good book because the internet may not always work ;)
I would suggest https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/how-to-raise-chickens.47660/
Cheers!
 

austintexasredhead

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2018
15
36
41
Travis County, Texas
I had the same setup in Austin a few years ago. Unfortunately, I did have to fence my garden because the girls would NOT leave my tomatoes alone. Nobody better be stealin' my 'maters!!! I also recommend keeping a few decoy eggs in the nesting boxes to encourage them to lay where YOU want. Mine would move their nests every few months. Good luck with your new chickens!!
 

Foster's Freehold

Songster
6 Years
Jun 7, 2013
346
457
182
South Central KY
Welcome Tony!

Happy healthy hens from a known production line is your best bet for egg production. The only thing about production lines is that they burn out in their second year usually. With Buffs, they are pretty steady layers, cold hardy, good personalities. Easy on the eye too.

If you have a square ft garden (woot woot) you can rig a cover with some chicken wire and let them turn the box, then move hens and cover to the next box. If you just let them run loose, you are going to lose a lot. If they don't eat it, they may put more nitrogen in than you need, or they will scratch it until there is nothing left but turned dirt.

Since you are a gardener, I'll tell you what my plans are. I'm going with deep litter in the coop, it's so easy. Toss in fruit and veg, what the chickies don't eat composts quickly. In the spring, you clean the coop down to the dirt and have some really great compost.
Start the deep litter over, and by next spring, boomity, more great compost.
 

oldhen2345

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jun 22, 2015
1,527
8,043
451
East Texas
Welcome, Big Tony. This site is a virtual font of information.
I also have a backyard flock. I only have 5 right now- different breeds, but 3 are different color Orpingtons. I am about to add a couple more-
Mine are great about laying eggs and free range throughout the yard since it is behind a privacy fence. I do put fake eggs in the nesting boxes and it generally works- I only have one hen that didn't get the memo. she lays right in front of the run door every day.
My only issue with these girls is that they eat the young plants in the vegetable garden and they root around in the roses and fig trees. Last year I put mulch out, didn't stay around the bushes very long. This year, I put a metal circle around the plants and filled it with rocks- maybe that will deter them. The vegetable garden is a problem. It is a raised garden made of cinder blocks. I got some long stakes and am going to staple netting to it and put the stakes down the holes in the cinderblocks, effectively making a movable fence. Hope that works. Last year I had to give up after replanting twice.
 

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