Best Way to start with first coop

pmcquitty

In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2016
11
1
16
Eastern Shore, MD
I have wanted chickens for years and finally got my first coop. I have spent the past several weeks researching coops, feed, chicken health, breeds, etc. My coop and pen should be ready for my first group of girls next week. Obviously, I am nervous that I will make mistakes because I am new to raising chickens. How do you advise I start my first flock - with chicks, adult hens, or somewhere in between. Also, I have fallen in love with the Buff Brahmas during my research - is this a breed I should start with, or is there another breed that is better as starters for a novice? Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated-Thanks so much!!
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
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Mar 27, 2012
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Buff brahmas are a great breed to start out with - they are big, hardy, gentle chickens. If you want to raise them yourself to assure they are friendly and like to be handled I'd go with chicks. Adult hens might be okay but then you will not have raised them and they may not be as friendly. With hens/pullets you get to skip all the brooding however, so if that's something you'd like to avoid then juvenile pullets or hens would be better for you.
 

pmcquitty

In the Brooder
Jul 4, 2016
11
1
16
Eastern Shore, MD
Thanks! I'm glad the Brahmas are good to start with - they are so cute! I'm in love already. I'm just a little nervous that I don't know enough to start out with babies and the hens would be more forgiving of my lack of Knowledge.
 

Pyxis

Hatchi Wan Kenobi
Project Manager
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9 Years
Mar 27, 2012
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Thanks!  I'm glad the Brahmas are good to start with - they are so cute!  I'm in love already.  I'm just a little nervous that I don't know enough to start out with babies and the hens would be more forgiving of my lack of Knowledge.


Chicks really aren't that hard to raise - you need a brooder (a plastic storage bin works great for this), a heat lamp, a thermometer to measure the heat under the heat lamp (95 degrees for the first week, lower it five degrees each week after) a chick feeder, a chick waterer, chick feed, and some bedding, and that's it :) They sell everything you'd need at a feed store like Tractor Supply (aside from the storage tub). There are also lots of good articles right here on BYC that I'd be happy to link you to about chick care, but they're really not hard to care for at all.
 

NewChickmom2016

Songster
5 Years
May 25, 2016
161
49
126
We are raising our first flock of chicks, 4- hopefully all pullets, right now. We got them at 10 days old. Read, read, read here on BYC and ask questions of the wonderful folks here. We went with the "MHP" - mother heating pad- and have been very happy, as have the "girls"! Our chicks are now 4 1/2 weeks old and have been going on "field trips" during the day out to their run and coop. Will probably move them out there permanently next week. They told me in no uncertain terms that it was time to go outside this morning!
Best of luck to you!
-Jerie
 

NewChickmom2016

Songster
5 Years
May 25, 2016
161
49
126
LOVE the heating pad! No light all night long- hoping it will make adjusting to the coop easier for our girls. As well, no concern of overheating the cardboard box and causing a fire. We used an under shelf basket a neighbor was getting rid of- had to put it up on wood as they got taller. Took 2 kitchen towels and covered them with "press and seal" saran wrap. The heating pad I got was a sunbeam from Amazon- it has either auto off or you can switch to stay on continually.
There is a huge thread talking about the MHP - search and I'm sure you will find it!
good luck!
-Jerie
 

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