Blank Slate in Troy, AL

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by mswwalker, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. mswwalker

    mswwalker Out Of The Brooder

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    Greetings fellow chicken peeps. I know running an introduction through a pun is probably going to haunt me, but what the heck... ;)

    I'm too new to be called new. I don't know a thing - which is borne out by the two ridiculously small and terribly constructed coops I purchased online before reading anything that are sitting out there in my yard beside the barn - and am looking forward to learning more and more as the days go by.

    My goal is three fold:
    1. Raise silkie chickens (because my Daughter in Law wants to)
    2. Keep some egg layers
    3. Keep some meat chickens

    If I could pick the perfect birds they would have, in order, these characteristics: docile, decent egg laying, pretty / unique (the last one is my wife's requirement - "Why have them if they ain't nice to look at?")

    Anywho, any and all advice is welcome. And if you're in the Troy area lemme know. I'll buy first cup of coffee.

    Matt
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  2. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC! I spent months looking at coops before I started building mine, there is tons of information on this site! I would start at the coops pages then on to breeds, ask questions as you go there is always someone willing to help.

    Gary form Idyllwild Ca here

    Must. Finish. Coop.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Matt, and [​IMG]! Great have you aboard! You ask some good questions....unfortunately, there is no single good answer. If you are looking for a meat chicken, the most popular breed - and the bird you are most used to eating from restaurants and the grocery - is the Cornish Cross. It is a fast-growing, ungainly, gluttonous eating machine engineered to be ready to slaughter in as few as 6-7 weeks. Some people shy away from them as they tend to have health problems as they grow so rapidly and aren't exactly a fun chicken to have around as they live to eat (and poop). Some folks have gone to so called dual purpose breeds - that is, those breeds in which the hens are decent egg layers and the cockerels become a respectable eating size....but often not until 16-18+ weeks. These were the farm yard birds prior to the "invention" of the Cornish Cross. Plus, they have a different taste (not bad, just different) from what most folks are used to. These breeds would include Rocks, Delawares, Wyandottes, Buff Orps, etc., etc. There is a middle ground...breeds that go under names such Rangers are a faster growing breed than heritage breeds - but still slower than Cornish Cross. Personally, I love the taste of the heritage breeds - they somehow taste more 'chickeny" than Cornish Cross - perhaps due to the fact they will get out and hustle up greens and sees and weeds, etc.
    On to docile egg laying breeds. Much has to do with how you handle them. I have had a lot of success with Red Stars, Delawares, Sussex, Wyandottes, Marans, Rocks, Orpingtons, etc....the list is long. Why not get a mixed flock? That would satisfy the "nice to look at" requirement plus add variety to the egg basket. Toss in an Easter Egger or two for some green tinted eggs.
    So many great choices out there! As was suggested above, check out the Breeds Forum - I'm sure you'll find something that meets your requirements. Good luck and happy hunting!! [​IMG]
     
  4. mswwalker

    mswwalker Out Of The Brooder

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    I spent a couple reading, then saw an add for a coop to put together on site. Thought it would be a great way to start since I knew nothing. And it looks like a toy. I imagine, maybe, two chickens can use it. We'll see.
    I'm going to go ahead and build the coop I want for my flock (undetermined yet how many or what kind). It's more fun that work so I hope to have it done this weekend.

    Good to make your virtual acquaintance. Have a blessed day,
     
  5. mswwalker

    mswwalker Out Of The Brooder

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    Never really thought about them tasting different.. are there breeds you simply don't eat?

    If you have a bunch of chickens from different breeds together, will the roosters cross-breed? Or do they stick with their own breed? i haven't even considered a mixed breed flock but hey - sounds awesome to me!
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    North Central Kansas
    Never really thought about them tasting different.. are there breeds you simply don't eat? I don't think there are any breeds that are unappetizing. It's more a matter of size of the carcass (Cornish Cross have enormous breasts, thighs, and legs) and the texture. Cornish never get old enough to get tough and stringy whereas by the time a heritage gets big enough to eat, he's put a few miles on and will be tougher.

    If you have a bunch of chickens from different breeds together, will the roosters cross-breed? Or do they stick with their own breed? i haven't even considered a mixed breed flock but hey - sounds awesome to me! Any rooster will mate with any hen of any breed that he can. So yes, crossbreeding will occur. But if you ever hatch you will have mutts....which will likely still be good layers.
    And yes, I love a mixed flock - all the colors and sizes out in the yard. If you order from a hatchery you can custom your order to just what you want. Good luck!
     
  7. Silver 4 Health

    Silver 4 Health New Egg

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    I am also a new member here but a long time backyard chicken keeper. You have come to a great place to ask your questions and seek guidance. My theory has always been to...Plan first, Build second and then get the chickens. It is very important to not reverse those steps...as so many people do! Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Hi Matt, it's nice to have you here!

    You might still get some use out of the pre-built little coops...they could be used for a sick/injured bird or maybe as a way to separate your Silkies from your other, larger breeds if needed.

    Don't forget to check out the Learning Center, if you haven't already done so. And if you'd like to 'meet' other members in AL, there's a state thread you can find just by entering Alabama in the search box.

    Good luck to you with all your plans, you're in for some fun now!
     
  9. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under Matt [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some good tips and advice, I will just add that I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2017
  10. mswwalker

    mswwalker Out Of The Brooder

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    G'Day Teila. My Mom is from Brisbane - been there many many times in my youth. I love Queensland, and still have my Queensland State of Origin XXXX classic shirt in my closet.

    Anytime you want to chat about life Down Under, lemme know.
     
    1 person likes this.

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