Brand New and Want To Learn

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by fretfreak13, May 5, 2017.

  1. fretfreak13

    fretfreak13 New Egg

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    May 5, 2017
    Hello! I'm interested in keeping a tiny backyard flock. I have no chickens yet, never have, and don't even know anyone personally who ever has. I love gardening and am looking into using them mainly as a manure source for compost. We're not a big egg familiy, so a few eggs a week would be totally fine. I'd find a way to use them in some way, even if it meant just making them for my pooch and composting the shells.

    I also don't have any interest in hatching and raising babies at least for the moment, so I'll be looking to take on some adult (or near adult?) hens.

    What would be a good breed to look into that don't fire out eggs constantly, but are on the smaller side and friendly with people? I don't have unlimited space, so I was thinking maybe just keeping two or three hens? I see a lot of people always jumping to six and that seems pretty overwhelming to me. Why do so many people start with six?

    Thanks ahead of time for any advice or links!
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    To answer your question: people don't mean to buy a lot of chickens. Problem is they get a few chicks, fall in love, get quite addicted to them etc. Next comes chicken math when, they feel the need to buy every new breed or type they don't have- this is self perpetuating. I must tell you BYCers are all great enablers and will never say you have too many birds.

    I'm not to sure what breeds to recommend - they ones that are average to less, egg layers tend to go broody often (wanting to hatch fertile eggs & raise the babies) Even if eggs are not fertile (No roosters around) they will sit on them anyway, as well as rocks, golf balls, or even plain empty air. They have strong mothering instinct During their "broody days," they don't lay any eggs.

    Actually, I can't think of any really popular breed that aren't stellar layers, so keep away from Rhode island reds, Black Australorps, White leghorns, sex links etc. Unless you want to gift, family, friends, neighbors will the excess bounty..

    We don't get queries for breeds that don't lay many eggs. Maybe another greeter can think of some.
     
  3. fretfreak13

    fretfreak13 New Egg

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    Thank you for the response Diva! And also thank you for the parenthesis explaining your chicken terms because I definetly need that! Haha

    So having a duo or trio wouldn't be detrimental to them then? It's just the human collectors mindset? That's good to know! If I had to go out and start with six this would have to be a project much further into the future.

    When a hen gets broody, does she get mean with the intent to protect her egg? Would taking it away from her upset her? I know you have to if they aren't fertilized or they'll just rot, right? Will she just snap out of it eventually and go back to her old self, or is this a physochological thing that could really change them permanently?
     
  4. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to Backyard Chickens! If you are looking for friendly birds then I would raise them as chicks to get them used to human contact. A breeders hens would be skittish. If you are looking for a smaller breed I would get a Silkie, they are not big at all and are very docile! They make great lap birds! Here is what they look like.[​IMG]
    They are AWESOME lap birds and love human contact!



    I always though the bigger the bird the more tame! Light Brahmas are great lap birds, but they can weigh more than ten pounds. Here is a pic[​IMG]
    She is only 11 weeks in the pic.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
  5. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    The bird I posted are more of a fancy breed.
     
  6. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    Buff Orpingtons are a very popular and docile breed! Here is as pic of mine one year.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. fretfreak13

    fretfreak13 New Egg

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    Thanks for the response Sarah! I've seen the silkies, and I can understand why people like them, but they just don't match my mental image when I think of the word "chicken".

    I really like the second one you posted! The only reason I'm worried about size is just my lack of space. I'd assume the larger the bird, the more space they'd need in a run right? I have a fenced in backyard so my thoughts were to get them a coop with a wired off area as well, but whenever I would be outside I'd let them free with me.
     
  8. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    1 person likes this.
  9. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah I really thought they where weird looking when I first saw them too! But know I am crazy about them! haha! Brahmas do not need as much space as a smaller breed would need because they are are poor free rangers, and would rather be sleeping on your lap them scratching around for leaves.[​IMG] Smaller breeds are more active and go crazy to run around.
     
  10. sassysarah123

    sassysarah123 Overrun With Chickens

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    My Brahmas do not care much to free range, but they still like to be sometimes!:)
     

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