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Breeds, eggs, and advice!!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by megan1717, Mar 8, 2013.

  1. megan1717

    megan1717 New Egg

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    Hi! My name is Megan. (bet you couldn’t tell) and I am getting a small layer flock at the end of March!!! [​IMG]

    My mom and I enjoy gardening (even though we live in the city and don’t exactly have a huge yard)
    I have been doing a lot of research on this site because I want to know as much as I can before we actually get the chicks.
    I would be thankful if you could help answer some questions. J ( if i spell anything wrong i sawwwry [​IMG])

    1. WE ARE THINKING OF GETTING 1 Black austroporp, 1 red star, 1 leghorn and 1 Easter egger. Would these breeds be ok together? Any suggestions of "better" breeds? (we in TX so it HOT) We are a family of 5 plus 2 grandparents who love eggs! will 4 chickens lay enough for all of us?

    2.we are planning to use a rabbit hutch as a coop it is 4 ft by 6 ft. is this big enough/how many chickens would it hold max? the floor is grate. My mom wants to use it as a brooder as well will the chicks b ok on the grate or should we put a towel in it?

    3. We are going to use Purina chick starter and then layer pellets. How much should a chicken get each day and how much will 4 chickens eat in a month without free-ranging(small backyard)?

    I appricciate any advice you feel like sharing!!

    Thanks in advance!!

    -megan
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Some chickens are definately better in hot areas than others - google the Henderson chicken chart, they rate birds on heat and cold tolerance.

    You might want to post your coop questions in the Coop and Run section of the Forum - look under Raising Backyard Chickens in the Forum (above.)

    Good luck
     
  3. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello and welcome from Ohio...so glad you joined BYC

    Good luck with your new coop and chickens. Have fun
     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] For breeds have a look at the Breeds tab and also here:

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Your coop should hold 6 hens comfortably. The recommended space allowance for chickens is 4 sq ft per chicken in the coop and another 10 sq ft per chicken in the run, unless they free range, of course.

    Food wise I honestly can't tell you... it depends on how you feed and if you have wildlife like birds and squirrels helping themselves to the feed. I keep my 14 hens' bowl full and a 25kg (± 50lb) bag of layer pellets last 2 months, but they free range all over and get plenty to eat out there as well.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Breed selection, coop size and feeding regimen sound OK. If confined to that size coop permanently, you may have some pecking/cannibalism problems because of boredom. A covered run would be a good addition to the coop.
     
  6. farmin4fun

    farmin4fun Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey Megan,

    Welcome to byc and congrats on your chickens. I have all of those breeds together in my current flock (minus the red star) and they get along great. So you shouldn't have any problem there. I have had red stars before and mine have always integrated just fine. You don't usually have too many aggression problems unless you have juvenile chickens mixed with adult chickens, and or not enough space. A bored, cramped chicken may be a cranky and somewhat aggressive chicken.

    As far as coop space it is recommended to have at least 4 sq ft per chicken so you seem to have enough. Your chicks would be fine on the grate depending on the size of it. Although it would probably wouldn't be a bad idea to put some wood chips in the bottom when they are little. This might solve a couple issues. 1) This would help with any drafts coming up from the bottom of the cage. 2) if grate is too large the chips would provide better footing. Wood chips are pretty easy to clean out and they keep the litter dry as well. Just don't use cedar wood chips. I've been told the fumes are bad for chicks to inhale.
    (I cut out a scrap of old linoleum to put in the bottom of my wire bottom brooder and then put wood chips on top of that. This worked well and made clean up easier)

    All of those breeds are good to excellent layers but if you all really love eggs you may run a little short. Another chick or two may be in the cards. The australorp, red star, and leghorn will all likely lay at least 4-6 eggs per week. The EE will likely lay 3-5. Every hen varies a bit, but those are rough averages. Those averages can vary even more with age and health of the hen.

    As far how much they will eat that is a tough question. Being your chickens will have no access to free range, you may want to give them unlimited access to food. If given unlimited access to food a fully grown chicken of those breeds may eat around 10-13 lbs of feed per month per chicken. Again this is a "very rough" estimate. You could likely lessen this a bit if you portion it, and or supplement with table scraps and any grass or vegetable greens you have growing naturally around the yard. Chickens love to pick at greens when confined. I would probably recommend giving them unlimited access to food as it would make things easier on you because you don't have to feed them several times per day. You can just fill up the food and water reservoirs once per day.

    Also, I would begin with the chick starter, but after about 3-4 weeks I would switch to Purina's grower/finisher feed and give them that until they start laying eggs. Then I would switch to the layer pellets. Layer pellets provide extra calcium which they need once laying cycle begins.

    This is just a helpful tip. If there is any room in your back yard for you to make a small run where your chickens can get to the ground and scratch in the dirt your chickens will be much happier and even healthier. Scratching around in the dirt is just part of their nature and they love it.

    I know this has been a long response, but I hope you find it helpful. I wish you the best of luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, Meghan, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us! I agree with 1muttsfan about looking at those links as well as what was said by farmin4fun! Best of luck to you and have some fun!
     
  8. megan1717

    megan1717 New Egg

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    Wow! thanks for all the welcomes! sorry if i posted something in the wrong place (very new to byc) [​IMG]
    I’ll look in to building a run maybe behind our shed... there's about 12 ft by 16ft of space back there.


    Thanks for all the advice!
    (Off to read helpul articles)[​IMG]
     
  9. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]
     

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