BYC: Getting started

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Kingerrrr, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. Kingerrrr

    Kingerrrr In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2018
    Hello everyone,

    first time post here. I recently convinced my partner to allow me to get some chickens! She has told me she is "afraid" of chickens, but she knows this is something I have wanted for some time; after a lot of research and chicken videos she is finally on board!

    Little does she know, I have already built a partial chicken coop in our detached garage that I was preparing to install over the summer. I have read through many of the threads and watched many videos on the coops and runs and I feel as though I am prepared to build an awesome chicken coop and run once the spring arrives. The coop I have made so far is insulated as well as already has ventilation installed. I just wanted to post on here to maybe hear some additional tips and tricks from the veterans; as this will be a learning process for me. I primarily want these birds for egg production/pets. The chickens will be part free range but will spend most of their time in the run; only to be let out when I am out in the yard to ensure their safety. Planning on getting 4-6 chickens depending on how big I end up making the coop and run and we are on about 2 acres of land.

    My main concerns:

    Bird types
    : I have seen online many different suggestions that some bird varieties can be less friendly than others. Seeing how I would love my nephews to come and spend time with the chickens; what common breeds would you all suggest for egg production and docile behaviour?

    Keeping warm in the winter: I live in Canada, and it does get quite cold. I believe our average temperature this winter was around -10 to -15 degrees celcius with quite a few warm days above zero. I want to make sure my birds stay warm and dry all winter long (hence the insulated box). I plan to install an electric heater on a temp gauge in the winter months to turn on when needed. Does anyone have any additional tips or tricks for me? This is one of my biggest concerns.

    Chicken Compost/chickens in the garden: We have a large garden plot on our land and I would love to use and produce my own compost from the chickens. I have seen people keep compost piles in the run to allow the chickens to peck at vegetables and insects; all while producing compost. This would not be for straw/pine shavings/hen house clean out; strictly compost from the yard and garden. Does anyone have any experience with this and again have any tips and tricks? Would I need to keep the chickens out of my garden when free roaming to keep them from pecking at vegetables?

    Lastly; do you have any great informative websites, guides, videos, etc? Either ones made by you, or just ones you know and like....please share! We are making sure we are 100% prepared for these chickens before they get here. I intend on finishing the coop and run once the winter is done to allow me to trench the coop into the ground (predator proofing) and for warm weather for me to work in!

    Thank you so much for taking the time for my lengthy post, which I apologize for! Would also love to see other people's home made coop and run set ups so post away. Have a great day and I look forward to posting updates on our progress!
  2. HBRRanchCO

    HBRRanchCO Chirping

    Dec 15, 2017
    Sheridan, CO
    I think regardless of the breed of chicken, raising them and giving them lots of hands-on time is what will help the chickens be friendly :) I am pretty new to chickens as well, and didn't really pick my chicken breeds because I got birds from friends, but those friends seem to agree on this point!
  3. MrsMistyReal

    MrsMistyReal Enabler

    Aug 6, 2014
    Welcome aboard to BYC family gr8 people tons of information loads of fun enjoy shake your tail feathers. I guess slipping a rubber chicken in bed is out of the question :confused::lauboo!! 1250972-eaaf72ec0adea36bcb73d03ebb09f6f1.gif
    [email protected] likes this.
  4. Lostchicken

    Lostchicken Chirping

    Sep 21, 2016
    Paris, Tx
    Glad to have you on board. I have a mixed flock, but my Silver Laced Wyandotte's are the friendless and smartest. My Ameraucanas are the dumbest and can never find their way in to the pen at night. Golden Sex links are friendly like the Wyandotte's and when you go out side and they see you they will come a running and follow you around the yard:wee.
    [email protected] likes this.
  5. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    Welcome to BYC! A few of your questions are beyond my skill set so I am tagging in some folks. @aart @KikisGirls and even that guy @RUNuts . I expect @lazy gardener can tell you chicken and greenery don't mix so you probably will need to protect your crops from them.

    Once again, so happy you have joined us here!
    KikisGirls likes this.
  6. Smuvers Farm

    Smuvers Farm Melvin Up the Taterhole

    Feb 16, 2017
    TN/Western KY Border

    Glad you're here !

    A must have for your poultry is a FIRST AID KIT for any issues that would arise. (
    It's definitely better to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it.

    Also, make sure your coop(s) have a proper amount of VENTILATION. ( Your chickens will absolutely thank you for it!

    One last thing, if you're into gardening, feel free to join this years SEED SWAP (
  7. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

    Jan 10, 2013
    Baker, Fl
    Introduce your partner by starting with is hard to not to fall in love with chicks.
  8. AllenK RGV

    AllenK RGV Chicken Addict

    Also help with pasty butt checks a second set of hands is invaluable.


    In reply to @GotCoop
  9. GotCoop

    GotCoop Songster

    Jan 10, 2013
    Baker, Fl
    Definitely that too...
    [email protected] likes this.
  10. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Did you candle today?

    Welcome aboard....first thing that comes to my mind is:
    I know quite a few people here on BYC that live up there in Canada..not one of them have added heat in their coop.

    Second thing is I haven't meet a mean hen yet. Roosters can be down right ugly though.

    Third...and a must IMO, build your coop and run bigger!!!

    A couple of good reads:

    Skim through the articles here:

    Also...that a few minutes to learn about chicken diseases...and worms and coccidiosis.
    DaviJones and [email protected] like this.

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