Chicken Newb needs help!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Kimquat, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Kimquat

    Kimquat In the Brooder

    56
    2
    41
    Jun 1, 2012
    Hello all ~ Not sure if anyone really reads introductory posts but I've been lurking on these forums for a bit, so I thought I'd say hi.

    While I've been interested in raising chickens for quite some time, I've never felt prepared to actually take the plunge until recently. They're such interesting little creatures and I'd love to have a few laying hens so that I would not have to continue to support the industry that mistreats chickens in the procuring and selling of their eggs. I have a few very important questions with which chicken experts could probably really help. :)

    1. How much free time does one need in order to care for chickens? I'm a busy girl and wouldn't have much free time during the week to stand outside and watch my chickens to ensure that no predators carry them away. :( I'm planning to provide a decent coop with enough room for the chickens to hang out (I'm still researching that, as well).

    2. How many eggs a week could I anticipate with three to four hens? I do know that some breeds are more prolific egg layers than others, but I'm not sure what's considered prolific.

    3. Is there any advice you guys can offer me in terms of selecting a the right sort of coop? I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money, but I want my chickens to be happy and comfortable.

    4. We have lots of foxes and hawks in our area and so I don't feel that my chickens could be free range. Would an hour a day out of the coop be too little free time in the yard? I could offer more supervised free ranging on the weekends, but not so much during the week.

    5. I'm thinking a few young hens would be the best start for me. I don't know enough about raising chicks and so I'm not planning on bringing in a rooster just yet. Which breeds would you recommend?

    I'm scared of taking the plunge and being unprepared. Some people make it look so easy, but I don't want to get in over my head. :O

    Thanks in advance!

    Kim
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    20,799
    6,343
    627
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

    Sound like a secure run would solve your problem, allowing the chickens space and outdoor time without the need for you to continually monitor them.

    Google the Henderson chicken chart for good information on laying potential, tolerance of confinement, and other breed characteristics.
     
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    17,486
    126
    371
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. If you have a secure pen for them you won't have to worry so much. :thumbsup
     
  4. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing

    43,519
    576
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    I don't raise chickens so I can't help you but [​IMG]
     
  5. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    20,239
    184
    348
    Jun 4, 2010
    Alabama
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.
     
  6. mi chicken

    mi chicken In the Brooder

    56
    1
    31
    May 7, 2012
    the thumb
    if you have a small flock 3 or 4 hens and get acoop that has some room . you will have no problem. 15 minites a day . get some blacksex link hens and you will get 15 to 20 a week.
     
  7. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    17,155
    299
    348
    Aug 26, 2011
    Hello and :welcome

    I would not have to continue to support the industry that mistreats chickens in the procuring and selling of their eggs. :)

    :thumbsup I agree with you completely. This is one of the main reasons why we first decided to get chickens too!


    1. How much free time does one need in order to care for chickens? I'm a busy girl and wouldn't have much free time during the week to stand outside and watch my chickens to ensure that no predators carry them away. :( I'm planning to provide a decent coop with enough room for the chickens to hang out (I'm still researching that, as well).

    If your coop and run are well secured all round you don't need to watch your chickens. :) Honestly, you don't need all that much time. We don't have any predators round here, so our chickens just roam the garden and in total we spend about ten minutes a day feeding them and changing the water/collecting the eggs. However, you might find that you enjoy spending more time with them than that. :p

    2. How many eggs a week could I anticipate with three to four hens? I do know that some breeds are more prolific egg layers than others, but I'm not sure what's considered prolific.

    It does depend on the breed. I have red sex links, and those lay an egg a day consistently. From other breeds that are good layers, you might expect 20-25 eggs from a flock of four.

    3. Is there any advice you guys can offer me in terms of selecting a the right sort of coop? I don't want to spend a ridiculous amount of money, but I want my chickens to be happy and comfortable.

    It doesn't have to be fancy. Have a look at the coops page at the top of the forum, you could even make your own. :p But as for buying coops, I have no experience.

    4. We have lots of foxes and hawks in our area and so I don't feel that my chickens could be free range. Would an hour a day out of the coop be too little free time in the yard? I could offer more supervised free ranging on the weekends, but not so much during the week.

    An hour a day would be great. They will appreciate any time to free range! However you can make a covered run that's a bit smaller so they can still run around in your absence.

    5. I'm thinking a few young hens would be the best start for me. I don't know enough about raising chicks and so I'm not planning on bringing in a rooster just yet. Which breeds would you recommend?

    Sex links are good layers and pretty hardy, many backyard flocks have barred rocks, buff orpingtons, RIRs and common breeds like that! Someone in my neighbourhood owns silkies, but I'm not sure how easy they are to raise.

    I'm scared of taking the plunge and being unprepared. Some people make it look so easy, but I don't want to get in over my head. :O

    I'm sure you'll be fine! Best of luck to you!!
     
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    38,914
    21,229
    1,252
    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC!
     
  9. Kimquat

    Kimquat In the Brooder

    56
    2
    41
    Jun 1, 2012
    Thanks so much, you guys. This information was really, really helpful for me and I feel a lot more informed and prepared. :) Thanks for the warm welcome!
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: