Chicken Questions.

marcandmichelle

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
5
0
7
Astorville Ontario Canada
Hello, Im new here. My boyfriend and I want to get some chickens. I have a some questions:

1). We live in Canada, Ontario, what kind of breed should we get? ...keeping in mind we have cold winters.
2). Should we get them as babies, or adults?
3). Can we pet them?
4). How ofter do we feed them?
5). What kind of food should we feed them?
6). Will the chickens attack us, while we collect eggs?
7). We have a big deck, and was thinking about building a coop under the deck, good idea? Or should we build a coop?
8). How much would a coop cost to build? If we decided to build one, we would want to build one within our budget...not too expensive.
9). Do we have to be home all the time for the chickens?
10). we want the chickens to roam around, does someone have to be home when they are?
11). Can the chickens be home alone, when they are roaming outside? Or do we have to put them in there coop when we leav for a few hours?
12). Do we need a chicken sitter, if we go out of town?
13). We have 2 cats, would they get along with the chickens?
14). How many chickens should we get?
15). Will the chickens be afraid of us?
16). Is it hard to take care of chickens?
17). is it expensive to care for chickens?
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,429
28,522
1,097
St. Louis, MO
Hello, Im new here. My boyfriend and I want to get some chickens. I have a some questions:

1). We live in Canada, Ontario, what kind of breed should we get? ...keeping in mind we have cold winters.

Chanteclers - Canada's breed, Most of the New England breeds like New Hampshires, Jersey Giants and Rocks. I love Jaerhons(Norway's breed) for cold and heat. Russian Orloffs are one of the most hardy and heavy feathered. Don't get them if it gets hot there.
2). Should we get them as babies, or adults?

Babies haven't been exposed to as much disease and will love you if you bring treats. Adults take longer to love you but start feeding you breakfast immediately. Babies will be 20 weeks or so.

3). Can we pet them?

About half the breeds are calm and you can pet them other breeds hate human contact.

4). How ofter do we feed them?

They sleep all night so won't use food or water then, otherwise provide food and water all day. They won't overeat.

5). What kind of food should we feed them?

Chicks need grower feed which is at least 18% protein and 1% calcium. Once laying commences they need layer feed which is at least 16% protein and 4% calcium. Avoid feeding treats and scratch until you learn more about poultry nutrition. After that you can feed them lots of your table scraps.

6). Will the chickens attack us, while we collect eggs?

No. If they go broody(wanting to raise a family) they get cranky.

7). We have a big deck, and was thinking about building a coop under the deck, good idea? Or should we build a coop?

Under the deck IMHO is a good idea because they would probably go under there to get out of the sun anyway. I always build coops in the shade.

8). How much would a coop cost to build? If we decided to build one, we would want to build one within our budget...not too expensive.

Using repurposed/salvage/free materials it can be built for as little as a box of screws. Check craigslist. Lots of people also give away pallets. The most expensive thing is probably the fencing.

9). Do we have to be home all the time for the chickens?

It helps to be there every day but a small flock can be tended in 10 to 20 minutes a day. It's possible to have automatic feeders, waterers and doors. Train your neighbors and family how to care for them and you can take a trip.

10). we want the chickens to roam around, does someone have to be home when they are?

Depends a lot on the breed. Many breeds are susceptible to predators. Others are nearly predator proof during the day. Night time is a different story. Dogs and hawks are the biggest problem during the day.

11). Can the chickens be home alone, when they are roaming outside? Or do we have to put them in there coop when we leav for a few hours?

I raise Black Penedesencas and they roam all day and rarely is there an issue. Foo foo birds like silkies and polish can't even see a hawk coming.

12). Do we need a chicken sitter, if we go out of town?

Work your networks.

13). We have 2 cats, would they get along with the chickens?

Cats can be chicken predators but mostly for chicks and small breeds.

14). How many chickens should we get?

As many as you're allowed or can house. They're flock animals and need friends. You'll eat a lot more eggs when you have fresh delicious ones in your yard. Chickens die and adding more later can be difficult because they don't like outsiders.

15). Will the chickens be afraid of us?

Sometimes but like a man, the way to their heart is through their stomach.

16). Is it hard to take care of chickens?

No, a small flock is quite easy.

17). is it expensive to care for chickens?

No but you probably won't save much money with them however the eggs and meat of a small flock are better tasting and more nutritious than that from the store.
 
Last edited:

KayleighW

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
111
6
83
Kansas
Welcome to BYC! I can't answer all your questions, but I will try my best on some.
1. I don't know about all the different breeds of chickens, but I've heard some people say the Buff Orpingtons are great chickens for beginners, and they are suppose to be winter hardy. I have 3 chicks, but no experience with them as adults.
2. Baby chicks are so much fun, that's what I would recommend. But they need lots of attention and care, so make sure you have time for them. If you don't maybe adults would be better.
3. Some chickens love attention, others, not so much. The Buff Orpingtons I mentioned above tend to be somewhat friendly I think. Just be sure to spend time with them as chicks.
4. You should make sure that they always have as much food as they want. No need to ration them.
5. Most feed stores sell food specifically for chickens. But they also love scraps and bugs!
6. Sometimes broody hens aren't very friendly, but in general chickens don't attack you for taking the eggs.
7. Just keep in mind that you will want to be able to walk into the coop. If you have a low deck you won't be able to do that.
8. I can't help on this one.
9. You don't have to be home with the chickens, just make sure they have enough food and water while you are gone.
10. Do you have predators in you area? If so, I wouldn't recommend letting them out while you are away.
11. Same as 10.
12. It would probably be a good idea to have someone come by to feed, water, and collect eggs while you are away.
13. The cats might try to get the little chicks, but usually don't mess with adult chickens.
14. How many do you have room for, and how many eggs do you need. I think the rule is 4 or 5 square feet of coop space per chicken. I could be wrong on that. But make sure you have the room for, and can afford to feed however many chickens you want.
15. They shouldn't be afraid of you. Some may not be as friendly as others, but they will learn who feeds them :)
16. Chickens are easy to take care of. Just feed them and give them fresh water. Be sure to clean out the coop regularly.
17. A small amount of chickens aren't really expensive to keep. Especially after you consider the eggs you get from them, and you can sell the unwanted eggs also.

I hope that helps a little. Somebody can correct me if I said anything wrong. I just bought 42 chicks a couple weeks ago, but until now, I haven't raised any for about 10 years.
 

DavidKerk

Songster
7 Years
Feb 9, 2013
545
19
146
  1. I think Wyandottes and Ameruacanas would be great because they have small combs that are not prone to frostbite. Shy away from breeds that have large combs as they will be frostbite prone. I've heard of people in Canada who don't ever use heat lamps for their adult chickens and they do just fine. Chickens are hardy!
  2. It's really up to you.
  3. If you interact with them a ton (like 3+ times a day) while they are young, you may be able to pet them.
  4. If you have a feeder, it may be possible to feed them only once or twice a week. I know there are huge feeders out there also that would make the period between feedings longer but be sure not to let the feed set for too long (like over a week or two.)
  5. I feed my chickens "poultry starter" until they are sixteen weeks, which is when I switch to "layer feed."
  6. Most chickens won't attack you while you get the eggs. A broody hen (a hen who wants to set her eggs) may peck you a little, but it doesn't hurt.
  7. I think that may be a good idea, however, if your deck is too short it might not be.
  8. It generally costs about $200 to $400 to BUY a chicken coop but I know there are A-frame chicken coop designs that would house about 3 chickens and would be very inexpensive to buy. "Google" and "Google Images" are great places to look for free designs.
  9. I just left for six days during spring break and nobody was home with my chickens except for someone who came to get the eggs once.
  10. During the day, probably not especially if you have a rooster as he will protect his hens. During the night, you may want to lock your chickens in the coop, but you don't have to if the area you live in doesn't have a large population of weasels, mink, oppossums, or raccoons. A strong coop and run can fix predator problems.
  11. You can leave them alone during the day.
  12. It depends how long. I just have someone come every like 3-5 days to get eggs and make sure there is food and water.
  13. Cats are fine with adult chickens but not chicks.
  14. It depends. About six chickens can supply a family with eggs.
  15. No. I think it's fun!
  16. Only if you make it expensive. To keep it affordable, just buy the cheapest chicken feed you can find and don't but more waterers and feeders than you need.
 
Last edited:

Lacrystol

Hatching Helper
11 Years
Jun 13, 2009
13,409
570
411
Diamond, Ohio
Hello, Im new here. My boyfriend and I want to get some chickens. I have a some questions:

1). We live in Canada, Ontario, what kind of breed should we get? ...keeping in mind we have cold winters.
COLD WINTERS ARE OK AS LONG AS YOU CAN ADD A HEATING LAMP TO THE NESTING BOXES. I'M IN OHIO AND OUR TEMP GOES IN THE NEGATIVE I HAVE TWO HEATING LAMPS IN THE NESTING BOXES FOR THIS PURPOSE. DID YOU HAVE A PARTICULAR BREED IN MIND..

2). Should we get them as babies, or adults?
THIS IS YOUR CHOICE, IT'S ALWAYS FUN TO WATCH HOW QUICKLY THEY GROW UP BUT IF YOU WANT TO GET STARTED RIGHT AWAY ON EGGS ETC THEN ADULTS WOULD BE THE CHOICE, OF COURSE THERE ARE SOME RISKS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER OF IN GETTING ADULTS, THEY COULD BE CARRIERS OF DISEASES AND NOT SHOW ANY SIGNS UNTIL THEY STRESS OUT TO A NEW PLACE.. PERSONALLY I WOULD CONSIDER HATCHING MY OWN OR STICK WITH BABIES.
3). Can we pet them?
DEPENDS ON THE CHICKEN, I HAVE ONE THAT WILL ALLOW ME TO PET HER AND ONE THAT WILL JUMP ON MY SHOULDERS PLUS A SILKIE THAT WILL COME TO THE FRONT DOOR TO BE LET IN THE HOUSE. BUT I ALSO HAVE A ROOSTER THAT HATES ME. WHEN I GO TO COLLECT EGGS, HE WILL ATTACK THE CRAP OUT OF ME. BUT I HAVE ANOTHER ROOSTER THAT WILL JUST TALK TO ME ALL DAY LONG. SO I THINK IT ALL DEPENDS ON IF THE CHICKEN TRUST YOU OR NOT.
4). How ofter do we feed them?
CHICKENS SHOULD HAVE FOOD AVAILABLE AT ALL TIMES, EVEN IF THEY ARE FREE RANGERS, THEY WONT EAT AS MUCH BUT THEY SHOULD STILL HAVE IT AVAILABLE.
5). What kind of food should we feed them?
DEPENDS, IF BABY CHICKS THEY SHOULD BE ON MEDICATED CHICK STARTER, WHEN THEY ARE ADULTS I HAVE ALL MINE ON A HIGH PROTEIN. CALLED ALL FLOCK. LAYING HENS YOU MAY WANT TO GET LAYER FEED, ROOSTERS CAN EAT THIS TOO. I STOPPED GIVING MY CHICKENS LAYER AND PUT THEM ALL ON THE ALL FLOCK WITH GAMEBIRD FEED, MINE ARE DOING JUST FINE..
6). Will the chickens attack us, while we collect eggs?
DEPENDS, IF THE HEN IS BROODY WHICH IS SITTING ON THE EGGS TRYING TO HATCH THEM, SOME WILL PECK AT YOU, MOST OF THE TIME THEY WILL LAY THEM AND LEAVE...
7). We have a big deck, and was thinking about building a coop under the deck, good idea?
AS LONG AS THEY HAVE A SAFE PLACE DURING THE DAY AND AT NIGHT, I DON'T SEE WHY NOT.
Or should we build a coop?
THAT'S UP TO YOU, IF YOU DON'T PLAN ON FREE RANGING THEM, THEN YES A COOP WOULD BE THE BEST THING. CHICKENS NEED A PLACE TO ROOST AT NIGHT AND APPARENTLY THAT'S WHEN TROUBLE COMES ALONG WITH RACCOONS ETC. SO THEY NEED TO BE SAFE AT NIGHT.
BY BUILDING A COOP YOU CAN ALSO KEEP THEM SAFE FROM OTHER PREDITORS LIKE HAWKS AND FOXES WHICH USUALLY COME OUT DURING THE DAY TIME.

8). How much would a coop cost to build? If we decided to build one, we would want to build one within our budget...not too expensive.
THAT WOULD BE SOMETHING TO CHECK INTO AT YOUR LOCAL PLACE, I GUESS THIS WOULD ALL DEPEND ON HOW BIG OF A COOP, ECT.. I WOULD CREATE A DIAGRAM AND GO FROM THERE FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH WIRE, WOOD, NAILS ETC THEN GO GET PRICES, IF TO EXPENSIVE THEN CUT BACK ON YOUR DIAGRAM. I REALLY COULDN'T ANSWER THAT ONE..
9). Do we have to be home all the time for the chickens?
YES AND NO, YOU DON'T HAVE TO PHYSICALLY BE HOME, AS LONG AS THEY HAVE FRESH WATER EACH DAY AND FOOD, THEY SHOULD BE OK. BUT REMEMBER IF THEY ARE FREE RANGERS NOT BEING HOME MAKES IT VERY EASY FOR PREDITORS TO COME VISIT. IF THEY ARE LOCKED UP IN A COOP, YOU SHOULD BE OK..
10). we want the chickens to roam around, does someone have to be home when they are?
AGAIN NOT BEING HOME MAKES IT A SAFE PLACE FOR PREDITORS TO FEEL AT HOME AND COME TO VISIT. I SHOULD CLARIFY, IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON NOT BEING HOME FOR SEVERAL DAYS YOU ARE MAKING IT EASY FOR PREDITORS BUT IF IT'S A HIT AND MISS KIND OF THING, THEY SHOULD BE OK...
11). Can the chickens be home alone, when they are roaming outside? Or do we have to put them in there coop when we leav for a few hours?
FEW HOURS ARE NOT GOING TO HURT THEM, THEY REALLY DON'T NEED TO BE BABYSAT, AGAIN THE ONLY CONCERNED WOULD BE VISITORS SUCH AS HAWKS AND FOXES ETC..
12). Do we need a chicken sitter, if we go out of town?
IF YOU MEAN OUT OF TOWN FOR SAY SEVERAL DAYS, MOST DEFINITELY, THEY NEED FRESH WATER EACH DAY AND FOOD....
13). We have 2 cats, would they get along with the chickens?
THAT WOULD DEPEND, I HAVE A CAT THAT WILL TAKE BABY CHICKS OUT OF THE BROODY AND KILL AND EAT THEM, BUT I HAVE ANOTHER CAT THAT LOVES TO SLEEP WITH THE BABY CHICKS. SO THAT WOULD DEPEND ON THE CAT. MY OUTSIDE CHICKENS NONE OF MY CATS BOTHER THEM. BUT THEN MY CHICKENS WON'T LET THEM.. lol
14). How many chickens should we get?
DEPENDS, IF YOU LIVE IN THE CITY, YOU WILL HAVE TO CHECK TO SEE HOW MANY YOU ARE ALLOWED, IF YOU LIVE IN THE COUNTRY I WOULD START OUT WITH ABOUT 1 ROOSTER TO 6 TO 7 HENS, BUT ALSO DEPENDS ON THE COOP YOU ARE PROVIDING THEM, YOU DON'T WANT TO PUT 50 CHICKENS IN A 6 BY 6 COOP. I WOULD START WITH A SMALL FLOCK AND SEE HOW THAT GOES, YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD MORE LATER.. HOWEVER IF YOU LEAVE FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME FREQUENTLY, I WOULD PROBABLY RECONSIDER GETTING ANY CHICKENS.
15). Will the chickens be afraid of us?
DEPENDS ON THERE PERSONALLITY AND WHAT BREED YOU CHOOSE, MY GAME BIRD BANTAMS ARE NOT AFRAID OF ME BUT WILL NOT ALLOW ME TO TOUCH THEM, THEY GET CLOSE TO ME BUT HANDS OFF, BUT MY SILKIES NOT A PROBLEM, MY COCHINS NOT A PROBLEM BUT MY PHOENIX'S CLOSE BUT DON'T TOUCH..
16). Is it hard to take care of chickens?
IT CAN BE A LOT OF WORK, WITH KEEPING THEM CLEAN SUCH AS THERE NESTING BOXES ETC BUT OF COURSE, I HAVE OVER 200 CHICKENS SO YES FOR ME IT'S A LOT OF WORK BUT FOR A SMALL FLOCK IT MAY NOT BE TO BAD. BUT TO ME ITS WORTH IT BECAUSE I HAVE SOOO MANY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES TO DEAL WITH.
17). is it expensive to care for chickens?
DEPENDS ON THE TIME AND EFFORT YOU WANT TO PUT INTO THEM.
WOW lots of good questions lets see if I can hit some of them!!!
 

redsoxs

Crowing
8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
25,643
2,090
463
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kansas and
welcome-byc.gif
! Looks like your questions got pretty well addressed so I'll just say welcome aboard and best of luck to you!!
 

marcandmichelle

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 17, 2013
5
0
7
Astorville Ontario Canada
Thank you everyone for the answers, and sorry if my questions were "stupid" lol One of my questions about leaving the chickens, i ment: Since we live in the country, is it okie to go into town (20 mins away) for a few hours? I babysitt 2 days a week, and we are gone for a few hours when i babysitt. We never go out of town, and if we do, i would get a chicken sitter. I think we are going to make a coop under the deck, but the only concern is, rain, I dont want the chickens to get wet from the rain driping off the deck...Does anyone have any suggestions how to keep the rain off the chickens? Or a way to build a chicken coop under the deck? We do have raccons around here, (they got into the garbage the other day) So, im going to make sure the chickens will be 1000% safe. My b/f wants to raise Turkeys, and wants to fence off our yard (i think we have 30 acres). But i would get so attached lol. Our chickens will be our pets, and we wouldnt "eat them".

Heres another question: Is it hard to get them back into the coop at night? Or will they do it on there own? Or do i have to train them to go into there coop at night?
Do we need to get a rooster? or just chickens?
 

tankgirl88

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 20, 2013
108
2
78
SLC, Utah
Hello from Salt Lake City! I have heard people say never to get a rooster, they are loud and mean. But that is up to you, and sounds like you have a lot of space. For us it is easy to get our chickens back into the coop at night, we just throw down some scratch inside the run of the coop and they come runnin! We have Buff Orpgintons(and one Rhode Island Red who is a little less friendly but still quite nice) and they are so friendly, we pick them up, the kids pick them up, they follow me around the yard all the time looking for treats, they have never pecked at us, and they are quiet, some chickens are really noisy. We took someone elses flock, instead of raising from chicks this time and when we did that they stopped laying for a few weeks( we have 2-3 of them laying now) and we have been giving them an Organic, GMO free, and just recently soy-free layer diet enriched with Omega-3 and 6 and Oyster Shell, so now we have nice healthy yummy eggs!
 

Lacrystol

Hatching Helper
11 Years
Jun 13, 2009
13,409
570
411
Diamond, Ohio
Thank you everyone for the answers, and sorry if my questions were "stupid" lol One of my questions about leaving the chickens, i ment: Since we live in the country, is it okie to go into town (20 mins away) for a few hours? I babysitt 2 days a week, and we are gone for a few hours when i babysitt. We never go out of town, and if we do, i would get a chicken sitter. I think we are going to make a coop under the deck, but the only concern is, rain, I dont want the chickens to get wet from the rain driping off the deck...Does anyone have any suggestions how to keep the rain off the chickens? Or a way to build a chicken coop under the deck? We do have raccons around here, (they got into the garbage the other day) So, im going to make sure the chickens will be 1000% safe. My b/f wants to raise Turkeys, and wants to fence off our yard (i think we have 30 acres). But i would get so attached lol. Our chickens will be our pets, and we wouldnt "eat them".

Heres another question: Is it hard to get them back into the coop at night? Or will they do it on there own? Or do i have to train them to go into there coop at night?
Do we need to get a rooster? or just chickens?
The only time i would be concerned as far as getting a chicken baby sitter is if you plan on leaving for days. A couple of hours I wouldn't stress, I'm at work for 8 hours, I let mine out in the morning and they walk into the coop at night to go to bed. They usually learn to go into there coops as soon as the sun start to go down. Occassionally my new commers I have to show them the ropes but after a couple of shots, boom they catch on. So I think if you get new chickens you may want to get them out night, when you get home put them in there new coop, this way they will be a head of the game and already know where they are suppose to sleep. But yes, they will learn once the sun goes down off to the coop they go, they do learn very quickly... Its never a chore, now for ducks that's a different story, i have to escort my ducks to bed every night. They are over a year old and still haven't learned, dark time is bed time. LOL.. If you want fertiled eggs or want to hatch baby chicks, you will need a Rooster. If you just want eggs to eat then only get hens...

As long as the spot where they will be sleeping and there nesting boxes are kept totally dry, rain off the deck isn't going to matter much exspecially if it can't get into the actually coop. They just need a nice dry spot when it's bedtime..so making a coop under the deck is still a good idea as long as it stays dry inside. rolling off the edge or something shouldn't be a major concern.. Unless it floods there...

NOT ALL ROOSTERS ARE MEAN, yes they do get loud with the crowing and they will crow at ANYTIME. I had one crow at 3 in the morning. But NO not all of them are mean, in fact A rooster will protect his lady friends so much that he will alert them when there is trouble lerking.. The Rooster will keep guard to make sure his lady friends do not get hurt or killed.

But some roosters can be mean, I have one now that I am working with, he's a silkie paint and I swear he hates me to death but I have been picking him up each day hoping I can change his mind that I'm not the bad guy.. He used to follow me around and talk to me but now that i have him with another rooster and some lady friends, he's just turned on me. I'm thinking because of the new competition. But I have faith in him that he will come around and realize that i'm the good guy not the devil. LOL..
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom