Chickens just adopted me

fegelmej

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 12, 2010
7
0
7
Hi,

I just moved into a new home in the Cincinnati area (Glendale). The previous owner is a vet, and she had a bunch of animals. But I begged her to leave me her chickens. I'm new to the whole chicken thing, but have found my girls amazingly personable and predictable. It's funny, they're allowed to range around the property and they blend in pretty well, but clearly, chicken movement is noticible in the brush.

So, a few questions for those in the know.

By Storie's "Raising Chickens" informative book, I can accomodate up to 20 chickens in my coop/range. I really have no intention of ever getting there, but I would like to add to the breed. There is a hatchery about two miles from me, so I have access to chicks and more mature chickens. Is the fall the wrong, or perfect time to introduce young hens to the house (currently there are only two)?

There is a feeder in the coop, but it seems that I should be responsible for controlling the feed. Right!?
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Finally, how necessary is the light if egg production is not my goal>

Thanks to anyone who might respond
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
597
448
South Georgia
Introducing new chickens is a hassle at best, and can result in the death of some of the birds at worst. Here is a good article on one experienced chicken keeper's method:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock Probably the best way to do it is wait til a hen goes broody, let her set a week or two, then slip some baby chicks under her at night, or let her hatch some eggs. Be sure she is in with the flock, or else separated but where they can all see each other.

I don't know what Storey's says about space requirements, but there is a lot of discussion on it here. You did not give your location. If there will be snow on the ground for months, or huge amounts of rain, they need a lot more coop space than if they can be out and about most of the year. Here's a recent thread on space that gave a variety of ideas, just for a start:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=407268

No, you should provide feed 24/7, or at least when they are up, and this can start in the VERY early hours of the AM. They won't overeat it and they don't eat at night. There is no need to regulate the amount you offer -- very different from some other animals, I know. Free ranging chickens ordinarily eat less feed than penned ones, but they do eat some. You should also provide grit and oyster shell -- minor expense but prevents problems. Provide them in separate containers (nail the bottom of two plastic bottles to the coop wall, or a similar, simple approach.)

The light is the easy one. It's completely unnecessary, used only to increase egg production during shorter days. They don't need heat, either, only unfrozen water.

Enjoy your chickens!
 
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fegelmej

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 12, 2010
7
0
7
Thanks, Great info. It's amazing to me how self sufficient these creatures are, and pop out an egg every day or so. I'm in Cincinnati, so winters are cold, but not too snowy.

My chicks are Aracaunas and I;m not out searching breeds to see what might work.

Thanks again for your advice. Look out for me, I got nothing but interest!!!
 

bburn

Songster
9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
1,668
23
143
Delaware, Arkansas
Just read and then printed out to read again the experienced chicken keeper's method. Everyone needs to read it. It really answered some of my questions. Am going to go back and read again and make some decisions about what I was planning to do with my flock.

I certainly is not as simple is getting chickens and throwing them in a coop......that is for sure!! I learn more every post I read.
 

fegelmej

Hatching
9 Years
Oct 12, 2010
7
0
7
Thanks to all of you that responded.

I think I'm going to live with my rumpless wonders for the winter. I'd like to spend the winter spending time on this forum, and then expand my flock in the spring.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
197
281
welcome-byc.gif
from NH. Enjoy your new hobby! I wish I had found this site when I was first starting out, but I found it when I needed it, so it's all good. Glad you found us.
 

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