City Girl needing all the help I can get!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Mimzie, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Mimzie

    Mimzie Out Of The Brooder

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    City girl here, I have no problem admitting that! I do not know the first thing about chickens so I need a lot of help! What is a good starter chicken? I want chickens for the eggs only (I have no clue how to butcher a chicken so meat birds would do me no good) I want something that lays often and good size eggs (the size doesnt matter as much as lots of eggs) I dont care what they look like, they could be the ugliest chicken alive as long as it lays eggs! I also want chickens that lay during the cold seasons (Texas doesnt have Winter, just a cool spring lol) I believe there is a certain breed that does lay year round? Or do they all?

    Also I plan to give eggs to family (chickens will be on my sisters property so its kinda a family thing anyway) so I will need a lot of eggs but dont want to be over run with them, I can sell the extra but I do not want double what I might need if that makes sense. Just guessing, I would need about 7 dozen a week so about 1 dz per day. A few less would be ok too so how many chickens would I need? 12?

    I dont want to start with too many chickens, I know this is something I want to do so I will not lose interest in them, I just do not want to be overwhelmed while learning the ropes!

    So please, offer some advice for me but please dont say "Well it depends on what you want..." and suggest a ton of different breeds, just tell me a breed that's good for beginners and that's what I will go with because at this point, I have no clue what I want! [​IMG] I just want someone to tell me what to get! lol

    I also need to build a coop! I plan to have a coop inside a fenced in area due to opossums and other critters, I'd rather just fence them off so I have 1 less thing to worry about (I know things may still get in) So a good starter coop design would be helpful, I was really hoping to have something on wheels so we could move it but if we fence off an area, we cant move it around!

    Right now I am hoping to know a lot more by spring 2010 and be able to start with chickens, I just want to get some research under my belt before going out and buying them. So any help is appreciated! Thank you. (If this is in the wrong spot, please move, I wasnt sure where to post this)
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    City Girl, I don't think there is any particuliar breed of chicken that can live up to your high expectations. If you read enough postings on this forum, you will find many are wondering why their chickens haven't laid yet. Or why they stopped laying etc.

    Chickens aren't laying machines. You can not reasonably expect to have a certain amount of eggs per week, to share or sell. I hope you there is more to your desire than just keeping them for eggs.
     
  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Some chickens will lay in the winter months, but at a reduced number of eggs compared to the summer months. Such breeds include Delawares, salmon faverolles, etc. Here is a good link to a list of chicken breeds and it specifies what breeds lay in winter months. (the snowflake symbol denotes winter layers). However, chickens need 14 hrs minimum of light a day (average) to lay, so it isn't so much the temperature as it is the sunlight. It also details egg volume. Chickens do not lay everyday, so if want a dozen a day, expect to get 18-24 chickens depending on the breed and egg production.
     
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Hi and [​IMG]

    Chickens are well....chickens. They don't follow time lines very well.

    I think you might want to start out with 16-18 red and/or black sex links. Mine started laying before the rest and have been pretty dependable so far. They lay nice big dark brown eggs, even their first eggs were of a medium size and not the tiny little things my Wyndottes started with.

    If you want to keep egg production up (it will still drop, but not as much) in the winter months you'll need to set up some lights on a timer so they get around 14 hours of total light a day. Be prepared though, chickens are addictive.
     
  5. ilovesilkies

    ilovesilkies Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2009
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    Hello city girl.
    She is right if your expecting a dozen or so a day you need 18 or more because not every hen lays everyday. As for the breed i suggest Barred Rocks we have been very happy with them they lay good all year long even in the winter, but of course we had a heat lamp on them in the real cold days. i'm not sure if that had anything to do with it. Barred rocks lay Large Brown eggs and i get a double yoker once a week.you probly want to buy some young and almost or already laying. You only need a rooster if you want to reproduce of course. I suggest you replace the hens every 3 years if you want them to lay good. Young hens that just start laying lay good the first year but then they molt and slack off a bit. Just do your homework and im sure you'll do fine. GOOD LUCK!!
     
  6. Mimzie

    Mimzie Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry my post had too high expectations. I am new to this and that is why I came here to ask questions, I just needed answers, not someone being rude. Sorry if I struck a chord.

    BarkerChickens: Thank you for your reply! That is what I was looking for, advice! I am fine with them slowing down during winter months and not laying exactly 12 a day, I would just like to start with the minimum amount right now to see how it goes. I might start out with 18 (going with the minimums here, I just dont want to get overwhelmed!) I am saving the link (also saw the link on this page) and will hopefully be able to find an easy breed to start with!

    Yes I do want them just for the eggs, not trying to be rude, just honest! I do not like buying eggs from the store (not only are they not as good) but I just feel so sorry for the poor chickens that lay store bought eggs. I drive 40 miles (one way) right now to buy a months worth of eggs from someone that sells them from their home. I do not want to continue doing that so having my own chickens will make things a lot easier on me! I dont see anything wrong with that, at least I am not supporting people that sell to stores.

    PS Diva, I put "7 dz a week so 1 dz a day" so people wanting to help me out would know what my goal was, If I didnt post a goal, I would have been asked how many I wanted a week or what I was hoping for.

    Rachel
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2009
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As for the breed i suggest Barred Rocks we have been very happy with them they lay good all year long even in the winter, but of course we had a heat lamp on them in the real cold days.

    I love my BR's too, but they are always wanting to go broody, that's why I was thinking the sex links would work better for her. Do yours not do that? Mine are from my starter flock;) and were laying when I bought them so I have no idea if they came from a hatchery or a private flock.

    Sorry for the semi-hijack. I'm thinking of getting more BR's because they're pretty and I like the broodiness, but now I'm wondering if mine are not the norm.​
     
  8. andbab

    andbab Chillin' With My Peeps

    The guy I got my naked necks from says they are awesome layers. He can't keep up with the amount of eggs. Mine hasn't started laying yet but should be soon. They are kinda ugly but are nice and calm. I'm just starting out too so that is all I know. [​IMG]
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    City Girl, I didn't mean to sound rude. I guess you did strike a chord. When you mentioned your didn't care how ugly the breed was, you just wanted good layers - I thought you don't like chickens. Kinda made me flash to the whole production line factory chickens(eggs) you want to avoid buying.
     
  10. Capone

    Capone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] from rhode island. a good first chicken for eggs and winter laying are my red stars. nice large brown eggs and they lay all winter. ive had great success with mine
     

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