Congratulations MamaNini! You won a beautiful coop from Handcrafted Coops!

Discussion in 'Sponsored Content, Contests, and Giveaways' started by JenniO11, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. JenniO11

    JenniO11 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2012
    Congratulations MamaNini! You won! Look for a pm from me in your inbox!

    Give us your best BackYard Chicken Related advice and have a chance to win a coop from Handcrafted Coops!

    Please read all directions before entering!

    Everybody wants their chickens to have the best home possible. If you want to raise a small number of chickens, and especially if you plan to be raising them in a small space, it can be challenging to figure out the best plan for your chickens. That’s why we all come to Backyard Chickens – to share advice, ask questions, and spread the happiness that comes with raising chickens.


    We want to encourage all of our members, old and new, to contribute helpful comments and advice to the community. Even if you’re brand new to raising chickens – or if you’re looking into getting chickens for the first time! – you can enter with any insight you’ve had into the whole process of choosing to raise or raising chickens.

    Some possible topics:
    - How do I find out if it is legal to raise backyard chickens in my city?
    - How do I choose a breed of chicken to raise?
    - Should I order chicks or hatch myself?
    - Will my chickens get along with other animals?
    - How can I ensure the best quality eggs?
    - And many more!

    One of our longtime sponsors, Drew from Handcrafted Coops, is providing a beautiful coop for the winner of our contest.

    To Enter:
    1) Post your advice as a reply to this thread. Must be between 50-250 words.
    2) Go to and fill out your information there.
    3) Get excited to read all of the great advice and find out who won!

    Please read the Terms and Conditions before entering!

    Don't forget to go to the Handcrafted Coops Facebook Page and click "Like"!

    All entries MUST be submitted by Feb 29! We'll PM the winners a few days later and announce the results here!
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  2. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    SW Montana
    My best advise for raising backyard chickens is to handle them lots as soon as you get them. This makes egg gathering, coop cleaning, and any other activities where catching or holding your chicken is required, much easier. Chickens have fantastic personalities and its fun to get to know them all. So not only do you have a fun pet with a great personality you have a pet that give you fantastic healthy fresh eggs!
    1 person likes this.
  3. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    The best advice that I have on raising a good healthy, and protected flock of backyard chickens is to do your research and get a breed of rooster that will be friendly to both you and your hens. Even if you don't wish to hatch eggs, he will be there to protect your flock when you are at work, getting groceries, or anything else! No worries, even if your flock free ranges! If you choose a good breed (I like Buff Orpingtons for roosters) then they are easy to catch and handle, even if they haven't had a lot of handling in their lifetime.
  4. blessedchick

    blessedchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 29, 2011
    I'm brand new to being owned by chickens, so all advice is great! The most useful so far has been to teach your chickens to come when called. Find a treat that they adore and only offer it to them after you have called them to you. Use something fun (whistle the "chicken dance", holler out "Pterodactyls!!"...just don't offend the neighbors). This is so useful in making sure that everyone comes into the coop for the night, to call them out of harm's way (circling hawk, rabid dog, husband with a shotgun), or just to impress your friends!
    3 people like this.
  5. Dingo

    Dingo Chillin' With My Peeps

    The path to having happy healthy chickens includes building a bond or relationship with your birds. The best way to build a bond with your chickens is to handle them frequently and to build associations with you and good stuff. I have taught chickens to come running to their names using cheese, buckwheat, barley, mashed hard boiled eggs and yogurt. Chickens also love grass and insects. Using these treats to build trust and associations will make your chickens much easier to get along with, and it's fun!
  6. Waltzing Matilda

    Waltzing Matilda Out Of The Brooder

    May 3, 2011
    Mid Atlantic
    Though I only started keeping chickens in 2010, like my horse venture 26 years ago, I dove right in. I constantly read all forms of information from books to articles--even this forum. Sometimes, it's overwhelming.

    When I first started, I thought that chickens were so much easier than horses...I was very wrong! They are fragile, prey that need a watchful eye from everything. I collected heritage breeds originally but added the rarist of breeds last summer--I'm still debating whether these breeds are hardy. Like breeding in dogs and horses, there has been so much dilution within the breeds.

    There is one thing I've learned--the hard way--I wouldn't vaccinate for Mareks. My problems started when I bought a load of very, very expensive chicks from a prime rare breeder and at 8 weeks old, when I started integrating them with some 12 week olds and then finally older (all this over a period of 3 months), I lost every single one of those vaccinated chicks and started losing other juveniles that weren't vaccinated. Even though I've read conflicting information about vaccinating with the Mareks vaccine (is the Mareks virus), I truly believe that those vaccinated chicks actually spread the disease to the weaker of the rest of my chickens.

    I've read articles from various sorces that say once you vaccinate chicks and integrate with the rest who are not vaccinated, the others become susceptable because the vaccinated chicks become carriers. I've also read that the live virus is different that the vaccine virus and not transferrable. All I know is any vaccine I've ever encountered be it for dogs, cats, horses, or humans, contains the actual virus. It helps to build immunity. However, with all the Mareks vaccination going on, I truly believe that it has morphed and is no longer effective. All in all, I've lost 25% of my stock, but only one heritage breed (she was 5 years old). I found this to be a very interesting, but expensive, lesson. My suggestion would be to hatch rather than bring in chicks or juveniles. People are not apt to be up front about their losses. I had one very good chicken friend tell me initally that she had NEVER lost a chicken to something other than a predator. I come to find out recently, that she loses chickens (and so do all her chicken friends) at the rate of several per year.

    My advice or two cents worth would be to keep those heritage breeds (RIR, Dominique, Barred Rocks, Delawares, Leghorns, etc.) going as your main flock for eggs consumption or chicken consumption and keep a minimal rare breed hatched from eggs. My troubles started when I bought in chickens--even from farms that stated NPIP certifications. Diseases like Mareks is present everywhere--if you have crows or blackbirds or any wild birds, they carry diseases, period. The way your chickens poop, so do they and it lands everywhere which makes your birds vulnerable. You will lose birds; fact of life but they are such a joy to have around the farm or urban setting. They are comical to watch and they truly have their own personalities. For the most part, they get along with cats (domesticated not feral) but dogs should only be under supervision. As for county ordinances, I live in an agricultural area so keeping chickens is not an issue, however, I know that in town, you can only keep chickens if they are part of a child's 4-H project--once they are out of 4-H, the chickens have to go.

    My opinion and my experience. Hope this helpful. Good luck to you!
  7. rachelgcfl

    rachelgcfl New Egg

    Feb 22, 2012
    I used to have 20 chickens on a small farm while living with a friend (along with several other birds), and now, living in the city by myself, I am getting 3 chickens. My best advice to someone thinking about chickens is, "Contrary to normal belief, it is not difficult to have chickens. Just GO FOR IT!" It may seem simple, but I think because our culture has become so detached from having farm animals or knowing where our food comes from, people think raising animals, other than dogs or cats, entails a huge amount of time and work, so they never make the leap to just do it. In actuality, it is the same time and effort you afford your dog or cat, plus you get eggs out of the deal. Research, learn, and go get them! Just do it!
    1 person likes this.
  8. PsychoChicken

    PsychoChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    My best advice for raising backyard chickens is to do your research first. Luckily, you are in the right place!

    Ask yourself these questions before you get chickens:

    1. Why do I want chickens?
    This is an important question to ask because the answer will help determine the answers to other questions you must ask yourself.

    2. Do I have the space in my yard?
    Consider where you can put your coop, how inhabitable your landscape is for chickens and what predators are in your area.

    3. Do I want to let my chickens free range, keep them contained or get a chicken 'mower'?
    Where there are chickens... there is chicken poop.

    4. What do I want to feed my chickens?
    Organic or conventional? What CAN'T I feed them?

    5. How many chickens do I want?
    In many places there are limits to the number of hens. Look in to your city ordinances, consider how many eggs you want and think about what you will do with your chickens after they stop laying.

    6. Do I want to medicate my chickens?
    Chickens get sick. Research the common health problems and be ready to spot symptoms and deal with them. It's a good idea to look into preventative methods to head off trouble in the first place.

    7. Will my neighbors tolorate the noise?
    I recommend keeping your neighbors happy with egg bribes!

    Answering these questions is a good way to prepare yourself for the wonderful world of backyard chickens!
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  9. kjmom23

    kjmom23 Out Of The Brooder

    May 4, 2011
    West Florida
    The best advice I've been given is to be patient, with yourself and your birds. Like any new "parent" you'll make mistakes. You can (and should) research, but some things only come through practical experience. Everything I read said my hens would lay by 6mo. When mine didn't, a wonderful lady encouraged me to give the girls a year. They started laying at 10mo. I would have quit before I started if I had been impatient.
    1 person likes this.
  10. Bigfamily4me

    Bigfamily4me Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2011
    Sauk City WI
    I am a first time chicken owner. My advice to anyone out there: Compulsive Research!

    I am thrilled to have read as much as I have. I really needed to understand a chicken's needs and the work that goes into them. I also needed especially docile breeds because I am so new at this and have 5 children who will be around the chickens as well. By researching, and using a breed tool on My Pet Chicken, I was able to really figure out what I wanted and expected from my perspective chickens. I ended up with breeds especially cold hearty, docile, with a colorful egg basket. I have Easter Eggers, Marans, Orpingtons, and Faverolles.

    I also learned how hard it is to incubate, but chose to give myself the challenge and make it a learning experience for my children. My first hatch was not very good at all. Undeterred, I immediately went into a second hatch project. Using information on here about dry incubation my hatch rate DOUBLED! I did also order 3 pullets from a hatchery. I made notes and took pictures of their primary wing feathers to aid me in feather sexing chicks. All of this information I have learned about on BYC. It's an invaluable resource!

    Between the books, and Backyard Chicken, I can see I'm well on my way to becoming a chicken addict with a chicken math problem!

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