Dayton, Oh Thinking about Chickens...

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by PatMan, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. PatMan

    PatMan Hatching

    Jul 19, 2010
    Howdy all...

    I am thinking about raising chickens. My wife is not too interested in it but I'm working on her...

    I have a few questions if you guys and gals dont mind...

    1. How long can you leave chickens un attended? For example, can we fill up the feeder and waterer and go on vacation for a week?
    2. How man chickens will we need to produce two dozen eggs a week?
    3. Winter... Winters can be kinda harsh in Ohio. How do you handle the chickens durring the winter?
    4. Can you have meat as well as laying chickens in the same coop? Say rotating 3 meat birds consistantly through the flock? Will that cause too much stress for the birds?
    5. I may get called away for projects from time to time. Can the birds be left alone for a couple of days at a time? Will the eggs be ok for that long?
    6. I have an area that gets blocked form morning and early afternoon sun but gets good afternoon sun, does it make a diference where I build the coop?
    7. Feed... We have a vegetable garden and compost much of our kitchen waste, can this be given to the chickens as feed? How much $$ should I expect to spend on chicken feed for a small flock?
    8. Do meat birds need to be fed diferent feed than laying hens?
    9. I will have an area that is 14x6 for the chickens to walk around in, is that big enough for my needs?

    That is about it for now. Any help is seriously appreciated...

  2. cterbizan

    cterbizan Songster

    Jun 14, 2010
    [​IMG] from GA
  3. Lainy

    Lainy In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2010

    There are probably more experienced chickeners out there who can answer some of your questions I won't try to address. My husband and I raised chickens in Wisconsin for several years and learned some things from the school of hard knocks. Fortunately not at the expense of the lives of too many chickens. It did take about four years for foxes to move into the area and find our chickens. For some reason we thought we were going to stay exempt from that problem.

    We never left our chickens unattended for more than a couple days and didn't like doing that. Our chickens were free range, so would have to be confined when we were gone, which is why we had someone take care of them for us.

    In the winter eggs will freeze if not collected first thing in the morning. We gave those eggs to the dogs because I didn't want to eat an egg with a cracked shell that was sitting in a nest.

    Some breeds of chickens are excellent egg layers, others rather poor. There are dual purpose breeds. Google, Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart to decide which breed you want, then you'll better know how many you'll want to keep.

    Most kitchen scraps you'd put on a compost heap can be fed to chickens. If your chickens get bugs in the summer, that too will save on feed. In the winter even with a lot of hens, you could be getting very few eggs per bag of feed.

    If you're going for production, you'd probably want to go to the library and/or buy a book first because there's less room for design error. We just raise chickens because we enjoy owning those silly birds.
  4. PatMan

    PatMan Hatching

    Jul 19, 2010
    Thanks Lainy, good info... My wife is still not too keen on the chicken idea but I think that I'm wearing her down... :)

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