Do I have this timeline correct? 1 day to egg lay.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by detz, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. detz

    detz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're planning on building the coop as soon as the snow melts (Mar/Apr) and if my math is right it seems we won't have eggs until Oct/Nov, correct?


    April: Build coop / get chicks (two months to build it)
    June: Chicks can go outside in coop
    October: Hopefully start getting eggs.

    I plan on getting three to start and probably another three the following year. The breads I'm thinking are:

    * Australorp
    * Buff Orpington
    * Golden Buff (Red Star)

    Are these good to start with? I have kids so want them to be friendly and I want eggs. Vanity is not that important.
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You won't want the chicks inside for two months, it makes for a lot of dust/dander and they need space as they get bigger.

    Most people like you have the thought that everything must be done prior to getting birds and that's not the case when it comes to chicks. Plastic tote to brood in for a month-easy. Have a pen up and temporary small predator proof house for them to sleep in at night- not too hard. Then you have the entire summer to build the perfect coop. Decide if you really love chickens and want more, etc. before expending cost and time of building a coop. If your coop will be walk-in or on stilts. These things take thought, research and time to decide and build but there is no rush when your starting with chicks. Take your time and get it right the first time or come to find you don't have the time for commitment of animal husbandry.

    A small predator proof house for 3 to 6 birds can be made from scrap wood and only needs enough roosting space for the birds and to not have any large openings for weasels to squeeze into and a floor so nothing can dig into it. I used a plastic kids playhouse and put it on a piece of plywood, screwed a few deck railings in for perches that were lying around. Screwed the windows shut and structure together. Was perfect and is still used as a grow out coop each spring.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Forgot to mention, hatchery stock birds like the ones you mentioned will start to lay anywhere from 18 weeks to 24 weeks. I preferred the black star to the red star for temperament, much friendlier bird. Though bigger so would eat more like Orpingtons.
     
  4. detz

    detz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for the feedback! I feel I can get the thing built in 4-6 weeks working weekends (thread on my design: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/940720/critique-my-coop-design-please/10#post_14441762) . We can't let our chickens free-range at all so there has to be a run and at that point I might as well just build the coop I want from the get go instead of spending more money and time on a temporary solution. Since it will be warming up by the time the chicks are 5-6 weeks old I'm guessing I can let them outside earlier if need be and assuming the coop is ready?
     
  5. AmyLynn2374

    AmyLynn2374 Humidity Queen

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    I'm brooding mine inside for the winter (they are 4 weeks now). It's a big job to keep them clean (and I mean a lot of work) but it's doable if you are willing to put in the extra effort (and supplies). I will be more than ready for March to get here so I can set up the coop(s). We are turning at least one (if not two) of the sheds we have into coops. (Yes they are big enough. We have a 12x12 and a 9x5). Going to start with the 9x5 for sure and get the run up so they can get out there and out of the house, then we'll decided about extra housing. Brooding/raising inside is definitely not for everyone and it's DEFINITELY hard work if you don't want the house smelling like a coop, but it can be done and there needs to be more tolerence shown for those who choose to do things differently. This way, my girl's will be nearing time to lay at about the time everything is set up or shortly after and I won't have to wait until fall to start getting eggs. Lot's of people use their garages or spare rooms to brood and raise chicks in.

    Many people brood in their coops or outside as long as there are no way drafts can get to them and as long as they have a light/heating source that they can get under to stay warm.

    It's a very peronal decision on how and where you brood/raise your chicks and should be done in the manner that best suits your needs and abilities. :)
     
  6. barkinghills

    barkinghills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there,

    those sound like great starter breeds. We started with 3 chickens five years ago when my kids were 5 and 8 years old. We started with 3 Rhode Island Reds, and we still have one of the original hens. Australorps are a personal favorite of mine, I love how they look and they are calm and friendly. Buffs are also calm and friendly, and will tolerate being carried around by kids. Several of my Buffs have had extended periods of being broody which is a nuisance, although they can usually be broken of their broodiness with a few days in a wire rabbit cage and no bedding. Barred Rocks are also a fun breed, and can become quite tame and friendly. I have a Black Star and 2 Red Stars who are great layers also.

    If you have any thoughts at all of getting more chicks next year, consider making your coop (much) larger than you think you need. For many of us the chickens are so fun, and chicken math takes over! We started with 3 as I mentioned, and now have over 40 that free-range on one acre. We had to build two additional coops after our flock outgrew the 4 x 4' starter coop we began with. Now I wish I could have a separate large coop for my growing Bantam flock.

    You can also use a large plastic dog crate as a temporary night shelter when you are transitioning your partially grown chicks to the outdoors. I picked up a huge used dog crate on Craigslist for $10 which I have used temporarily for night time shelter.

    Have fun as you plan for your new flock. Before you know it they will be here!
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No green eggs? Come on dad. Every kid flock needs a green egg layer.
     
  8. detz

    detz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We looked at the easter eggers, they look great but do they produce like the other hens? Our top priority is eggs so I want to make sure our first ones meet those needs. Any breed you suggest or just "easter"?

    What are my other options if I don't want to raise them from chicks? Should I just look around my area that offers pullets? Do places sell chickens that are already laying? Is this a good/bad option?
     
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My EEs are all about 5/week layers. Not much difference other than the sexlink. They are bred to produce but the flip side is they are spent at 2-3.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    About 6 months is average for hens to start laying, that's why lots of us get chicks in Feb or March, so we'll have eggs sooner. I understand your weather concerns, though, and personally would wait a bit longer to get them than keep them in the house for 2 months. I don't brood inside at all, too much dander and dust and ick. Most chicks are fine to go out at 4-6 weeks, sometimes with a heat lamp at night for a week or two depending on the weather.

    Started pullets are a good way to go for some folks. It's just going to depend on your area as far as what's available in the spring. You can check your local Craigslist, and your state thread here on byc to put out feelers on what folks might have available.

    My hatchery Easter eggers (usually from Murray Mc Murray or Ideal) have been great producers, and agree the colored eggs are a great novelty! Orpingtons aren't that great of a layer IMO, and being a larger bird they eat a lot for the amount they lay. Your RSL will be lighter and have better feed conversion, as will the Aussie.
     

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