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Don't even have the chickens yet

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Missylucy, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. Missylucy

    Missylucy In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    I am about to launch myself into my first experience with chickens. I have chosen 2 breeds that I want to start with - Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.
    I am looking for winter hardy, best egg-laying, not broody, pets! Did I pick some good breeds.
    I also may want to throw a Silkie into the coop just because they are gorgeous. :)
    Do different breeds all get along together?
    I am not adding a rooster at this time.
    Also, I live in PA. Are those breeds going to winter over outside?
    I appreciate any help from you experts.
    Also, I want to build a coop but my husband is against this venture and won't help. Is there an easy way to build the coop?
    Thanks for your imput

  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    If raised together, most breeds get along fine. The birds you mentioned will do fine in your climate given a good coop to shelter in. Visit the Coops section for lots of ideas as far as coops - some folks are very inventive.
  3. Farmgirl1000

    Farmgirl1000 Chirping

    Dec 2, 2013
    I have a Barred Rock too. She is the sweetest pet chicken! Barred Rocks are super egg layers too.
    Hope you enjoy your flock!
  4. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    If your husband won't help, be sure he only gets store bought eggs when the time comes! Remember that a coop can be as simple or as fancy as you want, chickens are not critics. However, it is smart the pay close attention to the coop building advice on this forum, especially regarding drafts, ventilation, avoiding predators, and space.

    I have some BRs and RIRs in my little flock. We find that the BRs are friendlier and more comfortable being handled than the RIRs, but they are both very calm and easy going.

    Welcome to BYC!
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Welcome. You may find that over time, your husband might come around. Mine tolerates my chicken venture, and helps when I get desperate. I built my coop with very little assistance from him. I also built a green house, also with a little help from him. Yesterday, when he snow blowed the ends of the driveway, he also went around the back of the house and did a path from the deck to the coop which was at least an other 200 ft! If you have any power tools and a bit of knowledge, and where the knowledge is lacking, a bit of stubborn, you should be able to build your coop.

    RIR and PBR should be fine for you. However, IMO, RIR tend to be aggressive/dominant towards other chickens. If you are concerned about cold weather, you might consider pea or rose combed birds. My little flock consists of a RIR, and BSL that I hatched, and 3EE hatchery birds. My RIR is the dominant pullet, BSL is her buddy, and the RIR bosses the EE all over the place. Right now, one EE is the only girl producing b/c I chose not to give them light, opting to let them take a winter egg laying break. You might like to take a look at Henderson's chicken breed chart for an over view of your options.

    Enjoy your venture, and don't let your husband's lack of interest keep you from following through, just realize that you will own this hobby, and the work will be yours. If he chooses to become involved at a later date, that'll just be icing on the cake.
  6. Missylucy

    Missylucy In the Brooder

    Dec 16, 2013
    Wow you guys are the best. Instant replies. I love it!
    OK, I am not afraid of work. I was raised with Morgan horses and know what it is to muck out a stall.
    Plus I have parrots now. They are tons of work.
    So building a chicken coop is just another adventure.
    I might be able to convert part of a shed for the chickens. What is your opinion of that.
    The shed is sturdy, hard for predators to get into, about 150 yards from the house. It is quite large and we do use it for equipment and lawn furniture. But if I took just some of the space, it might work.
    I need to find out what the requirements are for a god coop to keep the chickens healthy and happy. I am thinking of starting with 6 to 8 chickens.
    What is your opinion of Silkies along with teh barred rocks

  7. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!

    As others have said, getting inventive and using what you got makes things easier and also is a good learning experience. I've found silkies get along with most breeds and same the other way. Some more aggressive breeds and individuals peck a bit. Roosts have to be very low for a silkie or a very warm nesting box as they can't get off the ground as well as other birds can. They are awesome pets though, maybe a silkie will cuddle up to your husband.
  8. doobs

    doobs Hatching

    Dec 15, 2013
    I to have no chickens yet coop is almost finished I'm looking at getting Cochin and buff orpingtons excited for spring to arive so I can get to it
  9. hosspak

    hosspak Songster

    Sep 2, 2013
    Lake Elsinore, CA.
    Existing sheds are good, even if you build an add-on to the outside of the shed. As the others have said plan for the important things; safety, staying dry, accessibility (for you), ventilation. 150 ft from the house, sounds like you might have room for a good sized run as well. Check out my pics for the coop I built. It's nice but I wish I would have read BYC first. I could have gone bigger and better with the small space I have available. You are lucky to have found this first. My pictures also show great ideas for water systems and feeding.... Have fun.

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