Don't have chickens just yet!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BLT79, Mar 3, 2013.

  1. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2013
    Western MA
    Have been considering chickens for 2 yrs now! Have been doing my research on breeds, coop sizes, food, predators, etc. What I would like to know is the honest truth about how much work and money is involved with a small flock of 6! I would appreciate realistic answers! Husband would also like to know, so I know if I am getting in over my head! My TSC will only sell them in 6 and don't have anyone that would like to take two of them! Thanks in advance!
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, BLT79, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our flock! Your questions on $ are tough to answer as one can spend a lot on chickens or not much at all. Recycled materials make a big difference in money savings. In terms of time, after the initial building of the coop and run, you don't have to spend very much time at all in a typical day - make sure they have food and fresh water, gather the eggs, and that's about it. You will WANT to spend time with them, though!! Good luck to you!!
  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] building the coop yourself vs purchasing a ready made one will save you some money. But once you have the coop and run built, you will only have food, bedding, etc to buy on a regular basis. Good luck to you.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi and :welcome

    Honestly, not really that much work. Well, I guess it kind of depends on what you define as a lot of work. :lol:
    If you're raising them from chicks, they'll need a bit of handling - bedding needs changing, they poo in their water all the time, etc.

    But when they're grown you can leave them in their coop/garden if you're free ranging all day and just go to shut them up at night.
    Feeding twice a day and change the water and collect eggs daily, and change the bedding - I'm not sure about this seeing as we free range so we don't have to use bedding, but maybe once a week?

    I suppose that's the bare minimum, but you might want to spend a bit more time with your chickens because they're cute. :p (Especially when younger)

    As for cash, we buy a huge bag of feed for $35 which lasts for about 4-6 months (we have 4 hens... well, had. So now it lasts for even longer. :lol:)
    Building a coop might take a bit more, but as ours came with the house I wouldn't know.
    Feel free to check out the coops section if you want to do that.

    Anyway, good luck and I hope you have heaps of fun if you decide to go ahead! :D
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] As the above posters said, building your own coop will save you a lot of money, even more so if you use recycled materials. There is a great discussion on the topic here, if you are interested:

    There are other ways to keep costs down once you have your chickens. Bedding for example: I used to collect dry grass for mine. Grow some food for them, like corn or millet, and buy their food in large quantities as it works out way cheaper. For example, I can buy a 5kg bag of layer pellets here for E7.00 and a 20kg bag costs E12.00...

    Work and time wise... I have 13 hens and a rooster and 5 small chicks in the brooder. I spent a few minutes every day topping up food and water bowls and when needed a clean the coop/brooder. That also takes minimal time. Even when I had a flock of over 100 chickens I didn't spent more than about 30 mins per day caring for them.

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]
  8. BLT79

    BLT79 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2013
    Western MA
    Thank you for all your help! I assume since mine have to be cooped, I will be changing their bedding more frequently. What do you recommend for bedding? Should I run the chicken wire all the under the coop? From one side to another? We do have plenty of predators around here so if we line the ground of the pen that would def keep them out! Also, how do I offer them dirt baths in 2 feet of snow here in the north east?
  9. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    If you have serious predator pressure in your area, I think you may want to use something a good bit sturdier than chicken wire. Chicken wire keeps chickens in pretty well, but it isn't very effective at keeping things out.[​IMG]

    You might try putting a shallow pan with dirt in it in a part of the coop that snow doesn't get into to provide for dirt baths during cold weather. For every problem, there are often many solutions, which is one of the things I love about this forum!

    Once again, welcome!
  10. stefan333

    stefan333 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2012
    To put it all into perspective: Chickens can be easier, less smelly, and less expensive than cats, dogs, rabbits, rats, mice, fish, turtles, hampsters, and human children (all the animals I have owned). I got rid of most of them other than the human children, and I'm still trying to convince the human children to get rid of the cats and rabbits. And the plus side is you get something (other than just companionship) out of them. You take care of them, they take care of you.

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