Eager to be new chicken owner

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by goodolsurvival1, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    hi,

    we have been working on our homesteading plans over the winter and one of the things is getting chickens. We probably have a little close to half an acre but after you subtract the house and garage it's more like 1/4acre (waiting on some books from amazon that gives some tips on growing etc. on 1/4)... we have a few family members that raise chickens all in different ways so have gotten some mix information lol, so have a few questions so to get better information that would work for us.

    1. we are wanting to get chicks so that we can get them use to being handled etc. (and we homeschool so it's a good learning exp for the kids), the question on this is: what is the best way to socialize? just handling them or is there a better techn. (I grew up where my sister did chickens for 4h but they always got around 4mo olds or older so i dont have the experience with chicks other then what is required to raise them through tips from our one family member)

    2. the next thing we have gotten mixed tips on, but when do you introduce chicks (chickens) to the outdoors and the coop & run? is it when they are close to laying age?

    3. our chickens will be pets, but also raised for egg production. we were told by one family member to go rhode island red. our thing is that we live in ohio so the weather is unpredictable, especially winter, we'd like to get a breed that is known to have a docile personality (cuz of the kids and they will want to help), maybe on the smaller breed end (we've been told they are easier to take care of and provide better personal space too), and would do okay with winters... is there a few breeds that fall within this?

    4. now onto the coop which we will be building ourselves. it will have an attached run to it and figured allow the chickens to be free range in the sense they can come and go out of the coop as the please (but will they go into the coop for nesting and laying or will we find issues with some egg laying outside of the coop?). we figured on building something that would/could house 4-5 chickens but only have 2-3 chickens total this way no issue of space. is plywood okay to use on the inside walls (as we plan on insulating and putting siding like material on the outside due to the winters) or will chickens wear and tear on that? and for the flooring we were going to use plywood and do a bedding of hay or saw dust or would there be something better due to if they would go to the bathroom on the coop floor start to break that down?

    5. now the coop with attached run more than likely prob wont be moveable, would throwing some hay down be a good idea so they don't destroy the ground too much in the run, or doing a bed of saw dust?

    6. i do believe this is the last question lol... but how do you collect the poop so say (is saw dust, hay, or other type of material better for nesting etc.) so to be able to use it as part of the fertilizer/compost on the garden? i figured a doggy poop scoop type of thing and then i remembered it wouldnt be as easy i dont think as it is cleaning up after our two silkies (dogs). For those that use the poop as a fertilizer what do you do with it during the colder non planting months, do you put it in a collecting pile or mix it in with a composting pile?

    thanks in advance. and we've been searching through the site for some answers and found some information but not all fully answering what we are curious about.

    happy to have found BYC
     
  2. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The best way to socialize baby chicks is to start as early as possible. You should start holding them after their first day in their new home. Hold them under you chin and speak softly to them. After about a week they should be running around and acting very busy. Continue to hold them. Start talking to them more and try calling them to you. Take them on field trips and let them explore the house. Here is a great link on taming chicks https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-tame-ch

    You can take chicks outside to the coop as early as 8 weeks or as late as 15 weeks. They need to be fully feathered (which is around 8 weeks) before they can be outside permanently. The temps also need to be decently warm. Pullets will start laying anywhere from 4-8 months depending on breed and life style.

    Buff orpingtons are my favorite breed. They are affectionate, docile, good with kids, cold hardy, great layers, good foragers and curious. Black australorps, sussex, barred rocks, silkies and wyandottes are all great breeds that would be good for you too. Australorps are like orpingtons. Sussex and barred rocks tend to be more curious and like to stick their noses in everything! Wyandotte are better layers than these other breeds but they also have a higher tendency to be more aggressive. Silkies are affectionate make good pets. However they are poor layers and very often broody.

    I don't know much about coop building. Her are two great links to check out concerning your questions
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-amp-run-design-construction-amp-maintenance

    Straw and pine shavings make good bedding materials. Do not use cedar shavings as this is toxic.

    Here is a good link on composting too
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/composting-with-chickens

    Hope this helps!

    Good luck!
     
    2 people like this.
  3. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2015
    hi,

    thanks for your reply and help.

    one thing i did read was about no cedar which makes sense.

    thanks for all the links, was actually just checking out the coop one...

    i have heard of some of the chickens you listed, but havent heard of Buff orpingtons. are they a breed that is easily found? as we planned on going into our local ruralking or tractor supply when they have chicks and getting some that way, im afraid of the whole mail thing as i dont want to see any chicks die along the way i'd feel to bad lol.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    You're welcome!

    Oh yes! Buff orpingtons are VERY popular and easily found. Most farm stores carry them in the spring along with other breeds. And I understand your concern. I was going to order to also but worried about their survival. So I found some perfect chicks at my local farm store. You should look into that too.
     
  5. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    are Buff orpingtons relatively quiet? As i know RIRs can be pretty loud and why i was looking for other options... my husband also likes the fact that he learned from looking them up Buff orpingtons are dual purpose birds (he hunts, but i honestly dont think he could process one for meat lol, i know i couldn't do the initial act).

    How often does yours lay eggs or whats the average egg lay count in say a wk per bird? (tried doing a search but haven't really pulled up anything that gives a general count, as i know it can vary)... are they the type that if you feed them specific things/types of feed it helps them to produce better/more?

    we are a family of 5 and our kids who are 8,4,and 2 love eggs and honestly don't think there would ever be enough chickens to keep up with them when it comes to egg production lol... but figured 2 or 3 should help with costs and fresh eggs taste so much better than store bought.
     
  6. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome

    Glad you could join the flock! I've only had one orpington before but it was a lovely bird and no hassle it was my dog that didn't like it. Unfortunatly he turned out to be roo and I had to rehome him with some friends but he is still friendly and a great bird. I hope with all the excellent info and links from mountain peeps you are up and running soon with your chicken venture. Best of luck to you and hope you enjoy BYC I am sure you will :frow
     
  7. goodolsurvival1

    goodolsurvival1 Out Of The Brooder

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    lol im sure we will enjoy BYC...

    we have two silkies, one no matter what will be afraid of them (was my grandmas dog but she cant take him out as much any more) hes still afraid of his own shadow been working with him since he was abused before my grandma and us. and then our silky rockie more then likely will want to try and play with the chickens or cuddle with them. so aside from the kids a docile chicken is important for this reason too (not that i would allow the dogs with the chickens, but also want them to use each other so we dont have issues).

    i know no chicken is quiet but i also know so breeds are way louder then most...

    do you know when buying from the store the likely hood of getting a roo? we wouldn't be 100% against having one, but we would have to think of the neighbors and the temperament (my sister, mom, and step dad had some a few yrs ago their rooster was so mean my sister wouldn't even go into the barn and run area any more, you couldn't walk in without a board or something in your hand to protect yourself he would try and attack you that bad, and this i dont want)... but with a roo are there things you have to do/worry about? like separation etc.

    if we ended up with a roo we'd prob end up rehoming or if its a Buff orpingtons or other dual purpose would prob allow to grow and then have it as plate fowl (if i could bring myself to actually allowing that and not getting attached lol)
     
  8. NewHopePoultry

    NewHopePoultry Overrun With Chickens

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    Hello & :welcome from Missouri :frow
     
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Mine are somewhat quiet. It is VERY hard to find a quiet chicken breed. I get about 4-6 eggs a week from one.
     
  10. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] I'm glad you joined us.
     

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