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East Texas Chicken and Duck Newbie!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by lillyrosesmum, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. lillyrosesmum

    lillyrosesmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
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    Hello out there! The hubby and I are excited and eager to get started with our new flock! We have two little girls who are equally excited.
    We are leaning toward Indian Runner ducks and Orpington chickens. Just about 4-6 of each.
    What do you think about getting a few different breeds to start? I have read and been told that it's best to start small and start with one breed. Also best number to start with?
    Opinions?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. Orpingtons and Runners are both good choices. If you can, purchase sexed birds or you may end up with too many males. I feel that a 'flock' should be a minimum of 3 - that way 2 remain for company if something happens to one bird. If 3 is not enough for your needs, the sky is the limit. Poultry math/addiction rapidly takes over. Good luck in establishing your flock.
     
  3. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    One of my first questions would be to ask the age of
    your daughters? Some breeds are more docile than
    others. More "child friendly" if that be the term.

    And hens more so than the rooster as a rule.

    As fun as chickens are --and they are fun-- know that
    not all chickens are good with children. Not a chicken
    out there worth getting a child hurt. (Had a few roos that
    would mean to tear you up.)

    That being said, chickens can make great pets. My girl has
    been around chickens since she was about three.

    Oh...I like about 10-12 at least. That depends on your coop,
    the yard. But a nice small flock, 10-12.

    You have your coop ready? How big is it? Chickens make great
    4-H projects if your girls are interested.


    Spook
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Raising chickens is a wonderful experience for children. Four to six hens (no roosters) is a good number to start with. Where children are involved, Orpingtons are a good choice as they are very friendly and gentle. Other breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (good lap pets) are Australorps, Faverolles, Sussex, Brahmas, Silkies, and Cochins. Of course there can always be an exception with any breeds. I would advise avoiding Rhode Island Reds and Leghorns. Although excellent layers, RIRs are sometimes aggressive (as I and other members can attest), and Leghorns are typically high strung and flighty (mine screamed bloody murder whenever I handled them). If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center. There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
     
  5. lillyrosesmum

    lillyrosesmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    East Texas

    My girls are 5 and 2.We will always have them close because we don't want then or the chickens hurt. Lol! Since kids can be rough without meaning to.
    We have a 4x5 coop with an external nest box.We plan to build a duplex if we expand our flock.
    Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    You're welcome. The recommended space for chickens is 4 sq. ft. of floor area per bird for the coop and 10 sq. ft. of ground area for the enclosed run as overcrowding can quickly lead to aggression, fights, biting and feather plucking, and even cannibalism. That means that at 20 sq. feet, your coop is good for up to 5 birds but that assumes that you have a 50 sq. ft. run attached to it. If your 20 sq. ft. coop includes the run then you are only good for 2 birds.
     
  7. lillyrosesmum

    lillyrosesmum Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 13, 2016
    East Texas
    we are starting with 4 chickens and we have a huge fenced backyard (about half an acre) so they will be able to forage safely most of the day. We aren't building a run. We will let them lose in our garden occasionally as well.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    If you are free ranging them during the day, 4 chickens will work fine for your coop. Just make sure that all four of them are female as the recommended ratio of roosters per hens is 1 rooster for every 10 hens. As they mature and their hormones kick in, too many roosters (for too few hens) will become very hard on your hens, over-breeding them, biting and plucking the feathers from their necks and backs, battering them, reducing their laying rate, and potentially, seriously injuring them. The only reason you need a rooster is to fertilize eggs for hatching and 1 rooster can easily handle 10-15 hens in that regard.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  9. lillyrosesmum

    lillyrosesmum Out Of The Brooder

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    East Texas
    We don't plan on getting roosters. I hear hatcheries sometimes make mistakes though. The one we are using has a 90% guarantee but if we get one we will rehome him.
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Sounds like a good plan.
     

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