first time chicken farming

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jnicholes, Feb 17, 2017.

  1. jnicholes

    jnicholes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2017
    Hi Everyone.

    I am completely new to chicken farming, and I want to try raising chickens from chicks. I am just doing some research on what I need to raise chickens from chicks. I am moving to a house that has a chicken coop in the backyard with a fenced area.

    I have many questions about how to raise chicks:

    What temperature does the coop need to be for the chicks?

    What do I need on the floor of the coop for bedding?

    Do I need a light for the chicks?

    How much food and fresh water do they need each day?

    How often do I clean the coop?

    Anything else I I might need that I forgot to mention?


    So sorry for asking a lot of questions, but I am completely new to chicken farming.


    Any help will be greatly appreciated

    Jared
     
  2. eggbert420

    eggbert420 Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Hello, you should be able to find every thing you need on here. There is lots of info on this site.
     
  3. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Jared! Welcome to the adventure of raising chickens!

    To help answer your questions, do you mind answering a few? How many chicks are you planning to get? What is your coop/setup like? Where are you located? And do you know what breeds you want?

    It's quite different giving advice to someone with 3 chicks in Arizona or somebody with 25 chicks in Maine! (Assuming you're in the US).
     
  4. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you could post pics of your coop, that would be a great idea too. One of the biggest concerns you'll face is predators, and people here on the site are very good at advising you in how to make a secure coop.
     
  5. jnicholes

    jnicholes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2017
    Hi Everyone!

    I am going to move to Nampa, ID in 5 days and the house I am moving to has a chicken coop about 4 feet by 12 feet, and a large fenced area around it. The coop has about 8 nesting boxes, so I plan to get around 6 or 8 chicks if the space in the coop will allow it. The coop does not have a heating system as far as I know. As for breed of chicken, I have been having trouble finding the right one. My mom has a preference and she wants, "the friendliest chickens." Not sure what kind of chicken fits that mark. One person at a hatchery in ID recommended a Gold Sex-link chicken. That might be the one I go with if they are friendly and lay a lot of eggs.

    I will post pictures when I get down there in 5 days. I am just planning and doing research now before I move

    I hope this answers your questions!

    Jared
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4x12 is an odd size but 6-8 is about right for snowy winters. Some breeds are quieter than others and easier to work with but you have to put the work in to make them friendly. Sex links are high production birds but tend to have a short production life. I would recommend getting a variety of breeds for your first flock. Take a test drive and see what you like. A variety of birds and a colorful egg basket is part of the fun.
     
  7. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with Percheron Chick about considering a mixed flock. It's a great way to try out a variety of breeds and see which ones you like best. Are you planning to raise your chicks indoors in a brooder, or put them out in the coop right away? I had mine in the garage with a heat lamp for the first few weeks. I've seen people on here use a heating pad type of warmer for their chicks too. As far as food, a 50 pound bag of chick starter will probably last you for a month or more with 6 to 8 chicks. You can just keep a bowl filled with food, they just eat when they're hungry and don't overeat. I tried to change the water once a day or so to keep it clean. Mine started out in a brooder which was a massive plastic tote, with pine shavings for bedding. Once they moved out to the coop, I had straw for bedding out there. It's hard to give an estimate on how often you'll need to clean the coop, because I also have ducks which are VERY messy so I have to clean my coop a lot more often tban if I just had chickens.
     
  8. jnicholes

    jnicholes Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2017
    Hi everyone!

    Thanks for all the advice. I am actually now considering a mixed flock. I was thinking about getting 2 Rhode Island reds, 2 Plymouth rocks, 2 white leghorns, and 2 brown leghorns. Is this a good mixture?

    I do plan on raising them in the coop, I thought I could make the coop have the conditions the chicks need, if that was possible. Is that advisable?

    I am going to move down in 4 days. I will have pictures of the coop to post then.

    Thanks for the help!

    Jared
     
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could be much more creative than that. All hens are single comb and the chance of frostbite for them is greater than other combs. Cold hardy breeds should be your primary consideration. Personally not a fan of RIR in a mixed flock as they can have a reputation of being bullies. Leghorns are rather fractious and I've never owned a tame one. Great layers but always moving. Where are you sourcing your chicks from? Any eye candy breeds that you might be interested in showing?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017
  10. Adalida

    Adalida Chillin' With My Peeps

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    This thread is very long, but the first post shows you a setup you can use for your baby chicks. The lady who posted it lives in Wyoming and raises her chicks outdoors even when the weather is below freezing. I'll probably use this setup in the future rather than a heat lamp. I couldn't put my babies outside right away because the run attached to my coop is a chain link dog kennel, and the little chicks would have been able to get out of the fence pretty easily.

    I think you'll enjoy a mixed flock! I have Rhode Island Reds and they're my best layers, and also pretty adventurous foragers. The friendliest chickens I have are buff orpingtons, they're not as good of layers as the Reds but they've got super sweet personalities. The breeds you're thinking of will all be good for the climate you're in.

    Looking forward to seeing pics of your coop!
     

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