First time Chicken Owner - Advice?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by PavoFowl, Oct 14, 2014.

  1. 0-5

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 6-10

    2 vote(s)
    66.7%
  3. 11-20

    1 vote(s)
    33.3%
  4. More? :D

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. PavoFowl

    PavoFowl Out Of The Brooder

    80
    7
    48
    Apr 16, 2014
    South Texas
    Hello all! [​IMG]

    I am interested in purchasing chicks next Spring or sooner if possible, but would like some advice from ya'll. I'm not a complete newbie to the bird world, but have never had chickens before! So far I have been guided towards the Araucana or Barred Rocks, but am not sure about either!

    Let me tell you a bit about myself...
    I'm a full time college student, so I have a pretty busy schedule but enjoying spending my free time with my birds. I have six peafowl; three IB hens, a Purple hen, a Silver Pied hen, a Spalding peacock, and a pair of Pekins. I have also raised African and Chinese geese, but had to find them a new home when I moved. If anyone knows where I can get a few African (or even Sebastapol [​IMG]) goslings.. That would make my day!

    Chicken Wants/ Needs:
    All of my birds are all pretty tame. They eat from my hands and let me touch them. The ducks don't like to be held, but the peas will get on your shoulders. I would prefer to have chickens which are relative friendly and tameable. I'd prefer to get them as chicks to get them used to being held and touched.

    The main reason that I would like chickens is for their eggs. I don't intend to eat them, and I don't think I want chicks bad enough to deal with a rooster (The Pekins are LOUD enough as it is.. Josephine can mimic a car alarm and a pull-start weed eater. She hasn't heard either sound.. Talent, I guess.) As far as amount of eggs, I have plenty of friends/family interested in local homestead eggs instead of supermarket eggs. I don't want to sell them and deal with that. I'd rather just give them away as long as they have an egg carton to hold them, so I've told them to keep their egg cartons. My grandmother and her friends have gotten together 60 cartons in the last few months!! I don't think I'll have eggs going to waste by any means. The more, the merrier, it seems!

    I have a 12'x24' covered enclosed coop for my peas, starting next Spring they'll be free ranging throughout the day but penned at night until they're old enough to stay out at night. The Pekins don't get their feet off the ground unless someone picks them up, so they live in the fenced in yard that nothing comes into. Josephine is pretty fierce, definitely more of a "guard-dog" than our Pitty mix. If chickens don't have much interest in flying away, I'd happily keep them in the yard with much more room to roam, grass, bugs, and all the other good bird stuff.

    Do chickens have any special needs, like Peas and Coccidiosis? I have experience with dosing Corid, Safeguard, and Sulmet. I keep all three on hand for my peas, but are there any chicken meds that are good to keep on hand? I have a Tractor Supply right in town for emergency medication needs, but ordering online ahead of time is definitely cheaper.

    Input on nesting boxes? In my opinion, the tiny little cubes don't seem very comfortable, but maybe hens prefer smaller spaces when laying?

    Any random chicken specific advice is wanted and appreciated!

    I am not by any means familiar with chicken breed names, acronyms, their egg production, or anything else involving them, so please be patient with me. [​IMG]

    --Seana
     
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    8
    71
    Jul 17, 2014
    - My chickens don't seem to fly away, but they do wonder everywhere. You can clip one of their wings, or put bird netting over the yard.


    - Chickens can get sick. Coccidiosis is common, but can be treated by Corid. I always keep a bottle of Corid on hand.



    - My chickens haven't started laying yet, but they have 3 wooden nesting boxes filled with shavings and hay/straw that they enjoy sleeping in.


    I have 3 silkies, 1 silver laced wyndadotte, 1 I'm not sure of, and 1 Black Jersey Giant. The silkies are very amusing and adorable, so you might want to get one of those (not for eggs though). I would try to get all of your chicks at once, so it's easier for them to get along.


    -http://www.californiahatchery.com/Chickens-_c_11.html Here's a hatchery with different types of chickens (brown egg layers, meat birds, etc.) that you can explore. There are also reviews on here about them.

    Barred rocks are good They are a friendly breed and lay about 200 large brown eggs a year. Ameraucana (Easter Egg chickens) are known for their very colorful eggs!!! They also lay lots of eggs, usually more than 300 a year!

    Hope I helped!
     
  3. dowellrg

    dowellrg New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    Mar 29, 2014
    I ordered my chicks from a place in Wisconsin named Purely Poultry,(www.purelypoultry.com) Super nice people. I ordered 15 chicks and received 16 healthy 2 day old chicks. They will be 20 weeks old tomorrow and I have not lost a single one. I got my first egg today. Good luck.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by