Future backyard chicken raiser

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by nomad2385, Jan 15, 2015.

  1. nomad2385

    nomad2385 New Egg

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    Hello everyone! I am so glad I've found this group, I've already found it to be very helpful! I just have a few questions, of course i will be exploring this page some more, but if someone could provide me some insight here that would be nice. :) first off, my boyfriend wants to build our coop. I'm not sure how this is going to work, he's very motivated and talented with his hands, but he's never made anything from wood. (This is a new thing he's getting into). Never say never right? Does anybody have any advice on building a very good coup? We live in Washington where it's very rainy in the winters. We also are prospectively going to get about 6 chicks. Also looking for advice on the best diet to feed them, we want them to be free range and organic fed, also we need to weigh the costs of raising chickens, versus their financial gain: eggs. And lastly, this might seem stupid to y'all but I swear I don't think female chickens need a male chicken to make eggs. My boyfriend seems to think a male is in order to receive eggs.. I thought it just depended on the amount of food they ate? Please keep in mind that we are both very novice prospective raisers of chickens, and just want the best advice. Please and thank you! :))
     
  2. EggTooth

    EggTooth Out Of The Brooder

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    WELCOME!!!!
    First of all, your chickens WILL lay eggs without a rooster =) you just cannot have babies without. Somewhere on BYC they have a great explanation of how they make eggs. First it has to do with age, breeds differ but somewhere around 4-6 months old they start laying. It has a lot to do with the number of hours of sunlight they are exposed to so usually more eggs in summer with longer days. AND.... they lay the most the fist year or two and then it seems to slow down.
    I am a novice carpenter in my spare time (haha.... spare time!) and my mother and I built the garden coop http://www.thegardencoop.com The plans were inexpensive and I believe they have smaller options. I wanted the enclosed run, but still let my ladies out when I am out in the yard gardening. If you could find plans like these they make building something for a beginner easy =)
     
  3. Ravynscroft

    Ravynscroft For the Love of Duck Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!! You've chosen a great place to start! Lots of great people here (chicken people are some of the best, IMO) with tons of knowledge, and most with more than me, lol. ;)

    First off, there is no such thing as a stupid question! If we never ask, we never know! But you are correct, hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. You only need a rooster if you want fertile eggs for hatching out your own chicks, or for protecting and alerting your hens to danger. There are benefits and drawbacks to having a rooster, but it all comes down to your own personal choice.
    I really commend you on how you are starting out, learning, planning and preparing before getting your chicks. :D
    Others can add much more than me, but I will start off with some tips. BYC has a forum for planning and building coops, I would definitely look through that, lots of great coops and designs there. I would build the coop bigger and for more than what you plan on getting as it is better for it to be too big than to be too small, plus you might fall victim to 'chicken math', lol, and end up getting more. ;) You want the coop well ventilated, but not drafty, especially in WA if you are in one of the more humid areas.
    As for cost effective, well, you will see that chickens provide you with much more than 'just eggs', and as it usually isn't cheaper than just picking some up from the grocery store the benefits of having and raising them gives you more gain than loss.
    I hope this is a start to helping you and I hope someone might post some links to help you more, sorry, I am on my phone and have difficulty looking up most links. :(
    So welcome to your great new adventure and I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do!!! Good luck!! :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. X3 on hens not needing a rooster to lay eggs. In fact, hens often lay better without the stress of having a rooster around to over-breed them, bite and pluck the feathers from their necks and backs, and batter them. I current have 25 hens and no roosters, and I get loads of eggs without all the aggression, fights, biting and plucking of feathers, crowing in the middle of the night, feeding of non-productive mouths, drop off in egg production, over-breeding and battering of hens that goes along with having roosters (especially more than the recommend ratio of 1 rooster for every 10 hens). The only reason you need a rooster around is if you want to ferilize eggs for hatching, and 1 rooster can easily handle 10-15 hens in this regard. My hens are stress free and enjoying life without a rooster around. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Do you have a breed preference?
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    [​IMG] glad you joined us.

    Good luck with your new adventure. There's loads of coop ideas and examples on site. I agree that with a flock of 6 ( that's what I have) consider starting with sexed chicks or pullets for eggs and avoid the issues of the rooster. Pay attention to the space requirements - figure larger than you expect. And research predator proofing their home. There are some books that help with design and details - I bought several but if I were to recommend only one it would be the Dummies book on Building Chicken Coops.

    Many of the coop examples and articles show step by step how others have built there's. I think your boyfriend can accomplish this - when there is a will, there is a way. But some things in the building will require a strong assistant - foundation, supporting posts and roof would have been difficult for me and DH alone. If you have a friend or family member with interest, that would help a lot.

    Decide what you want and go for it.

    Feel free to ask questions, consider posting your plans and specific concerns under the coop threads for input.
     
  7. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Overrun With Chickens

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  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    The above posters have given you some good advice. A rooster is only needed if you want fertile eggs- hens will lay fine without him.
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    The other posters have already given you some good advice. [​IMG]
     
  10. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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