Getting started in Arkansas!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by ArkGirl, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. ArkGirl

    ArkGirl New Egg

    Feb 25, 2014
    Hi Chicken peeps! (See what I did there?)

    I live west of Little Rock out in the Ouachita National Forest...and we are looking into building a small coop and having a little flock of 4 hens or so. Mostly for the eggs...and partly for the entertainment and bug eating. I ran across this site and it's fantastic! The hard part is going to be deciding on a design for our coop! There are so many great pictures and creative designs!

    Predator management is a we will be looking for design elements that will hopefully keep the girls safe.

    We both have some chicken raising experience. But not for personal hobby. I'd like to get my birds from a local source rather than mail order. What breeds would you all suggest that are decent layers and will respond to handling. I want to be able to hold them and have them be somewhat friendly. I know that will take consistent handling from a young age...but I also bet there are some friendlier or more calm breeds than others.

    For you experienced folks...if you could do one thing different from back when you were just getting started...what would that be?

    Thanks so much for all of the great info on this site. It is truly a remarkable resource!

  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop

    You might want to do some reading in our learning center here on BYC for lots of tips on building the coop, chicken breeds, hatching and brooding babies, feeding and keeping the flock healthy, etc...

    If you need any help from members in your state, you might check out the Arkansas state thread to chat with others nearby...

    Enjoy all your poultry adventures and it is great to have you aboard!
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! TwoCrows gave you some great links!
    For breeds, check out the BYC Breeds section for member reviews, and the Henderson chicken breed chart compares a lot of breeds The heavier breeds tend to be friendlier and calmer than the light breeds, I really like Sussex, Wyandottes and Delawares, Australorps and Orpingtons are two other really popular breeds... for more pure layers, the Red Sex Links are usually quite people friendly, but they can be bossy with other chickens.
    There are some threads on "what I wish I knew before I got chickens" ... three big do-overs seem to be space, build big, you'll want more chickens (called chicken math)... really predator proof as much as you can ... quarantine new comers / be careful rescuing birds since many chicken diseases are really contagious and not curable ...
    1 person likes this.
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Cochins are nice, docile birds. If you are looking for good layers, I have found Speckled Sussex, Basques, and good-quality Delawares to be very nice birds.
  5. JDchicks

    JDchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2012
    Southeast Alabama
    Great to have you join.

    What one thing would I have done different?... Started with a bigger coop than orginially planned. I was only going to have Brahmas, about 8. But I have feel in love with other breeds and now have coop condos with over 30 chickens and growing still.
  6. ArkGirl

    ArkGirl New Egg

    Feb 25, 2014
    Thank you all for the kind welcome! I am reading all I can on this site and I love the reviews of the various breeds/varieties. That is very helpful.

    General consensus seems to be that folks wish they had made their coop larger to start with. I will definitely keep that in mind as we plan our design. I'll be deciding on the location first. I would assume that protection from the north wind and shade from the summer sun would be important.

    This is going to be a learning experience for certain!

  7. Sweet Basil

    Sweet Basil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2014
    Arkansas, USA
    In my opinion, Rhode Island Reds are a great breed. I grew up with 20-30 of them and have one in my flock now. She is one of my friendliest who stays right by my side when I'm pulling weeds or otherwise working in the yard. They are great egg layers and entertaining with the funny sounds they make often--more verbal an intelligent-acting than any other breed I have.

    If I could do something over, it would be to bite the bullet and put more money into making a nice coop, rather than utilizing free scraps of wood and supplies. I'm building a new coop very soon and am excited that my girls will get to move out of the "shack" they currently use.
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] Glad you joined. The best advice I can give is to think big. Build the biggest coop you can afford. And to make sure your pen has a top.

    This is my chicken fortess. Ain't fancy and ain't pretty, but ain't nothing broke in. (Knock on wood).
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the flock [​IMG]

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