getting started

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hsha1940, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. hsha1940

    hsha1940 New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Thanking you all in advance for any help you provide.
    I have recently moved to PR. have a nice sized back yard and am contemplating raising some chickens for both meat and eggs. I look forward to enjoying their beauty in the yard as well. I initially fell n love with the ~Guinea but was advised they will fly away, although they are known for keeping the garden clean of pests, etc..
    a- where will you recommend that I start, in terms of breed(s)
    b- is it possible to have different breeds, if so how does one manage this.
    c- will the chickens do harm to the vegetable and herb garden,
    d- will there be any difficulty with other pets (dogs and/or cats)
    e- is a coop a necessity
    f- will they need feed in addition to free range
    g- how will one go about purchasing a particular breed, if it is not available in PR
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    PR as in Puerto Rico? Nice place.

    a. First, start with a list of breeds meant for your climate, then narrow it down for your wants, needs and personality in regards to egg laying ability, meat quality, flighty vs. calm, etc.. You can also ask around to see what breeds others have.
    A few suggestions are Cubalaya, Fayoumi and most of the Mediterranean breeds like Catalana, White Face Black Spanish, Ancona, Minorca, Leghorn, Penedesenca.
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
    http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf

    b. Different breeds can get along well but if you want to raise chicks that are purebred then you'll have to separate them because the roosters will mate with any hen.

    c. Chickens love to eat vegetables, especially tomatoes and new sprouts. They also love to scratch for bugs and seeds so they usually dig up anything they don't eat. It's best to fence your garden.

    d. Dogs love to chase and kill chickens, cats love to pounce on and kill chicks and the occasional adult.

    e. A coop is only necessary to protect the birds from predators at night when the chickens blind and sitting ducks.

    f. Some breeds can get most of their needs from foraging on pristine pasture but if you don't have that, the birds won't produce well without a complete feed formulated for chickens.

    g. Because it is a US territory, most hatcheries ship to PR. I would imagine breeders would ship there also.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013

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