Getting Startedbarter


9 Years
Jun 6, 2010

My husband and I really want to have our own chickens for eggs for ourselves and to "barter" with our friends for some of their fresh veggies and baked goods. Plus, I remember having chickens when I was little and how much I enjoyed taking care of them and collecting eggs. Something I want my daughter to experience as well.

That was many years ago though, and quite honestly, I don't know where to start. Hoping some of you will have some great advice to share. Here is what we have to work with:

1. We want our chickens to be as free-range as possible. There are dogs in the area, though that I have a sneaking suspicion might enjoy a feathery treat. Not sure how to get around that.

2. We live on 52 acres.

3. We want chickens that are fairly friendly and tolerant of heat (We live in Central Texas...100 degree days are fast approaching)

4. We eat a lot of eggs ourselves, but want plenty to share with our friends and family.

5. We have hawks, snakes, name it.

Thanks in advance! I'm sure I will learn quite a bit from you all!



12 Years
Dec 24, 2007
Southern Indiana/Henryville
Im sure you will have tons of folks throwing ideas to you...I would like to say one thing I have noticed over the years...If you are planning on free ranging and say your get about 40 hens dont be shy and get yourself about 5-10 roosters. They come in quite handy for they are always looking around for predators. Seems with that many hens there is enough to go around, and i know that sounds like a TON of roosters but it has really paid off especially when you hear one screech, those hens go hiding for cover and you look up and see that hawk spying on them.


9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
Central Valley, California
It sounds like you have pretty hot summers, like we have here. If you don't get very cold winters (not under about 35 degrees) a good idea for your coop is building a 3 sided coop, with one side either completely open or only hardware cloth. This provides a lot of ventilation and keeps the coop from getting overheated during very hot weather. I use this type of coop and really like it a lot. It keeps things dry inside, reducing odor & flies. An open coop like this can accommodate more chickens than the recommended size of 4 square feet per standard size chicken.

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