Greetings

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JustOneMama, Oct 31, 2014.

  1. JustOneMama

    JustOneMama New Egg

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    I am so new to BYC that I don't even have chickens yet. I am in the process of educating myself on what is needed to set up our coop in the spring. I have helped tend chickens when I was younger but never had my own. My quest for information includes finding anseers to:
    1. How many chickens do we need to have enough eggs for a family of 4?
    2. Best way to secure coop from a dog with a high prey drive?
    3. What size coop do we need?
    4. When do chickens start laying eggs?

    I am pretty sure that I will he able to find answers to those questions and more I have yet to realize now that I have found this website
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens. I AM a dog lover but, dogs + chickens = dead chickens. It would be best if the dog was enclosed in a Ft.Knox of a coop and run (with secure top). He will be your major predator if he gets loose among them. IF he is under lock and key, your chickens could enjoy their lives. I have never heard of a chicken killing a dog.

    Some people have a schedule of splitting outside time with dogs, then chickens, etc. Sooner or later someone gets the times wrong, and ends up replacing their flock.

    As to room - rule of thumb is 4sg.feet of space for each bird in the coop (not counting roosts and nest boxes), and 10 sg.feet per bird in the outdoor run. Bigger is usually better because at some point you will want to add more chickens. Also chickens get very irritable if too crowed. They may start bullying, feather plucking, or serious mayhem, going cannibalistic.

    BYC has very good sections on coops, predators, etc. The Learning Center is a great first stop. You will also want to visit "Raising Backyard Chickens which has an array of topics that will be of interest to you.
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join us. You've asked some very good questions and I'll respond to them in the order you asked them.

    1. How many chickens do we need to have enough eggs for a family of 4?

    This depends on how many eggs you eat per person per day and what kind of hens you have. Really high yield layers such as Black Sex Links (Black Stars), Red Sex Links (sold under a number of labels), and White Leghorns will typically lay 6 (occasionally 7) eggs per week per hen. Black Australorps, Production Reds, Austra Whites, and California Whites typically lay 5 (occasionally 6) eggs per week per hen. Rhode Island Reds typically lay 4 (sometimes 5) eggs per week per hen. Most other dual-pupose breeds such as Buff Orpingtons, Sussex, Wyandottes, Delawares, Brahmas, Faverolles, Plymouth Rocks, etc. typically lay 3-4 eggs per week per hen. These numbers of course will drop off in really cold winter weather, and when the hens go broody or molt, they stop laying altogether during that period of time.

    2. Best way to secure coop from a dog with a high prey drive?

    As drumstick diva indicated, dogs and chickens do not usually mix well. A lot of new members have expressed their horror when their seemingly benign dogs (even small ones like chihuahuas) have suddenly and unexpectedly chased and killed their chickens. Once a dog has done this, it is next to impossible to break them from doing it again. You need to either keep the chickens in a predator proof coop or else keep the dog in an escape proof fence.

    3. What size coop do we need?

    X2 on the dimensions (4 sq. ft. minimum for the coop, 10 sq. ft. minimum for the run) that drumstick diva has given you in his post.

    4. When do chickens start laying eggs?

    Most hens begin laying eggs from 20-24 weeks; some a little earlier, a few a little later.

    Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your flock.
     
    2 people like this.
  5. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Hello and welcome to BYC! Nice to have you join us. [​IMG]
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] So glad you joined us.

    You have the answers to your questions already. But wanted to add another consideration. If you are planning to have only layers: avoid any straight run purchase. Get sexed chicks, but realize it is not 100%. Add a few extra to the equation for possible early losses or roos. Plan ahead on what to do if you do get a rooster or 2. But build large enough that if you luck out on all girls you'll have room to keep them. It is really nice to have more eggs than your family needs….giving some to friends or cooking and treating the chickens is quite satisfying.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    You've been given some great advice already. Good luck with any future chickens!
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You have been given some great advice from Michael and Sunflour. I too would avoid the straight runs as you are very likely to get lots of roosters. And roos are hard to rehome.

    Enjoy this new journey you are on and welcome to our flock!
     
  9. JustOneMama

    JustOneMama New Egg

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    Thanks for all the replies! We live in town and I don't think roosters are allowed by the city (though I hear one a few blocks over) so we will have to be sure to get all hens. The good news is that we have time to figure this all out before jumping in.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop

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