hallooo from Sacramento!


8 Years
Jan 8, 2012
So.... we want eggs. Delicious, delicious eggs. We are, Me, 33 years old and afraid of being pecked and of a chicken pulling out a blood feather (if they HAVE blood feathers?) Mom, 57 short, fear-dances around when chickens flap in outrage. Hubby, 48 WV boy who laughs at us because we think chickens are "wild animals" then there's Son a 16 month old who may or may not chase chickens should he see them. Are we doomed or is this something we can do with proper preparation? we can have 3 hens in our zoning. Ive checked out many, many books from the library, are there any threads on this forum, any books or videos that will help us?
we really really want to do this, but i want to be well armed with knowledge first! teach me, o chicken masters!
Yes, you can do it. First, check out The Learning Center here on BYC (on the main entry page of the site).

I was 55 when I got my first chicks AND built my first two coops. You will not believe how wonderfully your home-raised eggs will taste!

Plus, chickens are excellent bug reduction agents. Earwigs are like CANDY to chickens, by the way. And they have niacin in them, so they're healthy treats! (Bugs are good sources of natural niacin.) Just be sure to toss a little sand or pebbly dirt in a small dish for them, because the exoskeletons need to be ground up with the addition of grit.

Chickens aslo produce great fertilizer for the garden!

I would recommend Bradshaw Feed, if you are going to obtain your chicks from a feed store. It's at Bradshaw Rd at Florin Rd. Wonderful, helpful, knowledgeable staff. Excellent supplies always in stock.

I'll add my three "warnings" for new chickie moms (and dads):

When you look in the brooder and they are all dead, do not have a heart attack yet. Tap the side of the brooder first - the chicks will wake up. They just fall asleep like that. Sometimes on their backs, or with their heads across stuff in the brooder (like laying their heads on the chopping block). They DO look dead, but they're just asleep.

When you pick up a chick and feel a tumor on its neck, do not panic then, either. That's a full crop. The chicks are piggies and will stuff themselves. That crop will empty over night and be all normal again in the morning. Not tumors. Whew!

When you see one or another chick on its side, kicking and twitching, it is NOT having a seizure. It may even flap its wings and roll over onto its other side to do it some more. This is dust bathing behavior in the brooder bedding. Perfectly normal. And very silly looking once you know what it is, which is NOT a seizure. Trust me.

And a bonus, fourth warning: You will fall in love with them. This will not change even when they grow up into chickens and start to lay eggs. You will love them more. And I bet you will do a great big dance and run excitedly into the house, screaming with delight when the first one lays her first egg.

Welcome to the wonderful world of keeping chickens!

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