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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chickadee Chick, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Chickadee Chick

    Chickadee Chick Hatching

    Dec 4, 2013
    New chicken owner here, got my first chickens about 4 days ago and this page had already helped tremendously.
    Any tips for me?

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC and the world of chickens! To learn more about chickens and get some good tips, go to the Learning Center on this website, search for information on the internet, and get some good books. There's a lot of information out there about sucessfully raising chickens, and the more you read/learn, the better off you will be with your birds.

    However, here are a few tips and basic information on the most important things in keeping chickens:


    Chickens need secure housing, as they are susceptible to predator attacks. This includes having a coop with secure latches and having a run/outside area that a predator can't dig under or get over into. Each chicken should have at least two square feet of inside coop space, and at least 10 square feet of outside space. The more time your chickens spend inside, the more space they need. If you keep laying hens, they'll need about one nest box per four hens to lay eggs in. Roosts are also appreciated by chickens, though not all birds will use them.


    Pine shavings and chopped straw are two good materials to use. Don't use cedar shavings, as they can irritate a bird's respiratory tract. Keep a 3-4 inch layer of bedding in the coop, increasing it to about 5-6 inches in the winter time.


    There are three main types of feed: Starter, grower, and layer. Starter feed is for young chicks, grower is for older birds (often, Starter and Grower are combined into Starter/Grower feed), and layer feed is for adult laying hens (or pullets close to laying age). Don't feed layer feed to young chicks, as it contains too much calcium for them.

    Feed comes in mash, pellets, and crumbles. Mash is very finely ground, and can be wasted by chickens. Pellets are compressed mash, and usually work well. However, you'll run into chickens that don't like pellets, and pellets may be too big for smaller birds like bantams. Crumbles are my favorite, as they are easy for young birds to eat. Crumbles are broken up pellets.

    A large fowl chicken will eat about 1/4 pound of feed a day. Keep the feeder full at all times. Most people use a tube-type (also called a "hopper type" feeder) feeder. Trough feeders are another choice, but chickens often waste more when using them. Chickens love to use their beak to "bill out" feed, so keep feeders at the level of the chicken's backs. This will make it harder for them to "bill out"


    Like all animals, chickens need a supply of fresh, clean water. There are many types of waters and watering systems. Fount type waterers are common, and work well. There are also cup waterers and nipple waterers, as well as trough waterers. Change water whenever it becoems dirty, which is often every day.


    Even if you do everything right, chickens always seem to get some sort of disease or injury at some point. Keep some supplies on hand to treat sick birds, and read up on poultry diseases. Its good to have these items around:

    A dewormer (like Safeguard or Valbazen)
    Electrolytes, vitamins, and probiotics
    Broad spectrum antibiotics (Duramycin, Terramycin, Tylan50, and Tetroxy HCA-280 are all good ones)
    Needles and small syringes for injecting
    BlueKote antiseptic spray for wounds
    Antibiiotic ointment without "caine" ingredients
    Corid (a Coccidostat)
    Nail trimmers for dogs and cats (for trimming long toenails)
    Human nail clippers (for trimming long beaks)

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2013
    2 people like this.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Wyandottes7 has some really good tips there, and X2 on the BYC Learning Center. Good luck with your new chicks.
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Check out the BYC learning center. Welcome to BYC.
  5. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi and :welcome

    I'd say, be prepared, but don't worry when things don't go exactly to plan - chickens are pretty hardy creatures, and they can deal with a lot! - hot temps and cold temps, my chooks can even take care of the neighbours' cats if they get too close. :p
    Best of luck to you. I hope you find all the info you need here, and enjoy the site! :D
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture

  7. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC!

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