Hello from a complete newb with tons of dumb questions.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by newbie donna, May 18, 2010.

  1. newbie donna

    newbie donna Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been considering establishing a small flock for eggs and ... possibly meat, however, I've never killed a single thing before in my life so, considering that I'm a complete softy, the meat thing will probably never happen.

    I'm so happy to have found this wonderful site as I know next to nothing about raising chickens. I have been giving it careful thought and I do believe I can do it however, I think I already need some help. I was looking through the different breeds of chickens and Brahmas have caught my eye. Is this a good breed for a complete newb?

    Is it better to get chicks or to hatch them so the birds will be imprinted?

    I read elsewhere on the site that vets rarely know how to treat chickens. This gives me some concern. As a pet owner, I take my responsiblity for my pets very seriously. If I were to have a sick bird, is there a place to go to figure out a diagnosis and treatment?

    Big confession; although I'm excited at the prospect of raising chickens, I'm also terrified I'll make some horrendous mistake that will cause them to suffer and die.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks!
    donna
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I was looking through the different breeds of chickens and Brahmas have caught my eye. Is this a good breed for a complete newb?

    There would be a lot of good breeds for you. Brahmas are bigger than most breeds and slow to develop. That means you wait longer for the eggs or even meat if you do decide to go that way. Also, they are not very efficient. What I mean by that is that they eat more than a lot of other breeds to produce a certain amount of eggs or meat. I have not had Brahmas but have heard that they have a great friendly personality.

    Is it better to get chicks or to hatch them so the birds will be imprinted?


    I don't think it matters. Either will imprint on you if you fool with them a lot.

    I read elsewhere on the site that vets rarely know how to treat chickens. This gives me some concern. As a pet owner, I take my responsiblity for my pets very seriously. If I were to have a sick bird, is there a place to go to figure out a diagnosis and treatment?

    That can be a problem. Many, many vets are not that familiar with poultry. You can call your county extension agent, in the phone book under county government, to maybe find somebody close to you that can help. If you live in an area that has a lot of commercial chickens, either meat or eggs, you may be in luck. If you live near your state land grant university, you may get some help there.

    Big confession; although I'm excited at the prospect of raising chickens, I'm also terrified I'll make some horrendous mistake that will cause them to suffer and die.

    If you don't take them and take care of them, they will never live at all. Sounds like you will try to take good care of them. Bad things can happen in life, but I think they would have a pretty good shot with you.
     
  3. newbie donna

    newbie donna Out Of The Brooder

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    May 18, 2010
    SW Missouri
    Thank you so much for the advice, Ridgerunner! Can you suggest a particular breed I should look for or should I go for the "grab bags" that many of the hatcheries seem to have?
     
  4. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. If you have any local Amish families, they might be willing to butcher for you. [​IMG]
     
  5. james81

    james81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
  6. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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  7. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. rebecky1305

    rebecky1305 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out this link. It is a breed selection tool from here on BYC. It will help you decide. And [​IMG]. Glad you could join us. There is no such thing as a dumb question here. If you don't ask you can't learn.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I take it your goal is mainly eggs, but maybe, just maybe, you would consider eating a few. As someone suggested, you may be able to get someone else to do the butchering for you. I get the feeling you would like some with personality too. I'm not sure how many you want, if you want roosters, if you want to hatch your own using a broody hen or maybe an incubator, or what your climate is like. Does the color of the egg matter? To be honest, any of the dual purpose (eggs and meat) chickens would do for you. All breeds have people that love them, and there are some differences in some of them other than just color, but they all lay eggs well and they all get big enough to eat.

    If you live in a cold climate, one that gets below 0* Fahrenheit and stays there for a while, I'd suggest you look at the Wyandottes, Buckeyes, Chanteclers, of the EE's. That's because these have smaller combs and are less likely to get frostbite in the cold weather.

    If you want a hen to go broody and raise your own chickens, I'd suggest getting a few Buff Orpingtons. There is no guarantee that any of the Buff Orps will go broody and it is possible any of the others will go broody, but the Buff Orps have the reputation among the dual purpose breeds of going broody more often.

    If you want blue or green eggs as well as brown, get some Easter Eggers( EE's). Some hatcheries call these Ameraucanas.

    If you don't have strong preferences, a special combo package will work well. You're never sure exactly what you will get, so that part is exciting, and if you choose the right package, you can get some great breeds for your purposes.

    Other than the breeds already mentioned, the ones I'd suggest you consider are Delawares, Australorps, Sussex, Dominique, any of the Rocks, Favorelles, Dorkings, Rhode Island Reds, or New Hampshire Reds. Something else I'd suggest you look at are the Sex Links. These are not a breed but are crosses of certain breeds already mentioned so they will have the same characteristics as the parents. They are called many different things, Stars, Golden Comets, Cinnamon Queens just to mention a few.

    I'm probably not helping you much, but part of that is that it is hard to make a bad selection. They are all good.
     
  10. thefamilyflock

    thefamilyflock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]. I am new too. I had many of the same worries, we are 12 weeks in and all is well. Chicks seem to be pretty hardy! And the lovely folks on BYC are very helpful. Best wishes.
     

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