Hello from Central Florida ... Looking to get into owning chickens


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 4, 2012

I owned a couple of Road Island Reds and a couple of Leg Horns that were given to my Grandmother by a friend of the family. She had chickens when she was younger so she taught me stuff about raising chickens. I dont know if they were the right things or not, a lot of it I'm sure I forgot.

My neighbor has chickens - little Road Island Reds. I picked one up the other day and hugged it and laughed myself to tears at the goofy bird. She was so friendly. Almost dog-like. My husband wants to get birds.

I am on the fence (ha ha! Pun!) on what kind of birds I want to buy. To start with I definately want egg layers but eventually I would like meat chickens too. I do not know what breeds are better for egg layers or what might be available here in Central Florida. My local feedstore sells chicks. I dont know how to tell if they are males, or females or anything beyond their being completely cute.

So here I am, learning and reading. Any thoughts or suggestions to get me started would be great. My husband has already looked into coop plans which include protection from the elements and predators.
Welcome to BYC, neighbor!

My feed store's supplier is pretty good at sexing birds, I dunno about the one near you. Chances are, you may end up with a cockerel (rooster when it's older), but chickens can be difficult to be 100% sure about sex until they lay an egg, or not.

My advice #1: would be that real Rhode Island Reds usually won't be found at your feed stores. If you want nice layers, I enjoy my production reds and barred rocks. They lay quite well. They're "hatchery" chicks... oooooooO bad word to some 'round these parts, but I'm not showing my birds, so I don't care.

Advice #2: Chickens are addicting. Build a bigger coop than you think you'll EVER need, cuz in about 3 months you'll be wanting another coop.

Advice #3: You're in the right place. Read BYC, read books about chickens, and don't get scared, it's not as overwhelming or difficult to raise chickens as it seems when you're reading all the possible things that could happen.

Advice #4: Join us on the Florida thread https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=305793
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And hello from Clermont, Florida. What part of central Florida? BTW, you could check out the Lake City poultry show this weekend. See a lot of the breeds and ask lots of questions, to help you decide what you want all in one place.

from Washington State glad you joined us!
There are certainly a lot of wonderful breeds out there, good luck !

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