Hello from cold snap central

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by plongard, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. plongard

    plongard Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 7, 2014
    Hello eager mentors!
    My oldest daughter will turn 7 in March, and she has wanted to have a pet chicken for a few years now. I've decided now is the time, and look forward to your advice and direction.

    For now, I'm thinking 2-4 birds, as we live in cold MN (yes, it was 20 below here in the Twin Cities, and schools are closed yet another day today), and my biggest fear is wintering these creatures. We also have a small city lot, so cannot manage much more.

    My dream would be to give her eggs for her birthday to watch hatch into chicks to then raise, etc. Trying to figure out a plan to make this happen.

    I had originally thought of starting with fryers ( hatch in the spring, butcher in the fall to avoid having to winter the birds), but she is already naming her imaginary chicken pets, so that's likely out of the realm of possibility for now.

    So, we look forward to any advice on hatching chicks, raising chicks, coop building and maintenance on a city lot, breeds (we were recommended the Americauna's for their colorful eggs?), wintering, lore, pearls, and anything else you have to offer us!

    Specifically, anyone know a good book on raising chickens at a 3rd grade reading level?

    Thanks in advance

    mother to Maya (6.5) and Lyra (3.5)
  2. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! I recommend reading thru the Learning Center, as it will cover every aspect of raising chickens :) also, I recommend getting at least 3 chickens so they will have a friend if something should happen to one. This chart will walk you through all the breeds so you can make a decision easier http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html and when you build your coop make sure you use 1/2 inch hardware cloth rather than chicken wire, as most predators can break thru chicken wire. Good luck to you! https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
    1 person likes this.
  3. TJs Chicks4

    TJs Chicks4 New Egg

    Apr 28, 2013
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hi there, [​IMG] and welcome to BYC!

    Looks like Liz has set you on a good path of info.

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy BYC!
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Your Chickens: A Kid's Guide to Raising and Showing by Gail Damerow is a good kids / younger 4-H book, Amazon has it in various formats http://www.amazon.com/Your-Chickens...hickens:+A+Kid's+Guide+to+Raising+and+Showing
    Patrick Merrell has several more fun/game chicken books that have puzzles etc in them, Amazon carries a number of them.
    One thing with hatching eggs you need to plan for is the 50% probable roosters, what will you do with them.
  7. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    I think hatching would be a wonderful idea Great learning experience for you all.Really great for a third grader.
    there is the problem of hatching roosters and you may get some . HUMM...Cant tell until about 5-6 weeks and then she maybe be wanting to keep them too.... attached.
    Im assuming you have a limit in your neighborhood on chickens and no roosters at all?

    Also a surprise to me when i tried my first incubation its not the hen doing it so not natural so chancey..doesn't always work
    3 eggs would be really chancy on getting 3 chicks.6 to 8 i would think would be better gamble if you dont want them really disappointed. and even then ...zero can happen or 1 . or 6 to 8!!
    .3 eggs its possible.... but might get 1 might get zero .. COULD get 3. but not extremely likely.
    Lot to think about. first Lot to explain first if you hatch
    Might be better Buy 3 chicks that are pullets some are sex linked. and less disappointment for the kids unless you have a place to go with extras and roos or a chance on no chicks after 21 days of waiting.!
    Im a grown up and was really dissapointed.Might not happen but can..

    others here BYC are from colder climes but we just had below zero and wind chill of 22 below in Missouri A few of mine always free range and never go in a coop sleep in a tree but did go in a coop one end open tis bad weather but filled with straw Wasn't sure how theyd do but They are fine.
    Didn't want to walk in the snow though.HAHA
    id think a warm closed coop maybe insulated and straw would be fine even where you live.
  8. plongard

    plongard Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 7, 2014
    Wow, cool community - thanks for the *warm* welcomes and sage advices!
    I"m looking forward to learning so much here.
    LOVE the advice about the roosters - hadn't thought of that (but, uh, *duh*, right)
    My sis is a PhD in environmental tox, so has boku experience hatching chicks, but, then, she didn't mind the gender.
    I'm sure I can check local statues, and I know we're not allowed roosters, but could I keep a chick to rooster just long enough to be a fryer come fall? Or is even that too long. (or too evil??)

    At what age does a rooster start crowing anyway?

    So many questions, so much fun stuff to learn

    Thanks again to all!

  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hi, Patty, welcome to BYC. Great suggestions from Liz.
  10. Bluebee

    Bluebee Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 30, 2012
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.

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