Hello from howlinggood

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by goldeneggtees, Mar 11, 2009.

  1. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hi, we just bought a house from the 1920's which has a huge coop in the yard. We actually thought it was the back of another house when we first looked at the property! :–) The full size is 30' wide x 13' deep and it is divided into 3 sections. It also has a fenced in area behind it with a door for access. That section is 15.5' wide x 13' deep. We are on .5 of an acre of property so the coop has quite an open area behind it.

    We believe the coop was used for chickens and ducks for both meat and eggs.

    My questions are…
    1. If we get chickens for egg laying purposes only, what kind should we get? We would want them to be as friendly and docile as possible and of course good egg layers.

    2. Should we get chicks or adult hens? From where?

    3. Would the chickens need or should they have access to the open yard? Or is the fenced in area enough space? (I'd want them to be happy and content birds). But having said that, I'd not want chicken poop all over the yard that might make it hard for the kids to use.

    4. Do they need boxes to lay in? There are currently roosts built into the walls but they have no sides.

    5. FYI, we live in the Northeast so sometimes encounter cold winters, which brings me to another question: what do you do with the chickens when there is alot of snow on the ground, do they still need to go out? If so, I guess a shoveling of their area might be in order?

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide. I will be reading additional posts on this site to learn as much as I can before we commit to owning the chickens.

    howlinggood :–)
     
  2. mullers3acers

    mullers3acers Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2007
    la porte, In
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,559
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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Hello, and welcome from Michigan [​IMG]

    All of your questions are good ones, and I encourage you to use the search function in the blue bar above. You'll find all your answers there, and even answers to questions you didn't ask (but may at some point!!!)

    Sounds like a neat setup for chickens that you have. Many folks (me included) do not freerange their chickens. I have too many predators in my area. So long as they have things to do in their run, they will be happy and content. Also, making sure they are not overcrowded is a huge plus for contentment, too. You can get whatever breeds you like, but you might want to concentrate on those that are good winter (year round) layers, such as rocks, new hampshire or rhode island reds, etc. I have some production breeds (Isa Browns) that lay well in winter; however, there is a higher incidence of egg laying issues with production-type breeds. Most folks get one or two of this or that, whatever looks good to them! Don't overdo and get too many - it's key that they have enough room and are not overcrowded.

    I think your first/best step will be to clean really well and disinfect the coop. I highly recommend a product called Oxine that you mix in with water. Clean really well, then spray EVERYTHING with Oxine to kill germs.

    It's helpful to get some good picture and post them on BYC asking for feedback/suggestions. YOu'll want to make sure your enclosures are as predator proof as possible.

    Yes, they will need nest boxes to lay their eggs in. Make sure the coop has really good ventilation, because they will need this to ensure good health. Refer to patandchickens' page here on BYC for excellent info. in that regard.

    I'm so jealous - you're in for LOTS of fun with your new chicken endeavor!!! [​IMG]
     
  4. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hi Wynette and thanks for the info! I can take pics of the coop and post them at some point. I need to learn how. The coop is old but hasn't been used in years. It is a bit of a mess right now and I'm afraid of what has been living in there! :–) My husband spent some time cleaning at least part of it this past weekend. He didn't use any disinfectant - just dish soap. Where can I buy the Oxine?

    We will be sure to plug up any holes so that they are safe. I do wonder about the top of their outdoor enclosure being open - it is. I have seen a few hawks around so that might have to be considered when we fix it up.

    As far as breeds, I was considering getting Ameraucanas. The door in the coop says Arucuanas and spelled again wrong: arracauna. They kept track of the eggs layed over the course of a few months. Not sure if they really had the Araucanas variety but that's what it says. I think it would be kinda cool to keep things the same. I was thinking about six birds overall.

    We also have a local farm that has chicks available in May, they said they are a mixed breed that lays really well and is quite nice to keep.

    Would you recommend getting chicks or adult hens?

    Thanks again for your response!
     
  5. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Netting or chicken wire over the top is always a good idea for sky-borne predators. That would be a wise choice to make, for sure.

    Oxine is available at lots of places now; even at one of BYC's sponsors, www.eggcartons.com. If you Google it, you can find it at several online stores - I think even Amazon.com has it! Someone posted on here once about the cheapest place to get it...so you might use the search bar and try to find that post.

    Ameraucanas are wonderful birds; beautiful, and you can't beat that blue or green egg they lay! Just know going in that birds you buy via a hatchery (or the ones you can get at farm stores) are not purebred birds, they are typically what we call Easter Eggers (EEs). Sometimes, they do not lay green or blue, they lay tan eggs. That being said, my EEs are among the best layers that I have, and I truly do love them! If you want purebred birds, see if you can find a breeder here on BYC that is close to you.

    As far as getting chicks or started birds, that's really a personal choice. If you get chicks, you'll need to get them special starter feed; adults will need layer feed plus extra calcium in the form of oyster shell, and grit is never a bad idea.

    I've got some mixed breeds that lay really well, too. In fact, in my experience, my mixed breeds lay better than ALL of my purebreds! So it's really all in what you want. The more research you do, the better. You're in the right place to find lots of information!!

    Oh, on posting photos, I use Photobucket - an online service that you load your photos into, and then you copy the URL & paste it into a message here on BYC. There's severals posts with the steps involved in posting pictures, too.

    OH! One more thing I wanted to add: any time you add new birds to your current flock, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS quarantine for at least a month. The allows you to monitor them closely to make sure they did not bring a disease with them that could cause your entire flock to get sick. Some diseases take time to show themselves; one month (or longer) will allow any bug they may have to show itself before you introduce them to your flock.
     
  6. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN
     
  7. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Wow! Thanks for all the info! All of it makes sense. Hmm, I'll have to think about it for awhile and decide which bird and which age may be best. I know my kids would love to see chicks grow. We hatched some eggs a few years back and we were all sad to send them back to the farm. We didn't have a coop then and I think it was actually not legal back then to keep chickens in our town. Since then, they have changed the laws.

    Thanks again![​IMG]
     
  8. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Well, goodness! You didn't mention you have an incubator! That being the case, that might be your best bet at getting exactly what you want, and knowing what you can expect from the hatch! There are lots of folks on BYC who sell hatching eggs, and who doens't love those fuzzy little butts! [​IMG]
     
  9. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    :–) My husband is a teacher and we borrowed it from his school, maybe we can ask to borrow it again! That would be interesting. The only other question I have is how do you know if you hatch eggs which sex it is?
     
  10. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    Most breeds, you don't know upon hatch. That's the hard part about hatching - finding home for the extra cockerels. I list mine on Craigslist or Bestfarmbuys. [​IMG]
     

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