Hello from Maryland!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Smellsey, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Smellsey

    Smellsey In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    Frederick, MD
    Hello everyone!

    My name is Kelsey and I live in a somewhat rural area of western Maryland. I own about 1 acre of land, in a fairly agricultural area of my town, and have been contemplating chickens for several years. I live with my husband and 5 year old daughter, however my parents live close by as well. My father and I have been working a large garden for about 6 years on my property and we've decided to go in on a chicken venture together to pool work and funds. We're still shopping for a coop and looking at our options.

    We recently went to a class about raising happy chickens at a local farm store. We had our first lesson in the process and learned that we'll have to keep baby chicks warm indoors for several months before placing them outside. My dad is a little hesitant about this since they will probably be at his home for that time due to lack of space at mine. Does anyone have experience purchasing older chickens? He's researching buying 18-20 week old chicks, but I worry about how acclimated those chicks will be to people, being handled, etc.

    I really look forward to learning as much as I can from everyone and getting started with my own flock of backyard chicks!
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

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

    I have always started with chicks. You are spot on in that chicks will bond with you and be far more tame than older chickens. That is not to say that older chickens aren't friendly, but they may not respond to you as chicks will.

    Yes, chicks need to be brooded under a heat lamp for 5+ weeks. Here is a good article from our learning center on how it is done...https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...ks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens

    Brooding can be done in any area that has a constant temp. Even an outdoor building that doesn't have any drafts. As long as the temp remains constant for the most part, so the temp in the brooder is not fluctuating. Drafts and cold temps will kill babies.

    Stop by our learning center too. Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping chickens...https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    The pluses to starting with fully grown chickens is that they will lay much quicker. Instant flock. If you work with them with treats and love, you can win some of their hearts over. Just make SURE you are getting healthy birds. There are a lot of con artists out there that are selling off their sick or mite infested flocks. So just be careful.

    Good luck with what ever route you choose and we do welcome you to our flock!
    2 people like this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard Chickens Kelsey. Actually chicks can go outside once they are fully feathered about 6-8 weeks of age, unless weather & temps are severe. In that case you might keep them in an outdoor coop with heat lamps. Young chicks do socialize easily than older ones, especially if the older ones had little contact with people. There are of course differences among the breeds - some have reputations for being aloof, other tend to be docile.

    The ready made coops tend to provide much less space for birds than the rule of thumb 4-5 sq.feet per bird inside the coop (excluding roosts and nest boxes). The outdoor coop should allow 10 sq.feet per bird. Also coop/kits generally are quite expensive,look cute but, cannot stand up to weather & predators.

    You may want to check out the coop & predator sections. As well as the "Raising Backyard Chickens" forum above.
  4. Smellsey

    Smellsey In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    Frederick, MD
    Thank you both for all of your helpful advice! I'm hoping to convince my dad that baby chicks are our best bet in regards to behavior and health. We'll see how successful I am. I have a few outbuildings on my property, however they are all drafty and few have power, so I'm not sure I have much of an option. Indoors I think my cat and dog would just lose it with baby chicks in the house!

    I'm currently working on the plan in our yard for the run area, which is going to be rather large. I will take a look at the coop section, to see if I can maybe build something on my own.

    Thanks again for the help. I'm looking forward to this new adventure!
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC, Kelsey! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    TwoCrows and Drumstick Diva have given you some great advice! Good luck with your future flock.[​IMG]
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm so happy you joined us!
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    I agree with TwoCrows and Drumstick Diva too.

    I've never bought older chickens so I can't offer a whole lot of info.

    Glad you joined us, Kelsey!
  9. Smellsey

    Smellsey In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    Frederick, MD
    Thanks for the warm welcome. After talking more with my dad last night, he's agreed that we should get baby chicks. So I feel a lot better about our plan so far.

    Now I'm researching my coop options. I was looking at The Garden Coop plans last night, but then I saw a coop converted from a metal shed, so I'm still exploring options.

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