Hello Im new here :0)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by emmaschickens, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. emmaschickens

    emmaschickens New Egg

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    Hello all! My partner, our 2 kids and I bought a house in Charlotte North Carolina and we have 1 acre and we are looking into getting chickens and live off our land as much as possible. This seems like a good place to learn some things :) we have so many questions since this is our first time. We have always had a decent sized garden but this year we want to try and grow more veggies and finally have our own chickens!! what is a good number of chickens to start with? and also how do I keep the chickens warm in the winter? any advice is appreciated. thanks!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC, and congratulations on your new home. Start by checking out the 'Learning Center' at the top of the page. Provide your birds with a dry, draft free coop, and they will have no problems with a NC winter. Good luck, and have fun with your flock.
     
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome, a well built draft free, well ventilated coop will be fine for your birds in winter. Chickens can handle cold much better than heat. The Learning Center is a great place to place, then you will probably want to peruse the coop and predator sections. For a big finish head for "Raising Backyard Chickens." forum. If you have questions let us know - someone is here 24/7. So glad you joined the BYC flock [​IMG]
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to the BYC Forum. It is a great place to learn all about chickens. I think 8-12 chickens is a good place to start, but build a nice big coop and chicken run area, because you may decide you want more.

    Adult fully feathered chickens are surprisingly cold tolerant. Here in Michigan, our chickens actually choose to stay outside on winter days even when the temperature is in the teens, but they stay in the areas protected from the wind. Chickens cover their feet with the feathery body when they roost at night (wider roosts like 2x4s help them cover their feet completely.) I don't think your chickens will need supplemental heat for the coop in North Carolina.
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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  6. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    The number of chicks to start with depends on what you want them for. If you're looking to provide eggs for your family, you'll need to decide how many eggs you eat each week and plan accordingly. Each chicken usually lays (on average- varies for breeds) 4-5 eggs a week, with some breeds laying more and some laying less. If you just want chickens for pets, the number is not all that important. Just make sure that you get at least two, as chickens are flock animals. A good starter flock I believe is four birds.

    Chickens are very adept at keeping themselves warm in cold weather. The most important thing is providing a secure, draft-free coop. Give them perches that are rather flat, so that they can lay on top of their feet and keep their feet warm. Provide at least 6 inches of insulating bedding such as wood shavings. Keep them out of the wind. Heat lamps or other heat sources are rarely neccesary. After all, chickens are wearing their own feather comforters!

    Definitely check out the Learning Center for some more good information. If you still have questions, just ask! We're all here to help in any way we can.
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!

    The number of chickens to start with depends on what you want them for (eggs, meat, both), and how much eggs/meat you want. In general, the average hen lays about 5 eggs a week. Egg production is greatly reduced (sometimes 0) in winter and early spring due to seasonal changes and decreased daylight hours. You can keep hens laying longer if you provide artificial lighting, but all chickens stop laying to molt about once a year. If you want to raise chickens for meat, then you would start with however many could fit into your freezer at a time.

    For the average family, though, I would recommend 8-12 laying hens. That should provide you with plenty of eggs, and the birds shouldn't need too much space or extensive care.

    As for keeping chickens warm in winter, they are very hardy animals. Chickens can survive temperatures well below zero even without supplemental heat, as long as they are out of the wind and their coop is well ventilated. Problems can arise with frostbite in large-combed chickens, but that can be minimized by having adequate ventilation, rubbing Vaseline on the comb/wattles, insulating walls, and getting rid of any drafts. To completely avoid comb frostbite problems, you could also simply raise small-combed breeds (Buckeyes, Wyandottes, Easter Eggers, etc.).
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The above members have taken the words right out of my mouth. Start small and work your way up. Make sure your coop is properly ventilated and has lots if dry, warm bedding such as straw.

    Good luck!:)
     
  10. emmaschickens

    emmaschickens New Egg

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    Thank you everyone! We are excited to start. Just have to do some more research
     

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