Hi from Ohio!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by OhioGirl, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. OhioGirl

    OhioGirl New Egg

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    I'm new at raising just about everything. I have always wante to raise chickens among other animals and know its going to be an adventure especially at the beginning. I am 25 and work as a firefighter/paramedic so I'll have plenty of time to devote as long as a very supporing boyfriend that is just as excited as I am to start a more self sufficient life. I am finally moving to a place that allows me to raise what I want and live the way I've dreamed of. I am a true newbie when it comes to chickens. On my property there is an existing coop that needs some TLC and hopefully with some help and direction from the fine people on this site I will successfully raise chickens for eggs and meat. Any pointers for a newbie would be greatly appreciated. I have thought about starting from scratch and hatching my own eggs so I experience the whole process and continuing to hatch chicks from my existing chickens once I get the whole thing going. Any thoughts/ suggestions/ advice/ on what breeds to get, how to get started, and how to be successful at this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!!! :)
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I'd start with sexed chicks from a hatchery. This way, you can be 90% certain that you have the correct number of roosters and hens. You could get straight run chicks (that have not been sexed), but then you'd have to do something about the extra roosters. You don't need a rooster to have eggs from a hen, and even if you want fertile eggs, you only need one rooster per ten hens or so. This same problem (too many roosters) would occur if you got hatching eggs. Of course, if you're comfortable slaughtering the roosters or spending time trying to find homes for them, you may want to do one of these two options. Getting chicks is the best way for a newbie to begin, as you don't need an incubator, don't need to worry (too much) about getting females, and, get to spend plenty of time watching the chicks grow up!

    How many chickens do you want to get? A good number to start with is six. When you get more experienced (and learn to really love chickens), you will want more. I think that you would enjoy having a variety of breeds; I know I do. The breeds you choose will depend on your individual preferences and needs. Do you want birds for eggs, or birds for meat? A good flock of egg-laying birds for a beginner, in my opinion, would consist of:

    One Wyandotte (Columbian is the best variety in my opinion, but may be more difficult to find than more common varieties like Silver-Laced and White. Wyandottes lay plenty of eggs, are cold hardy, and in my experience, are overall great birds)
    An Easter Egger (Easter Eggers are crosses that lay green or bluish eggs. They are generally sweet, and are good layers)
    A Buff Orpington (Buff Orpingtons are common, and are pretty good layers. They are gentle and cold hardy)
    One Australorp (Australorps are very similar to Buff Orpingtons, but are black)
    One Red Star (Red Stars are hybrids bred to lay lots of eggs. In my experience, they are docile birds that lay an egg nearly every day)
    One Plymouth Rock (Plymouth Rocks are most commonly found in the Barred color. They are common, and lay plenty of eggs)

    All of these birds lay brown eggs, except for the Easter Egger. If you wanted white egg-laying breeds, you may want to look into Leghorns and Minorcas. The only downside to many white egg-laying breeds is that they have large combs, which is a problem in cold winters.

    I would tell you more information, but this post might get a little long. So, I'll just give you some links to some helpful information on breeds, coops, etc.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...cken-guide-to-picking-backyard-chicken-breeds (breeds and picking the right breeds info)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/taking-the-plunge-getting-my-own-chickens-where-do-i-begin
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/where-to-buy-chicks-hatching-eggs-and-chickens (both of these links contain information on where to get chickens)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops (coop designs/ideas)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/quick-guide-to-common-brooder-and-coop-bedding-materials (information on bedding)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/raising-your-baby-chicks
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...ks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens (raising baby chicks)

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/is-my-chicken-a-pullet-hen-or-a-cockerel-cock (determinig gender)


    Hope I've helped!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas, OhioGirl, and [​IMG]! Great to have you with us and happy you are taking up chicken keeping. You asked about breeds...you were looking for egg layers, meat birds, or both? There are dozens of great egg laying breeds and obviously you can eat any chicken. There are, however, various breeds that serve dual purpose...the hens are good layers and the males get large enough to process for meat. The chicken you are likely used to eating (at KFC and from the grocery store) is a variety called Cornish Cross. It is bred for super fast growth. With dual purpose breeds that you eat, while they are tasty, the taste is different than what you may be used to. The best way to describe the taste is more "chickeny." Some people, not expecting this, don't like it. Dual purpose birds also will take 2x or longer to get to butchering size. I raise both - Cornish X and have various breeds of laying hens. Here is a link to a chart that compares various breeds by attribute.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    And as you are just staring out I'd advise you read through the various sections of the Learning Center - it is full of great info you will find helpful.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/

    In terms of going with chicks from a hatchery or hatching your own...totally up to you. A word of caution...if you order eggs through the mail they get jostled and the hatch rate is generally pretty low. With a hatchery you can pick and choose varieties, order the gender you want, and get baby chicks and raise them yourself. Here's the hatchery link:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/16/chicken-breeders-hatcheries

    I have a mixed flock of 12 different breeds. Some great breeds are Buff Orps, Speckled Sussex, Rhode Island, Easter Egger..on and on.

    Okay, last piece of advice you didn't ask for: your coop. Make sure the TLC you give it involves hardware cloth (welded wire). Chicken wire doesn't do much beyond keeping chickens confined - a determined predator will bust through. At the very least put hardware cloth around the perimeter at ground level up 15" or so.

    Sorry this was book - best of luck to you and best wishes.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the site and best of luck!
     
  5. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]
     
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  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  8. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC!
     

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