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Hi from Southern California

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cjhixon, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. cjhixon

    cjhixon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 8, 2010
    Bonsall, CA
    Hi everyone. Thanks for the great site and community! I recently purchased a new home and am interested in starting a very small flock (4-5 hens and MAYBE 1 cock). The property has a nice little coop already in place. It is a circular structure that uses a large satelite dish for a roof. I think the dish is 8ft in diameter so the coop is about 50sqft. It has 4 nesting boxes and an automatic waterer. There is a roost but it is too low, i will be adding a leaning ladder type. I have been doing research for a few weeks and get conflicting information depending upon who I speak with. I was wondering what folks here think about some of these topics. I'll be reading through the forums here more but here are a few of my questions:

    1) Should I buy eggs, chicks, or full grown birds? I was thinking about buying sexed chicks but the idea of hatching eggs sounds fun and challenging. I think the kids would enjoy it (12 & 14). I'm worried about getting the variety of birds and hens vs roosters if I go the egg route. Since I may only one 1 bird of several species and this is my first time...unlikely success.

    2) I plan on letting the chickens having the run of the property (4 acres) during the day and closing the coop at night. Good or bad idea? About 1/2 acre is landscaped the rest is dry lot with a few fruit trees, barn, horse runs, etc. It is all well fenced, about 6ft. I have a golden retreiver that should be fine with the bird, and two cats that spend most time indoors. I'm more worried about large hawks out here. Are chickens likely to fly over a 6ft fence?

    3) Initially I was thinking about getting several species to enjoy the variety of birds and eggs. Another option that I am contemplating is just sticking with one endangered species and help keep the diversity. Thoughts?

    4) I was hoping to start now but this doesn't seem to be a popular time of year. The local feed store has a few chicks but they don't really start stocking up until after Easter for obvious reasons. Does mail order even make sense for so few birds?

    5) If I buy eggs or chicks they won't be in the coop for a while. I was thinking of planting something in the bottom. I know it won't last but it might be nice for them for a few days/weeks. Worth it? What to plant?

    Well, that's it for now. I love the site. See you in the forums. [​IMG]

    Carl
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. I would start off with a few sexed chicks. They will grow to know you better than older birds and you get what you want. I like getting a variety of birds. Incubating can come later. They will love free rangeing but be aware of the possibility of losses due to hawks. That is the chance we all take to give our chickens the chance to free range. My pet chicken lets you order as few a 3 chicks. Good luck [​IMG]
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    [​IMG] from Mississippi. It's your call on eggs, chicks or grown birds. All have a good point. If it's your first chickens I'd say go with sexed chicks. Heavy breeds will stay in 6' fencing just fine, lighter breeds might fly over though.
     

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