Hoping to join the world of chickens!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by equi, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. equi

    equi Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    Hello!

    I recently got the exciting news that my dad is finally letting me get chickens as he is now retired and has time enough to care for them.

    Where on earth do i start?

    I have ample space for them to run about, but for the winter we will be keeping them in the stable block as it get very cold here. We plan to get only 4 hen at the point of lay and see how we go. I have never had any bird larger than a budgie so any tips on holding/checking and general tips is welcomed!
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Hello equi, and welcome to BYC from OHIO!

    I would get a catalog....the Meyer Hatchery (meyerhatchery.com) has a free catalog with pictures and really helpful descriptions of the different breeds, including size, egg production, temperament, cold and heat hardiness........

    That's how I started with chickens......
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you get older birds, make sure you have a place to lock them up for a few days so they know where to sleep. When you do let them out make sure they can't wander far until they associate that housing with its surroundings so they can find their way back home.

    Wherever you keep them, make sure it will stay dry and provide plenty of (nondrafty) ventilation.

    Stick with a good complete feed until you know more.

    Provide plenty of clean liquid water which requires lots of work in winter or a heated waterer.
     
  4. CrestedGirl

    CrestedGirl Polish Obsessed

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fort Worth, Tx
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] From North Texas [​IMG] So glad you joined us [​IMG]
     
  5. equi

    equi Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    The hens im getting are just....normal hens...the fat brown ones (forgive my ignorance! lol)

    As i said for the first winter i will be keeping them in my stable block and they will have a 14x7 ft stable to live in and they will have a large fenced in area they can roam on good days (this is currently my dog pen so i can't let them be in there all the time)

    Since they will be in a stable i have mixed thoughts on what to do for bedding? my dad thinks shavings will be okay but i personally would love to get some soil done and put a few rolls of grass on it and have a little indoor garden. The stable has two large windows so lots of light comes in.

    Also, what about coops? I won't bother getting an outdoor coop until the spring but will they need a coop indoors or just a nesting box and a few perches?

    ALSO, what about toys? Dont want them to be bored!
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:They are called production reds or ISA browns. Some are even red sexlink. Different sites call them different things.

    My hens were never locked up at first. They have a run and a coop. They knew by the second day how to use the ramp at dusk.

    They don't need toys, but long branches from trees work great for entertainment. If you want to spoil them, give them some mulch outside if you can. Nothing that is toxic to their health. Mine love to play in mulch. They should have a dust bath area as well.

    I've heard about people hanging lettuce. They supposedly like to peck at it. Sorry to say that mine will not touch lettuce [​IMG] Such picky chickens!
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Welcome to BYC.
     
  8. equi

    equi Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    My hens were never locked up at first. They have a run and a coop. They knew by the second day how to use the ramp at dusk.

    They don't need toys, but long branches from trees work great for entertainment. If you want to spoil them, give them some mulch outside if you can. Nothing that is toxic to their health. Mine love to play in mulch. They should have a dust bath area as well.

    I've heard about people hanging lettuce. They supposedly like to peck at it. Sorry to say that mine will not touch lettuce [​IMG] Such picky chickens!

    Thanks, i'll try them! I would love them to be outside from the go but there is a lot of foxes here and they would be in a lot of danger cause the winters are harsh. I think it will be better for them. its nice and warm and safe. They will have their summer residence in my apple orchird though, so they will be happy with that!​
     
  9. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] You'll love this site. It's amazing how people jump in to answer questions and offer advice. That said, do what feels right to you. There are thousands of different opinions here. Use common sense. Tree branches are great and also a bale of hay. They love pecking, so some scratch now and then. I give mine some every morning in the run so it keeps them busy till I let them out to free range. Also, you can shred a cabbage for them. Lots of people hang the head of cabbage from a rope, but mine seem to think it's too much work. I still do it at times, but they love the shredded cabbage.
    Is the floor cement? Shavings or hay for bedding will do.
     
  10. greymane

    greymane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] from the Finger Lakes of New York! Happy to have you aboard!

    [​IMG]
     

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