If you could give a new chick/en owner advice, what would it be?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SoORchick73, May 15, 2011.

  1. SoORchick73

    SoORchick73 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    I am spending several hours a day reading on this site and learning SO MUCH. However, I feel like each of you may have a favorite pearl of wisdom you could pass on. What would that be? I am one week 2 days into this, with chicks in my kitchen and a 90% complete chicken coop in my back yard. I would love to learn more from you all, in a way that I feel you are talking directly to me, instead of browsing through old posts or hitting up the search engine. [​IMG]
  2. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 23, 2010
    Eastern Shore, VA
    Well I hate to start it off on a downer, but one thing I can say is if you are going to be buying/hatching/raising chicks, there will come a time when you will lose one or two and you need to not beat yourself up over it because it's just nature a lot of the time. Before I got chicks people told me to buy a few more than I wanted, because I will likely lose some, well I lost none and thought "Oh they must have been doing something wrong" but the next time I had chicks, I lost two [​IMG] There was no apparent reason, but I of course blamed myself. It can be very discouraging to people new to chickens but I really think it just happens to everyone once and while.
    And on a lighter note, chickens are addicting so keep lumber handy for coop additions.
  3. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Hi and welcome!
    Glad to hear your coop is almost done, because those babies grow up fast!. I guess two important things for the coop would be adequate ventilation, and make your coop and run predator proof. Use hardware cloth, not chicken wire, unless you have a livestock guardian dog out 24/7. Oh, and if you buy new birds, be sure to isolate them, in a different 'air' space, for at least 30 days prior to introducing them to the flock. Those would be my top 3 'pearls' of advice. I'm sure others will have much to add, though. Lots of great people on here with so much knowledge [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  4. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    The fact that your chicks are only 2 weeks old and you coop is 90% done tells me that you've done better that a lot of us. [​IMG] You will see a lot of posts where someone is panicing beause the coop is not finished and there are 6 week old chicks living in the kitchen.

    If I had one pearl of wisdom to share it would be about predator proofing any area your chickens use. Is seems everything will try for a chicken dinner if it thinks it has a chance. Identify what is in your area and prepare accordingly. My battle has been with hawks. Dogs, cats, minks, weasles, raccoons, opossums, skunks, coyotes, foxes, hawks, eagles, bobcats and rats are some of the predators BYCers battle everyday. Even bluejays and crows will eat chicks if given the opportunity (although they do help keep the hawks away).
    Last edited: May 15, 2011
  5. flowerhippie

    flowerhippie Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2011
    The loving of the little peeps are a fast process the grow quick, take allot of pictures and maybe you could enter a photo contest. When I get a new flock every 2 to 3 years I consider the breed and what I want from them? color or production, heavy breeds will consume more food rations than smaller breeds like a dependable leghorn. I also look at our economy what is the price for feed and bedding ? How many egg's do I need a day? If I have people who will regularly purchase eggs from me how many do I have to sell to help buy the feed. If I want a dependable hen that gives me eggs how many eggs will she give me in a cycle in the year, Look at the breed chart in the back yard home page this will give you a good idea of how you want your flock to please you in the long run.. Consider molting time and the electricity when the days get dark and you need to supplement the sun for a red light to give them 16 hours of light. If you don't have a good poultry book I would look for one at the library, there are quite a few, find the one that suits you and then purchase one like it. The good husbandry of maintaining a flock is a chore and you will be best to start out with a small number of baby's they are really cute but remember they grow up and this can become overwhelming. I have had chickens and have had a lot of mishaps and a lot of really pleasing days. The most discouraging is when the predators of the wild come for a meal. It is only hard because they did not ask first. But I am pleased to give in need!
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    My only advice would be to build your coop at least twice as big as you THINK you want it...oh, and read up on "chicken math" 'cause it's gonna getcha sooner or later!
  7. Mama Austranought

    Mama Austranought Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2011
    Western Australia
    I don't know much but I've learnt this:
    Save the treats until bedtime, then, call out to them "took took" or smething similar (so long as it is the same thing every day) and bang the bowl to get their attention. Put the treats in the coop and the hens will run into the coop all by themself! Saves one huge job running around [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] catching chooks to pen up for the night - if thats how you plan to run it.. [​IMG] Also always keep fresh water available to them - lack of water for even one day will disturb their laying. Hens are as friendly as you make them - they love having their wattles stroked and someone even said it promotes egglaying!!! Don't substitute cheaper feed for quailty. We use quality feed with household scraps and it definitly makes a diference to the egglaying, feathering and health of the birds.
  8. DancingHen

    DancingHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    Quote:Yup, this would be my advice too! Have plenty of extra space, because once you live with with chickens you just can't live without them![​IMG] You will eventually want more. Also, my other advice would be to take at least 10 to 15 minutes each day to just sit quietly with your flock. This is not only a great way to lower your blood pressure, but it also allows you to observe the normal activities of the flock. That way you will notice sooner if something is wrong, or someone is sick. Plus, there is nothing more relaxing than the happy sounds and activities of a bunch of happy hens.

    Welcome to the forum [​IMG] and enjoy your chickens.
  9. smcjoj3

    smcjoj3 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 10, 2011
    Rocky Point NC
    Yep. I have the same advice as the others! have lots of lumber...prepare to make the coop 2x as big as you think you need it. We ended have waay more chicks than we thought we'd have. My husband had to disassemble the original coop and do a rebuild to make it larger. Needless to say, it took longer than we planned to build it...and I had 8 wk old 'chicks' still living in the house. So get a early start on the coop and make it big! [​IMG]
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My top suggestion is to remember that we are all different with different goals, conditions, and set-ups. Remember that when you see advice on here. Try to understand if what you are reading applies to your situation.

    My second suggestion is to realize that the suggestions on here are guidelines, not laws of nature. Our suggestions or recommendations do not guarantee success if you follow them, nor does failure to follow them guarantee failure. Their intent is to improve your odds of success, not guarantee anything. Chickens are pretty tough adaptable creatures. As long as you give them food, water, shelter, and protection from predators, you will probably do pretty well.

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