Joined today. I am just starting the process of figuring out how to raise chickens.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by gr8athearts, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. gr8athearts

    gr8athearts Out Of The Brooder

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  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  3. mj932

    mj932 New Egg

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    @gr8athearts - There is lots of good advice on this forum, but there are some important things you should know before you start that I must have missed somewhere. So after my first year I have a few more things to share for those considering chicken-raising.

    1. Chicken tractors will ruin your yard. Specifically, the chickens in the tractor will ruin your yard. Their scratching when concentrated becomes digging, so even though I move the tractor every single day and only have two chickens my yard is now pockmarked with bare earth and mini-craters. They like to dig deeply enough to get their whole body hunkered down in the hole, so it's rather hazardous to walk,especially in the dark, until I fill the holes. I'm not a lawn freak, but I'm not wild about the mud and dirt this engenders.

    2. Don't believe everything the feed guys tell you. They swore all their Golden Comet chicks were pullets. When one of mine became more and more yellow they still insisted it was a pullet. Wrong. Petunia was Pete, and I had to replace him after his maleness became indisputable. Raising chicks is fun but demanding work, so if you do raise chicks and can't keep roosters, be as sure as is possible that your chicks are correctly sexed (research for yourself).

    3. Raising the chicks yourself or getting hand-raised chicks usually results in a more docile bird. I replaced Pete with an easter egger who was literally raised in a barn. I thought at only one month old I could tame her with time and patience. Eight months later she is still scared of me and can't be trusted outside the coop.

    4. Guides about hybrid breeds (or probably any breed) are not bibles. I researched to get the quietest birds I could, since I live in a residential neighborhood. I read in books and online and was told (by the feed guys) that Golden Comets are really quiet. Mine is so loud you can hear her all over the neighborhood when she starts up. TG it's not all day.

    5. If you want eggs, yes, it's cool that easter eggers can lay green or blue eggs. But they don't lay as often and you might not get blue or green. My easter egger lays brown eggs that are barely distinguishable from the Golden Comet's. So not only is she irregular in her egg-laying (often one on, one off) but also her eggs are nothing special and are even a little smaller. She is very pretty, though, and brave with the dog's playfulness and hawks that come sit on their tractor.

    6. You will be getting up at dawn to let them out of the coop unless you can afford one of the automatic door openers. The girls are very loud if you don't let them out when they are ready, which will make you sooooo popular with neighbors on Sunday. You have to shut them up securely at night because there are many creatures besides humans that love to eat chicken, even in the city limits.

    7. Last and not least important, make sure you have a reliable, supportive neighbor who will take over chicken duties for you if you want to go anywhere overnight. It's tough to find a boarding kennel for chickens, and it would probably scare them to be away from home anyway. And to keep that supportive neighbor supportive make sure you have a layer you can count on to keep them supplied with eggs as well. My GC has been laying all winter (in Florida, to be fair) without fail, so I'm still good. The EE quit for a month.

    I'm still glad I've had this experience, and I love my girls, but I thought this might head off some of the Craigslist ads I've been seeing from people who regretted getting chickens. Best of luck to those who persist!
     
    2 people like this.
  4. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, vacations are definatly very difficult to take! I have golden buffs and they are very quiet. My neighbors didn't even know I had them until I told them. :). You r very right tho, it does take time n patience to have chickens so enter into it knowing it's not always just fun.
     
  5. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And to add to that, I want for the sex links cuz I very very much didn't want a rooster! ;-)
     
  6. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Super to have you here! I think with proper research and preparation you can head off many of the concerns mentioned by mj932. Good luck to you and I hope you have a successful poultry experience!
     
  7. dolphinlvr4

    dolphinlvr4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Redsoxs, I have friends in Kansas n it sure is pretty there. :)
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  9. gr8athearts

    gr8athearts Out Of The Brooder

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    I want to buy a beginner book. I know close to nothing about this chicken thing. Any recommendations on a book?
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Funny you should ask - there are Dummies Books for Raising Chickens, Building Coops, and the very newest, for Chicken Health.

    You can find them on Amazon, or buy them here in BYC, in the BYC Store. Make sure one of the authors is Rob Ludlow, AKA Nifty-Chicken and owner of BYC.

    They're great books! I've had the first two for years, and just bought the third.
     

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