Looking for information!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tiggirl, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. tiggirl

    tiggirl In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    Toms River, NJ
    Hello everyone. We are looking into purchasing our own baby chickens, to raise for eggs and for the experience for our children. We want to have all the research done, so that we are well informed, ad we are so very excited to begin.
    I grew up with horses and goats and miss it...and we want the experience for our children plus begin a healthier lifestyle.

    Biggest question:
    Question 1:
    Where do we begin?
    We've watched so many YouTube videos etc, but are finding out that the best way is through having mentors to help out and having others with experience to guide us.
    We are located in the Toms River area of NJ. We don't have a ton of property but enough and have already looked into zoning etc and we are ok.
    Question 2: What type of chicken would be best for a family atmosphere if we want to have affectionate chicks that we can handle? We want the best experience for our family. And we are animal lovers.

    Question 3: When purchasing babies, when is the best time and how long do they remain indoors, etc? Hand fed?

    Question 4: When is the right time to put them outside and what types of concerns should we have in our area (hawks, raccoons, cats and other predators)?

    Question 5: What is the best type of Hen house and enclosure?

    Question 6: Finally, Where to buy our baby chicks?
    If anyone knows of any reputable places, locally, to purchase that would be great. Any information that a help us is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    Question 1. Start by checking out the Learning Center of this forum.

    Question 2. Start with vent sexed chicks from a hatchery. Choose a variety of breeds. This way, you can get a feel for what you like and what you don't like. Breeds that tend to be gentle and docile are Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Cochins, and Silkies.

    Question 3. You can purchase chicks at anytime of the year. Just make sure the coop is built first. You can brood chicks right in the coop if you have a way to provide power to it. Chicks need access to a heat source until they are fully feathered in, which takes about 4 to 6 weeks. I prefer to use the heating pad method of brooding. https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update
    Chicks do need to have access to chick starter feed all day long. Treats should be kept to a minimum while they are young and rapidly growing.

    Question 4. The most import thing is to have a secure coop. It's a lot more cost effective to build a secure coop than it is to have a completely predator proof run.

    Question 5. The best kind of coop is one that has ample room for the flock, well ventilated, and is secure. Generally, you need at least 4 sq ft of floor space per bird, and at least 1 foot of roosting space per bird. You need about 1 nest box per 4 hens. You will also need an outdoor run that provides a minimum of 10 sq ft per bird. Chicken wire will not keep predators out. Welded wire is a sturdy material for fencing the flock in.

    Question 6. Hatcheries and feed stores are the most common places to purchase chicks. Feed stores usually only have chicks in the spring and summer, and you can't be sure that the employees actually know what they are selling. Hatcheries usually have chicks year round, and will ship newly hatched chicks. I recommend Cackle hatchery, Meyer Hatchery, or MyPetChicken.com All will do small orders and have a lot of breeds to choose from.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Hello,
    First off Buy your Chicks from a Hatchery...And a local one....You will want your Chicks to not have to travel too far...Only get the chicks vaccinated for Mereks and feed medicated feed till 8 weeks old...
    The friendliest Birds are Orpington, Speckled Sussex, Brahma and Barred Rock...Only mentioned these because I have them..Very docile and happy birds...
    Order your chicks around the first of April if your in a cooler climate? Have the brooder set up and ready for the chicks arrival..
    Heat lamp will be needed unless you use another heat source...Keep them in till feathered or if coop is ready put them out at two weeks with a heat lamp..They will either cuddle under the heat or move away from it if too hot..
    I never free range my Chicks till they are around 7 weeks old...They go through a flighty stage as young chicks...
    The bigger the Coop and run the better...Have proper ventilation..Make it totally predator proof...Hard ware cloth on the run..Completely enclose it and bury the wire about 12 inches all the way around the bottom on the outside of the run.

    If I missed anything ask again..

  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Great advice above.

    Just an observation, but getting point of lay pullets would make the chicken-keeping learning curve more gentle. Chicks could then be planned for in Spring and by that time you will have had a chance to iron out any glitches and gained some experience.
  5. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    Some friendly breeds that I've had experience with are Blue Copper Marans hens and Buff Brahmas. They are both extremely friendly and come right up to me and let me hold them when I come outside. As for what predators are in your area, I live in Michigan so we're not super close but not that far form NJ either so I would imagine that we would have the same types of predators such as Hawks, raccoons, opossums, coyotes. Some of the best ways to prevent predators from getting your birds are

    1. Have a coverd run and have the fence buried deep underground.
    2. Have a door on your coop. That way of a predator does manage to get into your run then your birds will be safe in the coop behind shut door.
    3. Set up a trail camera by your coop so if they get visited by a predatory you'll know it's out there and can do something about it.

  6. tiggirl

    tiggirl In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    Toms River, NJ
    Thank you all, so much. So I guess we'll be preparing our coop and run through the winter and waiting for closer to spring for our chicks. Then I'm sure you'll see me on here constantly with questions. Hahaha!
  7. Yeah....Lots to learn, but Chickens are easy...

    Until spring then...

  8. tiggirl

    tiggirl In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    Toms River, NJ
    Hello everyone. Still doing our research. How much does it normally run to have someone do the vaccinations for maraks in the baby checks when we do purchase them?
  9. Generally it is a flat fee of $12 for the entire order....

  10. tiggirl

    tiggirl In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    Toms River, NJ
    So I inject the baby chicks myself with the vaccine?
    And also what other viruses do we need to worry about. I read of cocci as well which comes from them ingesting dirt?

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