Looking to start raising chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Barnesfarm, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. Barnesfarm

    Barnesfarm New Egg

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    Hello

    I'm new at chicken knowledge.... I'm looking at good ways to make a cheap coop on the side of a little shed I have. I am not sure what I want to raise just yet. I'm looking for all the insight I can get. I'm deployed right now but as soon as I get home in a couple months I would love to get started.. Thank you any help welcomed!!
     
  2. SkyWorld

    SkyWorld Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did my coop on the cheep, because my DH wasn't to keen on the idea of chickens in the backyard. If you have someone who can help you to start collecting wood boards, cabinet doors, windows, concrete blocks, bookcase anything that you can get for free that would work for your coop idea. Explore the coop designs and get an idea of how many chickens you want then make the coop bigger. I have six chickens and my coop is just big enough at 3 feet by 4 feet and 4 feet high. I wish I had made it a bit bigger.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Have fun and post pictures.[​IMG] P.S. My DH loves the girls and spoils them more than I do.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2014
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. I'm glad you decided to join our flock. There are some good quick reference charts at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf, http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx, and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html for researching the various breeds. Also Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you select the best breed for you. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." I would personally recommend Black Sex Links (Black Stars), which are hardy and friendly, egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids) and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your flock.
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 on Michael's advice. Buff orpingtons are my favorite breed. Super affectionate and good layers.
     
  5. CrazyChookz

    CrazyChookz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flock and Happy New Year! [​IMG]
     
  6. Barnesfarm

    Barnesfarm New Egg

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    Ya I'm hoping that I can find wood and fence some place for cheap or free.. Also I have a you d daughter so this is kinda a way to teach her responsibility and how to care for things!!! I'm a mean dad I know lol. But my goal is to have about 15 to 20 chickens because my family is going in on feed for them to get eggs.. Thanks for all the fast replies really appreciate it!!
     
  7. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC and thank you for your service! You and your daughter will have fun with the chickens. Taking care of animals is a great way of teaching kids so much and it can become a life-long love they can continue throughout their lives.

    With wanting 15-20 chickens for eggs, you'll have a flock similar in size to ours (we have 16). We're getting on average about a dozen eggs per day, plenty for us plus the neighbors.

    If you find yourself unsure about which breed to go with, try a mixed flock. It's interesting to see the differences in breeds (temperaments, appearance, eggs, etc.).

    Good luck to you and nice to have you join!
     
  8. Barnesfarm

    Barnesfarm New Egg

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    Thank you and glad to serve.. Been 9 months so far in Afghanistan and Kuwait getting ready for home!!! Ready to just settle down and start a flock... What is a good place to get chicks that are hardy in winter?
     
  9. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

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    There are several ways to get your chicks and like most other things, everyone has their opinion about which way is best.

    When we were starting out, we went through Craigslist and that was a bad experience for us (they weren't the healthiest, we lost 4 out of 7 in a two week period plus the seller misrepresented the breed and age).

    For our last batch of chicks we decided to deal with a hatchery and looked for one that would meet certain criteria (availability of breeds, shipping distance & costs, the businesses reputation, etc.). We ended up going through Murray McMurray and were very pleased with the chicks we got. Members here have used other hatcheries such as Ideal, Meyers, MyPetChicken, Cackle and others.

    Some members want to buy birds from a more local source and you can find out what is available from other members by going to your state thread and posting: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread

    BYC also has a buy-sell-trade forum you can use once you have 20 posts:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/67/buy-sell-trade

    Hope this helps get you started.
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    People use wooden pallets, often warehouses and businesses just dump them at the side of their property. Often they are free to anyone who will remove them.

    A lot of members also get low cost or free items by cruising around on garbage pick up days. Packing crates that large appliances can from make a good start for a coop, discarded fencing, or thrown out dog run panels are other great finds. Check out Craig's list in your area for items you can use. Often people are getting rid of chickens along with the coop.
     

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