Lord help me, I'm a chicken farmer.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by tamsenita, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. tamsenita

    tamsenita Hatching

    Jul 20, 2010
    Hello all!

    My guy and I have just moved from Las Vegas to the middle of rural Oklahoma. I'm excited about my garden and decided that I'd like some chickens as well. I've got a couple of books I've been reading through, have a nice little area with a chicken coop, and have just finished the brooder. Just placed my first order for baby chickens, and have a few questions for the experienced pros =].

    1) What do you really wish you'd known or wish someone would have told you when you first started out?
    2) I've purchased Dominiques - are they a pretty easy-going kind of bird, temperament-wise? Any thoughts about them as a breed?

    Thanks all! I appreciate all the info I've already gotten from this site.


  2. Amyable

    Amyable Songster 9 Years

    Dec 16, 2008
    Greenleaf, WI
    [​IMG] from WI!

    Vegas to Oklahoma, that's quite the scenery change [​IMG] I've heard good things about Doms, would like some myself someday.

    Hmm, I wish someone would have told me how tricky it can be to regulate brooder temp with a heat lamp, my poor chicks were panting one day, chilly the next [​IMG] I also wasn't prepared for their antics - chickens are great! Good luck with your flock!!
  3. Mother of All

    Mother of All Songster

    May 3, 2010
    I have a couple of Dominique's, they are just starting to lay but so far I have enjoyed having they in my flock. They do like to fly so make sure when the time come you clip there wings if you are going to want them to free range but stay with in a fenced area. enjoy and have fun. [​IMG]
  4. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Read, read, read...everything you can on this site about raising chicks, illnesses etc, predators, how to's, coop and run sizes. If you have a specific topic you can type it into the search box (upper right hand corner of page) and it will bring up past discussions. Know in advance how much space you need per chicken in the coop and run (4 sq ft per bird in the run, 10 sq ft per bird in run) you can get away with smaller sq ft in run if you free range your birds. Don't overcrowd them, that leads to all kinds of issues with disease, pecking each other, and other unwanted behaviors. Knowledge is your friend and can keep you from losing birds due to ignorance! Hace fun with your chickens!
  5. HBuehler

    HBuehler Songster

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    Go ahead and find your nearest addiction center NOW Chances are they won't list "chickens" as one of the addictions they help with though so it goes like this
    "Hi My name is...I'm a chicken addict.It started with the very first fuzzy butt..now I can't stop"
    Second bit of advice...begin the second brooder and coop now so it will be finished when the next chicks get there..it will never be big enough [​IMG]
    There is no bad breed of chickens to own so try several and see what work for you.I don't want to count how many we have had here until finding just the right ones that work for our needs.
  6. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Welcome to the forums tamsenita.

    The BackyardChickens 12 step program holds daily sessions for those afflicted with the addiction.

    Come on in pull up a chair and further your addiction.

    What's that you thought we would help you cure your addiction?

    Nope, sorry, the 12th step in our program is fill the 'bator again
  7. JMPE

    JMPE Songster

    Aug 1, 2009
    Western Wisconsin
    I do not have Dominiques at this point, but my understanding is that they are a great traditional dual purpose breed. My friend's hens are wonderful... calm and beautiful. Her Dom rooster was a problem (great flock protector, but too agressive towards the family). He ended up at freezer camp.

    I have a little flock of hens. They are easy to care for, fun to watch and interact with (we spend a lot of time sitting out in the yard watching the chickens free-range... add a few beers and it's a party) [​IMG]

    My advise is to think through what's easiest for you in terms of care and cleaning. I build a PVC feeder that fills from outside the coop and lasts my girls for day. I have a nipple waterer that is the same way. Of course I'm out there everyday collecting eggs and visiting my girls, but we can leave for the weekend and know that they are safe. For longer trips, the design makes it easy for someone to stop by and check on things. Our coop and run is extremely secure and we only free-range when we're around. I have a few tricky parts to clean that I wish I had done differently.

    BYC is great. You can find it all right here and the people are wonderful! Good luck.
  8. my3chickens

    my3chickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    WELCOME!! As everyone has said be prepared to become an addict. This site has all the information you could ever ask for and everyone is so friendly and helpful.

    Enjoy your chickens and your new home, they will bring you alot of laughter and stress relief!!
  9. my3chickens

    my3chickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2010
    Oops, ALSO my biggest complaint is having to clean the waterer so frequently!! So get your chicks used to a nipple waterer or something similar while they're young. Good Luck!!
  10. Quote:[​IMG]

    After going thru the 12 steps, then you get introduced to Chicken Math! Chicken Math, unlike regular math, is FUN!

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