"Must-Haves" for the Beginner

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Breifne, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. Breifne

    Breifne Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 23, 2011
    Connemara, Ireland
    Hey, guys...

    Our coop / run will be in-place by this upcoming weekend, and we'll bringing our five hens home the following Tuesday. In the meantime, I want to be sure I have acquired all the essential items to get started...from a feeder to the right pellets for POL hens to diatomaceous earth and any other poultry health items.

    This is the place to ask, so please make a list of the items I need to have when we bring the birds home.


    ~ ryan
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    How exciting! I have a very short list. This is for adult chickens, since you said you were going to be getting hens.

    1. A well designed and built coop.

    2. Something to hold chicken feed. I like those feeders that have the spokes in the tray, to keep them from billing out their feed. Really, they'll eat out of anything. Sometimes mine eat out of a spare bowl.

    3. The appropriate chicken feed for their age.

    4. Something to hold water. Again, they'll drink out of anything.

    5. If you live where it's freezing, I like something that keeps the water heated, instead of frozen.

    I wouldn't worry about stocking up on a lot of medical supplies ahead of time, that you won't need. I have a tube of Neosporin without pain relief in the bathroom cabinet, in case they ever have some minor wound. I think I've used that once in the last 5 years.

    This isn't necessary, but I also like to give some sort of treat. This could be scratch or something else. For just a few hens, a little hulled sunflower seed is usually like crack to them. If they learn what your treat container looks like and get used to occasionally getting treats, it's a great management tool. You can lure them anywhere, whenever you need to. Luring them is a much easier way to move them than trying to drive them or catch them. It also makes them like you. [​IMG]

    I also like them to have green feed at least sometimes. If they can free range part of the time, they'll take care of it themselves. Grass, chard, kale, clover, alfalfa leaves, wheat grass, anything like that is good for them. I think they're just healthier if they have that.

    I hope you enjoy your chickens!
  3. ontimeborzoi

    ontimeborzoi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2008
    Northern Neck of Va
    Books. Reference books on husbandry.
  4. Breifne

    Breifne Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 23, 2011
    Connemara, Ireland
    Quote:Already have Keeping Chickens for Dummies on the way! [​IMG]
  5. Breifne

    Breifne Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 23, 2011
    Connemara, Ireland
    Thanks for that very helpful information, WoodlandWoman! More advice from others would be greatly appreciated...
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    A camera so you can share your adventures with your new chickens! [​IMG]

    - Grit (ground up gravel to aid in digestion)
    - Treats to get them used to you. Mine really like fruits and veggies, as well as oatmeal.
    - I would suggest crumble instead of pellets. Especially if you have any smaller hens. The pellets are less waste, but more expensive here.
    - Bedding. Straw works, but the best is pine shavings. Don't get it from the pet store, you will spend a fortune!
  7. Minniechickmama

    Minniechickmama Senora Pollo Loco

    Sep 4, 2009

    Also, a can of Blu Kote spray, just in case someone gets bleeding and it will keep the others from pecking her to a bloody pulp.
  8. ThePigeonKid

    ThePigeonKid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    Ohio - Chickens 3yrs
    Blood Stop Powder
  9. littlethorn

    littlethorn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2009
    Northern California

    This and the Blu Kote. You need a way to deter picking on each other or you can end up with unpleasant experiences that might make keeping them not so fun.
  10. It stays pretty wet in Galway. Can you get oxine there? I would consider a 30 minute fogging of oxine once a week in the evenings to stop the mold spores from growing, you can use a standard low priced humidifier. put just a bit of scratch on the floor of the coop everyday also so the hens will keep the litter stirred up to help keep it dry as well.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens [​IMG] Cead Mile Failte
    the oxine mix ratio is on my BYC page BTW
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012

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