"Must-Haves" for the Beginner


In the Brooder
8 Years
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


12 Years
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.

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!


8 Years
Aug 8, 2011
Shediac Cape NB, Canada
My Coop
My Coop
A camera so you can share your adventures with your new chickens!

- 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!


8 Years
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
Cead Mile Failte
the oxine mix ratio is on my BYC page BTW
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