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Need some guidance

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Frosty29, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. Frosty29

    Frosty29 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everyone, I'm new here and I need some guidance so I can be steered in the right direction.

    I live in a suburban neighborhood on a 1/4 acre lot. My house sits in the middle and I have a relatively small back yard. I would like some chickens for eggs. I don't want a large hutch and want something rat proof. My first thought is a chicken tractor and some bantams. I figured it would be easy to move around and will keep them secure. I have raccoons and Hawks in my neighborhood.

    Are the larger breeds much harder to keep? What would you recommend?

    Is a rooster out of the equation in a neighborhood setting? I read they will protect the hens which I like.

    What is the best kind of coop and enclosure for a small backyard?

    Thanks,
    Billy
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Given your criteria and situation, I would suggest going with one of the standard sized breeds (for egg purposes) that has a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle (and relatively quiet as chickens go) such as Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, or Faverolles (all of these breeds are good layers and Australorps are exceptional). Brahmas are probably the quietest standard breeds I've had in 50 years of raising chickens, but keep in mind that there can always be an exception with any breed. Definitely do not get a rooster in your neighborhood. Not only are they overrated as hen protectors (the rooster is just as likely to fall prey to a predator as the hens), but you will definitely get complaints from your neighbors about the crowing. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Water Under the Bridge Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  4. Frosty29

    Frosty29 Out Of The Brooder

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    My friend built the Purina coop and it seems pretty nice. Are there any other plans that are easy to build? My cousin had Buff Orpingtons and I liked those a lot.

    How many chickens would you recommend me getting?
     
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined our community!

    There are many good coop plans that are easy to build, or you can make up your own plan. I'd check out the coop page and see if there are any coops that catch your interest: Chicken Coop Plans Or, you could post some questions in the Coops thread: Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance

    As for how many chickens you should get, that will depend on how many eggs you want and how large your coop will be. Keep in mind that each standard sized chicken should have 3-4 square feet of indoor coop space. You'll also need one nest box in the coop for roughly every four hens. During the summer, many birds will lay 5-7 eggs a week each, especially if they're one of the more productive breeds/hybrids (Sex-links, leghorns, Australorps, etc.). In the winter, egg production will slow down or even stop unless you provide supplemental lighting (14 + hours of light a day is best). Also, most birds will molt for 1-3 months each year, during which time they don't lay.

    As long as you can prevent overcrowding and take care of them well, there really is no such thing as too many chickens. [​IMG] I would, however, caution against getting only 2-3 hens, as chickens are social creatures. If you have two hens and one dies, you'll have one lonely bird remaining. If you have three hens and one dies, you'll be left with a pair that is at risk of eventually resulting in a single hen. I'd recommend at least four hens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2015
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Flock Master Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    you may want to check out the coops section for ideas, different sizes and types. A tractor is more likely to be overturned by predators or they will dig up under them and get your birds. I think a permanent coop is best. If you are desiring eggs, generally 3 bantam eggs = one regular size egg. Also a good idea to peruse the predator threads.
     
  7. BDutch

    BDutch Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    Chicken tractors are in general to small to keep happy chickens. I started with one in combination with free range. But it wasn't save and the grass started too look awfull.

    Now I have a bigger coop and run that has mesh in the ground against predators. The chickens still may free range an hour or two when someone is home ( most days). I dont feel guilty if they have to stay in because the run is big enough. Experiencing both I would never recommend a tractor.

    Against rats you can use fine and strong mesh. Take the food out at night and be carefull if you ever have young chicks. I lost two young chicks because of a brown rat.

    I had a rooster by accident and I had to bring it back because my neigbours complained of the noise and I woke up too early every morning (spring).
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
  8. Frosty29

    Frosty29 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bantams are not out of the mix yet. I'm going to build a regular coop s d then decide what breed I want.
     
  9. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     

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