need some pointers.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by eclipse5161, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. eclipse5161

    eclipse5161 New Egg

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    Feb 29, 2012
    ok so i live in greenville sc and my wife and daughter took a trip to the flea market and came home with 2 baby chicks that they paid $5 for! it was a total impulse buy and i have no clue how to care for chickens. im the type of person to research pets and how to care for them before i buy them but im stuck researching after we bought them lol. i have now clue what kind of chickens we have now so if anyone can help me out with that.

    also being as i live in greenville sc when building a chicken coop is it necessary to have insulation? or would i be able to get by with out insulating the coop as long as i keep the draftyness to a minimum.when i purchased my home there was an old play house that i can convert into a coop but its sort of big for 2 chickens so i was thinking of tearing it apart and reusing the wood for a smaller coop that doesnt take up as much space in my back yard.

    they are eating the medicated chick feed now and i keep fresh water in the rubber maid tub they are staying in right now. i also have a heat light i had left over from when i use to keep turtles so they stay warm. me and my daughter hold them for about 10 minutes a few times a day to get them use to us but the bigger challange is getting our 4 small dogs to stop nipping at them lol. any advice would be greatly apreciated as im completly new to raising chickens and i want to do a good job at it.

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  2. featheredroots

    featheredroots Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2011
    Madisonville, KY
    Congratulations on your new chicks! Sounds like you're on the right track, but a good "how to book" would probably be great for someone who likes to research. My favorite is Chick Days by Jenna Woginrich, it covers all the basics for a new chicken owner.

    Chickens need a minimum of 4 sq ft per bird in the coop and 10 sq ft per bird for the run. If you don't plan on adding anymore chickens to your flock, I'd keep the coop as small as possible so they can generate enough heat to keep themselves warm. You could also use a brooder lamp in the coop on especially cold days/nights, instead of having to insulate.
     
  3. big mami

    big mami Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 15, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Well, the first thing I want to say is [​IMG] and welcome to the world of having chickens!

    Two chickens is the bare minimum (they are social creatures) but if they are not both female it might be a problem. Two males would fight (and no eggs!) and one male would "bother" one female too much. Since your playhouse is large for two, I'd recommend adding a couple more that are guaranteed to be female. You could get more at a feed store or online from a hatchery. But if you know these two are female, you're all set, and could make a smaller coop. I had two hens in a large rabbit hutch and they kept my family of three in eggs. But it's always better to have a slightly bigger coop and have room to grow - as long as you're taking care of 2 you might as well take care of 6 and have eggs to give away to the neighbors. Speaking of neighbors, you should check your local regulations and find out if you are allowed to have roosters. That might determine what happens if one or both turn out to be male...

    Sounds like you are doing fine with your initial setup, and be sure to read all the intro stuff on the BYC website "Learning Center" about how warm to keep them, etc. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    Do keep the dogs away! Dogs are unreliable around chickens of any age, and the risk is not worth the potential tragedy of killed chicks/chickens. When they're old enough to move out to their playhouse, fence in an outdoor "run" for them that keeps the dogs away.

    I'm sure you'll get a lot of responses and info from other folks, but there's my two cents. Have fun!
     
  4. eclipse5161

    eclipse5161 New Egg

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    Feb 29, 2012
    according to my wife the guy she bought them from told her they were both females. not sure how reliable that info is considering how young they are. with my experience keeping different types of pets over the years i understand it probably isnt very easy to tell whether they are male or female at this stage. so im hoping this guy is correct in saying they are both females.everything ive read about my cities chicken laws is as long as they dont disturb my neighbors with sound or smells it is fine to have roosters.

    ill try to take pics of the play house tomorrow or the next day, depending on my work schedule, its roughly a 4x6 building with around 5 foot from floor to ceiling to so im positive its big enough to house quite a few chickens lol. but my plan is to use it in some way for the coop and fence in my garden and a grassy area for the run. it will be plenty of space and i plan on getting a couple more chicks in the near future. on the garden thing is there anything i shouldnt plant in it if it will be part of the chickens run area?
     
  5. NestingHillsSC

    NestingHillsSC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live in Anderson, SC. I have 8 hens and a rooster. And just bought 6 chicks from tractor supply. I have them in my office in a very large dog kennel. Because of the computer this room stays around 80 all the time. No heat lamp. Not necessary at all. Had them since Monday. There doing great. I feed them starter/grower feed and water. That's it.

    Outside I have a 10x10 run built with PVC piping and chicken wire around it. I have a 4x5x5 hen house with exterior hen boxes. Going to have to add to the hen boxes to 6 here in a few months for the new ones. For the roosting poles I have 2 of them. So 10 feet of roosting. The hen house is built out of pickets from Lowes. With the thinest piece of paneling I can fine to line in interior. No need for insulation here. Doesn't get cold enough. You would be doing them more harm than good. I rather have fresh air coming in all the time than closing them up. Very bad for them. I have two vents on the side and 3/4 of the front which is a screen door. So they get plenty of fresh air. I will say that mine never ever go inside except to lay and roost at night. 18 degrees, windy rainy hot, doesn't matter, they stay outside. If I can figure how to get pictures from phone to here I will post pics of everything.

    My 8 hens lay 6-8 eggs everyday!! All through winter. They don't stop.

    Just remember, if you treat them as chickens, you will have wonderful healthy birds. If you over do it and treat them as an indoor pet, you will have sick unhealthy birds. That is my experience. No offense from the people here but it took me till my 3rd batch to get it right. When I stopped treating them as an indoor pet and took them for what they are, CHICKENS they are the greatest, most enjoyable animals I have ever had. I have sooo many eggs I don't know what to do with them all.
     
  6. Charrisse

    Charrisse Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2012
    Nashville, Indiana
    Im no chicken expert, I just got mine 3 weeks ago lol But your two look like the red sex link and black sex link chicks I got - I believe both good brown egg layers.
     
  7. pinkaliboo

    pinkaliboo Out Of The Brooder

    I am also far from an expert since I am also new at raising chickens but the chicks that I bought a month ago look alot like these and mine are a barred rock (the black one) and rhode island red (the yellow one gets dark red feathers if it is a RIR). My barred rock has the white spot on her head too, which I have been told is indicative of a barred rock. I bought the book, Raising Chickens for Dummies and it has given me alot of really useful info on raising chicks, along with spending hours on this website reading as much as possible about everything![​IMG] Good Luck!
     

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