New and Contemplating a Hoard of Egg Layers

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by RaeMarie23, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. RaeMarie23

    RaeMarie23 New Egg

    Aug 8, 2013
    Elko, NV
    My husband has mentioned before about getting chickens to teach our son responsibility when he's older. Set him up to take care and tend the chickens and then possibly sell any excess eggs for a buck a dozen or something along those lines. He's only about 16 months now so he wouldn't be able to actively take care of them for a couple of years. I'm wondering if we should perhaps get chickens sooner than that and get them a little more established so its an easy transition for him to take over. I mean, he'd end up being in charge of watering, feeding and helping clean their coop and whatnot as well as harvesting the eggs. I've been doing some reading and I know it says they can mature to egg laying status in just a few months, some starting as early as 16 weeks or so. We live in a rural community sort of area so we'd be ordering the chicks online from someone when the time comes. I think I've kinda settled on Murray McMurray's Hatchery and have been looking at the Black and Red Stars as they're said to have gentle and calmer dispositions as well as being great egg layers.

    I guess the main question/request I have to go along with this little intro is if anyone thinks this is a good idea. And if so, do you think starting things up sooner is the best way to go? And if so again, how much sooner should we go? Is it something we should start up soon while the weather is still warm or perhaps wait until next summer? Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated.

  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    It might depend on where you live. If your winter climate is mild you could start any time.
    Plan on 5 months for egg laying to begin. Autumn chicks will start laying late winter/early spring. However taking care of chickens in harsh winter weather isn't always fun. The main task is keeping water thawed. Chicks hatched by October will be big enough to handle winter weather.

    If you're also doing it for income, you'll need lots of chickens to break even.
  4. RaeMarie23

    RaeMarie23 New Egg

    Aug 8, 2013
    Elko, NV
    Our weather seems to vary anymore. Some winters are horrible and some are so mild it doesn't even feel like winter. It does get pretty cold though so I could see the water freezing being an issue but I think we'd look into a heater to keep it from freezing?

    And we wouldn't be worried about making an income exactly. It'd be more of a way for our son to learn to save the money he makes doing something as well as learning the responsibility of taking care of something. I'm just thinking we want the chickens to be a little older and at a stage where he doesn't have to do the main raising so I'm trying to figure out the best time for starting up the flock.

    We live in a county area and I'm not entirely sure on the limits but I'm pretty sure we can have as many as we think we can handle and we live on 2.5 acres so the starting order of 15 pullets is probably what we'd go with.
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, RaeMarie23, and :welcome! Pleased you joined us! I think it's a great idea! I wouldn't get them too much sooner than your son would be old enough to take care of them. Chickens lay throughout their lives but productivity decreases with age. I'd order them in the spring of the year you think he is old enough to care for them. Good luck to you!
  6. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! I agree with redsoxs, good luck to you!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] I agree with Redsoxs - chickens aren't very productive when they get older - even if you bought day old now, it will probably be 3-4 years at least until you son can care for them.

    Chicks you get now, will be over the hill by then.
  8. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] I agree with the above. What you can do now is learn as much as you can about chicken keeping, read about the breeds etc, maybe get the coop planned and maybe get some chickens for yourself, to raise and learn with. Then, as your son gets older you can introduce him to the hobby, get him interested etc. I can't say at what age he'll be ready, it's different for each child. I have seen kids from quite young ages (5+) getting interested in chickens and wanting to be part of the raising, feeding, egg collecting etc. My own son grew up around chickens and he's taken a keen interest from a very young age. I'd say take it slow, build up to something over time.
  9. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2013
    You've been given good advice so I'll just say welcome to the site and best of luck!
  10. Mr MKK FARMS

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by