New and in need of information

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by nursepinch, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. nursepinch

    nursepinch In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2011
    Hi. I'm doing research on keeping a few backyard chickens in a chicken tractor. My goals are to gather a few eggs and collect chicken manure for the garden. I've been reading and researching books and online sites and have pretty much come to the conclusion that I want to do this.

    I still need to talk to several neighbors to be sure I won't cause a neighborhood problem. The few I've already spoken to are perfectly fine with it. They tell me there were some bylaws and covenants for the subdivision, however, it's more than 25 years old and I never received a copy of it when I bought the house 4 years ago. My lot is just under 1/2 acre. We're in Madison County in north central Alabama.

    I've read about different breeds and I know I want productive egg layers that lay large eggs. I don't care what color the eggs are. But I want hens that are fairly docile and not tending toward broodiness. I got some great information on this website comparing the many different breeds. I'm particularly taken with the Plymouth Barred Rock, the Rhode Island Red, the Delaware, the Australorp, and the White Leghorn. But I only want 3 hens at most. (I think.)

    I think we have owls and hawks around here and I know we have foxes, raccoons, and coyotes so my plan is to mainly keep them in a run that is totally covered with 1/2" wire mesh with an attached coop for roosting and nesting. Do hawks hunt during the daytime or would I be safe to let the chickens roam in the garden during the day?

    One thing I seem to be having a hard time with is finding a place to buy hens. I can find lots of places where I can buy chicks but I'm a little nervous about raising chicks from baby stage. I'd rather buy pullets or 1-2 year old hens that are established. Where do people advertise when they have chickens for sale?

    Well, nice to meet you all. Hope your chickens are all happy and healthy.

  2. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chirping

    Jun 11, 2011
    Check the bulletin board at your local farm supply store or ask around at your Farmer's Market. Alternatively, check Craig's List. I purchased a coop off Ebay & the gentleman brought me six 15+week-old pullets along with the coop (from Conneticut to NC!). I have Golden Comets (sex-linked hybrids). Have 5 laying hens - one died [​IMG] - and four 12-week old pullets I purchased from TSC. Love them. Almost every day, I get 5 large brown eggs. These hens don't go broody at all. And, my girls are all sweet. Oh, they have their pecking order, but they can all be held & eat from my hand.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  3. Cadjien_De_Louisiane

    Cadjien_De_Louisiane SWLA Gamefowl Breeder

    Apr 18, 2011
    Welsh, LA
    Hello [​IMG]. I just got back from vacation we went to friends of the family in Huntsville..
    Glad you joined us.
  4. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from S. Florida! Glad you joined us! [​IMG] You may be able to find some pullets near egg laying stage, check your feed store. Try Craigslist as well. Also check on here too! [​IMG] Lots of people have chickens to sell. I, personally love the Barred Rocks, they lay well, and are really sweet too. Have fun chosing!
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. Yes, hawks hunt during the daytime, that's how I lost one of my Barred Rocks earlier this year. That's why I now have a good rooster, otherwise you'll have to supervise them while they're out in your garden. Perhaps you can find a swap meet near you in the "Swap Meet" section part of this site. Be careful what you purchase and keep biosecurity in mind if you happen to run across any birds you'd like to buy. There's also a "For sale" section here as well, you might get lucky and find someone selling chickens near you in that section of the forum. Good luck.
  6. benjoycei

    benjoycei Songster

    Mar 4, 2011
    Hi from NC [​IMG]
  7. nursepinch

    nursepinch In the Brooder

    Jun 29, 2011
    Wow thank you all for the warm welcome. You've given me some great information and ideas. Looking forward to picking all of your brains for good information.

  8. jtbrown

    jtbrown Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    [​IMG]. The farm store has been good on advice too, just research after you've been advised. Also they may know the person who posted, you can make sure you have best chance of healthy stock, not spent, worn out layers, etc.
  9. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from Ohio. So glad you joined. [​IMG]
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop

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