New and looking for advice

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Lambert_family, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. Lambert_family

    Lambert_family New Egg

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    Aug 6, 2011
    Hi folks,

    My husband put the idea in my head about having chickens for eggs. I was initially opposed but have become more open to the idea (much to the chagrin of my daughter!). We live in Holiday, FL and it seems that it isn't within code to have chickens but.....here I am anyway. At the moment I am in a info gathering stage so I have a lot of questions I hope some of you will be willing to answer.

    1 - Are chickens really smelly? Yeah...I know silly question for chicken keepers but I need to make sure my neighbors are not annoyed by smell. We have small yards and bedroom windows are close to others backyards. I don't want to be a bad neighbor, so if you have any techniques to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood, we would welcome them.

    2 - What would be a good home for them? I have browsed through a TON of photos that others have uploaded but completely enclosed houses seem like they would be too warm in our FL weather.

    3 - Should I get a baby chick or a grown hen? I am sure I can find a grown hen through craigslist or something of the sort.

    4 - What do I do with them during a major storm? Being in FL we are prone to hurricanes. I don't think I could take them to a shelter.

    I appreciate any advice you all can give me.

    Thank you,

    The Lambert Family
     
  2. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] and hello!

    1. Chickens are not the least bit smelly. Mine are gorgeous, glossy-feathered divas. Smelly is as smelly does - if you keep things clean, there is no smell.

    2. There are hundreds if not thousands of coop options - browse through the coop pages here on the site and you'll get lots of ideas

    3. You can do either. I have really enjoyed raising mine from baby chicks (you'll see a link to my blog in my signature and there are lots of pix of our life with chickens there)

    4. No clue about storms since I live in CA. I know that New Orleans is now filled with feral chickens who escaped during Katrina. I guess that's one option...

    It's great that you're doing your research first - you might want to read Gail Damerow's book or one of the many other excellent books on keeping backyard chickens - I researched for several months before getting my chickens and am very glad I did. There's a lot to know!
     
  3. loverOFchickens

    loverOFchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, welcome! You have come to the right place!

    Now as to your questions:
    1. No, especially if you have a small number. You can use mix the straw (or whatever bedding you choose to use as long as it is biodegradable) and manure as a base for a compost pile if you like. Or perhaps you know someone you could give it to for fertilizer? As long as they are properly taken care of and cleaned up after about every other month you should be fine.

    2. I don't live in a super warm place but I have heard of people who do making holes for air vents at the top of their buildings similar to those you see in old barns. If you have a small shaded run off your coop the birds should be good as long as they have fresh water and were raised in the warmer climate. On especially hot days you can add ice to the water or set up fans. There are many techniques for that.

    3. If you have a place to raise them I would go for chicks. Sometimes you can get them feathered out which is less hassle to take care of. With already grown hens you run the risk of getting disease especially if you get them from craigslist or the local fair. Also chickens develop resistance to certain things in your soil if they have grown up there whereas if you get the older ones you have more chance of getting an allergic reaction (that isn't what they call it but I'm not into fancy terminology.

    4. Hmm, good question. If you had a really sturdy coop with the enclosable ventilators like I talked about I guess you would just have to lock up (block entrance to the run, etc.) and hope for the best.

    Hope this helps,
    loverOFchickens
     
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, welcome to BYC! [​IMG] You will learn tons here! [​IMG]

    I don't think you'll ever have a problem with just one chicken being smelly enough to bother the neighbors. Just clean the coop/run area regularly and the smell will be minimal. Certain types of bedding do a good job masking/absorbing ordors.
    In terms of housing I think anything screened should be sufficient and your bird won't be too warm. Any access to a breeze is a plus. Cool fresh water is a must.
    I guess it's your choice on chick or hen. Chicks are sure fun to watch grow but if you get a hen and your after eggs, it will be that much sooner.
    Not sure what to tell you on the storms of Florida. [​IMG] I do think chickens are pretty resilient, however.

    It sounds like you are quite space limited so this next thing might be a problem. I don't think chickens, being social critters, do well alone and you mentioned getting only one. Maybe you could get two smaller varieties so they could keep each other company if two standard sized birds exceed your space.

    Good luck with everything and great to have you aboard!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Hi Lambert Family,

    Welcome to the fun!

    Everyone will probably have a slightly different take on the best approach.

    1 - Are chickens really smelly? Yeah...I know silly question for chicken keepers but I need to make sure my neighbors are not annoyed by smell. We have small yards and bedroom windows are close to others backyards. I don't want to be a bad neighbor, so if you have any techniques to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood, we would welcome them.

    If the chicken poo gets wet it will smell, and if they are crowded and not cleaned up after, it could get smelly. I guess a little like a dog. (or cat). With minimal effort, some forethought and a bit of clean up---there will be no smell.

    2 - What would be a good home for them? I have browsed through a TON of photos that others have uploaded but completely enclosed houses seem like they would be too warm in our FL weather.

    Right on target, you will want to think about temperatures for them there..... Is there a chance to look around and see if other back yard chicken keepers in local Florida areas have Very open pens for their chickens? Shade and fresh water will be very important for you hens. I live in hot Texas, and have an Eglu GO with attached run. It is designed for ease of cleaning, safety, cool in summer & warm in winter. More for the first time chicken keeper who wants just a couple of chickens.

    3 - Should I get a baby chick or a grown hen? I am sure I can find a grown hen through craigslist or something of the sort.

    I am so glad that I got grown or nearly grown hens..... you would need less equipment, and it takes a little less time to care for them, and your eggs will be there much sooner. My vote would be for you to get 2 hens that are already laying or at the point of lay! (especially since eggs are your objective)

    4 - What do I do with them during a major storm? Being in FL we are prone to hurricanes. I don't think I could take them to a shelter.

    I think that if you have a pet carrier---in an emergency, for a short time, you could put your chickens in the pet carrier and take them to shelter, just as you would a puppy or kitty.
     
  7. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    [​IMG]

    I don't have any better advice than what has already been offered. Have fun.

    Imp
     
  8. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Welcome!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Louisiana!
     
  10. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Hello and welcome to BYC! We can't smell the chickens at all. We have 8 and built our coop inside our garage with the run along side the house. I clean the coop daily. The coop is 100% insulated for winters, which makes it just about sound proof. My neighbors can not hear their egg song. I personally like raising small chicks from just being hatched. I handle them everyday and they grow up very friendly. Good luck! I hope you can pull it off. There are people who also have full time house chickens as well. They make diapers for the chickens, so they don't mess the house.
     

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