New At chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Vinniemac, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    Hi Been reading the post on here.I live in southwester Pennsylvania and interested in raising chickens. I been reading a lot of books I Will probably start with 6 hens. I need to build a coop & run first. What chickens are best for beginners
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello there! The type of chickens you pick, depends on you--what you want. Do you like brown eggs, white eggs, GREEN eggs? You could get two of each variety, and have different colors......

    Or, do you want pretty chickens? Large or small?

    For lots of eggs, I would recommend a hybrid breed like the Golden Buff (They come under several different names, like Amber Link, Cinnamon Queen, Gold Comets...) They would be brown egg layers.

    For white eggs, I would recommend the leghorns.

    And for a nice surprise, why not buy the Easter Egger (often called Ameraucana by hatcheries) which lays a nice blue, green, or even a pink egg.....

    Maybe you like pure breed chickens. A great way to get started is to go to some hatchery websites and get their catalog. I like the catalog from Meyer Hatchery because they have pictures, plus very nice descriptions regarding heat/cold hardiness, weight, temperament, egg color and production......

    Lots of things to think about, huh?
  3. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    Don't forget to look up your city's ordinance on chickens first. Some places have limits, no rooster and even no chickens at all.
  4. emptynester

    emptynester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2011
    Beaufort, SC
    Quote:Hello and welcome to BYC!

    As for choosing your chickens, there are some basic questions that need to be answered first, in no particular order.

    1) Are you wanting chickens for eggs, meat , a pet, or all 3?
    Different breeds are better suited for each of those things, so that is place to start to narrow it down just a bit.

    2) How big of a coop and run will you build?
    All chickens need a certain amount of square footage, however, some breeds are better suited to confinement than others. Again,
    just another way to narrow down the list.

    3) How cold does it get where you live?
    Some breeds are more suited to the cold where you have to worry about freezing temperatures and frostbite on the combs, wattles.

    4) What breeds grab your attention?
    Once you know what you like, you can find something that fits into the criteria above.

    Most chickens are pretty easy to take care of if you meet the conditions for food, shelter, space, and temperature that they need to survive.
  5. johnsons-r-us

    johnsons-r-us Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Eudora, Kansas

    I got my first chicks last Easter. We didn't want to order a bunch, but I wanted a variety. As a beginner I didn't want to invest a lot of money in case I didn't do things right and lost the chicks. We got ours at a local feed store. I wanted different looking and different laying chickens. I love my choices as I've gotten lots of nice eggs, even green/blue, as well as brown and light tan. I will add some white next year just because I can. And the small flock we have is colorful and looks great in our yard!

    Good luck! Chickens are easy to care for and will give you lots of stress free entertainment [​IMG]
  6. chickengal30

    chickengal30 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2011
    West coast of Florida.

    I am new to chickens also, I got my four girls in March of this year, (and got two more five weeks ago, who are in a big cage in the older girls run) and spent/spend hours reading up on the best ways to keep em healthy and happy.

    This forum has been so valueable to me, and Im sure it will be for you too. As for chicken breeds, theres a selection tool on the My Pet Chicken website which helps you choose, sorting out what is important to you i.e good layers, docile, friendly, bears confinement well, cold hardy etc. The breeds I have are listed at the bottom of this reply, and as a beginner, Im very happy with my choices (only Eleanor wasnt who she should of been, I thought I was getting a Speckled Sussex, but shes a doll and lays six eggs a week for us!!)

    Youll be amazed how many awsome coops there are on this forum, go ahead and take a look, theyll definatly inspire you!!!

    Enjoy, Im soooo glad I got chickens, there wonderful.[​IMG]
  7. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    Thanks for all the replies.I plan on building a saltbox 5X6 coop I have about a one acre lot all fenced in most of it 6' high, but some of the fence is only 4' high I will also be building a run. I live about a half a mile above a river and see red tail hawks cruising around I guess picking a draft from the river. They will most likely be a problem. Winter temperatures here can get into the teens I want the chickens for the eggs only. I have a feed store about 5 miles from here and they told me they will have chicks in the early spring. Egg color is not a issue.I sort of like the Brahma,only because of the way the look,they may not be OK I don't know?

  8. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    Brahma's are fine. i am a beginning chicken addict and I have three. They are the most laid back of all the chicks I have. They are pretty too! They do get big though, so you need to allow for enough room in the coop for them.

    Look at my sig to see which breeds I got first time around. I love them all. I researched temperaments online before i bought because I didn't want flighty and noisy birds. That's why I didn't get any white egg layers for now because I couldn't find a laid back breed that produces white eggs.

    We are on a mountain with lots of predators so I built a large run for them to roam in since i can't have them free ranging with bear/bobcat/mountain lion/raccoon/fox/possum/hawks/owl etc around.

    So sit back and enjoy the ride. Do your homework, research, talk to people who have chickens in your area to see what it takes to raise them successfully and use your common sense.
  9. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is a great breed chart and it helped me select mine [​IMG]

    I like Brahma's until I found out they had fluffy feet & legs.
    Perhaps Delaware's would interest you (similar white/black coloring and easier to keep clean?)

    good luck deciding!
  10. Vinniemac

    Vinniemac Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    Western Pennsylvania
    I never though about that. I'll let you know how thing progress. Also wondering if anyone else on here is from southwestern Pennsylvania?


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