New at raising chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by bschafer5, Aug 17, 2014.

  1. bschafer5

    bschafer5 New Egg

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    Hello all, so last night in a flash of brilliance my family and I decided that we need to raise chickens. One problem, I have no clue how to raise chickens. I got on my Kindle and got a few books on the subject but I also want some knowledge from folks who have raised chickens in their backyards like we will be doing. Maybe some tips on good, medium size egg layers and hens that would be good in our climate (Albuquerque, NM). So, if you have any pointers I'm all ears..,..Thanks
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. A good place to start would be our Learning Center. Just click on the icon at the top of the page. As for breeds, there are some good reference charts at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf, http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx, and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html. Murray McMurray also has an excellent "chick selector" tool at http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you determine the best breed for you. Just be sure and click on "show more characteristics." If you're looking for personal recommendations, I would recommend Black Sex Links for sheer egg production. They are hardy, friendly, egg laying machines. If you want a standard breed (BSLs are hybrids and will not breed true), I would recommend Black Australorps. They are extremely hardy. I raised them in northern Kansas where the temperature dropped to 30 F below zero one winter, and in CA where summer temperatures frequently reached 117-118 F (123 F once), and they came through both climate extremes like troopers. They are also very calm and gentle, and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Welcome fellow New Mexican!! Down here in the south central mountains!!

    I have had great luck with Black Australorps in the heat and the cold. They have withstood some brutally cold temps and some excessively hot temps too. As long as they have plenty of shade in the summer, the will do well. I will recommend sand for bedding. Sand is a wonderful medium for bedding around these parts. It stays dry when wet, it absorbs all the poop smells, repels flies, you can hose it down in the summer and wow, it keeps the birds incredibly cool. It is soft on the pads and they love to bathe and scratch in it. It is so easy to maintain as well. I get mine out of nearby arroyos for free. Just check it for sand content first. Wet it down and squeeze it. If it falls apart and acts like sand, it is. If it clumps, you are still in dirt. I find that there are lots of sand veins near quartz rock. Here is a nice thread on sand if you want to read more about it....https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/444759/got-sand-you-should

    Here is a pic of my sand with an Australorp....
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    You might also stop by our learning center as well for lots of tips and hints on raising your new flock, building the coop and keeping them healthy, happy and safe from predators...https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    If you have any further questions, feel free to ask. Welcome to our flock!
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good links and suggestions from Michael and TwoCrows, good luck with your future flock!
     
  5. joannefiddler

    joannefiddler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome to BYC! While you're filling your brain with helpful hints, I'll suggest you check out the "poop tray" and "sweet pdz" discussions. I'm in Florida, and have a poop tray filled with the sweet pdz. It has a dramatic impact on the number of flies and the smell in the heat. I agree with the sand in the run comment earlier. I also have some Australorps and they are doing well in the heat. They are creative at finding cool spots, they are not flighty, they come running like dogs from across the pasture when they see me coming, and they produce reliably. Have a great time with your new adventure...you won't regret it!
     
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Black australorps are a good breed as you have read above. But I'm going to recommend the buff orpington. They are super friendly, docile and affectionate. They are lap hogs and cold hardy. They bear confinement well and are great layers. You'll love the buff orp!
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    Good luck with your planning and glad you joined!
     
  7. bschafer5

    bschafer5 New Egg

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    Right on!, the tips you guys gave were exactly what I was looking for.thanks
     
  8. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    When you get your birds would you please let us know? Pictures would be most welcome also. We love to know how things worked out.
     
  10. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Feel free to ask lots of questions! We're all here to help. [​IMG]
     

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