New chicken mommy of four!


5 Years
Sep 16, 2014
I just recently purchased a house and along with the house we got four egg laying hens. I do not know much about chickens but have the motivation to help them thrive and in turn have plenty of eggs to eat. What do I do????
Glad you joined us!

Congratulations on your unexpected hens! I would pay a visit to the Learning Center, which has lots of information for beginner chicken raisers:

Basically, to be healthy, chickens need to have the following:

  • A secure, well-ventilated coop with enough room for the chickens being housed. Large fowl chickens should have about 3 square feet each of indoor space. Bantams need at least 2 square feet. More space is better, at least to a certain extent.
  • A roomy outdoor run. While not essential, chickens are far happier when they can get outside in the fresh air and sunlight. Chickens should have 5+ feet of outdoor space.
  • Roosts inside the coop that offer each bird at least 8 inches of space.
  • Quality chicken feed that is suitable to their age. Chicks should each starter feed, young birds should eat grower feed or starter/grower feed, and laying hens should eat layer feed. The feed should be dry, relatively fresh, and available to the birds at all times in a sturdy feeder.
  • Supply of fresh, clean water, available at all times in a waterer. Without water, chickens will stop laying, begin molting, and die.
  • Adequate layer of bedding in the coop. Good bedding choices include pine wood shavings, chopped or whole straw (chopped straw is better), or sand. Don't use cedar wood shavings or anything that is really sharp. Bedding absorbs moisture, reduces odor, provides insulation, and gives the birds something soft to walk on. Unless you're using a deep litter system, there should be 2-6 inches of bedding on the floor of the coop at all times.
  • Nest boxes (at least for laying hens). Laying chickens should always have access to secluded, clean nest boxes. 1-2 nest boxes is sufficient for four hens.

I hope I've helped! Good luck!
Hello there and welcome to BYC!

Congrats on your new home AND chickens!! You will want to do some reading in our learning center. Lots of helpful tips and hints on raising your new flock...

Chickens crave attention. So go sit with them, on the ground and bring some treats....pieces of bread, mealworms, raisins, sunflower seeds, lettuce, other greens, and let them get to know you. Food is a wonderful bonding agent and will help them trust you and feel comfortable around you. Here is our treats chart on what you can feed them...

Keep the coop and nest boxes clean. Cleanliness is the key to good health. Some people free range and others don't. So you don't have to as long as they have enough room in the coop and run. (5 square feet per bird in the coop, 10 square feet per bird in the run)

And just enjoy them! All this info and more is in our learning center. So when you have the time, look through it for more great information.

If you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask. Our forums are great places to ask specific questions. Just hit that tab at the top that says, "Forums" and that will lead you to the different sections here on BYC.

Great that you could join our community and welcome to our flock!
Welcome to BYC!
We're glad to have you.

You've received great advice from the previous two posters. Definitely check out the Learning Center- it has tons of information!

Good luck with your chickens!
Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. You've been given some excellent advice by BantamLover21 and TwoCrows. An excellent place to start in the Learning Center is Getting Started Raising Chickens section at Please feel free to ask any specific questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Do you have any idea what kind of hens you have?
This bird appears to be a Speckled Sussex. She should be an excellent egg layer of brown eggs for you. Here is a link to some BYC reviews on Sussex, in case you want to hear other people's opinions on them:

X2. She is definitely a Speckled Sussex. I used to have some and they are hardy, friendly and gentle, and good layers of large, brown eggs. Good luck with your Sussex. :eek:)

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom