New chicken owner who has questions.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Bloommagical, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. Bloommagical

    Bloommagical Chirping

    14
    1
    80
    Jun 1, 2012
    Hello, I'm Emily. I'm 17 and my family got 6 chickens. They're about 2 months old now, so they have a few months of growing to do. And they are beginning to trust me. (There's one that doesnt trust me at all... But I think it's a rooster, because it protects and herds the others. Not sure what we'll do with it.:/)

    We are brand new to keeping chickens and would love some/any advice! I also have a few questions..

    There are 3 different breeds, I can't remember them off the top of my head, but two are red, two are orange, and two are black. I was wondering if this could be unsafe? If we kept the possible rooster (black), would it breed with all of them or just the other black one?

    They have an indoor coop and an outdoor pen, both are about the same size. We don't let them out of the pen unless we're watching them because of the fox and coyote and birds of prey near our house. I have seen turkey vultures and red tailed hawks and peregrine falcons in my backyard. My friend lost chickens to hawks, and we don't want to loose ours!
    What are the benefits of having them free-range? How might we protect them from being eaten?

    By the way I would never imagine eating my chickens, I see them as pets. I will protect them as best I can from my family, too.

    Speaking of pets.. we have two cats who I have seen charging at the cage, scaring them. Does anybody here have experience with this, and what, if anything, should I do about it?

    I personally have always wanted chickens, and my mom went along with it because she wants the eggs. My dad built the coop and pen, and I look after them every day with my sister. (Ya know, providing food and water, treats, petting them when they let me, scooping clumps of poop)

    For treats, so far I've given them bread, lettuce, apple, strawberries, and blueberries. The blueberries are their favorite. They didn't like the strawberries much... Which stinks cause we grow our own. Wha other treats should I try?

    The water used to be in their coop but is now in the outside pen (it was getting their bedding wet) and we don't usually let them out at night, but can chickens go all night without water?


    Thank you for taking the time to read this, I look forward to some answers. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2012
  2. Scooter&Suzie

    Scooter&Suzie Songster

    2,512
    42
    211
    Jun 23, 2011
    Pennsylvania
    I put my input in bold.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms

    12,330
    6,326
    516
    Sep 20, 2009
    Pride, La.
    Welcome! [​IMG]
     
  4. Bloommagical

    Bloommagical Chirping

    14
    1
    80
    Jun 1, 2012
    Thank you for the suggestions!

    I'm not sure if my mom will go for the mealworms, but I'll give it a shot.[​IMG]
     
  5. weimarmama

    weimarmama Crowing

    20,239
    183
    348
    Jun 4, 2010
    Alabama
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us. Great advice given [​IMG]
     
  6. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Crowing

    43,519
    568
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    20,703
    6,116
    627
    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan :D

    Keep offering the strawberries, they will very likely learn to like them.
     
  8. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    17,486
    123
    371
    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Hi and :welcome from Ohio. So glad you joined. :thumbsup
     
  9. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    17,155
    297
    348
    Aug 26, 2011
    Hello and :welcome

    Great to see more young folks around. I'm about your age! :frow

    As for free ranging, it's good as they get access to a lot of treats that they don't usually like insects and whatnot, and they can clean off a good population of pest insects in your garden. :p
    We free range our chickens, however when we aren't there to watch them (we have to watch them because they'll dig up the veggie garden, not because of predators! :lol:) we might dig up a chunk of dirt and let them pick at the worms, and throw in a bit of grass for them.

    Your three different breeds should be ok together. Many people have mix breed flocks.
    And as for treats, you could try grapes. My chickens love grapes. And also yoghurt and biscuits, especially together! :lol:

    Don't hesitate to ask any questions you might have, and enjoy the site. :D
     
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    38,751
    19,667
    1,182
    Jun 28, 2011
    Tipperary, Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: