New Chicken Owners in Savannah

hippylowthers

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 21, 2014
1
0
7
My husband and I want to start a little flock with 3-4 hens. Any suggestions on how to start??
Where should we get our hens?
Our coop?

We are here to learn and love some chikkies!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! First you'll want to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center
The best place to find local hens is usually to post on your state thread for where your neighbors get them https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/121387/yo-georgians this time of year a lot of feed/farm stores like TSC carry them.
And then check out the BYC Coops section for ideas on coops www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coop_Designs
 

cstronks

Songster
6 Years
Mar 12, 2013
747
89
166
New Jersey
Welcome to BYC!! There are a ton of suggestions, but you'll quickly learn that the best way to do everything is ultimately up to you. For beginners, I have both ideas and questions. To start, your coop will not need to be huge because you only have 4 birds. A 4 x 4 interior will do, but if you plan on getting more birds in the future then you should certainly go bigger. Also, remember that the outside run is much more important that the coop size. You want to make that as large as possible, as the chickens will normally be outside for most of the day. Predator proofing is also a must. Raccoons, snakes, hawks, and foxes are the most common predators, so make sure that the coop is only accessible to humans (i.e latches and locks on doors). Also staple chicken wire to the inside where there are windows in the event that something decides to try and break in. Predators have not been an issue for me to date, but I took the extra precautions, because nobody wants to see the aftermath of a predator attack. One last key is to make the coop easy to work in. Make sure that it is easy and convenient to clean. Go online and find a build model that works for you. It might be more costly, however the convenience is worth a million bucks!

There are three ways to get chicks - online order, local feed store/TSC, and local breeder. I suggest buying local hens or trying to find breeders in your area. They usually raise healthier chicks, and they often have many more different varieties available. The online hatcheries aren't bad, but they are super-sized and some people have issues with the quality of the birds and the methods of raising them. My birds were purchased from a local breeder and the birds were both great quality and very healthy. I also got to meet some very nice people during the process!

With chickens, there are a few things you have to consider...production, size, and breed. Do you want a lot of eggs from your four hens, or do you not care how many you get? If you want a lot, then go after the hybrid types like sex links and gold comets. Those birds lay eggs just about every day. Heritage breeds like Australorps and Rhode Island Reds are also very steady layers, and four of those hens should give you about 25-27 eggs a week. If production does not matter, then any breed is accessible. Also size is a factor. Most people prefer standard breed chickens as opposed to bantams (smaller versions of chickens). If you get bantams, you can have more birds, but less production and much smaller eggs. Standard birds are bigger, but you can fit less of them. I would recommend standard size. Lastly, breeds are a factor. There are a lot to choose from, but depending on your climate, you will need to get birds that can adapt. There are cold hardy, heat tolerant, and all climate birds. Again, if you have cold winters, you will want to steer clear of certain breeds, and vice versa. This will minimize losses and keep the birds happy.

If you have any other questions, feel free to post!
 

TwoCrows

A Native Raven
Staff member
Premium member
9 Years
Mar 21, 2011
40,970
61,987
1,492
New Mexico, USA
My Coop
My Coop


Welcome to BYC!

So glad you could join our community! You have been given some great advice here! Definitely start in our learning center as there is a section on getting started. Our coops pages will give you lots of good ideas for building.

Good luck on this new adventure and welcome to our flock!
 
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