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New hen lady in Ventura County

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by henmama57, Mar 9, 2014.

  1. henmama57

    henmama57 New Egg

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    Hello everyone and thanks for having this great site to find out about backyard chickens. Henpapa says he is going to build me a coop next weekend and I've been reading everything on this site about getting started over the past couple of months. What I've been having trouble with is making decisions. We want egg layers with good personalities that won't flap over the fences. Probably 3-4 will be out flock size. The girls will get a coop with some pen space and have the run of the backyard as much as possible. Chicks vs pullets? Any problem with a fishpond and pool for chickens? How long should they be left out per day? I'm scared how my two old dogs will react to them. Can anyone recommend places to get some good laying hens/pullets,chicks near Camarillo? Several local feed stores don't have any stock. Also we have a guy that sprays for ants and spiders once every couple months with an organic compound. Should that be stopped or how to handle? Before that we had continual ants inside. Any and all advice is much appreciated!
     
  2. TwoCrows

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

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    All chickens can fly over fences. The heavier breeds will have a harder time of it however. And clipping wings sometimes does not stop them. You can go with either started pullets or babies. I recommend babies however as you can work with them and bond with them quicker than started birds. Watch the dog. Most dogs see chickens as a meal. You can free range them as long as you wish, but be careful of predators in the skies and bushes. I don't free range my girls. Too dangerous. Just make sure they have food, water and oyster shell available at all times outside the coop when they are out. Orpingtons make great pets, are friendly, great layers and are very docile and hardy.

    You might want to do some reading in our learning center here on BYC for lots of tips and hints on keeping your new flock...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    Good luck with your new adventure and welcome to BYC!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot of questions here! First and foremost, welcome to BYC!! Glad to have you on the forum. Now, to the questions. Egg-layers with good personalities are birds like australorps, buff orpingtons, and rhode island reds. Hybrid sex links and stars, comets, golden buff all work well too. All chickens can fly, so they can get over the average size fence, but the likelihood of this happening is low. I have never had any of my chickens fly over of my fences (4.5 feet in some parts, 6-7 feet in others. Now under the fence...they'll dig, but that has only happened once. Dogs and chickens don't mix too well all the time. As a new owner, you may want to avoid contact with the dogs because even in play the dog can hurt the bird. To find birds, you will have to post in your state forum and see who is selling and hatching chicks near you. I went with started birds over chicks because they were only $6, and chicks are $3-5, so I saved BIG on feed costs and a brooder. The hens also began laying about 5 weeks after I bought them and that was awesome. I figure that I minimized costs this way. I didn't get to raise them from day 1, but I would argue that the birds and I have just as good a bond as we would have had I bought chicks. Ask the exterminator if the spray is pet friendly. If he says yes, he is probably still wrong. Since the chickens will be free ranging your yard, I would ask them not to spray anywhere in the backyard where the chickens will be. This will minimize any type of issue that could arise. Hope this helps!
     
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  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You got some good advice above, like as mentioned the nice thing about getting pullets is you get eggs a lot faster, it is also easier to start with pullets since they don't need as much special care and attention as chicks do at the start, add if you get the birds old enough you don't have the chance of an accidental rooster ... but chicks are darn cute and often they wind up tamer since you raised them from the beginning.
    With a pond/pool, be careful that the chickens can get out if they fall/fly in, they usually are fine with natural ponds because the banks grades are usually gradual and all around, but chickens can and do drown in stock tank or pool type things with steep sides if they can't figure out how to get back out.
    Some people have their birds in the coop/run all the time, others let theirs free range all the time, it depends on your setup and especially the predator problems in your area. The more they are kept inside the more careful you do have to be they have enough space.
    for local birds, try posting in your state thread ... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread
    I don't know about the spray, would depend on what it is (they should have a material safety data sheet you can check out) and how much if any contact the chickens would have with the sprayed area.
    With breeds, check out the BYC Breeds section for member reviews of a lot of breeds https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds and the Henderson chicken breed chart compares a lot of popular breeds http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html most egg layer breed chickens can and will fly over four foot fences, especially when young, so you will have to have some sort of cover over the run to keep them in, trimming wings will help.
    Orpingtons, Wyandottes, Australorps, Sussex and Plymouth Rocks are some popular nice tempered breeds, Easter Eggers for colored eggs, Red Sex Links are probably the best layers, but they can be bossy in a mixed flock if you decide to get more than one breed.
    The dogs you will have to see what they do and how training goes, generally you will be best off to keep them separate and make sure the coop/run is dog proof.
     
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC - I agree that your state thread may be a good place to aid in obtaining some local raised birds. Good luck in your ventures.
     
  7. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

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