New here and I have a few questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by oandrea, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. oandrea

    oandrea In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    First I want to say, thanks for having this board(to those who started it) and thanks for posting chicken lovers.

    I am in the learning stages of getting ready to own and raise chickens. Our city ordinance says we can have up to 4 chickens in town. I would like to get some good layers but I live in Texas and am a little concerned about the hearty breeds who lay well since they are so big and tend to be darker in color. My total lot size is just about a 1/4 of an acre and they will have about half of that to roam on for a few hours a day at least with two large shade trees. Do you have any tips for keeping them cool in the dog days of summer?

    Also I cannot get my chickens until June some time(I am pregnant right now and DH doesn't want me to take anything else on until after this baby is born.) I have a friend who has decided she wants to get some chickens too since my excited call to her about FINALLY being able to do this.(she had no clue we could have chickens in town). ANYHOW her mother raises chickens and said we should consider getting started pullets. I have only read about raising chicks in these forums and so wonder about getting the started pullets. What are the pros and cons of doing this?

    I am trying to make a laundry list of things I need to make sure I have on hand before I bring them home too. I can shop for these things(and build) before hand I just can't have the chickens until June.
    build a chicken tractor with 3 nesting boxes
    straw for bedding (do you use straw for the floor cover as well or should I use something else)
    2/3 gallon water cans
    do I need a feed tin or can I just spread it out on the ground? How much do they eat a day?
    What is with the oysters and what should I get?
    I am sure I am missing a bunch of stuff but that is just off the top of my head.
    Anyhow thanks in advance for all the replies:)

  2. Nuggetsowner:)

    Nuggetsowner:) Songster

    Aug 2, 2007
    Welcome to BYC! You are smart to ask alot of questions and doing research before getting chickens. I hope you have learned alot here.

    As for bedding I use pine shavings on the floor of my coops and strw inthe nesting boxes. The tractor should work great for you. I would use a feeder to prevent wasting your feed. The chickens will go through less feed in the heat and more in cooler weather. For my 8 hens I go through a 50lb bag of layer feed about 2- 2 1/2 weeks right now. I also give treats like fresh fuits and veggies in season and scratch grains. Oyster shells add calcium to a hens diet and should be offered in a separate dish. It will help with shell thickness.

    I hope this helps. Once again... WELCOME
  3. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    First, Welcome to BYC.
    Second, Congratulations on the upcoming baby and on the upcoming chickens.

    Not being able to get the chickens until June will work to your advantage. You can get everything ready for them before they come.
    Not sure on the Texas heat stuff.

    If you decide on started pullets, are you willing to have them debeaked? If your ordering them they may very well be debeaked. (Top beak cut short) They do this to prevent pecking but, there can be consequences.

    Bedding for the floor-you can used straw or pine wood shavings.

    Should have a feeder for their food.

    The ostershells are for when they are laying. It is to help make their shells. You can also feed their shells back to them (cook first) if you don't feed a lot of extras.

    If you're feeding extras you should add grit. That is what helps them digest their food.

    It would be good to assemble a chicken first aid kit. There are threads on this (use search) but somethings to include: Neosporin (without pain killer), regular 325 mg asprin, Stutures (or some thread) with needle, penicillan. That's a start.

    Good luck!
  4. oandrea

    oandrea In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    Quote:Thanks and NO I am absolutely not willing to have de-beaked chickens(this is so wrong).
    I don't plan on ordering them though, I hope to be able to find some started pullets at a little trade days event.

    Is the chicken first aid kit for me or the chickens? lol
  5. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Quote:[​IMG] I was referring to one for the chickens but, you should have one for you and your family too!
  6. oceanbird

    oceanbird In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    What would be in a chicken first aid kit? I've had my chickens for a year but I don't have a first aid it yet:/
  7. oandrea

    oandrea In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2008
    DFW, Texas
    oh trust me, do a search there are sooo many things you could put in your kit. I need to decide what I think is the most important stuff and get started on that.
  8. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    Quote:There were a couple topics on this, just do a search.
  9. Ericasl

    Ericasl Songster

    Feb 21, 2008
    The Dalles OR
    You really want the first aid kit!! Our you could be like me who did not have one then someone got hurt and I was running around like a crazy woman looking for what I needed, and it happens at night or on sunday when everything is closed. SO I vote for having a first aid kit on hand and ready to roll just in case. Also welcome to BYC this is a great place to learn, and from great people.
  10. Chicken Nugget

    Chicken Nugget In the Brooder

    Apr 23, 2008
    North Carolina
    If you only plan on having four hens, you should only need one nesting box.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: