New Here - Not a Chicken Owner but want to be!!!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by blackbrandy, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. blackbrandy

    blackbrandy New Egg

    Nov 27, 2008
    Hi there!

    I have just joined up to see if anyone out there could help my partner and I decide what chickens to get and the best way to go about it.

    We have been looking into getting chickens for a long while now but more recently find we are in the position to go ahead and get them early next year. We would like just a few - 3 or 4 - purely as pets. Not interested in how many eggs they will give us as that is not a concern, and definately would NEVER want them as food - yuk!!! What we want are pets ... and had in mind building or buying a nice hen house and netting of all around and under for protection a reasonable area at the top of our garden to keep the safe and sound in whilst we are away (ie. work) in the days and of course at night, but would have liked it if when we were home they were free to roam the rest of the garden area, especially days we spend out there gardening. Our only problem is that one side we have the neighbours from hell, so we have been looking through all the books to try and find hens that would not fly and so fly up and escape over into their garden, although we do have reasonably high hedges on that side to block them out, and around the rest of the garden are walls and fences. We were looking at getting Orpingtons as the books have them down at not flying up far.

    Anyway last weekend we went out to a local farm that deals with the whole package, hens, house, food, etc but were immediately told that Orpingtons "No", and our idea of having hens out days and weekends whilst we were there and leaving them in their pen days that we were working was not right, it would have to be one (in their pen all the time) or the other (free range only returning to their house at night) as otherwise it would totally stress them out. Naturally, with wanting these hens as pets (a part of the family) and not for what they could give us food wise, we would not want to upset or stress them in anyway, so seeing as we do not like the idea of them being penned up all the time (despite the hens at the place we went to looking lovely and happy) we are near giving up on the idea for now until we finish work and can be here all the time.

    Any views on this please????

  2. The Chicken Lady

    The Chicken Lady Moderator Staff Member

    Apr 21, 2008
    West Michigan
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I think Silkies would be the PERFECT chickens for you. They are soft, friendly, cute, cuddly, and make perfect pets. Also, they can't fly, so you wouldn't need to worry about them escaping. [​IMG]
  3. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2007
    St.Charles, QC
    Hi and [​IMG] !

    I think that your ideas are very sound. Orps are a great idea as they are a heavy breed and won't be tempted to fly up and over [​IMG] .

    If you build them a safe run with welded wire and netting over top...actually if you study the archives you'll find plenty of info to help you along for predator proofing your run.

    You can free range when you're home and keep them safe in the run when you're not...Pure nonsense to think that you can't ....chickens will not and I repeat NOT stress out with a variety offered to them.

    Mine have a run and free range... depending on weather and they also stay in their coop on cold, rainy or snowy days. Totally spoilled rotten [​IMG] .
  4. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    I would get silkies or polish if I was getting pets. I think they are so cute but I cant afford a chicken that doesnt have a job. You should also consider your climate into what breeds you will get and how much warmth they will need in the winter. Welcome to our world [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
  5. andehens

    andehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas

    Well, you are in the right place to learn about housing and care! Orpintons would be the berries in my book, only problem I can't decide on a color!!
  6. newchickenfamily

    newchickenfamily Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] You will love having chickens! I have a Buff Orpington, Rhode Island Red and a Black Star. Buff Orp is my fave, though all 3 are great.

    The nonsense about them either being always penned up or always out is baloney! Mine are penned up until the early afternoon and are out until bedtime when they are locked up again. You CAN have it both ways!!
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Welcome to BYC!
    Here's a handy breed selection chart you might find useful:

    My chickens free-range all day, nearly every day. If I do keep them in their coop for some reason they aren't stressed out. Mad, yes (and they let me know their opinion about the situation loud and clear); but they're not stressed.

    One thing to keep in mind. Chickens do love gardens, to eat! Consider every single thing you plant to be a chicken buffet, unless you devise ways to keep the plants safe from them. Just about every single thing we humans love to eat fresh from the garden chickens love too. Just a heads up. [​IMG]
  8. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    Aloha from sunny Hawaii where we suggest Black Australorps.
  9. Jena

    Jena The Welsh Witch

    Nov 2, 2008

    where are you?

    You will find so much valuable advice here.

  10. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Quote:This is how I do my chickens, too. Also, there are times that I get home pretty late and it just isn't worth getting them out for the few minutes until dark so they will miss a day of being out. While I do eat their eggs, they are not expected to HAVE to lay them and they are certainly not meat, so mine are essentially just pets. I would NEVER stress my babies....and this doesn't. Mine seem to be very happy, well adjusted chickies. Those people sound a bit clueless to me. I say get your chickens!!!! They are wonderful and amazing animals!!!

    [​IMG] and have fun!!!!
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2008

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