New here. Where do I start?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by EggHatcher4Life, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. EggHatcher4Life

    EggHatcher4Life Hatching

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    So in just over a month I move into a house that has a chicken coop. I want to take advantage of that and raise some chickens. Where do I begin? I did a little research and think that I want a Bantam chicken. I would like it as a pet and also for eggs. I dont think i could kill it and eat it, but if it is big and fat and looks good I might do that too. I would like to buy the eggs and get an incubator and all that. Any advice on where to shop or what to do? Anything helps!

    Thanks!

    Todd
     
  2. spook

    spook Songster

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    Welcome to BYC, this is the best place to start. You'll find so much information and quite possibly a friend or chickenstock in your area that you could obtain hatching eggs from.
    Great place and great people runnin' around here.
    Best of luck and we'll see you around!
    [​IMG]
     
  3. SangaChicken

    SangaChicken Songster

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    Good lord you're in for it. So it begins! [​IMG] For starters, a bantam is never going to be big and fat and look good enough to eat. They're tiny and cute and pixie like. The eggs are also smallish, so unless you're feeding a really small family, or people who like smallish eggs.. I wouldn't necessarily recommend a bantam. Unless you get a lot of them. [​IMG] I have a bantam, 2 actually and love them to death.. but I rely on my bigger girls for eggs.

    Everyone on here will give you their 2 cents about incubators. I bought a LG forced air on Ebay and do just great with it. I even use the crappy thermometer that came with it and do great with it. [​IMG] So buy what your budget will allow is my advice. Though I will say, the extra 40 or so bucks for the automatic egg turner is the best investment I've made to date. Hands down.

    I bought a few full grown laying hens, without knowing the breeds, just in shapes and colors I liked. Turns out, I have Silkies and Cuckoo Marans! Beautiful birds. A year or so later, I bought some day old chicks through McMurray Hatchery. Kinda weird getting chicks in the mail, but the entire experience was really rewarding and I now reguarly order chicks and raise them.

    After that I bought my incubator and my first load of hatching eggs. Totally the most thrilling thing you'd ever imagine. I'm a 28 year old woman and I found myself enthralled with the whole miracle of life thing. As many times as you tell yourself that you understand that chickens come from eggs, you will still totally freak out the first time you candle an egg and see a heartbeat. You'll also find yourself glued, like a 5 year old in a candy store, to the incubator when it comes time for hatching.

    Raising your own chicks is pretty awesome. Watching them develop from one thing into an entire different looking being, and nurturing their little personalities is pretty amazing too.

    Then you'll start dealing with the medical issues and feeding them, the profound and infinite number of things chickens are willing to eat (This will never cease to amuse you, and much like a true addict you will find yourself preparing exceptionally diverse and complicated treat buffets for them), eventually whatever housing you have set up for them will need some sort of expansion or remodeling and before long..

    Well, you'll see. This is not to be taken lightly. There is something very odd about those little birds and their ability to take over a large portion of our lives. And they're always so darn happy to see you too, which just makes it that much easier to fall into chicken servitude.

    Just go ahead and get one of each breed. It's eventually going to end up that way anyway.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  4. spook

    spook Songster

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    Just go ahead and get one of each breed. It's eventually going to end up that way anyway.



    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Welcome to the forum. You'll meet some nice people.

    Since you mentioned incubation, I'll include this link just to give yo an idea on what is involved in that.

    http://gallus.tamu.edu/Extension publications/b6092.pdf

    As far as where to begin, I'd suggest going to the Learning Center at the top of this page and read. There is good info there. Read the threads on here that seem of interest. When you do, don't get too put off by the problems you see. You'll see a lot of people's problems, but it is like the evening news. There is a lot more good going on than gets reported.

    Also, since you are starting, I'll give you a few links that may take up a lot of your time but should be fun. The MY Pet Chickens site is a breed selection tool. Consider it a starting point to guide you, not a definitive command. The other two are good sites that give information and pictures of the different breeds. Your problem is not finding a chicken that suits your needs. It is deciding which breeds are best for you. There is a lot of selection.

    My Pet Chickens
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/breedQuestions.aspx

    Feathersite
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html

    The Henderson chart
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
  6. 77horses

    77horses ◊The Spontaneous Pullet!◊

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG] I would go on and on about where to start, how to care for chickens, what breeds to buy, etc etc etc etc....but it looks like some people have already given you loads of helpful info and links to really good websites! [​IMG]

    So, all I am going to add is [​IMG]!!! You're going to meet a lot of really nice and helpful people here. [​IMG]

    Have fun!!!! [​IMG]
     

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