New Homesteader from North Carolina

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Clybrad, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. Clybrad

    Clybrad Hatching

    Jan 31, 2015
    Hello all, My name is Clay. I just moved out to Concord NC area about 8 months ago and purchased a home on 3 acres. I am going to attempt come hell or high water to turn this into a homestead. The idea is that I want to be able to have a hobby farm where I raise some live stock and have gardens and trees to fill up the land. The more I plant the less I have to mow and the more I dont have to buy at the grocery store. The reason I started with this forum was because every question I googled came up to this website, so it seems that the members here understand what they are doing more than me and that is great.

    I have always wanted chickens and have just started some research around the internet when I decided to jump into it. I plan to buy them around the end of March or the first of April so it gives me time to turn this older shed into a coop. I have already put up a fence that is waist high (which now I wish it was higher) but now I just ordered bird netting to go over top to help with them escaping and predators getting in. I have already started on the inside of the coop by putting in feeder and a hanging water container. I have a list of things to finish up before I get the chickens but it is all a work of love. My idea is that I am going to start off with a flock of 6 including a rooster. If anyone has any opinions on flock size to supply my wife and I with eggs and then how many I should have to be able to cull one per month or so that would be awesome!

    Thank you for reading.
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Hello, Clay - congratulations on your new home, and welcome to BYC. Start small with all of your projects and build up gradually so that the task does not become overwhelming - good luck in all.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined us.

    I think that your plan sounds pretty good! Six hens, in the spring and summer, should provide you with at least 4-5 eggs a day. But, in the winter, they'll likely slow down (to just a couple eggs a day) or stop laying completely, if you don't provide supplemental lighting.

    You shouldn't have to cull many birds; in general, a 5% mortality rate in a year is considered normal. If you provide enough space and ventilation in the coop and feed the correct feed, your birds should stay healthy and happy.

    Good luck with your future poultry adventures!
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  4. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined us!

    On average, most chickens lay about 5 eggs per week. Some high production breeds like Sex-links lay more, while other, "fancier" breeds lay fewer. Keeping that amount of eggs per week in mind, the number of egg laying chickens you keep will depend on how many eggs you and your wife eat.

    It is also important to remember that there will always be times of year (especially winter) when chickens won't lay. They may not lay due to molting or shorter daylight hours. You can encourage more egg production in winter/spring by providing artificial lighting in your coop so that there are always 14+ hours of "daylight" each day. Or, you could simply accept the fact that sometimes, you will need to buy eggs. One other way to have a more consistent supply of eggs is to keep different ages of layers. For example, you buy layers one month, wait 2-3 months longer, and then buy some more. That way, when the older hens are slowing down, the younger ones will still keep laying.

    Like Sourland mentioned, it is best to start small. Research raising chickens thoroughly, try your hand at raising a few, and then see about expanding. Good luck!
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC, Clay. Glad you decided to our flock. How many chickens you will need depends on how many eggs you and your wife eat a week and how many eggs your chickens lay which varies by breed. If high lay rate is your main priority, I would recommend getting Black Sex Links (Black Stars) which are friendly and gentle, egg laying machines. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids), and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breed or hybrid you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!
  7. NickyKnack

    NickyKnack Love is Silkie soft!

    Hello Clay!
    Welcome to BYC and the coop. There are a lot of great peeps here! Ask questions and most of all make yourself at home. So glad you joined.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  10. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG] I delivered a transmission to Concord last week. Nice area!

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