New to all this!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by MotherHen9892, Feb 28, 2017.

  1. MotherHen9892

    MotherHen9892 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    New Jersey
    Hi, my daughter is going to start raising some baby chicks. Our local ordinance will only allow for us to have three female chickens and the rest will go to a local farm. We are trying to get information about everything we need to do and buy to be ready for them including the coop, feed, heated water dish, etc. This is a bit of a project for us! We have a large lawn and Tru Green is due to come out soon for our first treatment. Should we skip the back where we'd let the chickens roam? Is there anything we can do to keep our lawn nice, green and weed free that would allow for healthy chickens and non-contaminated eggs? I see so much on here about Cockadoodle Doo brand of fertilizer but the website is a dead end and all of the threads/recommendations appear to be old. I am guessing they are no longer in business. Did they go out of business and what can we do/buy to keep the lawn nice and also healthy for roaming chickens? We have about .75 acre of property with a wide open grassy area in the backyard where they can roam but it is not fenced in. We have woods behind the grass and there are foxes and all kinds of other wildlife including snakes. This is in Central NJ.

    Any other advice for a first timer is appreciated! Thank you!!

  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls Must hatch more Premium Member Project Manager

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    I am sorry to say but if you have "roaming" chickens you more than likely will not have a nice yard....IMO.
    Have you thought about fencing off some of you yard..for just the chickens?
    Chickens love weeds..I would never treat my yard with anything since my chickens do free range.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] Since you only can keep 3 chickens I would advise NOT letting them free range among predators, you numbers will go to zero in a hurry. If you have a small permanent coop and secure run - your birds will be happy and safer and they won't be tearing up your lawn. Many Google can lead you to a lawn treatment that IS safe and will be good for your lawn.
  4. MotherHen9892

    MotherHen9892 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    New Jersey
    Thank you Diva! Is it cruel to keep them permanently cooped up? This is the coop we are looking at:

    If we are nearby can they roam around the backyard and get some exercise? I don't think a fox would get so close to us humans if we are out there with them. Not sure about the larger birds I sometimes see circling.

    Even if they do stay in their run, wouldn't any fertilizer run off into the entire yard and eventually get into their soil? I just called Tru Green and they can't tell me what they are putting on my lawn. I told them to only do the front this week. Otherwise we haven't had anything put on the back since November. I am concerned about anything harmful to the chickens and to us via their eggs.

    Is there any fertilizer that anyone out there can recommend? Gardens Alive, Dr. Earth, etc? Are these safe if ingested and are the eggs then safe for humans.

    Thanks for your help. Any other advice for newbies is much appreciated.
  5. MotherHen9892

    MotherHen9892 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    New Jersey
    Yes, we've thought about a pen around the coop where they can roam. The runs that come with the coops seem very small to me. We use an electric fence for our garden because of all of the critters here. Not sure if that is appropriate for the chickens but it keeps foxes, groundhogs and rabbits out of the garden. Otherwise some raccoon or something will dig under, etc. Unless we just use the fenced in area during the day when we are around.

    I am still very concerned about runoff from fertilized areas into the fenced area. So in the end I'd like to find good lawn care products that aren't harmful.

    The fenced in area would have to be away from either neighbor for that same reason as we can't ask them to use organics only.
  6. MotherHen9892

    MotherHen9892 In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    New Jersey
    The coop we are looking at is for 6-8 so big enough for 3 with a run area of 79" L x 46.3" W. Still seems kind of cruel to keep them in there 24x7 but since this is new to me maybe I don't know enough about them to know for sure.
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Good for you on doing all your homework ahead of getting chickens! I personally would not let the birds into an area that has been treated. It's not cruel to keep your little flock confined to a run as long as it is large enough (figure 10 sq. feet per bird) and you make it interesting for them with roosts, places to dust bathe, etc. Keeping them confined is better and less cruel than leaving them open to predators. As for hawks, I actually had one come within about 8 feet of me when I was sitting outside with my flock...he just flew up on a fence post and was scoping out the chickens, he wasn't worried about me at all.

    Good luck to you and have fun with your new chickens!

  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, MotherHen, and [​IMG]! Great to have you in our community! Best wishes to you and your future flock! [​IMG]
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello, and welcome to Backyard Chickens! Please make yourself at home here and enjoy yourself! :frow

  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under MotherHen9892 [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some great advice, I will just send best wishes to you and your new feathered family when they arrive.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]

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