New to chickens...I have lots of questions!


11 Years
Mar 24, 2008
Hey everyone.
My name is Eva and I'm a SAHM of three kids. We have seven acres in the country but no "farm animals" so far.
I've been thinking of adding chickens to the family for about a year now but it hasn't seemed like the right time until now.
We have a 10ft by 12ft overhang on the south side of our garage (trees leave it partially shaded all day) that would make a perfect run area and so once I have that fenced in I'll have to make nesting boxes and roosting areas and we should be set.
I was wondering which chickens are the best "starters" I had chickens when I was a kid but that was quite a few years ago and I'd like something that is hardy, a good layer and not agressive so that the kids can help to gather eggs and feed their new pets.
I've been leaning toward RIR's and Araucana because they are pretty but that's about all of the knowledge that I have on them other than RIR's are fairly hardy and Araucana lay blue/green eggs.
I'd really appreciate some help in making a decision if anyone is willing.
Thanks, more questions to follow.
I LOVE my buff Orpingtons....They are the sweetest girls and lay great! I got them for me and my kids last spring. My kids are always carrying them and helping out with feeding and cleaning. They even make trips into their class rooms!!!
They are my lap chickens..if you sit down any where in the backyard, you better expect to have a chicken on your lap!

I know that there are many wonderful breeds, but these are the only ones I have ever had so of course I am partial!!
Buff Orpington are very docile and friendly. Plus they are good dual purpose birds for both meat and eggs. They can also go broody. They are very pretty golden colored birds. Brahmas are also docile and good egg layers.
Thanks for the help.I've been researching both of the breeds mentioned and they are beautiful and seem perfect for our family!
Now I need to check at the local feed stores and see if they will be getting any shipments of either in anytime soon. If not I'm pretty sure that they'll order them for me.
We have 5 people in our family so should we get 5 chickens? I think that we should have plenty of room and I can always let them free range during the day.
What does "broody" mean?
I keep hearing the word but haven't found a good definition for it.
What kind of starter supplies should I buy for the babies? I have a huge rubbermaid tub to keep them in and a clamp lamp with a 100 watt bulb. We have aspen shavings and straw, small metal waterer and feeder.
So I'll need feed for them....what kind is best?
As far as fencing goes which kind works best? There's chicken wire and chicken wire with smaller holes or the wire that is smaller rectangles (I can't remember the name of it) Are there advantages to different types or are they all comparable?
Do they need grit? Or can I use playsand?
Like I said, I have LOTS of
Thanks for being patient with a newbie!
Hello, Eva! Welcome to BYC!
We started with Black Australorps. They are a docile breed and lay very well. They are also very pretty - black with green and purple sheens.
You may want to get more than 5. Maybe start with 10. (They don't all lay an egg every single day.)
Broody means that they will lay on their eggs and try to hatch them.
Feeding the chicks medicated feed for the first few weeks and then switching to just chick feed is what we did. Most brands(?) have feeding guidelines on the bags.
Hope this helps!!
Hmm...I'm not sure if i'm ready for the responsibility of a big flock of chickens yet..
Would it be alright to start with 5 and then add more later if we decide that we need more eggs?

I don't want to start off feeling overwhelmed.
I'm not planning on mail ordering them...instead I'm buying from one of the local feed stores. It'll probably cost more but we can pick out our chicks which the kids will love doing.
How many chickens can comfortably fit in a 10' by 12' area? The pen will be about 6 ft tall and I was planning on making a few different roosting areas along with a 4-6 space nesting box.
Is medicated feed really necessary? What does the medication in the feed do?
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