New to chickens in western Maine

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Rime, Feb 18, 2015.

  1. Rime

    Rime In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2015
    Western Maine
    Hi there,

    We're looking to start a small flock this spring; I've joined to get more info on breeds, breeders, coop plans, etc.

    We get extremely harsh winters, so cold hardiness is a big concern. We live on 40 acres and plan to free range in the summer, coop in winter.

    There are only two of us, so we don't need real high layer values. And I like the idea of a heritage breed like Chanteclers, but most sources seem to require a 25 minimum order. That's a lot of chickens for 2 people, and newbies at that.

    Would love to connect with members in Maine who've had good luck with certain lines/breeds etc. I've got the order form for our local farm supply, it's mostly the typical layer breeds - RIR, New Hampshire, Barred Rock, Buff Orp, etc. Nice thing is the minimum order is 6 - much more manageable!

    - Sarah
  2. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!

    My very first chicks came from and they did not have a high minimum. Now I order locally because I can't wait...I need to order them and drive on over to pick them up haha

    Would love to see pictures of your chicks when you get everything in order :)
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to our flock. I always order pullets in orders of 25 chicks, whether I need that many or not. Larger orders ship better, and by ordering pullets you don't have to worry about the hatchery sticking male packing peanuts in the box for better traveling. Also, by having the order form showing that they are pullets, I've never had any problem selling off the extra chicks and recouping my money. And since most hatcheries only guarantee 90% accuracy on sexed orders, I've always gotten a rooster or two in the order anyway, which is plenty for breeding purposes. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your chicks.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]and welcome to Backyard chickens. You may want to post on the Maine thread to find out what breeds do best with the extreme cold and snowy weather. I'm wondering how the humans survive- this has really been a bad winter for them.
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

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

    You've come to a great place to start learning about chicken keeping! I suggest taking a look at the Learning Center for some helpful articles: Learning Center Articles

    I would suggest ordering the twenty-five chicks, even if you don't plan on keeping all of them. You can sell off the ones that you don't need, or split an order with somebody else. Also, it isn't uncommon to lose a couple of chicks, especially if you're new to chicken keeping. If you get 25, you'll still have some left if you lose a few.

    Chanteclers would be a good choice, since they are quite cold hardy (though I don't have any personal experience with them). Another breed that I would suggest would be the Wyandotte. They are cold hardy as well, because of their small combs and profuse feathering. Mine have had very good temperaments, survived cold temperatures well, and been excellent layers.
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  7. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined our "flock!"

    The other posters have given you some good advice. [​IMG]
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Michael and Wyandottes7 have given you great info!
  10. Rime

    Rime In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2015
    Western Maine
    Thanks for the welcome everyone!

    I'm thinking of ordering 10 from the feed store. They've got Golden Laced and Silver Laced Wyandottes available. They've also got Light Brahmas, which I believe are also cold hardy and good winter layers? So maybe half-and-half of each.

    I thought about the 25 Chanteclers, but they're only available as straight run, and definitely aren't cheap. I'd rather spend the money on them later when I'm more confident in my raising abilities.

    I do have a question about road smarts. We live on a dirt road that gets a moderate amount of traffic in the summer, mostly ATVs (we're en route to a popular trail). Are chickens savvy enough to not get hit? Do we need to put up a fence to try and keep them on the back side of the house/land?

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