New to chickens - LOTS OF QUESTIONS!

Little Toots

10 Years
Mar 17, 2009
Hello everyone! I'm just getting starting and already having so much fun! I've never chatted with anyone before and what better way to begin that sharing my "chicken story" and getting advice from all you experts out there.

I've always wanted chickens and it was finally possible when we took over the small family farm. It started with my daughter bringing home 6 baby chicks from the 4-H fair. Oh what a funny experience that was!. We ended up three roosters and two little buttercups in the bunch. One of the roosters was a Leghorn and I soon found out what chicken people mean when they talk about a mean rooster!!!!!! It didn't take us long to learn how to make soup! Enough of that story!

A little over a year later I am hooked, big time! Taking some advice I ended up getting more Buff hens but long story short, someone gave me a few Rhode Island Reds. Then someone gave me 10 gray leghorn hens so needless to say, I have quite a mixture. I wonder if that is a bad idea? I have about 38 hens and still have Buffie, my rooster. I just put a sign out and sell the extra eggs.

I have never found my chickens much work but that's probably because I have no idea what I am doing. Once my husband got the coop ready it has been the highlight of my day to go egg gathering. We learned the hard way that "free range" was not for us after I couldn't find eggs anywhere until one day between the barn hay there were about 20. It was good for a laugh. After that we fenced in a nice area and then discovered we had to have netting over the top. Those birds are not so dumb.

There are 5 adults in this household. We rarely say, "What would you like for breakfast?" More like, "How would you like your eggs today?"

Right now my main question is concerning feed. I thought you had to keep food out there all the time for those laying hens. My mom came one day and told me I was crazy. They will eat as much as I give them. Those Buffs are big and fat, for sure. I heard they are duel purpose and those leghorns don't need so much. Is there a rule of thumb as to how much food to put in each day?

Believe me I have lots of questions but if I write much more I will scare you all away. I promise to keep it shorter next time and I have the funniest (short) story to tell!


Rest in Peace 1956-2011
11 Years
Aug 25, 2008
Sounds like you backed into chickens the way I did!
I NEVER gave it a thought until I went to a feed store for dog food- and came home with 2 chicks, NOT for dog food! That was 16 years or so ago.

I and many othere let the chickens feed whenever they want- always available. Some breeds are heavier and fatter than others, it's just like people!

Oh, and one other little item-
from South Carolina, nice to "see" you!

Edited spelling error
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Robin L

11 Years
Jun 12, 2008
First off

I keep the layer feed full at all times. Its treats you have to watch how much they get.
I too have a mixture of breeds and there is nothing wrong with that as far as I know.
I just started to sell my extra eggs and the poor girls cant keep up.


11 Years
Dec 3, 2008
Sealy, TX (West Houston area)
from Texas!

I think most of us have crumbles or pellets available to our chickens all the time. I don't think they'll over-eat, unless you give them too many treats

If you have questions...ask away! Just try to put them in the right forum so you get better answers...


Crazy Bird Lady
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
A Galaxy Far Far Away
Welcome to BYC, Little Toots!

Let them free feed! My chickens will only eat what they need on the feed. On goodies - fruits, veggies, leftovers - they can pig out - but the feed is available at all times.


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