New to chickens with lots of questions!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Ahimsa, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Ahimsa

    Ahimsa Hatching

    Sep 7, 2013
    I've never had chickens before but I've been wanting some for the longest time. Now that we're moving to a house with 36 acres and a huge shed type building that can easily be turned into a chicken house I plan on getting some as soon as I have the building converted. I want to make sure that I do everything I can to keep my chickens happy and healthy so I have a few questions (I'm getting a ton of books about keeping chickens from the library but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here too).

    What breeds do you think would be best for me? I'm looking for something that lays a lot of eggs and is hardy since it gets really hot and really cold here in VA. Size doesn't really matter. I also want one bird strictly for showing.

    How do I go about getting chicks? I'm very hesitant to order chicks online because I've read stories about them arriving dead and I'd be absolutely heartbroken if that happened. I also need the chicks to be sexed because I don't want a bunch of roosters.

    And lastly I'd love to rescue a former battery hen or two but I don't want to spread disease to the chicks. If I get the battery hen first and make sure she's disease free before getting any chicks and then don't introduce them until the chicks are at least pullets would that be ok? Also (this the last question I promise!) how do I rescue a battery hen? Is there a way I can find a commercial egg farm near me and contact them?

    Thanks so much! [​IMG]
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Gosh! What a lot of questions all at once!
    Ok, books....the 3 books I rely on are: Storeys' guide to raising chickens; chicken health handbook by Damerow & Sue Weavers' tending a small scale flock. All have valuable info. and I constantly refer to them. Make sure you read the parts on hen-house construction before you start to build/convert, it will save time & effort down the road.
    Hardy breeds - I don't think you can go wrong with Rhode Island reds, Dominiques, Welsummers & Wyandottes, although I'm sure you will receive many other suggestions!
    I have used 'mail order' for my birds and have been fortunate. However, I'm sure if you go to your local Craigslist, you will find a hatchery somewhere nearby. Just do your homework and check on their reputation etc. Ask around - if you see someone with chickens nearby, go ask. Lord knows, we like to talk about our birds!
    As for the battery hens, be very aware that these birds do come with psychological problems along with health issues. Again, google rescue sanctuaries and follow the links for farm animals. You can usually find something that way.
    Hope that helps, I know others will be giving lots of help the way[​IMG] Sue
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
  4. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] The answer to many of your questions may be answered on your state thread- especially where to find battery hens for adoption and what breeds handle your climate. Go to "where am I, where are you," one of the tabs in the social forum. Then locate and post on your state thread. You will likely find others near your area,
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan [​IMG]

    Cochins are always a good choice for those new to showing, they are easy to handle and there are lots of good quality ones available.
  7. Ahimsa

    Ahimsa Hatching

    Sep 7, 2013
    Thanks everyone! :D
  8. Webechickens

    Webechickens Chirping

    Apr 1, 2013
    East Central Indiana
    Welcome from east central Indiana!
  9. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Great suggestions. Welcome to BYC.

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