New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by finally flying, Dec 14, 2018.

  1. finally flying

    finally flying In the Brooder

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    Hello everyone. I am new to chickens. I would eventually like to have 3 or 4 layers in my backyard for eggs to eat and birdie byproducts to compost. We are definitely wanting some form of chicken tractor. I am here doing research before we buy anything so that I go into this with at least half a clue about what I am doing. I live in Winnipeg Canada (ag zone 3) so winters will be an issue for me. My first questions are where should I start and what should I expect to spend?

    Edit: I see there is a parrot forum here. I have had parrots for about 10 years.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018
  2. alexa009

    alexa009 Crossing the Road

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    Welcome to Backyard Chickens! We are glad you joined the flock!:welcome BYC is a helpful site providing all of the information you need to know about poultry. There is always space for more members on the BYC roost!:highfive: Check out my article for chicken breeds who are the most notorious for their egg production. https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/10-top-best-egg-layers.72744/
    Hope you enjoy it here as much as we all do!
     
  3. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Hi and welcome to BYC. This link should help - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/category/getting-started-raising-chickens.21/

    On this link you'll find lots of information on almost every aspect of keeping birds - from coop building ideas, to incubating eggs - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/

    Each week, various topics are discussed, which can be a great resource - https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archives . Ditto the Learning Centre - https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/

    This is a useful link of BYC guides to take a look at announcements-feedback-issues-guides.3 I’d suggest including your location using the guide in that link. You can use this link to contact other Canadians - http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/144/canadians-check-in-here

    Best wishes

    Pork Pie
     
  4. cassie123

    cassie123 Crowing

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    Welcome to backyard chickens!
     
  5. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Crossing the Road

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    Hello, and welcome! I'm sure that there must be other people who live near to you in your zone and area that will be able to tell you what you will need to know.
     
  6. finally flying

    finally flying In the Brooder

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    Thanks for all the warm welcomes and links! I do have a friend with lots of chicken experience who lives in the same zone as I do. He sent me here for info. LOL So here I am.
     
  7. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    hithere.gif I started with 3 chickens- it's a perfect number to get acquainted! Why do you prefer a tractor? It seems that since they're portable they wouldn't be be as predator-proof as a secure coop and run. If you're wanting to make good compost, the best way is with deep litter. A tractor will just spread fresh "hot" manure on your ground. With deep litter in a coop or covered run area, you only need to change it out once or twice a year (I do once).

    Start with a shallow base of pine shavings, leaves, grass clippings or similar bedding and keep adding more every so often to build up a thick base. This will create a little ecosystem that brings in beneficial microbes and other bugs and yummies for your chickens to snack on. Then once you clean out the litter, move it to a pile to finish composting and you will have the absolute best garden soil ever!

    You'll also need to get cold hardy breeds, there are many: Brahmas, Easter Eggers, Jersey Giant, Marans, Orpingtons, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Red, Sussex, Welsummer and Wyandottes (and probably more). You could buy a prefab coop for pretty cheap ($300) or less for a used one, but I would worry about parasites or diseases coming with it. A prefab also won't hold up very long, but can be a good starting point to see if you even like having chickens, and figure out your actual needs through experience. Building a coop yourself is usually best for long term housing... might cost anywhere from $400-800 or a lot more depending on how big or what materials you use. You could take a look at what I built... I included a materials list with prices at the end of my article:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-mod-coop.74256/

    Here are some other articles that may help you get started and think about preparing for winters:
    Advice For Chicken Owners
    Prevent Frostbite During Winter
    Chicken Coop Ventilation - Go Out There And Cut More Holes In Your Coop!
    To Insulate or Not To Insulate


    I know that's a lot of reading, but it might help you get some ideas what to expect.
    Good luck with your research!
     
    rjohns39, alexa009, sourland and 7 others like this.
  8. N F C

    N F C is it nap time yet?

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    :welcome

    With the links you've already been provided, that will give you enough to get started (and you can always ask questions).

    There are a lot of coops and tractors that other members have built documented under the Articles tab, you can get a lot of ideas for building there:
    chicken-coops.12

    Best wishes!
     
  9. Perris

    Perris Crowing

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  10. Cathy Roberts

    Cathy Roberts Songster

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    Welcome from another newcomer!
     

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