New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BSCielakie, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. BSCielakie

    BSCielakie Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 9, 2013
    Hello, my name is Brandie and my husband Sam and I have decided we would like to raise chickens on our 3 acres of open land mainly for the purpose of collecting eggs for us to eat. We ordered today a 4x6 chicken housethat has 6 nesting boxes and will be building a run/coop as well. We plan to get 8-10 rhode island reds. We plan on free ranging our birds and only housing them at night to protect them from predators. Our biggest concern is our neighbor who is about half an acre or so away from us has approx 100 bantam chickens and 7-10 roosters who are free rangers as well, but do not have a house or a coop. Will our chickens want to run off to our neighbors house and interact with the others? We don't plan on having a rooster right now but worry about losing our chicks. Any helpful advice will be much appreciated, we are new to this and have no clue what to actually expect.
     
  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

    28,875
    5,638
    576
    May 11, 2010
    [​IMG]
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,186
    13,200
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Brandie and Sam, welcome to BYC. Make a good sized run along with your coop so that you can pen your chickens up if predator problems arise. The neighborhood roosters may very well come over to visit your hens. Just think teenage boys with a bunch of cute young girls in the area. Your hens will probably not leave, but some of the roosters may want to stay.
     
  4. BSCielakie

    BSCielakie Out Of The Brooder

    10
    0
    22
    Feb 9, 2013
    Thanks so much for your advice! In your opinion, how long should be pin our chicks before we can let them free range? My hubby wants to make a fairly large run 16ft long x 8ft wide x 4ft tall covered for protection
     
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,515
    472
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    [​IMG]
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    23,342
    1,231
    448
    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
     
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,839
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you aboard! You have asked some really great questions and you have come to the right place for answers. I think if you leave them penned for 3 or 4 days they will see their run and coop as "home" and keep returning. One bit of advice...you are at the max number of chickens for that size coop. Thing is, you will find they will only use half that many nest boxes. To make a little more room, I'd remove 3 of those nest boxes if possible. I have 18 hens and they lay all of their eggs in 2 nest boxes. Good luck to you and have fun!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Fierlin1182

    Fierlin1182 powered-flight

    17,156
    222
    348
    Aug 26, 2011
    Hi and :welcome

    Yeah, a couple of days would be enough to teach them to come home at night, that's all it took for us anyway. :)
    Ours neighbours also have chickens, and the birds will sometimes fly over the five foot fence to hang out together. :lol:
    But they always went back home afterwards, so hopefully that won't be a problem for you either!
    Good luck.
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,121
    7,859
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Hello and welcome to BYC [​IMG] I agree with Sourland. They will be curious about the neighbouring chickens and the neighbouring chickens will be curious about them. A sturdy run would be a good idea, not least for predator protection. A 16x8 foot run is a good size for 8-10 chickens, but 4 foot high... They could fly out of there if they really want to.
    Ditto Redsoxs advice. I have 11 hens and they use 1 nest box. Sometimes 2, but mostly just the 1. I think 3 nest boxes will do just fine for 10 hens. You will probably find they lay in only 1 of them [​IMG] Chickens are strange creatures.
     
  10. DDNONIN2016

    DDNONIN2016 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,854
    107
    218
    Jan 27, 2012
    SW Ohio
    Hello and welcome from Ohio....so glad you joined BYC. Best of luck with your new chickens
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by