New to chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by calyn, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. calyn

    calyn New Egg

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    Hi all, I am looking into starting my first backyard chicken flock. Any advice or tips are most welcome. I am still looking into my city ordinances but it looks promising. I have always wanted a silkie but also want a good layer any suggestions. I know that my ordinance sates, "no roosters that crow..." do all roosters crow? I am doing research on all things chicken but I value personal experience. Thanks.
     
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC![​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    My personal favorite breed of chicken is the Wyandotte. Mine have been excellent layers, and docile, personable birds. Other good breeds that lay well are Black Sex-Links, Australorps, Red Sex-Links, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, and Orpingtons. For reviews on differnent breeds, go to the Breeds section: Chicken Breeds

    If you decide to get a Silkie, I'd stick with bantam breeds. Silkies are often prone to being picked on by other larger, more assertive flockmates. Fortunately, many of the common large fowl breeds come in a bantam form. There are bantam Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, Leghorns, and Australorps, among others. Often times, a great companion breed for Silkies is the Polish. Since both can't see very well and aren't very "chickenlike", they don't usually hurt each other.

    Unfortunately, roosters almost always crow. There are some methods for preventing crowing, including "No Crow Collars". There are several threads on No Crow Collars, in case you want to read them. Go up to the Search box and type in No Crow Rooster Collars, and you should get some results on them.

    Decrowing surgery can be done, though it is dangerous unless done by a skiled person. Several people on Backyardchickens have de-crowed roosters. I'm sure you'll find some information if you Search for decrowing roosters as well.

    You don't need to have a rooster to have chickens, though! Hens can be lots of fun. Even if you can't have a rooster, I suggest getting some hens. They'll be just as happy without one and lay just as well.

    Here are some links on decrowing roosters, if you want to read any:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/705084/decrowing-roosters
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/932729/decrowing-surgery-my-roosters-experiences

    And, some on No-Crow Collars:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/910670/no-crow-collars
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/906916/no-crow-rooster-collar

    *Edited to add some more helpful links*
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Good luck with getting some chickens! For information on raising chickens, I would check out BYC's informative Learning Center: Learning Center Articles
    You may also want to read up on chicken coop designs (Coop Designs), and breeds (Chicken Breeds - BackYard Chickens Community). When getting chickens, the more research you do beforehand, the better off your birds will be.

    Yes, Silkies certainly wouldn't be a good choice if you want eggs, though they sure are cute! I would recommend dual purpose breeds, like the Wyandotte, Australorp, Orpington, Easter Egger, Sex-link, Plymouth Rock, Jersey Giant, Sussex, and Rhode Island Red. Dual-purpose breeds are generally docile, tame easily, are hardy in various types of weather, and lay colored eggs (brown, greenish, etc.).

    If you want lots of eggs, then you could also try some of the Mediterranean breeds, including the Leghorn, Minorca, and Andalusian. Those breeds are egg laying powerhouses, but tend to be flighty and not make great pets. All Mediterranean breeds lay white eggs.

    Or, if all you want are some ornamental, pretty birds, you could go with a wide variety of bantams and standard sized chickens. Common bantam breeds include Silkie, Japanese, Old English Game, Sebright, Rosecomb, and Wyandotte. Bantams won't usually lay many eggs (and the eggs will be small), but they are adorable little birds and are delightful to have running around the yard.

    Unfortunately, all roosters are capable of crowing, and will crow at some point in their life. Some are quieter than others, but I've never heard of a truly "quiet" rooster. Fortunately, hens are nearly as fun as roosters, and don't need a rooster to lay eggs or be happy.

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask! We're all here to help. [​IMG] Good luck with any future chickens!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join us. I used to raise Silkies and they are adorable, sweet, friendly, funny little birds, but poor layers with small eggs. For sheer egg production, I would recommend Black Sex Links. They are hardy and friendly, egg laying machines. I've raised them for years and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. If you prefer a standard breed (BSLs are hybrids and will not breed true which means you'll have to replenish your stock from a hatchery), I would recommend Black Australorps. They are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (my children, and now my granddaughter, make lap pets of ours), and they are the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds or hybrids you decide to get, good luck with your flock.
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You have been given some great advice here! Unfortunately all roosters do crow. Some breeds not as much as others. But there is no guarantee. You don't need a rooster if you are only wanting eggs and pets. I am a huge fan of the Buff Orpingtons and the Black Australorps. Very docile, gentle birds and great layers too. Very hardy over all.

    Good luck on this new adventure you are on and welcome to our flock!
     
  6. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Buff orpingtons are my personal favorite chicken breed! They are super affectionate, loving, gentle ad friendly.
     
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    yep, fish gotta swim, roosters gotta crow - that's the way it is.
     
  9. WalleyWaller

    WalleyWaller Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you like a variety of colors in your eggs you may consider Ameraucanas, Araucanas or Cream Legbars. They are Blue Egg Layers. I have all three and love them all. I agree the BSL and RIR are great layers of Large to Extra Large brown eggs. I have one RIR in particular that lays a HUGE egg. It wont fit in any carton that I have seen. Wishing you all the best
    Hello and Welcome from South Carolina! [​IMG] We are happy you joined us! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. calyn

    calyn New Egg

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    Oct 28, 2014
    KCMO
    Thanks to all for the advice. I definitely want a couple of silkies, I have been waiting to start my flock for several years now and I have my heart set on silkies since I first saw one, but I do want something else to go with them mostly for eggs. My next concern is my biggest expense....the coop! I would like to build my own as I love to build things but where do I get plans from and what are the most important things to consider when building my coop? I would like to know what style and size so I can plan and prep the area I want my coop to go so that I can start building in spring. As several of you suggested I have been exploring the information available here and I just keep learning! Thanks again for your help and advice.
     

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