New to Chickens !

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Andi59, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. Andi59

    Andi59 New Egg

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    Hi new friends !

    I recently purchased a home in the upper corner of the San Fernando Valley - a half an acre "Ranchette" as I call it. The house was a mess, the yards worse.... it has taken me several months and a contractor to clear out the muck in the house, and to move in....but my VERY FIRST PURCHASE WAS A used chicken coop on Craigs list !!!! Then I continued to look, and scored another one !!! My Plan is to place them next to each other and open up the wire inbetween them. Both of the coops are 8 feet long, and 4 feet wide. and 6 feet high. Each has an enclosed raised house and nesting box, and each has outside access and doors to walk in ! So, I have a double wide chicken coop !

    I have not bought chickens yet, because I am building corrals outside, and am having irrigation systems and plantings and trees put in. I am also having the guy who built coop #2 to build me a third one for my 4 ft iguana !

    I also share my home with a 6 year old Great Dane, a rescue African Grey Parrot, 3 Leopard Tortoise's, and the iguana.

    I am also considering adding a couple dwarf goats one day -- but not sure if I have sufficient room....but the chickens and yummy healthy eggs com first !!!

    So, my PLAN is to house 3 to 4 large sized chickens. Does that sound logical for the size of the coops ? Each "side" has two nesting boxes, and I will put in perches and feeders and waterers. And I am a big believer in having "toys" and things for all my critters to do...

    I need some help in the following areas:

    Suggestions for nesting materials ?
    Is it possible to purchase 4 pullets ?
    Where would I best look for pullets ?
    I would prefer heavier "non flying very far" chickens
    Weather here is mild with hot summers. Best brown egg layers for mild/hot weather ?
    Best diets for egg layers ?

    I have been reading and learning.... glad to belong to this community.

    Andi
     
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    [​IMG]Hi Andi, very nice to meet you. Generally allow 4-5 sq.feet per bird inside the coop (not including nest boxes and roosts.) and 10 sq.feet per bird in the outdoor run. If you do get big, heavy birds I would say go for the 5sq.feet each in the coop. The big birds tend to land hard if they jump down from a high roost, so a lower roost is better for them.

    One coop would be plenty for 4 large breed chickens. The Learning Center covers the important aspects of chickenry and is a great place to start. Welcome to Backyard Chickens, hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
     
  3. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

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    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home!
     
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined! :)
     
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC, Andi![​IMG] I'm glad you joined us.
     
  6. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
    Hello and welcome to BYC!
     
  7. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi :welcome Andi

    Glad you could join the flock! Good luck with your new chicken adventure, I am sure you will enjoy it very much. Raising chickens is great fun and very rewarding.

    Enjoy BYC and all the chicken chat :frow
     
  8. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] I'm glad you joined our community!
     
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! X3 on be sure to check out the BYC Learning Center, lots of good articles on all aspects of chicken keeping you'll find helpful. https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center there is a really nice article on figuring out how much room you need for the flock you want. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need as drumstick diva said, you generally want about 4-5sq/f inside and 10 outside, so depending on how big the actual coop part is you are probably fine with 4 hens.

    Suggestions for nesting materials ?
    In the nesting boxes, wood shavings or straw/hay are probably the most popular.

    Is it possible to purchase 4 pullets ?
    If you find an individual seller, you can usually but whatever number you want, depending on the laws in your state (not sure about CA) feed stores may have to sell them in certain numbers (ie 6 at a time) if the minimum is 6 you might consider getting 6 anyhow and selling any extras, that way if you lose a chick or have a surprise rooster you still have the pullets you want. (Much easier than adding a bird later.)

    Where would I best look for pullets ?
    Many feed stores have chicks this time of year at least until late spring. Usually there are ads up on Craigslist etc also. And don't forget to check the BST forum on here. If you are willing to ship chicks, some hatcheries like My Pet Chicken / Meyer have 3 chick minimums.

    I would prefer heavier "non flying very far" chickens
    Weather here is mild with hot summers. Best brown egg layers for mild/hot weather ?
    Here are a couple of links to some nice chicken breed comparison charts you might like http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html and http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/chickenbreedcomparison.pdf and http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx
    when you have narrowed down your choices, don't forget to check the BYC Reviews section for member reviews on the different breeds. https://www.backyardchickens.com/products/category/chicken-breeds
    For egg numbers alone, the Red Sex Links (Golden Comet, Red Stars, ISA Browns etc) for brown eggs are probably the most popular layers around. If you want breeds that don't lay quite as well but will lay for a longer time, Black Australorps, Orpingtons (lots of people really like these, great pets though broody), Plymouth Rocks, Sussex, Delaware and Wyandottes are some other popular breeds, they all lay different shades of brown eggs. One other breed/ mix to really consider is the Easter Egger, (often sold incorrectly as Ameraucana by hatcheries), are a fun breed because they usually lay green/blue eggs.

    Best diets for egg layers ?
    Most people just go with a commercial Layer diet since it is the easiest way to give the birds a balanced diet. And then just add treats or supplements in moderation.
     
    3 people like this.
  10. 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.

    Amazing advice from Kelsie! She took the words right from my mouth so I'll just say welcome and good luck![​IMG]
     

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