New to forum and raising chickens

Shblack

Chirping
Aug 17, 2016
16
22
72
Mid state Tennessee
Hello out there:
Wife and I have retired and relocated from Califorina to a farm in Mid-state Tennessee near the Kentucky border. Been here a year now and recently got the chicken coop cleaned up and ready for business. Acquired a pair of what were termed "rock island red / production red" hens from a local breeder as starters, but the two ladies seem pretty small and loanly in our 200 sf coop. Our interest is in eggs and bug control, think larger breeds might be a better fit due to the hawk population. Hope to let the ladies out to forage once they have had time to figure out this is home. Searching for a source of chickens in our area, but any advice is welcome as we are total novices here. No particular breed in mind, other than a good disposition, easy to care for and reasonable egg output.
 

drumstick diva

Still crazy after all these years.
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Aug 26, 2009
137,356
257,482
2,027
Out to pasture
Welcome to BYC. I don't think even the largest breed of rooster would be safe from hawks. They strike with such force, that the impact alone is often enough to kill their prey. If you free range you have to expect some losses, unless you have livestock guardian dogs out with them.
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
55,501
211,252
1,687
Hi and welcome to BYC. There are many heritage breeds that lay a respectable number of eggs, but commercial varieties are likely to be better layers. Dual purpose, heavier varieties may prove less attractive to hawks (- thats my experience, at least). Maybe some guinea fowl would also help cut down on bugs and probably warn your chickens of hawks.

You can check out the breeds section for further information. You may wish to consider joining your state thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area - https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you and also check out the buy/sell/trade forum to see whats on offer (you need 20 posts to participate).

All the best
CT
 

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