New to forum, and thought I knew about chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Cheyred, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. Cheyred

    Cheyred New Egg

    6
    0
    9
    Oct 5, 2015
    I decided to raise some chickens, so I bought 8 hens. I have read several discussions about food, bedding, yard and coops. Now I have more questions than answers. I know there are several ways to go about raising them, but would like some input.

    1. Is it better to use hay/ straw or is pine shavings better? Right now I have straw and it seems to attract the flies. I did have it in the coop and their yard, but now only have it in their coop.
    2. Do I need to feed them veggies and other " goodies" every day? Or is the laymash and scratch enough?
    3. Does the coop need to raised off the ground? Right now there is no floor, just the ground. My coop is not enclosed completely (we live in California where it's sunny 360 days a year) does it still need to be enclosed?
    This is what my coop looks like. But now I have put more wood over the top for shade and the door on the left has been taken out [​IMG]
     
  2. Lozuufy

    Lozuufy Pigeons are nutty Premium Member

    1,783
    231
    201
    May 20, 2012
    MA/VT
    Hi and [​IMG]. I prefer to use pine shavings over straw because straw tends to be harder to clean out in my experience. You may want to put boards or hardware cloth down in the coop part floor to stop digging predators from getting in, but the coop doesn't have to be raised up off the ground. As long as it is predator proof and suits your weather it doesn't have to be enclosed, but you may want to put 1/2 inch hardware cloth around it because weasels can get through 1 inch chicken wire and raccoons can reach through and eat the chickens through the fence. Although they would like to have goodies they don't need them every day, layer feed is enough and a little bit of scratch, but not too much because it is not as nutritional as their layer feed.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]
     
  3. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

    33,472
    8,545
    616
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    [​IMG]

    The Learning Center has lots of helpful information but I'll give you the answers as best I know now:

    1. Bedding is more of a personal choice depending on what is available and what works best for your area. Some like hay, some use sand and other use other things.

    2. Feeding your birds a nutritionally balance commercial feed appropriate to their age is important. Watch how much scratch you give them, too much corn is not a good thing. You can give a few little treats but keep it to less than 10% of their daily intake. Here's a chart to help you see what is considered "healthy":
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-treat-chart-the-best-treats-for-backyard-chickens

    3. No matter where you live, there are predators that dig, fly, etc. Use the search bar in the upper left corner to see how to make your coop predator proof. Here's some reading for you:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/chicken-predators-pests-how-to-protect-treat-your-flock

    Good luck, nice to have you here!
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. Lozuufy and NorthFlChick have done a good job answering your questions so I'll just say, "If you haven't done so already, definitely check out our Learning Center at https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center. There is lots of useful information there. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers."
     
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

    84,499
    3,781
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  6. Frindizzle

    Frindizzle Guitar Girl <3 Premium Member

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
     
  7. Peep-Chicken

    Peep-Chicken Overrun With Chickens

    6,334
    337
    296
    Jun 10, 2013
    Michigan
    My Coop
    [​IMG]
    Hello :frow and welcome to BYC!
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    81,081
    8,213
    766
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG]
     
  9. trailrider330

    trailrider330 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,644
    217
    216
    Aug 4, 2013
    Midwest America
    Welcome to the BYC flock! We are glad you joined us!

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. willzpapa

    willzpapa Papa Santee

    5,110
    2,879
    311
    Sep 26, 2015
    Hillbilly Heaven NC
    And a belated welcome.to BYC everyone here is helpful and there's years and years of.poultry experience here I've learned a lot that I thought I knew from a lifetime of raising chickens but I learn more here everyday.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by