New to raising Chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by crystalswan, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. crystalswan

    crystalswan Hatching

    Mar 15, 2015
    Hi everyone,

    My husband and I are raising laying hens and meat birds this year, we're newbies at this. My husband has already built his chicken tractor and will be ordering his meat birds soon. We are in the process of figuring out if we're going to build or buy or chicken coop, not sure the cheapest way to go yet (any input appreciated).
    We live in Maine, so I've been trying to figure out which hens to get (due to cold winters) I've been looking at: Orpington, Rhode Island reds, Sussex and Barred Plymouth Rock Chickens. Which breeds do you all like? We have two toddlers, so I'd like to get pretty docile chickens.

    Another question I have is, we're getting a few chicks to raise but we'll definitely want laying hens for this summer. How well do adult hens get along with younger chicks, if we mixed them together?

    I'm sure we'll return with more questions, but this website seems to be full of amazing information.

  2. SFrati

    SFrati In the Brooder

    Aug 11, 2014
    Springfield, MA

    I live in MA so I selected my flock for cold weather and had no problems even in the coldest of days. I have a black australop, lavender orpington, 2 easter eggers, and a welsummer. I get about 6 eggs a week from each chicken with some chickens never taking a day off. .I dont know much about meat birds except that different chickens are used for different purposes. I chose mine for cold hardy and egg production. Good luck with this new hobby and I am sure others will have plenty to add.
  3. Odelia

    Odelia Songster

    Feb 20, 2014
    For cold hardiness I would choose.

  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Most chicken breeds handle cold much better than heat. If they have a draft free coop with sufficient ventilation and correct size for their number, they will be fine. 2 x 4's make good roosts - chickens don't grasp a perch like other birds. They prefer to have feet flat so they can rest their head on them and keep them warm. The 4" side of the roost should be up.
  6. N F C

    N F C whaz sup?

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!

    x2 on @drumstick diva 's advice regarding the coop and roosts. As for the breeds you mention, the Orpington and Sussex have good reputations for having calmer natures. As much as I love our RIR's, that breed is not generally seen as friendly as some others. Our barred rocks are a mixed bag, some calmer/friendlier than others.

    This chart may help you decide what works best for you:

    Maybe you'd like to get some of each of the breeds you think are interesting. I prefer a mixed flock for the variety of egg colors, personalities and feathering. Have fun choosing your birds and no matter what you get, enjoy them!
  7. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]
    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home!
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Lots of nice breeds mentioned, I'm partial to Easter Eggers (love the colored eggs), Wyandottes and Sussex from those. You are generally better off to build (or have built for you if there is someone in the area) a coop rather than buy a pre-fab coops, the pre-fabs are usually quite flimsy, small, and will not stand up to your weather.
    You can't just mix chicks and older birds together, it is best to wait until the chickens are about the same size, and a long period of seeing but no touching through wire seem to work best, ie dividing the coop into two sections or keeping the new/younger ones in a cage inside the coup for a couple of weeks to a month at least. There is a nice article in the Learning Center on integrating flocks you might like to check out, the part about actually combining them is after the quarantine section
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]I'm glad you joined our community.

    You've received some excellent advice already! I'd like to add that my favorite breed is the Wyandotte. My Wyandottes have been very good egg layers, quite docile and sweet, and very hardy through heat and especially cold. I would definitely recommend them.

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