Newbie here with tons of questions!!! Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by kentuckychicks, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok let me say first I love and am addicted to this website! So much info and such nice people! I remember my grandparents having chickens but besides getting chased by an angry rooster I don't know a lot about them. That being said we have decided to take the chicken plunge. Picked out our chicken coop plans (via this website the cross keys coop) and decided on a breed the buff orpingtons (due to their calm and patient nature). But I have loads of questions and it seems every time I answer one I have five more lol.

    So to start off....
    Where do i buy heritage chicks?
    Is it true that if you buy chicks from tractor supply ect they are more aggressive?
    Small children with chickens when and how do I introduce them?
    How much chicken handling is ok? (my kids are animal people lol)
    Roosters....are all aggressive?
    Do you handle your rooster a lot of not at all?
    How long until eggs for the buff orpingtons?
    Things I should be aware of when bringing new chicks home? Pasty butt ect?

    Thanks in advance guys its so helpful to get answers from people who have and love their chickens!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Last edited: Sep 16, 2013
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  3. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much! Does any one know a good breeder for heritage buff orpingtons?
     
  4. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are fencing in an area 160 square feet for our chicks right off of our coop is that enough space? Should i try letting them free range too? We live in the country in Kentucky and have lots of hawks neighborhood dogs coyetes foxes snakes and the like. But hate the idea of keeping the poor things cooped up all the time..... :( Would it be ok to let them out when they are larger (because bos get big) during the day? All suggestions welcome
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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  6. smedly9921

    smedly9921 Out Of The Brooder

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    Meyer Hatchery is a great place for buffs. I have lots of buff for raising more chicks. They are a very broody blood line of chicken. We handle them often and they like it. My kids love to be with there chickens. As the Buffs are kept around for a long time we treat them more like pets than the general chicken population. Of all the breeds of chickens i have, buffs are my favorite. You will love them. As far as the first ones you bring home the above information is great. Keep there pen clean and warm. Plenty of food and water the more you handle the more friendly they will be. But do not try to handle too much the first few weeks. Start off slow, feed them from you hand to start. That will get them acquainted to you in an easier way. They are a bigger chicken and they will go broody so they do not produce a huge amount of eggs. Even if you do not have a rooster they will go broody. I recommend you get a couple super layers like barred rocks or golden comets to mix in. Also great breeds but they do not go broody all to often if ever. I have one comet that goes broody every year other than her its just my buffs. I do not have a buff rooster but i know several people that do and they are great roosters. I will be getting one next year. The current rooster attacked me for the last time (chicken dinner time). You will love the buffs. They are such a great chicken and they are such great mothers. Again not the strongest egg layers because they seem to always be broody. Some of my buffs will go broody 3 times a year. But when i was looking for a broody chicken they were some of the highest recommended. Thats why i got them. Enjoy!
     
  7. write2caroline

    write2caroline Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is my grandmother with her Dominques. A heritage breed. I ordered mine from My Pet Chicken because I only wanted 3 but if there is a breed you really want you can look on the section regarding breeds and get to know people who have probably better quality birds show quality birds. I know it take the same effort to keep better quality but I don't have the money right now and so hatchery quality is fine for now.

    As far as aggressive. It really depends on the bird. I have had some really mean roosters and some really docile and sweet. I don't think nurture vs nature took any part in their early weeks made a difference. I do mentally picture myself as the biggest meanest top rooster every time I enter my run because the aggressive roosters I had were really trying to keep me away from their girls and maybe this mental energy I am trying to project is being read by the other roosters and they feel I am alpha or maybe it is a lot of crapola and I am wasting my time but my roosters just are more docile - who knows.


    I am not a huge fan of letting people pet the chicks. I don't invite friends to touch them usually, My daughter likes to pet the chicks but she was 12 or so and now she is nearly 16 so I trust her. Sometimes people want to pet the grown chickens. I hold it and they can pet the chicken. If they seem okay and I feel they will be okay I ask them to sit and I will let them hold the chicken.

    I took a chicken to St. John's Cathedral in Jacksonville for the Blessing of the Animals and she laid an egg during communion almost on que when the priest raised the bread to break it in half.

    My buffs were just under 30 weeks when they first laid eggs. You will know when the chickens are about to lay because their combs will change from pinkish to bright cherry red.

    Read all the good stuff under the raising chick section - there are some standard things.

    Caroline
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm not answering all your questions, but just want to say please don't get a rooster right away. Roosters and small children, especially children that want to handle and make pets of the animals, don't mix well. Roosters don't make good pets, they're intact male livestock and unless your kids are at least pre-teen and well experienced with being assertive with animals you'll have a bad experience, I can almost guarantee it. Start with some nice hens, you can always add a rooster later but folks never want to get rid of one after they've raised it from a chick, even when it attacks them.
     
  9. SwedishDude99

    SwedishDude99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depends on how many chickens you have. Let us know and we will help you from there. :D
     
  10. kentuckychicks

    kentuckychicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow! See this is what I need! I never knew that their combs changed color right before (oh and i love you said crapola my Nana says that rofl). I think I am definitely leaning toward just hens. But without a protector I guess they will have to stay put away.... :’( major hawks here. Good news is that i refuse to have a aggressive animal period. I mean I don't let one of my daughters slap the other because they are feeling to big for their britches so no flogging allowed! Lol plus I believe in my kids having food association( ya know like nope chicken doesn't come from walmart wrapped in plastic) so I have no problem being the judge jury and executor for all poultry here ;-)

    Thanks for the breeder info. Is there any reason to get a heritage bird if Im not going to show them?
     

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