6 Years
Apr 24, 2013
Hi, I am really happy to find BYC!!! I live in southern Maine, have several farmable acres and am educating myself on sustainable backyard farming. Chickens seem like the perfect place to start, along with gardening and composting. I would love to have "free range" chickens for eggs and...perhaps meat. I am not sure if I can eat animals that I raise myself, but I abhor mass food production and the horrific conditions the animals encounter. I either need to go vegan, or succeed at a small family farm. My kids are OK with eating eggs from family farm chickens, but not meat. I need to know how to provide safe shelter (lots of coyote and fox activity around here) and a free range life for our future chickens. A portable chicken coop (or two?) seems like the best option. I have settled on a few styles that I think I can build and afford. I believe a raised and enclosed nesting area with a ramp to a fully enclosed roaming area are the basics. I see online plans that allow for four large birds. I think I would like more than four. I have folks that would like to purchase eggs and poultry from a humane small operation. It may be easier for me to build more than one coop so that they can be easily moved by just me and my kids. I want to make sure that the birds have access to new fresh foraging on a daily basis. Next I have to figure out how to keep them healthy and safe despite weather conditions. Then I have to figure out what kinds of birds we need for our intended farming purposes. I need to learn about feeding, cleaning, caring for, propagating the flock, etc...WOW. SOUNDS INTIMIDATING! I want to have way more than just "a clue" on how to proceed before we actually purchase chickens. I am excited and nervous, but eager to learn and get started. Help??
Greetings from Kansas, hejoko, and
! Pleased you joined us! Sounds like you really have your work cut out for you - but it will all be worth it once you taste those eggs! My advice would be to study up in the Learning Center - the tabs within contain the info you need to maintain a happy and healthy flock! The various BYC forums are Q & A but have great information in the old threads. Good luck to you!
Welcome I feel the same way you do and I believe that with time you will get there, it took me two years just to perpare my yard and I live on a city plot and it was a garbage pit covered in pricker bushes. The learning center is a great place it helped me a lot. I built an economical coop using recycled materials which isn't hard to find in the city so that was super easy to do. Good luck and it is so great to have you! Plymouth Rocks are suitable for your type of weather I live in Rochester NY and my plymouth loves the snow and so do my crosses. Silkies just stay in coop come winter at least mine do.
Hello and welcome from glad you joined BYC

Best wishes on your studying and learning. It wont be long and you will be on your way to raising happy and healthy chickens

Good luck to you :)
You can find the answers to almost ANYTHING on BYC (not even just chickens)...check out the gardening and do-it-yourself forums to learn more. I love Maine! Absolutely gorgeous state...Can't wait to live up there someday!! I live in New Jersey yeaa. Raising chickens at first sounds like a very intimidating task, but it really is fulfilling and a great time! Believe me, if a 19 year old college student can do it, then you certainly can!!!!

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