1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!


Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by hhindley, Sep 23, 2014.

  1. hhindley

    hhindley Hatching

    Aug 5, 2013
    Hello all,

    I'm new to the chicken community and I want to raise chickens for eggs. However, I work full-time and I have three kids (we're looking at expanding our human flock in the near future), but for now we'd like to expand our chicken flock. I have so many questions.

    Is it possible to work full-time and raise chickens (and kids)?
    We have an Australian herding dog, will he try to ear our chickens once we decide to buy?
    Are there breeds that adapt well in the winter? And if so, is starting in the winter okay or should I wait until spring?
    Is sickness prevalent?
    My neighbors said they had chickens once and it attracted mice, is this true?

    Any advice is welcome.

    Thank you!

  2. bigredshaverhen

    bigredshaverhen Songster

    Jan 27, 2014
    Under your bed
    Hello! a massive WELCOME! From everyone here on BYC!:welcome
  3. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Howdy! You have lots of questions. I suggest you start reading. If your kids are old enough get them involved. And chickens will attract mice if you leave feed out during the night. Chickens are hardy and can adapt to different climates. Just make sure you have adequate protection not only from the cold but from predators.

    Welcome to the flock!
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Theoldchick X2 When ever you leave feed or spilled feed out, it will attract mice. So you will want to thoroughly clean up after your birds before roosting time to help keep the mice population down. Most dogs see chickens as dinner. Lots and lots of threads in our emergency section on how "my dog ate my chickens...help"... There are techniques to train your dogs, however not all of them respond well enough to ever be allowed around chickens.

    You wouldn't want to start chicks in the winter, but you could start started pullets or a fully grown flock. Winter hardy birds include: Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, Buff Orpingtons, Jersey Giants, Sussex's, etc....Lots of cold hardy birds out there.

    Chickens can get sick. Prevention is the best policy. Cleanliness is the key to good health. Start with healthy birds. Feed them properly. Interact with them frequently and you should have a healthy flock for a long time.

    You might want to stop by our learning center. Lots of good articles on all the aspects of keeping poultry...https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/1/Learning_Center

    Good luck on this new journey and welcome to our flock!
    1 person likes this.
  5. hhindley

    hhindley Hatching

    Aug 5, 2013
    I have a 6 and 5 year old (and almost 1 year old). I know the older two would love to help out!
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. It's definitely possible to work as a single parent and raise chickens. I've known several people who have done it. Your 6 and 5 year old children are old enough to help out. Our children did and now my granddaughter (pictured in my avatar), who just turned seven, has been helping out. She feeds and waters the chickens, and gathers their eggs, and makes lap pets of some of them, and loves it. :eek:) Raising chickens is a great experience for children. As far as breeds go, I would recommend not only cold hardy breeds, but calm and gentle breeds since you have young children. Breeds that would fit this criteria include Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Cochins, Brahmas, and Speckled Sussex. My children, and now my granddaughter, made lap pets of all of these breeds. If laying ability is a criteria, Black Australorps are the best layers on my list, and Cochins are the poorest layers. As far as mice go, the other members have given you some good advice. Make sure when you build your coop that you don't have any small opening in it that mice can get through. Use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire as too many predators can with tear through chicken wire or pass squeeze through the openings in the mesh (including mice). Make sure that all food is locked up securely in the coop at night. Please feel free to ask any other estions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your flock.
  7. hhindley

    hhindley Hatching

    Aug 5, 2013
    Thanks Michael! I should have been more specific. I'm not a single parent, I have a spouse and he's okay with either having chickens or not having chickens. So I would have an extra helping hand. Thanks for the breed advice, I definitely want the kids to get involved and gentle is best!

  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Even better! You should have no problem at all taking care of chickens. And I think you are right, your older two children will love it. Mine certainly did. :eek:)
    1 person likes this.
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Herding dogs tend to move herd/flocks by nipping them and nudging them - chickens wouldn't last long with that kind of herding behavior. I would be very cautious having the dog around chicks/chickens - he should always be on leash. When not supervised either he or the chickens should be inside a very secure run. I'm sure others will have more to add. Better safe than sorry though. Welcome to the flock.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by