1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Newbie!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by opie88, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. opie88

    opie88 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    2
    24
    Mar 23, 2015
    Hello all,
    New to the site and new to raising chickens, matter of fact I don't even have any yet. Just moved and we now have 8.5 acres and have been researching chickens. Think we may want dual purpose but layers for sure, any and all advise, suggestions tips, etc is welcomed.
     
  2. wyandottegirl

    wyandottegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    162
    11
    78
    Sep 16, 2014
    Vancouver Island, BC
    Hi and...[​IMG]. I so glad you are wanting to get some chickens. You sure learn a lot from them. If you are looking for dual purpose breed than I would say either Wyandottes or Barred Rocks. They are both friendly, kind natured breeds but also are great layers and good meat birds.
     
  3. youngchooklover

    youngchooklover Chillin' With My Peeps

    5,486
    41
    236
    Feb 10, 2013
    South Australia
    Welcome to BYC!
    Hope you have fun here.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2015
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

    84,499
    3,781
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    Welcome to BYC!
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided join to our flock. My recommendation for a dual purpose breed would be Black Australorps. I've raised them for years (along with dozens of other breeds), and they are extremely hardy, calm and gentle (my children and granddaughter made lap pets of them), and the best layers of the standard, brown egg laying breeds. If you don't mind hybrids, I would recommend Black Sex Links (Black Stars), which are friendly and hardy, egg laying machines. They have been my best layers over the years, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Whatever breeds or hybrids you end up getting, good luck with your flock.
     
  6. opie88

    opie88 Out Of The Brooder

    11
    2
    24
    Mar 23, 2015
    Thanks! I will probably start out keeping flock small...thoughts? And what about multiple breeds together? Runs vs free roaming vs fence (pasturing)? Whats your thoughts on easter eggers? With dual purpose when is a good time to eat them? Sorry but have a lot of questions and just don't know where to get answers?
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    36,684
    4,692
    566
    Feb 18, 2011
    Ohio
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
    It is probably easiest to start small, then increase your flock as you figure out how to best keep them in your situation and what breeds you like.
    In general, hens of breeds of the same general temperament usually get along fine. Mixed flocks are fun, especially if you like different colored eggs. Some breeds like crested ones can be problems in mixed flocks.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/897953/keeping-chickens-free-range/0_20 if you do a search there are some nice threads on free ranging you might like to check out, the big problem with free ranging is predators, so it depends on your situation, how secure you can make the area and what losses you can take.
    Check out the meat birds section, in general most people seem to process duel purpose birds around 4-5 months, they do take a lot longer than cornishX to hit size https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/21/meat-birds-etc
     
  8. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

    25,582
    2,139
    438
    May 14, 2014
    Montana
    You're welcome. X2 on Kelsie2290's advice about starting small. You can always expand your flock as you gain experience and get more comfortable in caring for the chickens. Just be sure and build your coop/run large enough to allow for adding more birds later on. Multiple breeds will work fine together as long as they are raised together. Particularly breeds that have a well deserved reputation for being calm and gentle such as Australorps, Orpingtons, Brahmas, Cochins, Sussex, and Faverolles will get along well with each other. Whether you keep your birds in enclosed runs or free range them really comes down to the amount and type of predators in your area (including dogs, cats, rats, snakes, etc.). Free ranging is ideal, but there are almost always going to be some losses when you free range and you will have to determine whether or not you think the losses are acceptable. If you have predators like raccoons, opossums, foxes, weasels, etc. I would definitely keep the flock in an enclosed run using hardware cloth instead of chicken wire or very soon you will not have a flock. There is a good article on predator proofing your chickens at http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens.html. Easter Eggers are typically docile chickens that lay well and will add color to your egg basket. They are my granddaughter's (pictured in my avatar) favorite hens. They aren't quite the lap pets that our Australorps and Orpingtons are (they will tolerate being handled but don't really like it), but my granddaughter loves their colored eggs. I butcher dual purpose roosters at 14-16 weeks. That seems to me the best balance between them having enough meat on them to make it worth while and still being tender enough.
     
  9. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Stuck back in the 40s Premium Member

    11,317
    2,318
    396
    Mar 3, 2015
    Virginia
    Hello [​IMG]and Welcome to BYC![​IMG]

    Glad to have you join! Feel free to make yourself at home!
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    80,886
    7,982
    746
    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Glad you joined the BYC flock [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by