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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jhaddock, Nov 20, 2010.

  1. jhaddock

    jhaddock New Egg

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    Nov 20, 2010
    i'm new to the idea of raising chickens for my own eggs & i like it. are there any suggestions as far as what breed? i live in south ga. in city limits,large backyard,but only fenced 3 sides. want around 24 eggs a week,preferably large. need to be easy to handle,docile&fairly quiet(neighbors on each side). any other suggestions on what i need to get started would also be greatly appreciated.thank you all in advance for your help &patience with a newcomer.
     
  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

  3. boykin2010

    boykin2010 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i live in south ga too. sounds like you may like buff orpingtons rhode island red and black australorps
     
  4. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    First step is checking out ordinances, even if your neighbors have chickens, both on having chickens and on the coop, how large can it be, distance from property line, etc. Next is talking with neighbors. Even hens are not really that quiet all the time, and if you have a neighbor close by who doesn't like the sound of chickens, they will give you trouble.

    For 24 eggs you want about 30 chickens, and they won't lay that many year 'round. They slow down or stop when they molt, when they go broody, during cold weather (even ours), when stressed, any number of reasons.

    If you don't fence the 4th side or build a run they will wander all over the neighborhood. The fence may also not be high enough.

    30 chickens means a good sized coop. If you have a shady spot with good breeze for it, that's good, because the weather problem they have around here is heat; chickens can actually die of the heat if it is over 100 degrees. You actually can build a 3 sided coop -- they need a place to go to get out of the sun and rain and wind, but they also need lots of ventilation. Do a search in the coop section for "hot weather coops" and you will see some good examples. Even in winter all they need is to get out of the wind and not have a draft on them.

    On space, the rule of thumb on here is 4 sq ft per chicken in the coop, and 10 sq ft in the run per bird. This can vary a lot. A three sided coop can be much smaller, for example, because the chickens can come and go; it just needs to be positioned so it gets as little rain and wind as possible. I have a 4 sided coop but large areas of two walls are hardware cloth. But if you crowd them, you will soon find that chickens can be barbaric, cannibalistic little dinosaurs.

    Here is a great place to start, to think about breeds, with all the info you asked about and more: http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Feed
    stores in this area usually order from Ideal Hatchery in Texas, and you can order from them as well. They will shop via the post office. Best to wait for spring, though, so they don't get too cold while being shipped.

    There is all the info you will need on this website, feeding, litter, timetables, on and on.

    Good luck!

    Easy to handle and docile are sort of breed characteristics but in the end they are also individuals. There are many breeds that would qualify. Common around here in the feed stores are barred rocks, rhode island reds, and buff orps. Look on here for breeders and you will see there are some of those not too far as well; you will get a much better quality chicken from a breeder than from the feed store or TSC.
     

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