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Please help me out, I'm not really sure where to start.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by racizme, Apr 17, 2007.

  1. racizme

    racizme Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Jamaica
    I'm 15 years old and I've always wanted chickens. Last year my parents applied to become missionaries with there organization and now I live in Jamaica. After living here this past year, my parents have finally decided to let me raise chickens. So heres my question. Where in the world do I start?? I mean I looked at all the coop designs but I need something easy to build that won't cost a lot of money. I want to start with a rooster and 2 hens but I may want to acquire more chickens. Also, I'm not really sure where on this site I can go to help me learn how to take care of them. It seems that I just get led to link after link. Could someone point me in the right direction? I have so many questions, but i need a little bit of some background info first.

    Thanks for the help.


    Racizme
     
  2. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    Well...WELCOME! [​IMG]

    You are in the right place for information! You'll get it crammed right down your throat here! lol [​IMG]

    Well, the coop can wait a few weeks if you will be brooding the new chicks in the house to start. That would give you time to pick a design and price that you and your parents can be happy with. All you really need to raise chickens for the first few weeks are:

    a good size box
    bedding (pine shavings covered with paper towel for a couple days is perfect)
    a feeder and waterer
    chick starter feed
    a good heat lamp/bulb and thermometer

    You'll want to set the box (brooder) up a few days before your chicks come so you can get the temp right. You want the temp right around 95 for the first week. You will lower the temp by 5 degrees every week after that, until they are feathered enough to move out to the coop (usually between 3-6 weeks depending on the breed and the temp where you live).

    The hardest part you will find is picking the chicks! There are many hatcheries and feed stores that sell them, and oh, so many breeds!

    We originally ordered our 27 Ameraucanas and Easter Eggers, and now we're adding more chicks next week! When you set up your box, and the coop, make it bigger than you need because CHICKENS ARE ADDICTIVE! And the folk here are enablers! lol They SAY its Chick-annonymous...but really, they talk you into getting more, and more, and more by showing you these cute pics of THEIR fuzzies, and of course you don't have THAT breed, so.....! lol [​IMG]

    Anywho, this would get you started. Feel free to post any questions you have and the lovely folk here will happily help ya! I'm one of the night owls on here, too. [​IMG]

    (Oh, and as far as where to post, click the link to go the section you want to post in, like Feeding if you have questions about food. The links there are other peoples posts that you can read through, or you can click on Start New Topic to post your own question. Then just click Index to go back to the main page.)
     
  3. racizme

    racizme Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2007
    Jamaica
    Thanks. I'm not a night owl so I have to go to bed soon. But I'll make sure that I check out other boards along with what I post. Quick question though. Is it easier to start with chicks or full grown? And If I get chicks how do I know what gender it will be?
     
  4. peanut

    peanut New Egg

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    Mar 26, 2007
    Illinois
    I started by reading a book called "Chickens" it is by Sue Weaver. It is a small book, just over 100 pages in length but has alot of in it for someone who needs background and basic information. It will even tell you the space you need in your coop for each chicken so you will know how big to build it and it tells what you need to put inside. the book also gives ideas on how to keep your costs low. This book really helped me get started. My chicks are now 6weeks old and doing great! good luck they are so much fun![​IMG]
     
  5. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    974
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    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    When ordering chicks, PULLETS are girls, COCKERELS are boys, and STRAIGHT RUN (often seen as St. Run on hatchery sites) are not sexed- meaning you get some of both, they come "as hatched" and are usually a 50/50, but sometimes you get more of one or the other.

    To get a feel for chickens, or if you want meat or eggs right away, you can get older birds. However, they may be older (there is no way to tell the age of an older chicken) and may not lay anymore anyway. If you want to be sure of the breed and age of your birds, and you want that special bonding with them, and you can wait awhile for meat or eggs, go for chicks. Plus, they are just sooo cute! [​IMG]

    Oh, check your local library for a book called "Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens". Its our 'Chicken Bible' and will be yours too...lol
     
  6. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Welcome to BYC, racizme ![​IMG]
    I can only add that you check the home page of this forum, there are links there that are very helpful too!
    Keep us updated!
     

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