Questions for a newbie

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jag, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. jag

    jag Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    I have been looking locally for chicks but with no luck. I can order from my local feed store, but they don't really have the breeds that I want and I won't get them until the second week of May.
    I wanted to start out with maybe 10 or so. I would love to order through McMurray, but there is the 25 minimum. Well, my husband, who I had to talk into this venture in the first place, now says go ahead and order the 25 - get what you want! (I think he's secretly loving the idea of chickens now too, although he won't admit it yet. [​IMG] ) So, my questions.

    Do you think 25 is too many to start with? I know most of you can't get enough, but I am new this.

    Is a 12' x 7' coop big enough for that many; and keep them happy? I want happy girls!
    I will have a run off the coop and I can make that as large as I need to.

    Will different breeds live well together? Say white egg layers & brown egg layers? I'd love to have all different kinds. If I went with Salmon Favorells with a bunch of heavy breeds & some Americauanas...will that work?

    And much feed are we talking for 25 chickens?

    I'm thinking maybe I can sell some of the chicks or sell them a bit later as layers; but I already know I will become attached and be taking care of 25 chickens. Really, is it too much? [​IMG] We're rural, but we are not a farm! (yet.)
  2. 65browneyes

    65browneyes Songster

    Mar 2, 2007
    Hey, Jag!

    Welcome to the addicting world of chickens, and to this forum.

    I am by no means an expert, but I'll share what I've learned by my own experiences over the course of my 1+ year of chicken mommy-ing.

    I only wanted 5 hens and a rooster when I got started. I'm up to 12 hens, a silkie rooster, and recently adopted a new mom and her 9 chicks. Mom and babes are in their own 'tractor' next to the big girls. I'm hoping they will get acquainted now and will make the transition into merging easier when the time comes.

    I've heard wonderful things about the Salmon Fav's (I wouldn't mind having a couple of my own, in fact). And my Americaunas are very nice girls. I have my roo, 5 Black Australorps, 1 Barred Plymouth Rock (tame as they come), 2 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Americaunas, and two nasty, surly ole' bitties whom I'm not sure of their breeding (they appear to have the same feelings toward me, so I'm not concerned). The only thing I'm sure of mom's breeding is that she's a bantam.

    My big girls get along fine, with exception of the occasional space invading issues. We are currently working on expanding "The Hilton" so the outdoor run will be nearly 3 times it's current size.

    The hen house is old, at least 40 years, had been my mother in law's, and was actually on the property when they bought it. It was still standing when we bought the property, and so it continues. I'm not sure of it's dimensions, but it's not nearly as large as you propose for your chickens.

    It's my understanding that the outdoor space is the biggest concern because that's where they will spend the majority of their time, only going inside to lay in the nest boxes (one for every 4 hens), or to sleep at night.

    One thing to remember with chicks is that, unless you specifically request ONLY hens, you'll have a few roo's there, too, most likely. For a small flock, if you would like to have fertile eggs for your own hatching in the future, you will only need one rooster. You won't need a rooster at all if all you desire is fresh eggs.

    They lay an average one daily, or perhaps every other day or so, once they mature. I understand most begin laying at approximately 6 to 8 months.

    I'm sure others will join in here and give you some far superior advice than I can give. The one thing I'm sure everybody will agree with me're going to LOVE having chickens!![​IMG]
  3. 4H kids and mom

    4H kids and mom Cooped Up

    Mar 10, 2007
    Southern Wisconsin
    You could always dowhat we did. We wanted a laying flock of roughly 10-12 hens and a roo or two, but the hatchery we choose also had a minimum 25. So, we order the breed we want as STRAIGHT RUN (unsexed). St Run USUALLY is about a 50/50 on males and females. So, we'll get the hens we want, a few roos, and the rest can be sold, or, well...dinner! [​IMG]
  4. jag

    jag Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    I think I'm going to do it, order the 25 that is, I'm just scared! [​IMG] I don't want roosters, but one breed that I really, really want is blue laced red wyandottes and they are only offered as a straight I'll take my chances. I have to do it quick before those are all gone! (if they aren't already!)

    Okay....ready to take the plunge. Wish me luck![​IMG] Still interested in any advice. LOL!
  5. jag

    jag Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    What do you guys think of this list? They are all available for shipping April 16th.

    4 - Straight Run Blue Laced Red Wyandottes
    4 - Salmon Faverolles - Female
    2 - Partridge Rocks - Female
    3 - Buff Rocks - Female
    3 - Silver Laced Wyandottes - Female
    2 - Speckled Sussex - Female
    2 - Delaware - Female
    5 - Araucanas - Female
  6. Hey jag,
    So you are going to be able to get your blue laced wyandotte after all! I think your group is great, a nice collection. IF you have too many, I'm sure you will be able to unload your extras either on here or through a farmer. Who knows maybe stacey will take a couple once she sees them(LOL)
    Congrats, and remember we will want to see pictures.

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