Raising chickens for first time

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nathanya, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Nathanya

    Nathanya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2012
    Woodstock valley,CT
    I have never raised chickens before and I want to start. I don't really know anything at all about raising chickens so I need some help. How should I make my chicken coop how many female and male chickens should I get for laying eggs only. How should I start raising them any advice would help?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Read Read Read.

    You might begin with the resources right here at BYC. There is a lot of good information. Just click the Learning Center tab at the top of this page. Click through the various categories of information and informative articles. There is lots to enjoy and to better enrich your understanding. Best regards.
  3. K-12 Chickens

    K-12 Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2010
    I agree! Search on the internet, read chicken books, read chicken magazines, etc. Good questions to ask yourself is, how many chickens am I planning to get?
    What breeds?
    What am I raising them for(meat, egg-laying, pets, etc)?
    Are they going to be free-ranged(not restrained to a fenced-in enclosure)?
    Will I have a rooster too or just hens?
    It is a good idea to get as much information on chickens as you possibly can before you get chickens. Good luck! [​IMG]
  4. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    K-12 Chicken nailed it
    the internet, read chicken books, read chicken magazines, etc. Good questions to ask yourself is, how many chickens am I planning to get?
    What breeds?
    What am I raising them for(meat, egg-laying, pets, etc
    Good luck and Welcome
  5. mibs1415

    mibs1415 New Egg

    Feb 15, 2012
    If you just want the chickens for eggs, you wont need any roosters! You only need them if you want to have babies :)
  6. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Welcome to the forum Nathanya,

    The founder of the BYC forum has books in the store here on the forum that would help you. 'Raising Chickens for dummies' and the 'coops for dummies' book. They are good basic foundation reading. If you or your library have 'Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens' by Gail Damerow that is also an excellent resource.

    Good luck as you find your way to having your own flock.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  7. La Casa de Pollo

    La Casa de Pollo Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 4, 2011
    Northern Utah
    :welcome Have fun! I started last year and I am obsessed, I cannot imagine life without my chickies!! This website is a great resource, you can find anything on here. You are going to have so much fun !
  8. Catfsm

    Catfsm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2011
    West Lnn, Oregon
    You may do all that reading, of course, and you really must get educated to be successful. However, you can also get going right away. I recommend this because it is just too much fun to miss out!

    If you want to have around hens to be pets and lay eggs, it is very easy! This is a common thing in urban areas.

    If you want meat chickens or those for show, it is a different story, and I am not including the details here.

    For pets and egg laying, you will need:

    A house.
    An enclosed yard.
    A roost
    A nest box
    A feeder
    A waterer

    The house can be something fancy you purchase, something you get someone to build, something you build yourself, something you find for free on Craigslist to fix up, or something you convert something else into. The people on this website have lots of good ideas for how to build a chicken house. I am offering a service in my area of helping people make something that works but is inexpensive. They can phone me and talk it over, and we can come build if they want our help. I have suggestions for finding inexpensive materials, converting armoires or other furniture into a house, what to do with an old dog house to make it nice for chickens, etc.

    The yard is needed unless you want to just let the hens fun in your back yard all day and go in at night. Hens love to go out and look for bugs, have a dirt bath, or just have space to walk around in. I love to watch them!

    The roost is what they sit on at night inside the house.

    Feed is available at farm stores. Or, you can look on line for a local manufacturer.

    Feeders can be purchased or built. On line there are plans available. Some plans are free. Some are complex and some very simple!

    For water, my favorite for my hens is one that is called Avian Aqua Miser. It is available on line. My roosters and hens love it, and it is easy to install and use. I found it to be well worth the expense!

    Chickens can be purchased at farm stores, places on line, or via Craigs list. Some are offered (shipped) from the Backyard chicken website!

    I suggest you get some young ones. You can get babies and raise them in an incubator or get some pullets that are just at the age when they can live outdoors. I just loved my first set of pullets that I purchased last spring. They were and still are just so adorable, gentle, and surprisingly in touch with one another with such sweet and obvious love! .You might get some around around 5-6 weeks old depending on the weather where you live. They can't tolerate cold until their feathers come in. Or, just purchase some young fully grown egg layers.

    There are many breeds that lay an egg a day and are gentle and hardy. Look at Craigs list in your area as a place to start to see what is there.

    Go to the farm store and talk things over. Most areas have them. Check on line or the phone book for where to find a farm supply store. The people there tend to enjoy talking chicken with customers!
  9. Nathanya

    Nathanya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2012
    Woodstock valley,CT
    ok thanks everybody for the help i now and raising 5 rhode island red chicks and it is a lot of fun!!!
  10. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Welcome aboard! [​IMG]

    A lot of people have offered a whole lot of great advice here, so all I'm going to say is BE PATIENT. It can all seem quite overwhelming at first, but take the time to read and research and plan before you ever place an order or commit to bringing any chicks/chickens home. If you come across a problem or a question that you can't find an answer to, never hesitate to ask people and bounce ideas around. There is no reason to rush, and the more you know and learn, the easier (and MUCH more fun) it'll be in the long run.

    Good luck!

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