Jun 8, 2020
So I am relatively new myself. I started with a permit, max is 6 for my area. I got 6 and set up a brooder in my garage. I found a large dog crate and took it apart and then attached them both together with some duct tape. I put some chicken wire on the top. I used a heating plate (you can find these at mypetchicken.com) instead of a lamp. I put a small waterer in with some stones or rocks inside of it (they can drown if you don't do this) and of course their feed. I used medicated feed. I also put a bit of probiotic into their water. This seemed to work well. I cleaned the brooder out pretty much daily (note, they poop alot!). I was expecting to loose a few, there were some that were sneezing when I got them from the feed store and I just figured, let's see what gives and they ended up fine. They are all now 12 weeks and doing super well. I started to transition them out of the brooder into their coop around 4 weeks (as soon as they started to feather out). I would let them peck around the enclosed run during the day and bring them back into the brooder at night until they were around 6 weeks old. I started to feed small amounts of treats (watermelon rinds, things like that) at about 3 weeks and gave them grit. So far so good. They are all healthy and fun to watch.
Jun 8, 2020
I wanted to add, as far as adult chickens (mine are about 12-14 weeks now), they are suprisingly easy to take care of. I got an auto door for the coop, so they let themselves in and out. I got a treadle feeder, so I only have to check on the feed about once a week and refill as needed. I also got a large 5 gallon waterer, so easy. I use a deep litter method for the run, and that has been great, I just add mulch or leaves about once a week, rake a bit and let the chickens scratch around. I don't clean it out. Am waiting to have some decent compost for my garden in the spring!


BYC Songster & Master Egg Collector!
Premium Feather Member
May 6, 2020
Space Coast of Florida
Not too sure on cost but 40 sq ft seems a bit big to me. How many birds are you planning on purchasing?
He's thinking about 7 regular size Sex Link. Plus, it gets cold where he lives with nasty weather. Sometimes if its too ugly outside they stay inside so, yes he needs a larger coop with at least 5 sq ft per bird. 5x7=35 sq feet inside the coop to help prevent pecking and Bullying between them.
Plus 10 sq feet per bird in the run.


Nov 3, 2016
Upstate NY
Ok. What are sex link chickens? Are buff orpingtons sex link chickens?
Sex link is a solid color male breed over a barred female. For example, a RIR or Australorp rooster over a Barred Rock female. The males hatch with a dot on their heads.

Autosexing is a purebred with the feature that the males and females are identifiable by their coloring at hatch. Like Cream Legbars or Welsummers - the boys are different colors than the girls.

Buff Orpington are not sex linked, they are a pure breed and there is no sexable color variation at hatch. When you see pullets for sale of a non-sexable breed they are vent or wing sexed and is only about 80% accurate (on a good day.) This is why you’ll hear people complain that they bought pullets at Tractor Supply and ended up with some boys.

What are vent and wing sexing you might ask? Vent sexing is exactly what it sounds like - you look at the vent and can tell by very lightly pressing down if it is a boy or girl. You need experience to be able to do this accurately and without hurting the chick. Wing sexing is for certain breeds the pullet‘s wings have two rows of primary feathers that are different lengths while the boys‘ feathers are all the same length.


Aug 21, 2015
Hi all!
I was wondering what the essentials are for raising chicks? Also, what are the essentials for caring for adult chickens? What are the maintenance schedules like for both chicks and chickens? What is a good number of chickens to start with? How much land would they need? Can you guys recommend any useful products? Sorry for the question overload, I just really want to learn. Does anyone have some good point/reasons to get chickens so that I can convince my mom? Thanks!
I use a big plastic tub from Walmart. On one end I use a C clamp and clamp a flat board to that end. That's where I put my heat lamp. In summer a regular light bulb works. In winter you need the heat bulb. I also have a dowel that I run between the arms of the clamp and over the edges of the tub to keep the lamp from falling down.

In the tub I put pine pellets from TSC. They absorb water and waste over time well.

On the cool end away from the light I put a gallon waterer with fresh water treated with antibiotics for the first stage of growing. If I don't have antibiotics I get medicated chick starter.

Along the side is a small long chick feeder holding chick starter.

On top of the tub I have a welded 1"X1" wire sheet with a bit cut out for the clamp. to keep them from flying out and other animals from getting in.

In really cold weather I put the top of the tub back on. The tub fastener holds it to the tub and the clamp holds it up on one end so it is not airless, just holds heat in a bit more. I have even draped towels over the sides carefully away from the light in very cold weather.

It's a cheap set up. After use the left over pellets can be dumped to rot and the tub being plastic can be washed and stored for next time with all the stuff inside ready. When it wears out it is easy to replace.

Young chicks might not need much except checking the food and water every day. Keep the bowl filled and the water clean. As they grow they use the stuff more quickly.

Once they crowd the plastic tub I move them to a larger area. I have a larger wire pen about 3'x3'x6' long. I have it sitting on the ground and put some hay at one end. I put a tarp over one end and at the door I have the food and water. They must be kept with water and feed that is not wet. If it gets wet discard it as it will sour and can make them sick. They should be checked once or twice a day. Medicated water helps I've found. I like that choice as well or better than medicated feed. It helps them get past a fragile age, develop immunities so I lose fewer or none of them. Cleanliness is key for any animal husbandry.

Once they have enough size and good feathers I integrate them with the older hens in the hen house. I put them in at night so they wake up together. For a few nights I have to go out and make sure everyone got to bed after dark. If they didn't I catch them in the dark and put them inside again. Usually in a few days they get the drift and start going to bed on their own. I have had them learn after one day and others have taken a week to figure out to go into the house.

My house is home made with legs. I can put feed under it to keep it dry and I have a yard with wire fencing that they can move around in. And of course water.

Once they go into the house at night faithfully, I will let them out of the yard to free range an hour before bedtime so they learn how to go back to bed at night. I make sure everyone got inside ok. Letting them free range for shorter periods is good because they don't end up roosting in your yard and becoming a nuisance.

When I'm being efficient, the old hens are processed for food once the young spring hens start to lay. This keeps eggs going year round and avoids an old folks home for chickens. Spring chicks start laying in fall and will lay all winter and the next summer before moulting. When moulting, they stop laying till they get good feathers. Then they will begin to lay again. After three years an older hen is a pet. At the first moult they are good baking hens or sometimes they can be canned for instant food. I only carry them through the moult if they are exceptional in some way - bigger eggs, longer laying time, will brood for me, etc. Otherwise you get crowded and/or have no eggs after a bit.


Oct 13, 2020
Bay Area
Idk, but, you sure could ask?
If you get a Roo, raise it as livestock for awhile and then"Cull" it. People do put them on the dinner table you know-right?
At least you would know what it ate.
It would be good experience for you.
I did it to two Cockerels. They tasted great!!! Better than the store.
You have nothing to lose and everything to gain asking. Tell them, you can't chance getting a Cockerel because you live in a place that doesn't permit them.
If you ordered Sex or Auto links, then you would know immediately if it were a roo. So, it would be easier to do right as soon as you receive them.
But, then again....you might get a Female. That's just it, you never know. But, at least now you are more educated of that possible fact.
Ok. I think I'm allowed a rooster where I live. At what age do they start crowing?
No crow rooster collars work. You can control the sound by making it tighter. I made one completely stop crowing, he hasn't died yet. The weird thing about that one is he doesn't do the backward shake like the others, he acts like its not there.
I make my own collars, I use a velcro and cut it according to the roosters size.
I feel like that is a bit of a last resort because I would feel bad putting a collar on him...

Thanks for all the help everyone! I'm probably going to order from Murrays because I can get 7 instead of from TSC where I can only get a min of 10.


Mar 27, 2020
New Mexico
Remember, you don't need all of the sane breed. You could get a couple buff orp for some cuddle bugs, and then maybe one or two white leghorns for good egg production, and some cream legbars for blue eggs.

Then you would have: brown eggs(buff orps), white eggs(leghorns), and blue ones(legbars). The legbars would be the only auto sexing chicks of the group, though. Both the leghorns and legbars are known to be quite flighty.

These are my favorite breeds:

Buff Orpingtons(light brown eggs)

Easter Eggers (usually blue eggs, but can be any color)

Welsummers (Dark brown eggs)

Barred Rocks (brown eggs)

Wyandottes(Pinkish tan eggs)

Speckled Sussex (light brown eggs)

Leghorns(white eggs)

I currently have Easter eggers, Welsummers, a speckled sussex, and wyandottes!

Twenty seven weeks and two days ago I was finally able to convince my family to get chickens! Good luck!

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