Staring out with backyard chickens this year

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by erazojandf, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. erazojandf

    erazojandf Hatching

    Jan 14, 2015

    I am excited about this forum because I hope to start keeping chickens in my backyard. I've got the whole family excited about it. But we are experimenting because I've never done it. Each one of my kids want to keep 3-5 chickens, starting out from chicks. Any advise is welcome. DH still needs to build a suitable coop that will keep away rodents, and skunks and very cost effective. I am collecting free pallets for the project.

    I am planning to order from Murray McMurray 25 rode island reds chicks this year. We are on a very low budget, so I'm planning to make our own feed and have them pasture too with lots of sunshine.
    Does anyone one have any good suggestions for a homemade chick feed. Or is the recommended brand here best?
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Songster

    Sep 14, 2014
    Sanilac County,Michigan
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] We're glad you joined us!

    For lots of chicken information, I would definitely check out the Learning Center: Learning Center Articles

    I've never made homemade chicken feed, so I can't advise you there. My birds have done well on commercial chicken feed of various brands--I haven't really found one brand that is vastly superior. I would recommend posting your question in the feeding section of the forums (Feeding & Watering Your Flock), where I'm sure other chicken raisers/feeders will be glad to help.

    Good luck with your future flock!
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us!
  5. familyfarm1

    familyfarm1 Crowing

    Jun 9, 2013
    Northern Virginia
  6. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    I've never made homemade chicken feed, either. I would definitely post in the Feeding section for some more answers.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. You may want to explore the predator section to get advice on skunk proofing - that's one predator you especially don't want to get close to.
  9. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. I would personally recommend a commercial chick starter as they are specially formulated to meet all your chicks' nutritional needs. Homemade feeds are often sadly lacking in nutritional necessities, and the end result is malnourished chicks that die from illness or other heath problems. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in getting your RIRs.
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    RIR enjoy the name recognition in the chicken world and most beginners want them as their first chickens. Personally, I don't feel that's the best place to start. There are 100's of beautiful and different breeds out there. Add all the feather patterns and colors available and you literally have 1000 different combinations to choose from. Some hatchery RIRs also have the reputation of being aggressive bullies. The first thing to do is select breeds that are suited for your climate. Cold hardy, heat tolerant. Are they primarily egg producers or do you want birds that will be decent meat birds in the end? With children, it's important to have quiet hens. They will be picked up and carrier around the yard, Kids are also going to name them so it helps that they look different enough so they can tell them apart. 25 red hens all look the same. This will also help you distinguish the layers from the liars as different breeds will have different looking eggs and colors. Maybe let each child select a breed and get 3-5 birds. That way the children can easily distinguish "their" hens and take ownership of them. A variety of hens will produce a colorful egg basket making chicken chores more fun for the kids too.

    25 hens to start with is a lot. They will eat on average 50# of feed a week when mature and can produce upwards of 12 dozen eggs a week. You can always sell the extra eggs and offset some of your expenses but there will also be time when you are eating eggs for BL and D just to try to keep your head above water.
    1 person likes this.

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