Starting Out, Any Advice?


7 Years
Oct 31, 2012
Hi everyone! I'm really interested in raising chickens for my FFA SAE project. I plan on building my own coop and run and keep 4-6 hens and selling the eggs to family and friends. I basically just need advice! Also, I really want to keep a flock of mixed breeds that all produce eggs well. So please help me out with this project I basically need to know, 1. How many chickens do you recommend I keep? 2. What breeds mix well together and produce eggs well? And feel free to throw out any knowledge I may, and most likely am lacking about raising chickens, thanks everyone!

Edit: Also, I'm looking into buying chicks from Meyers hatchery. Should I get my chicks vaccinated for Marek's disease?
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Up Northerner
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Mar 26, 2011
Upper Peninsula Michigan
Hi and welcome to BYC from northern Michigan

The learning center above has very useful information for starting out. Google the Henderson Chicken Chart for good breed information.


8 Years
Jul 17, 2011
North Central Kansas
Greetings from Kansas, melodyrg, and
! Great to have you here! I think it's cool you are using chickens for your project - I think you will find it very rewarding. I am all in favor of a mixed flock - I really like the variety. I agree with others about going to the Learning Center. I wish you the best!


7 Years
Apr 19, 2012
Mont Dora Florida
It depends on where you live. If you live in Florida, you cant sell eggs to anyone. I advise you to look over your local laws before you begin planning your chicken set up.

I know some of you are getting ready to say BS, you can too sell eggs. Here is the law. (in general terms because its been over a year since I researched it.) Florida law says that to sell eggs, you have to meet certain sanitary requirements. You have to have a dedicated out building with a commercial style kitchen on your property, but it must be a separate building. It must have a stainless steel sink, the kind found in commercial kitchens. Certain kind of flooring, certain kind of walls. The building must contain a water heater capable of reaching some high temperature. Etc, Etc, Etc, Etc. The list goes on and on.

And yes, that's required even for some guy selling two dozen eggs a month to his neighbor. Oh, I forgot, You also have to be inspected regularly and must post the inspection report on the wall in a certain way.

I really wanted to sell eggs as a very small business, but I cant afford to set up what amounts to a commercial restaurant in my back yard. If I could, i would just open a little diner.

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7 Years
Oct 28, 2012
I'm glad you are getting started with chickens! :D First, if you are getting baby chicks, just make sure you have a brooder (witch can be anything from a big cardboard box, to a wooden floored cage, or anything that will keep the chicks warm and safe.) you will need feeders and waterers (witch you can pick up at a local Tractor Supply CO or some place like that. You will need chick starter feed, and a heat lamp THAT IS NOT COATED WITH ANYTHING EXPESIALLY TEFLON that stuff will kill all birds with in a few miniutes you would want a red heat lamp bulb (the temperature should stay about 90-95 degrees for the first week lower the tempurature by 5 degrees each week until you get to 80 degrees) the bulb should look be clear not plastic looking. You can go to a local hatchery or you can mail order chicks from prior to hatching chicks absorve yolk with has everything they need so they won't have to eat or drink for a few days, perfect for long shipping! :D when the chicks get about a few months older you should put them in the coop.

Any questions or comments? Just email me at!


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