Starting the Flock

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by fuzzy5chicks, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. fuzzy5chicks

    fuzzy5chicks In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2013
    Hi everybody! I'm a soon-to-be chicken owner. I have a family of 8 (including myself). There are 3 other close family members of mine that I wouldn't mind giving a few eggs to, not to mention the neighbors. We were thinking about getting 4-5 chickens (in case one dies). Is it common for chicks to die while being shipped? I wanted to get several breeds. I live in MI so winters are cold and we live near the lakes and wetlands. I have done some research to make sure the chickens I get can stand the winter. I was considering: Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Dominique's, Australorps, and Orpingtons. Are these breeds compatible? I purchased a shed for $100 that we are going to turn into the coop. It is 5x8, is that enough room? We also live near the woods. A good chunk of our 6.5 acres is taken up by them. We have seen coyotes, foxes, and birds of prey in our yard. What are some of the necessary precautions to be taken so our chickens stay safe? Lastly what are some good and reliable hatcheries (that have the breeds I would like) that you could recommend? I've checked out and they seen pretty good. If you have any advice for me I would really appreciate it!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] first off I recommend The Learning Center, to start you off. Then go to "where am I, where are you," so you can locate and post on your state thread. By doing so you will be in contact with people who actually live in your climate and tell you how best to handle it. They can give recommendations on breeds that tolerate the weather. Who has what for sale, you may not need to have birds shipped.

    As a general rule you need 4 square feet of space per bird inside the coop, and 10 square feet per bird in the outside run. You can always go bigger and it usually a good idea to do so . Chickens are highly addictive and you will find yourself wanting more or different breeds etc.
    1 person likes this.
  3. chickenpooplady

    chickenpooplady Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Ohio!!! Personally, I would get more then 5 hens for a big family like yours (By the way, big families are awesome! [​IMG]). They will give you an average of only 4-5 eggs a day.

    1) Usually chicks do not die when they are being shipped but there is always a chance, especially if the hatchery that you are ordering them from is far away.

    2) The breeds that you have picked out are great chickens. I have had experience with all of them but the Dominique. If you like you can read reviews on breeds here

    3) It sounds like your coop is going to be great! I would also consider putting a run on it so that they can go outside during the day and then go back inside to sleep, lay, eat, and drink.

    4) Definitely make sure to predator proof your coop. If you have seen birds of prey, then there should be a cover over them at all times. Foxes and Coyotes are only going to try to get into the coop at night so it would be a good idea to lock them inside the shed every night.

    5) I love Meyer Hatchery They have a bunch of rare breeds, their customer service is amazing, and all my chicks have arrived happy and healthy. However, they are pretty far away from you. Maybe someone else knows of a hatchery closer to you.

    I hope this helps!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  4. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, fuzzy5chicks, and :welcome! Great to have you aboard! Drumstick has given you some great advice so I'll just say good luck and best wishes!
  5. fuzzy5chicks

    fuzzy5chicks In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2013
    Thanks for the spectacular advice everybody. Really appreciate it!
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2013
  6. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO.

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! Happy you joined!
  7. fuzzy5chicks

    fuzzy5chicks In the Brooder

    Aug 7, 2013
    I'm sorry, how do you start a thread?
  8. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! In the forum you want to post in, click on the gray Start a new Thread button. Good luck to you!

    Mr MKK FARMS Crowing

    Sep 27, 2012

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