Things You Wish You Would Have Known?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by RodBrandt, May 23, 2016.

  1. Yorkshire Coop

    Yorkshire Coop Moderator Staff Member

    18,581
    5,297
    511
    Aug 16, 2014
    Yorkshire, UK
    My Coop
    I wish I had known how much pleasure, joy and unconditional love they give!! :love
    I would have got them so much sooner had I known this.
     
    4 people like this.
  2. kkgreenwood

    kkgreenwood Out Of The Brooder

    17
    3
    34
    May 20, 2016
    SE Michigan
    I wish I'd have known how many 'pullets' turn out to be roosters and I'd have bought a couple more chickens than we wanted, for security...
     
    3 people like this.
  3. gfvirga

    gfvirga Out Of The Brooder

    18
    10
    49
    Feb 5, 2016
    Hamburg, NY
    My Coop
    I wish I knew that they run fast. I am not in shape to chase chickens :|

    I wish I knew that you are not supposed to get in the brooder from the top!
     
  4. HeatherAllyce

    HeatherAllyce New Egg

    6
    1
    9
    Feb 12, 2016
    Lempster, NH
    Build your coop (or have SOLID plans for size, cost, etc) BEFORE you get your chicks. Our coop was much more complicated and bigger than we had thought. We bought 12 chicks and plan to do 6 guineas, so we needed a coop or 18, and my husband had no idea how big he would have to build it. Also, before you run to thinking there is something wrong with a chick, look it up, it's probably just chicken behavior. Get familiar with chicken anatomy or you will find yourself constantly thinking something is wrong with your chickens. Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Peanutsmomma

    Peanutsmomma Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I wish I had known that no matter how much research and advance prep I did that nothing is a replacement for the knowledge acquired during the day to day of actually keeping chickens. When I first started, every little issue that cropped up threw me for a loop but I learned to take a deep breath and come to BYC where all of my questions were answered and then some. This is the most wonderful site full of so many chicken people willing to help new comers in any way possible. Several things off of the top of my head that I wish I had known before hand (and I am sure there are a 100 more that haven't come to mind yet) :

    1. Coccidiosis is not a death sentence if caught early enough.
    2. When your girls dust bathe for the first time they are not having a seizure!
    3. When the back of your cockrel's legs start turning red that is totally normal and not a reason for a vet trip. [​IMG]
    4. Chickens are incredibly resilient creatures and they will steal your heart and amaze you with their intelligence. It makes me crazy to hear someone say, "They are just chickens."
    5. How I just don't get as much done as I did before because I now spend so much time with our flock. Chicken Therapy!!!
     
    2 people like this.
  6. FloridaGal

    FloridaGal Chillin' With My Peeps

    29
    2
    66
    Apr 9, 2012
    1. We now have a "chicken channel" in our yard, as they are so much fun to watch.
    2. They think our yard is their personal salad, so we may have to put a fence around our perennial garden, rather then pen the chickens in.
    3. They poop everywhere, and a lot!
    4. It's hard to "tame" chicks that we got at 8 weeks old, from a breeder.
    5. They can be finicky eaters, and don't always like the "people food" you would expect.
    6. They periodically need their flight feathers clipped, or they really could fly over our fence 6' high.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  7. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    13,460
    8,603
    506
    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Raising chicks outdoors in the coop from the start eliminates a host of issues - integration problems, natural day/night freakouts, no immunities to natural pathogens, dust and noise in the house - and builds confidence as they learn from the start how to be chickens.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    Heat lamps have been the norm for raising chicks for years. But look into other options - there are safer choices out there. Many use Eco-Glow brooders. Many more of us use a simple heating pad over a frame as an affordable alternative.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

    The one thing you really need in your chicken first aid kit will be the one thing you don't have. <sigh>

    Chicks (and chickens) die. Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason we can see and we drive ourselves crazy with misplaced guilt. If we know what happened, we can try to fix it so it doesn't happen again. Otherwise we just have to let it go and move on with those we have left. It sounds cold, but sometimes it's just the best we can do.

    I don't believe in a predator-proof setup. As soon as I believe that my setup alone will prevent a predator from access, I can become complacent, and there's no room for that in chicken keeping. Watching for weak spots that may appear, signs of recent activity around the coop or run, and being aware of what's going on in and around are critical to thwarting the attempts of predators. They say build it like Fort Knox - I say even Fort Knox has layers of security, guards and monitors everything carefully.

    Enjoy them. They are fun to watch. And folks here are generous with their support, and honest about mistakes they've made along the way. Welcome!
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. jophus

    jophus Chillin' With My Peeps

    904
    189
    126
    Apr 5, 2015
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you're going to breed birds for show, limit the numbers of colors/varieties you buy. Unless you have lot of time and space, one or two colors is plenty. You can't adequately focus on more.
     
    2 people like this.
  9. Vicktoria Fiver

    Vicktoria Fiver New Egg

    1
    2
    8
    May 24, 2016
    TN
    Before I got chickens, I wish I knew:
    The joy they'd bring to me and my children.
    The love I would develop for each chicken.
    That I would become the crazy chicken lady- in my pjs late at night for yet another check on my babies in the coop.
    That I would convert my 2car garage to a "chicken hospital " for treatment and quarantine of rescued hens from a neighboring farm.
    That my "retired " hens would still proudly lay once in awhile.
    That the eggs would be oh-so-much better and tastier than I expected.
    That my children would become better readers after a summer of laying on a quilt under a shade tree, reading to the peaceful and attentive audience of chickens each day.
    And so much more !
    Had I known...... The joys of stewarding chickens..... I'd have begun soon!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  10. csneill

    csneill Chillin' With My Peeps

    214
    24
    61
    Oct 10, 2015
    Northeast Nebraska
    How much I would enjoy seeing my girls come running every time I come out the back door.
    How entertaining it is that our first EE roo (supposed to be pullet) is learning to crow & how much he sounds like a rubber chicken squeaky toy right now.
    How I would always have some sort of little project going for my chickens- whether a MHP, a feeder, a waterer or an entire coop addition. Such fun!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by