thinking of raising chickens- what should I expect?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by silverbantamkaryn, May 20, 2011.

  1. silverbantamkaryn

    silverbantamkaryn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Hey guys, I am new here. Not sure if this is in the right place?

    I work in a dog and horse supply store and we have been selling chickens. To be honest they have grown on me and I have considered (even before this job) raising chickens.

    I currently live on 15 acres that already has a chicken coop. Granted I will have to fix it up as it hasn't been used in who knows how many years before I lived here.

    Anyways I was considering raising chickens for eggs for our family. I am not sure what to expect as far as chickens go though. What is the best kind of way to raise chickens. Should I give them a large area fenced in to roam during the day to eat grass and then a smaller area protected from predators at night that I round them up into?

    What kind of maintenence am I looking at as far as cleaning out the coop? Whats the best kind of bedding? I was reading some threads on here and saw sand was highly recommended.


    What are some things you experienced chicken owners would say to a first time person interested in raising chickens? What are some things you didn't expect but it happened?

    Thanks!

    Oh! almost forgot! What are some breeds you recommend? I really like silver sebright bantams but I am still iffy on whether I like that they lay smaller eggs. I may get some and then some regular sized chickens for regular sized eggs. I prefer not to have any breeds that are known for being aggressive. I want some friendly chickens LOL
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  2. CrazyChickensEverwhere

    CrazyChickensEverwhere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Quote:I would recomend free-ranging (don't fence them) But runs are good too. The run really depends on how many chickens are you planning on?


    cleaning the coop is pretty simple for me. I use the bedding called "pine shavings" I LOVE that bedding when the chickens coop it drys the coop and I can't tell. I have to clean my coop once a month about. Under the roost it gets pretty bad.


    Some of the things that I did not except is how they will get sick out of know where. But its usually not hard to treat. I diddent expect for me to like chickens SOOO much.

    Hmmmm..... I would recommend Barred Rocks, exallent layers, pretty girls, awesome personalitys....
     
  3. silverbantamkaryn

    silverbantamkaryn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    oh I probably should have mentioned that we have dogs as well as barn cats.

    Then we have racoons and possibly bob cats as predators so I am not sure how free ranging would work with that? We would need atleast a large area fenced in so that the other animals couldnt get in. and then maybe close them in at night?

    Not sure how many we will keep. No more than 5 I presume
     
  4. mimischickies

    mimischickies Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 29, 2011
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    I am also brand new to chickens, so i really can't give advice from experience. I can tell you that I have been thinking about someday having chickens and fresh eggs, finally i just did it!!! I have gottten so much knowledge and confidence from reading all the Q & A's hear at BYC. I am now the proud owner of 2 EE's, 1 BR, 1 RIR, and 1BA. They are 2 1/2 - 4 wks old and are soo much fun!! I can't believe I waited so long to start this great hobby!! So my only advise is to read all the advise and information you can and then GET YOUR CHICKENS!!!!
     
  5. CrazyChickensEverwhere

    CrazyChickensEverwhere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2011
    Well then it sounds like you need a run. I am not sure on the measurments for the run. I would go into the topic of "coops" on the main page and ask how big it should be for atleast 10 chicken just in case you want more in the future.
     
  6. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    You should also expect to be well-versed in chicken math shortly after the purchase of your first batch of chicks...that's right, I said FIRST!
     
  7. silverbantamkaryn

    silverbantamkaryn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    well I was thinking of doing something like a large grassy area fenced in to let them roam in during the day and then a small area to keep them safe in at night.

    Although I have a concern about trying to round up chickens every night. Does anyone have to do this every night? Do the chickens get accustomed to it? Or are some chickens so friendly that all you do is pick them up and put them away and its easy and theres no running around like a fool everynight




    What is everyones experience with Cats and chickens? I will keep the chickens safe while they are growing obviously. But we have feral barn cats. Should I worry about the chickens safety during the day with the cats or will adult chickens handle themselves?
     
  8. CrazyChickensEverwhere

    CrazyChickensEverwhere Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Grass "never" lasts long in runs, chickens will have it gone in 2 months tops.

    chickens will go in the coop on there own. when chicks are old enough to go into the coop, after abouta week they know thats there coop. Usually if Buy a full grown chicken it take a week for them to understand that were they are staying in is there new house. Chickens usually go into the coop 1 hour before dark. when the sun is going down.

    Cats... I have never had a cat attack my chickens. I only worry about cats when my chicks are out. I wouldent doubt a cat attack if you have a stray in your yard.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
  9. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    Expect little piles of poop! [​IMG]

    Otherwise, you are in the right place for info - being a member of BYC.
    Sounds like you have a good start for a set-up & the right ideas.
    Go for it!
    [​IMG]
    Orpingtons are known to be friendly.
    I chose them for our family from this list:
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
    *pick them up and put them away* [​IMG] On Tuesday I saw a child pick up her pet adult rooster multiple times with such ease, it was beautiful.
    I have read that chickens will "put themselves to roost" at the end of their day, consider a predator safe area during night and/or a closeable perhaps automatic pop door so nothing can get in. Hardware cloth is the recommendation for everywhere, as opposed to "chicken wire".
    They would luv a fenced area but maybe place deer netting over the top to protect from hawks?
    I agree, the index page with the Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance section is [​IMG]
    Maintenance = quantity and size. We have three standard size and we're going to try sand too. I also considered bantams but chose against it for the same reason, we were iffy about dealing with tiny eggs... I guess they would be really cute to hollow out and use as decorations though.

    Good luck with your decision, start with at least 3 ~ [​IMG]
     
  10. silverbantamkaryn

    silverbantamkaryn Out Of The Brooder

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    May 20, 2011
    Quote:Well thats good that makes me feel better about the cats. I will just have to grow them out in my stable to make sure they are safe from everything until they are grown.

    Thats pretty neat that they sort of go into the coop on their own. I would like to keep them free run butI think they might find themselves in trouble with neighbor dogs and such.
     

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