Top Five Chicken Nuggets of Advice

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Babeof1957, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. Babeof1957

    Babeof1957 Just Hatched

    Feb 2, 2016
    Greetings From Jordan, Minnesota!!! I am new to this site and new to the world of raising chickens. This coming Sunday I will be picking up about a dozen day-old chicks of various breeds (one will be a rooster). The brooder is ready, I've done a lot of homework, but please respond to this if you're so inclined: What would be your TOP FIVE pieces of advice for me? Ready...Set...Go!!! (And thanks in advance for a response!)
    1 person likes this.
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi, and good luck with your impending new flock.

    My nuggestsworth is to understand that there are very few hard and fast rules about keeping chickens, so if you get or read conflicting advice, do what you feel suits you best.

    1 person likes this.
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC...a great place with a lot great people!

    Good luck with your new flock.

    My nugget of advice: "Don't get crazy!" As I read through BYC, I have learned that chickens are tough and, for the most part, will be just fine if you take basic care of them and use your common sense.
  4. CroqueArizona

    CroqueArizona Chillin' With My Peeps

    1 organic apple cider vinegar added to the water 1 Tbs/gal
    2 medicated chick starter feed
    3 Temperature temperature temperature......
    4 vented top to keep the adventuresome in ( hardware cloth)
    5 Take pictures :) lol maybe streaming video ;)
    1 person likes this.
  5. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    Welcome to BYC! My top 5:

    • Build a coop versus buy a coop. Online coops are just way too small and most are made of junk materials.

    • Build the coop bigger than you need to accommodate snow days, rain days, predator-scare days and the inevitable chicken-math that will happen.

    • Attach a large, secure, covered run to coop. For the same reasons as above.

    • Consider coarse sand for flooring. I'm lazy and my coop is in a shed so it has a plywood floor. I put down a piece of linoleum and added 4 inches of sand as their floor. It's easy to clean poop, gives the chooks another place to dust-bathe and is VERY dry.

    • Build rollout nest boxes so you'll never have a problem with egg-eaters
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    One – read this

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page

    Two – read this

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):

    Three – Follow the link in my signature to get my thoughts on room. Make everything bigger than you think you will need. This includes coop, run, nests, brooder, roosts, just everything. This makes life so much easier for you. Your comfort and convenience are very important. These things are more about you than the chickens.

    Four – Be flexible. Things often do not turn out as planned so adjust.

    Five - To repeat what CT said, take everything you read on here with two grains of salt and a dash of pepper. We keep them in so many different conditions, with so many different goals, and are unique in so many different ways that there is never any one way to do much of anything where that way is right and every other way is wrong. A quick example from above. If you have egg eaters a rollaway nest box is a great idea. If you want a broody hen to hatch eggs a rollaway nest box will not work.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Hensetter

    Hensetter New Egg

    Feb 22, 2016
    What's the vinager for
  8. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    You have gotten great advice. I really can't add anything new, so I'll just reiterate a few points that I think are most important.
    1. Build your coop rather than buying one if you can. I'm also from MN, so I understand your winter situation. There will be days on end when your birds don't want to go outside, so you don't want them all crammed into one of those little doll house coops. Those are hard to ventilate properly anyway.

    2. Use your judgement. As stated above, you may get lots of conflicting advice. Smile, take what works for your situation, and toss the rest.

    3. Fresh air, fresh food and fresh water are important.

    Enjoy your new hobby!
  9. Babeof1957

    Babeof1957 Just Hatched

    Feb 2, 2016
    Thank you, CTKen!
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    1. Give them lots of space. Twice what you'll think they need. Crowded birds are stressed birds. Stressed birds are more prone to illness, parasites, and behavioral issues. Read the link in Ridgerunner's sig line. Then read it again [​IMG].

    2. Don't get a rooster unless you're familiar with animal behavior, livestock in particular. Evaluate yourself and your personality. If you have a hard time getting your kiddos or your genial, people pleasing retriever to mind you, nix the rooster and start with an all hen flock. Keep those hens for a year or so, then if you decide you want a rooster get a young bird and let your hens teach him some manners and grow him up right. If you're familiar with livestock already, or have an assertive enough personality you can deal with a possibly aggressive animal, skip this advice.

    3. Don't feed layer feed. Start them on starter (medicated or not, do your research and decide for yourself) then switch to grower or all-flock or something similar and keep them on that. Most back yard folks give treats that lower the protein of the feed, and layer already has the absolute bare minimum needed for most birds to produce. When they start laying, give them their own egg shells and/or oyster shell for calcium supplements.

    4. Don't coddle your birds. Yes, folks like to treat them as pets, but they're historically livestock. They can tolerate a range of temperatures, especially cold (when they're adults). Chickens have been living outside without electricity for many years and have done just fine. Be sure they have a good shelter, out of the wind and rain, and don't worry about how cold they are. DO have enough air flow/ventilation in your coop. Folks tend to want to box the birds up and insulate them. Birds generate a lot of moisture at night with their poop and their breathing and all that moisture needs a way to escape the coop.

    5. Don't be afraid to change things up. If you start with sand and don't like it, try deep litter. If you start with sex links and just don't like something about them, sell them and buy another breed. If you have one hen that's causing upheaval in the flock, sell her. If your birds aren't shiny and healthy looking and productive, change feeds. Folks tend to think keeping chickens is a "pick one thing and stick with it forever" kind of thing, it's not. It's much more fluid. I've changed so many things about my management, breeds, reasons for keeping birds, etc over the last 20+ years it's not even funny....and I'm still changing!
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by