Totally new to the chicken/egg selling world, where do I start?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lalyswishytail, Jan 13, 2009.

  1. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    I work on a small farm that sells vegetables near Chicago. We're interested in converting the old 15x7x 6 farmstand into a chicken coop so that we can sell eggs. I don't know where to start! There is so much information to sort through and I honestly don't know the first thing about raising chickens. Any hints and tips, (and even better, step-by-step beginner's instructions), are appreciated. I'm vegetarian and very concerned with making sure the eggs we would sell come from humanely raised, happy chickens. Thanks.
     
  2. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    [​IMG] Welcome to BYC!!! [​IMG]

    Boy did you come to the RIGHT place to learn everything there is to know about chickens!!! [​IMG]

    There are lots of knowledgeable folks on this site that have been raising chickens for many years!!!! [​IMG]

    You can just hang out and read the Qs and As for a while -- or you can go right to the INDEX and see topics that have been covered over long periods of time!! [​IMG]

    Everyone is very helpful and friendly!!! [​IMG] (Some are very funny too!!! [​IMG])

    Again, welcome!! [​IMG]

    Cindy
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  3. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    Could you tell me what chickens eat. I keep reading lots of different things: scratch, grit, treats. What does a basic food diary of a chicken look like? I'm sorry to be so basic!
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Quote:You buy feed for each stage of life, Chick starter, General poultry, layer etc...
    Scratch IS a treat. Grit is like stones/pebbles they do eat, but its used to "chew" the food as they don't have teeth to do that job.

    Other treats - all veggie/fruit leftovers will be enjoyed!

    Food is available 24/7 along with clean water. Treats are given once or twice a day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  5. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    How much food, (the available 24/7 kind), should a chicken eat? As much as they want?

    Do chickens need vaccines?
     
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Quote:Yes as much as they want.

    Vaccines are a personal choice. I don't vaccinate. You could use the search function and type in vaccine and I bet a ton of info will come up.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    For optimal egg production you would feed mostly commercial layer feed (in the form of mash, which is cheaper but can lead to greater waste, or pellets or crumbles). You can supplement with veggies etc, in which case it is important to have oystershell and grit (they are 2 different things) available. Most people feed free-choice, i.e. food available 24/7 and the hens eat what they wanna eat.

    Vaccines are not really necessary under most circumstances. They may provide some margin of protection against some diseases but the majority of things your chickens might get are things you can't vaccinate against anyhow, and the vaccines that *do* exist are typically far from 100% effective.

    Breed wise I would strongly recommend red or black sex-links, for economical powerhouse laying. (Leghorns would lay as well, eat marginally less, but are not very user-friendly to work with, whereas sexlinks are mostly pretty friendly and easygoing. They do not breed true however).

    Make sure you've looked into your state's laws re: selling eggs. Sometimes they are inconvenient, onerous or stupid, but you would want to know that BEFORE investing in chickens ;P

    If you read around on this site you will get lots more info on what is entailed in keeping chickens [​IMG]

    Have fun, welcome to byc,

    Pat
     
  8. crubner

    crubner Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 1, 2008
    Pat,

    Could you explain your statement that red sex links don't breed true. I was hoping to hatch eggs from my RIR and cinnamon queen. What will I get?

    Sorry I know I'm getting off subject but I don't know how to copy and paste things yet.

    Thanks,

    Cheryl
     
  9. lalyswishytail

    lalyswishytail Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Chicago area
    Well then, Cheryl, let's make your topic relevant to the post...Maybe Pat wouldn't mind also defining sex-linked chicken because it's not a phrase in my vocabulary ; )

    I like buff cochins. Are they a good choice? Thanks Pat!
     
  10. wings

    wings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Massachusetts
    As a newbie to chicken-raising, I HIGHLY recommend Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, by Gail Damerow. It was very helpful! (BYC is, too!)
     

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