very new, very excited!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by bappl, Nov 23, 2014.

  1. bappl

    bappl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi all. My name is Becky and I'm very interested in raising chickens. My husband and I just bought our first home and it's on five acres. We will have to build all needed structures since there aren't any on our property. We'd like to start on our first hutch and run in mid-late winter and get our first batch of chickens in the spring. I'm not set on which breed, for sure, yet. I know I want to start with laying hens and possible acquire meat birds later on. I'm really looking forward to reading posts and gleaning information from everyone.
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC, Becky! Glad you decided to join our flock. Congratulations on they purchase of you home on five acres. Before building your coop/runs, I would recommend reading our Housing and Feeding Your Chickens articles in our Learning Center at https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/housing-and-feeding-your-chickens. As far as which breed to get, there are some good quick reference charts at http://albc-usa.etapwss.com/images/uploads/docs/pickachicken.pdf, http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/breed-list.aspx, and http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html which can be of assistance in selecting a breed. Also, Murray McMurray has an excellent "chick selector" tool at https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html to help you select the best breed for you. Just be sure and click on show more characteristics. If eggs are a priority, and you are not opposed to hybrids, I would suggest getting Black Sex Links (Black Stars). They are hardy and friendly egg laying machines that can be sexed by color from hatching, so there is no guessing as to the gender of your birds. I've raised Black Sex Links (Black Stars) for years (along with dozens of other breeds and hybrids), and they have been my best layers, consistently churning out more than 300 eggs per hen per year. For meat birds, Cornish cross is the way to go. With their fantastic growth rate, they are ready to butcher at 8 weeks. In fact, if you wait much beyond that time, they begin to develop serious health problems as a result of their abnormal growth rate. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck in building your structures and in getting your flock.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens. Are you in an area that is warm enough to build something now?
     
  4. ChookRanger

    ChookRanger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Becky! You have made the right first step in joining BYC. There is a ton of information already here and there are so many helpful people to answer any specific questions. A little more background might help. Five acres is a good space and the type of area you will be using might be helpful . Is it a farm or a homestead? Maybe even completely forested? Will you let them free range or will you keep them in a run? How many chickens do you want to start with? Do you want to hatch some eggs, buy chicks, pullets, or full grown layers? Are you just going to have hens? You don't need roosters unless you want fertile eggs. You can weigh the pros and cons and get opinions from all sides here. There are some easy to build prefab coops that can be purchased and assembled very quickly, but many people find building their coop from scratch very rewarding. I built mine from scrap and pallets for very little money but a lot of work. Check out the coops that BYC members have built and you will see that there a many different ways to go. I few trips to the local lumber and hardware store can get you set up fairly fast. I have also seen custom built coops so if you are too busy or just want a pro to do it you can often find them advertised in the farm and garden section of your local Craigslist. Just remember, you have plenty of time to figure it out. Anyway, welcome! and don't panic, chickens are fun!
    [​IMG]
    As far as breeds go, I love my Barred Rocks. I also like Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, and Black Australorps. But that is just my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Also check out our Learning Center articles for help picking breeds, feeding, problems and cures and much more. In the Coops section you'll find some wonderful designs and plans to give you ideas. Enjoy your new venture!
     
  6. bappl

    bappl Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in Washington state. Our average temperature right now is around the low 40's.
     
  7. bappl

    bappl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for the warm welcome! I'm eager to check out all of those links!
     
  8. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community! Good luck with all your poultry projects and welcome to our flock!
     

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