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Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by spikeanddan, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. spikeanddan

    spikeanddan Out Of The Brooder

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    Stumbled upon this site yesterday. Moving from Miami to DE PA MD NJ corner of the world. Working in Wilmington and house shopping. We want a couple of acres so we can have a garden chickens goats etc. if no coop already will get one first thing.

    Is there a place for plans, contractors, kits, etc?
    Does anyone have suggestions on getting chicks?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome! I'm so glad that you found this site! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions, and I'll be happy to help you out. As for chicks and stuff, I'm not sure where you can get them, but I do know that if you happen to have a little extra space, there's a really sweet chicken named Janet in Bruce Township, MI, that would love to be adopted! She's pretty much just an average, really sweet chicken that came to DAWG after being used as an elementary school science project. Her friend Tic-Tac-Toe and Jelly Bean are also up for adoption, so make sure to check them out! Good luck on your avian adventure!
    -Ameraucanas
     
  3. spikeanddan

    spikeanddan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. What is DAWG? Is there a website?
     
  4. Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC. There is a whole section on coop building that you can check out. It will give you some ideas. We started with a simple tractor (movable coop) for our then silkies. We still use it today as a brooder. That being said chickens tend to grow on you so if you are building, I would go bigger than you think you will need. As far as where to get chicks, there is a section of buy, sell, trade. You can look there. It is a good idea to find the state forum and connect with others near you. That is where I have gotten the best chicks. Some of the hatcheries are a good place to start and many of your coops and places such as tractor supply sell chicks in the spring. The catch to that is that the breeds may be questionable and if you are not careful you may end up with roosters (of which some areas do not allow roosters). If you fall into that category I would start with breeds that are sex linked (meaning you can tell when they hatch which sex they are by colors and markings). Many people have strong opinions as to their favorite breeds so look around and explore.
     
  5. spikeanddan

    spikeanddan Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. Really appreciate it. I have such fond memories of visiting my grandparents farm and going in their coop to gather eggs. I'm pretty sure I couldn't raise birds for meat. So eggs will be my focus.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you found us! :frow

    You can find several different prefab coops available, but the vast majority of them are not really designed for chickens, don’t hold nearly as many chickens as they claim, often use cheap materials, the hardware is often not very robust, and they don’t have sufficient ventilation. They look cute and occasionally you find one that isn’t horrible, but usually you can build something much better yourself for less money. It does require labor. I don’t know how skilled you are or what tools you have. I don’t know how much experience you have with chickens.

    Before you build or buy a coop, I suggest you read these articles. They were written by a lady that was living in Ontario at the time so her climate was a little colder than yours. I also suggest you follow the link in my signature about how big. I don’t give you hard and fast numbers but more of things to think about when you are considering how big to make it. And read articles that interest you in the Learning Center at the top of this page.

    Pat’s Big Ol' Ventilation Page
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-VENTILATION

    Pat’s Big Ol' Mud Page (fixing muddy runs):
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-fix-a-muddy-run

    As far as plans go, look in the ”coops” tab at the top of this page after you decide on size. Many of those have enough information with them to build. Another option is to get a prefab shed from Lowe’s, Home Depot, or something similar and convert that into a coop. You’ll need to add roosts, nests, a pop door (chicken door), and ventilation, then you are good to go. When you get one of those you’ll need a foundation, many people don’t immediately realize that.

    You can get plans for a shed at Home Depot, Lowe’s, or maybe your public library. Those can be pretty easy to convert into a coop. Of course your best bet is to have a building you can convert to a coop. A possibility is finding something on Craigslist you can relocate and convert.

    If you get one of those shed kits, you can usually get them to come out and erect it if you don’t do it yourself. Maybe you can talk to them about converting it to a coop in their spare time. But when I first moved here I talked to my realtor and got some recommendations for plumbing, electrical, and carpentry contractors. Another good source was the local True Value or Ace hardware stores. They may be a chain but ownership is usually local and they come into contact with contractors all the time.

    You have a lot of options to find chickens. You specifically mention chicks. You can order them from many hatcheries and they will arrive at your post office, they call you and you go pick them up. A feed store near you will probably have “chick days” where they have bins full of chicks for you to choose from. Once you settle on a place you can get on your state thread in the “Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum and chat with your neighbors. Who knows what they will be able to do for you. Maybe a neighbor will split an order with you to get around minimum numbers. You can get an incubator, find fertile eggs, and hatch your own. You can buy started pullets, chickens around 4 months old not that far from laying. They are more expensive but at least you know they are pullets.

    One of my suggestions is to have your coop ready before you get chicks. They grow really fast and life often gets in the way of getting a coop finished. Some people are happy to brood chicks in the house, but the chicks can make a lot of dust, be noisy, and possibly stink. You are all the time seeing posts on here asking how fast can I get these chicks out of my house. As I said, some people are happy to brood in the house but not everyone is. Some people brood in an attached garage, some in other outbuildings, and some in the coop itself if you have electricity out there. The chicks can often go outside with no heat at five weeks or even earlier, depending on your time of year and climate.

    One of the problems with chickens is that you have too many different options or ways to do things that work. It’s not a case of you have to do it this way or it will never work, it’s choosing which way to go.

    Good luck and welcome to the adventure.
     
    2 people like this.
  7. Talithahorse

    Talithahorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are fun and addicting. Lots of good layer breeds. My favorites include Plymouth Rocks and Buff Orphingtons but there are many to choose from. Also depending on the size of your coop you do not have to limit yourself to a single breed.
     
  8. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

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    Welcome to Backyard Chickens! Thanks for joining, I'm sure you'll love it here! :frow

    ~Cuz
     
  9. N F C

    N F C Home in WY Premium Member

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    You've already received some great advice and links to check out, so I'll just say hello and good luck with all your plans.
     
  10. spikeanddan

    spikeanddan Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2017
    Kennett Square, PA
    Thanks
     

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