What Comes First?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by simplynewt, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, th3e coop is almost done. I got alot more done to it this weekend than anticipated. To get geared up for the new residents, what do I need to get first, The hens or the rooster? Being that I have never done chickens before, to most , this may sound like a silly question but I dont know so I ask.

    Also, will the rooster be staying outside of the coop? Another duh right?

    There will be plenty more newbie questions from me and I thank you all for your patience and understanding.

    Pics of the new coop (Ive never built one before) comi8ng soon.
     
  2. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My roos sleep inside.

    Edit to add...I would say get them at once, from the same source, and be done with that. Pick them up at different times, especially from different places, and you wopuld need to think about quarentines.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  3. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Niss. Any particular age I should be looking for? I was planning on hitting a local auction. What should be my concerns?
     
  4. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMO The main concern is health. Have you researched what kind of chicken might be right for you?

    [​IMG]
    I am sure you will find a lot of useful information here.
     
  5. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should read up on what to look for in a healthy chicken. Pay careful attention to the legs as well (for scaly leg mites). If you want 'em for eggs, there are certain breeds for that and others to be used for meat and others for both.
     
  6. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Avoid the auction until you're confident you can spot the subtle signs of illness and have the desire to completely empty your coop and dust/spray it down along with the birds for mites/lice. If you want to avoid the potential for issues, avoid the place where you'll most likely find it.

    Look for someone selling an "instant" flock, something like 6 hens, 1 rooster, all about a year old. This is a good time of year to find that. Get all the birds from one place, so that you don't need to worry about a quarantine period or anything.

    There are A LOT of illnesses and issues they can have. Something simple like scaly leg mites, or something awful like a bacterial infection that keeps on recurring. Do you want to deal with any of it your first time out? Be cautious and be patient.

    If you want good sized table eggs, look for young, standard sized birds. You don't really need a rooster, but they can be fun. Or awful. Bantams will lay tiny little eggs since they're tiny little birds. Avoid any that are over 2 years old if you're expecting 6 eggs a week from any given bird.

    It's an exciting thing filling the new coop for the first time, just be careful and be picky! Really look them over well, check their butts out below the tail for bugs crawling around on them. Make sure the eyes are clear and bright, make sure there is no moisture around the nostril holes, breathing is ok, legs are nice and smooth and not giving a "chunky" look. Feathers are in good shape and not chopped up looking. Hens with a bare back with roosters hanging around is normal. Hens missing feathers all over the place are either in bad molt or have some other issue.

    You'll need to keep them locked up for about 2 weeks so that they learn where home is, unless you have a secure run attached to the coop and don't plan on free ranging.
     
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I raised mine from day olds, as a lot of us do, if you are looking for some already at POL (point of lay), I would avoid the auction also, my hubby works at one, and it is full of
    people trying to get of chickens for a reason...sick or done laying. I live near a large population of Amish and Menonites, they sell them off after about a year and get new ones,
    that is a possibility for you as well.

    Rooster with hens, at the same time. He will prove his worth by protecting them, you want them together all the time...I LOVE my roos...wouldn't have a flock with out them now.

    Choose the right breed for you, the amount of room you have, the size eggs you want...

    No question is stupid or dumb...ask away!
     
  8. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with JodyJo. There are no dumb questions - except the ones you don't ask!
    There is also the possibility of buying them online from a reputable place like McMurray's or another hatchery. They would only be 'day olds' but I would definitely get chicks all from the same source.
     
  9. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think there are some online hatcheries that do sell some that are ready to lay, I think they are pricey though...good luck!
     
  10. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the very useful information. I do have a breed in mind...Rhode Island Reds for the brown eggs and I was informed today that I do not need a Roo for the hens to have eggs, just for them to have fertile eggs. This will come alittle later when I have had more experience with the hens.

    Thanks mandelyn for what I should look for when purchasing my new flock. This will help me a great deal. Being so green in the chicken world is alittle intimadating but I believe I have come to the right place to ask all my questions.

    Majority rules that I wont be getting my feathered flock from the auction. I hope to have my coop done soon enough to get them this year but can wait until Spring if I dont. What would be a good age for a hen to be where you wont have to supply artificial heat in the coop to keep them warm? I live in Central Alabama so it doesnt get terribly cold here but it has gotten down in the 20's a time or two.

    Thanks again for all your replies andI look forward to all you have to saY.
     

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