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What do I need to start up my chickens?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chellybean72, Aug 29, 2015.

  1. Chellybean72

    Chellybean72 New Egg

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    Aug 29, 2015
    Ok now what will I need to start my chicken coop with runner. One issue I have is my dogs which generally stay in a pen but they are masters of getting out! They climb, dig, push and pull and they are out. I am worried about them getting my chicks!

    I don't have a lot of money right now so i need to do it cheap as possible but really nice for the chicks! Seen some on using pallets and I may go with that but it will have to be safe from dogs, bob cats and cats lol

    Not sure whether to get them simi-grown or get them as babies. I think I will worry more as babies lol But I want them laying soon enough!

    Do I need a rooster?

    How big a coop/run yard does around 8 to 10 chickens?

    Any ideas on how to do this cheaply! Trying to find the cheapest place to by chicken feed. What's the best kind?

    What's the best egg layer?

    I've found a good location will take a picture tomorrow for y'alls advice. They should be able to find bugs and such! lol

    I am looking for all kinds of wisdom, trails and errors, and HELP!!

    Thanks so much!

    Michele from SC
     
  2. ConPollos

    ConPollos Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Pellets may work and you do not need a rooster for them to lay eggs. You also need 4 sq. feet per chicken as an average but that's when they are big. When their little you can go a little smaller. Out side about 10sq. Feet when they are full grown. For feed check your local feed stores they may have cheap chick starter. I use non medicated because it's cheaper and all it is is medicine in the food. If they get sick then I would just buy the med. separately.one of the most common egg laying chickens I know people have. A website that u should look at is efowl.com and click chicken then egg layers. Their will be a list of chickens so u know what their is.



    Hope this helps and let me know if u have more questions!
     
  4. ConPollos

    ConPollos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MyPetChicken.com has a "Which Chicken" link on their home page, so you can answer a few questions and they show you the chickens that fit your preferences. The only breed that doesn't show up is Golden Comets, which I think are one of the best chicken breeds for beginners. They lay the most brown eggs of any breed, and are the most affectionate and friendly, easy to handle, and they don't go broody. Cackle Hatchery has them to order. They also have wonderful Easter Egg Layers if you want blue, green, and sometimes pink eggs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2015
  5. Chellybean72

    Chellybean72 New Egg

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    Thanks everyone! I have been researching and I think the Easter Egger or the Golden Comets is what we may go with! I so appreciate the other sites! Trying to get all my research in now before I get my chickens! We normally buy 4 1/2 dozen at least a month and I want to start going more natural so having my own chickens is a start! The Easter Eggers and Golden Comets look like really good layers. I do have people who will buy fresh eggs so that may help on the paying for them! We are thinking about starting with 10 or so what are your thoughts on that? More or less? Thanks again! I am excited about getting my chickens!
     
  6. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    That's a good amount of chickens. They will previde you with plenty of eggs.[​IMG]
     
  7. ConPollos

    ConPollos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No more than 6 to 12 your first year because if you get too many you can feel overwhelmed and a lot of anxiety, but with a smaller number you'll really enjoy them. With six to twelve you'll get more than enough eggs
     
  8. Emma Miriam

    Emma Miriam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I've seen lots of great pallet coops that are quite sturdy, so that's definitely an optiom. As for the run, if you're worried about dogs, use 1/2 inch hardware cloth on the bottom few feet of the run. It's expensive, but dogs could easily rip through chicken wire, so the extra protection is necessary. Above that, if you'd like to save money, you could maybe use chicken wire or welded wire AS LONG AS the chickens are locked up securely in their coop each and every night. For dogs, you will also want to either bury welded wire into the ground around the run, or create an apron, to prevent dogs from burrowing in. More info here: http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyar...n-apron-fence-and-why-is-it-helpful-H282.aspx

    Well, getting baby chicks will be significantly less expensive than buying juvenile started pullets. Plus, babies are super cute, and you'll be able to tame tbem most effectively if you start handling them as chicks. Then again, you'll have to wait 4-6 months for eggs, whereas depending on where you get started pullets, you may only have to wait a month or two. So that's up to you.

    You certainly don't need a rooster. Your hens will lay eggs regardless. Reasons you might want one would be if you want fertile eggs so you can hatch at home, or if you free range and want a rooster to watch out for your flock. If neither of those apply for you, then you don't need a rooster.

    To hold 10 chickens, you want a minimum of a 40 square foot coop and a 100 square foot run. If you ever think you might add on to your flock, I'd build bigger. You're better off doing it right the first time than having to change things later! Here's a great article on the space chickens need:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

    The cheapest feed will likely be at a local mill that makes their own feed. For example, in my area, the cheapest commercial feed at my feed store (Tractor Supply) is $12.99, and that brand arguably isn't that great. But at a feed mill a few towns over, they sell really good feed for $11 something. To find local feed mills, ask other poultry keepers...they're the ones who would know. You could also try asking feed store employees, although they might not know.

    My Pet Chicken actually does sell Golden Comets...I think they call them Red Stars. They're the same breed, as far as I know. Easter Eggers are great, but if you live in a cold climate, they pretty much stop laying during the winter...or so I've heard. Climate matters a lot when choosing breeds, so we can give you better suggestions if you tell us that. :)

    Oh, and one thing to keep in mind as you're drawing up plans for a coop is ventilation. Fantastic article here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...-go-out-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop

    Hope that helps! Tell us your climate and we can help more. :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. alaric

    alaric New Egg

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    ok this is my first time raising chickens I have 10 of them I build 8 laying boxes but all the comments I've been reading it sounds like 2 would be plenty but not sure of all the stuff I need to do yet. my coop is 10 foot by 60 inches wide about 4 foot tall and my run is about 14 foot by 20 foot minus the coop area I would think all that would be fine do I need to have a sealed roof over the run for hawks and owls can they fly over a 6 foot tall fence
    any advice would be great full
    thank you
     
  10. flyin-lowe

    flyin-lowe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you don't have something on the top you will be at risk to aerial predators. Any type of netting or chicken wire can keep Hawks out.
     

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