What questions would you want answered?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by columbiacritter, May 3, 2011.

  1. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    My husband and I have been asked to put together a class in chicken keeping. What questions did you all have when you first started? Any topics you think really need to be hammered on?
  2. mamabahre

    mamabahre Chirping

    Apr 6, 2011
    as a noob who is learning I think there is HUGE confusion on what to feed chickens. I saw on here someone feeding parrot food, also people think scratch is good enough or any number of bizarre things. I would talk about each stage of growth and how they all require different foods..

    Also, housing, the whole VENTILATION thing is still hard for me. they need to have lots of air but no direct drafts and yada yada yada...

    Finally, predators. No one really emphasized to me the fact that EVERYTHING wants to eat your chickens...Especially the neighbors dog's people don't really think about those things ahead of time..

    Oh legalities are a good thing to cover too!
  3. debducttape

    debducttape In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2011
    How about scary things that are actually normal. I have been learning alot about this stuff on this forum. - Weird poo, swollen crops, molting etc. All scary to a newbie like me. [​IMG]
    Basic first aid is always important, no matter the species.
  4. mamabahre

    mamabahre Chirping

    Apr 6, 2011
    Quote:ohhh yeah, the swollen crop thing freaked me out at first...Also the enormous variation of what "normal" poop can look like...

    So yeah basically EVERYTHING!
  5. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    I was (and still am) interested in the different breeds and characteristics
  6. cackydoodledoo

    cackydoodledoo Songster

    Jan 7, 2011
    Crazyville, USA
    If it's just basic chicken keeping to teach other how to get started I would go over things like:

    Start by having a live demonstration on how to cull a chicken. If they are still sitting in the class after that then:

    General coop designs and what works/what doesn't - Ventilation
    What to put on the floor of coop and inside (roosts, nest boxes, etc...)(Need for heat in winter depending on climate?)
    Feeding at all stages
    The needs of chicks and how to set up a brooder and care for them
    Common diseases or illnesses to watch for
    How to check for mites/lice
    Importance of fresh water
    Explain about roos (mean or agressive roos, too many roos, etc...)

    I know there are a bunch more but my brain is on overload right now and that's all the better I can do at this point. I will add as I think of more!!
  7. mamabahre

    mamabahre Chirping

    Apr 6, 2011
    I absolutely would NOT start with a live demonstration on culling...
    You can keep chickens without ever culling one and if it is a beginner course I imagine it would be mostly families looking to have a few birds for eggs right? I don't really see the point in doing a live culling demonstration unless it is specifically about raising meat birds. I know people still need to cull non meat birds but like I said I imagine they are interested in the egg laying aspect...Yikes, you don't need to weed out the weak ones by freaking people out who might not have even considered the prospect of culling. You could just tell them about it!
  8. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    cecal poo. I took my first one to the vets. [​IMG]
  9. chickengrandma

    chickengrandma Songster

    Nov 3, 2009
    Emphasize how absolutely wonderful it is to own chickens. Talk about the wonderful entertainment factor - chicken TV is the best! Tell them lots of cute stories about the cool and funny stuff they do. Tell them about trained chickens that come in the house and beg at the refridgerator for treats or yell at the back door to be let in.

    Show them the really cool variety of eggs and the unbelievable beauty of their feathers.

    Focus on the joy, wonderment and lessons it gives your children.
    Tell them about the unbelievable nutrition facts of free range eggs.

    Don't scare them! If I had learned too much before diving in I would have never gotten my girls...and they are one of the best things I've ever done for my family.
  10. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    You should let them know they will be their new feathered garbage disposals! I was amazed at all the things mine will eat. We use to toss a lot of left overs. People at work are always surprised at the things chickens will eat.....you know, like left over chicken!

    My big unknown going into chickens was the coup. I built the first one before I knew much about it. Then realized it was not big enough and had to build another. Suggest they have the right sized coup before they buy, otherwise you have to scramble really fast to get something before they get to big. And they get big fast, much faster than I ever realized.

    Don't explain chicken math, they shoud have to figure that out on their own!!!

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