What should a newbie start with?

HennyPenny2019

Crowing
Nov 23, 2018
393
1,173
257
West Virginia
I did a lot of reading but with so much information out there i just seem to get more confused instead of informed. My question is: should i start with chicks, pullets or adult hens? These will be pets and egg layers. Next question is how many (I originally was thinking 8-10) My coop, being built now, will be 4'x8' and the run 8'x20'.
This is my first year of having chickens, I read on BYB for several months and made a notebook with information I thought I’d need. My coop and run are similar to yours, I bought 4 chicks from Meyer, they guarantee the sex, and I had them immunized for Merck, that was in May. I have 4 beautiful, healthy, very friendly hens and am getting 3 or 4 eggs every day. They are the most delightful pets. 🥰
 

HennyPenny2019

Crowing
Nov 23, 2018
393
1,173
257
West Virginia
If you've got toddlers or pets, I'd say get some Wyandotte chicks. Great demeanor around kids, ours like to come over and get pet, sometimes they try to get in the truck with us if we leave the doors open. We've had ours since April and they've gotten to where they'll let me pick them up without much of a fuss, they'll flap their wings a few times and calm down. They don't chase my son, they don't peck at us. The dogs and chickens get along with each other. They even kill snakes! I've found three this year with their heads pecked off. The only one who's afraid is my wife. She's a big chicken.
Agree, I have 2 Wyandottes, also a Buff Orpington and an Austrolorp ... all friendly, come running to see me, let me pick them up .... I just love my girls 🥰
 

Cathy R.

Chirping
Dec 28, 2017
12
24
54
San Diego, CA
You don't say how large your household is. I'm single and started with 2 point of lay hens (about 6 months old) and have always had more eggs than I know what to do with. When I lost one of the hens I got a 10-week old and a 6 month old. It was quite a bit of work keeping the young one separated until she was big enough to join the other two, but it paid big dividends, having a bird that was so friendly and comfortable with me. She'd hop up on my shoulder or my lap. As I work full-time and have a dog and cat I wasn't able to start with chicks. Every two years I hope to add two new pullets or point of lay hens. I'm sure you'll enjoy whatever you get!
 

James head

In the Brooder
Jan 12, 2020
6
26
34
I did a lot of reading but with so much information out there i just seem to get more confused instead of informed. My question is: should i start with chicks, pullets or adult hens? These will be pets and egg layers. Next question is how many (I originally was thinking 8-10) My coop, being built now, will be 4'x8' and the run 8'x20'.
 

Lori J

Songster
Jun 18, 2017
157
114
131
I did a lot of reading but with so much information out there i just seem to get more confused instead of informed. My question is: should i start with chicks, pullets or adult hens? These will be pets and egg layers. Next question is how many (I originally was thinking 8-10) My coop, being built now, will be 4'x8' and the run 8'x20'.
Definitely chicks imo. They grow superfast and they are fun. If they are to be pets that also helps to have them Since they were small. I’ve raised two sets of chicks from tractor supply. The first were white leghorns, the second Orpingtons. I was excited about Orpingtons because I heard they were friendlier but these actually bite in the leghorns didn’t!
 

Roosterbreaux

Chirping
Sep 29, 2016
15
9
52
Terra
Hi,Roosterbreaux here {^-^} !

1st... ...That depends on why you want to raise them.
So I scraped together list of dual-purpose breeds.
2nd... ...I would consider pullets 1st.

Chicks: High maintenance !!! No thank you.
Some losses mostly possible. AUH poor Peep.><

Adults: Well, Just how old is that chicken anyway ?
Though the feet may give you a slight
indication you can never be sure absolutely !

Pullets: Old enough to know better, young enough not to care !!! LOL

OK I'll start with...
Small: Ornamentals/Pets
Mostly Bantams: Not good egg producers but an active little sort and fun to be around !
A lot of the Bantams are feisty little critters that do
not play well with others, including humans. However
this is not always the case. If you are looking for a calmer
and more user friendly one then one of these 3 may suit you.

First of all coming in as the smallest chicken known to man is the Malaysian Serama. The "Micros" class(the smallest) weight in at a whopping 13 ounces tops ! Their egg production is very good for their size and come in at around 5-6 eggs a week. However even this many eggs come to the equivalent of 1 grade A standard size egg.
Read more about the Serama here: Malaysian Serama

The Dutch Bantam comes in next to the smallest breed of all chickens known to exist, typical weight is around 20 ounces for the cock. The hens weigh slightly less of course. But they like to be around humans also and are rather resilient for their size(Kid proof) when co-existing with families who have children also. You can read more about them here: Dutch Bantams

Now if you are looking strictly for ornamental chicks then the Seabright is the way to go ! They have some very beautiful plumage. Active little chickens, about 1.5 lbs. for the cocks, but not very aggressive. As before low egg production around 52 a year. Here is a link to read more: Seabright's

The Silkie is a small-medium size chicken at around 4 lbs. for the roosters. Egg production comes in at around 2 a week. However they are in a class of their own when it comes to looks ! See what I'm talking about here: Silkie's

Larger:
The Barred Plymouth rock has fair egg production and good for the table too with a weight of around 7.5 lbs.
More about them here: Plymouth rock

Faverolles, a French chicken, are a little larger than the Barred Plymouth rock at around 9 to 11 lbs. they have good egg production and they're very gentle and good around children. More here: Faverolles

The Jersey Giant is one of the best dual chickens around,
I should state TRI-Chicken for meat, eggs and personality.
Known also as "The Gentle Giant" Find out why here: Jersey Giants

Well this is Roosterbreaux and that's all for now !
I hope this helps !!! {^0^}
 
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Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
12,969
63,427
1,237
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
I always say chicks or even eggs lol!
If you are going to learn then why not start at step 1 instead of having to back track later right?
The importance of them knowing and trusting you cannot be overstated.
It is so,so, much easier if you raise then from chicks.
Im not a fan of chasing down and dealing with scared chickens, id much rather have them come to me. :)
 

Roosterbreaux

Chirping
Sep 29, 2016
15
9
52
Terra
Thanks everyone for the pros and cons-- that helped a lot. i think i will be going with pullets and probably half of what i originally planned. Next step i guess would be to see what is available in my area. btw I live in the deep south, Mobile, Alabama. :frow
Louisiana boy myself. Welcome to our family ! {^_^}
 
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