Wisconsin Newbie

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by smkonop, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. smkonop

    smkonop Hatching

    Oct 26, 2014
    Good afternoon! I am new to the BYC website and forum. I live in Green Bay, WI and am in search of info to start my chicken journey.
    In the next few years my husband and I plan to move to the country and start a farm. We have decided that while we are stuck in the city we might as well start with the 4 chickens we are allowed here.
    We are in search of info first on how to build a practical chicken coop that could house our chickens along with a connected run that we could potentially pull around our yard.
    We also will need to find info on different heritage breeds that will suit our needs and our location. Wisconsin is similar to much of the upper Midwest. We have brutally cold winters and (usually) pretty hot and humid summers. Obviously not all breeds will fit into that category.
    One of the things we are worried about is finding breeds that will lay in winter as well as the warmer months and also want the chickens to be friendly. We are also worried about finding a place that will sell one chicken at a time if possible.
    If you have any help or suggestions, please feel free to comment back to me!
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chirping

    Jul 17, 2014
    Hello and welcome! I can't answer all of your questions, but i'll try my best:)

    -Chickens need light to lay eggs, so I don't know what the weather/sun is like where you live, but you may want to install a light in the coop if it's not sunny.

    - Is there a feed bin near where you live? I personally have been getting my chicks at the feed bin, and they have loads of breeds to choose from, and they let you buy as many birds as you like.

    - I think Plymouth Rock chickens do well in cold weather and they are friendly too. On the BYC website, at the top, there is a link with breeds, and you can go check that out and read reviews from people who have those chickens. You can also insulate your coop so it's warmer in the winter.

    I hoped I somewhat helped and please ask if you have any more questions!
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    For lots of information, I would check out the Learning Center: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/ The coops section has plenty of good information and plans on coops, too: https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops

    With a coop, the basic things chickens need are: enough space (about 4 square feet per bird is great), roosts (with about 12 inches of roosting space per chicken), nest boxes if they are laying hens (1 nest for every 3-4 hens is preferable), excellent ventilation, predator protection, and a roof that keeps them out of the weather.

    Runs should be made of wire, and be built so that predators can't burrow in. With stationary coops, that means burying the run wire 12 inches in the ground or making a wire "skirt" that extends around the run's perimeter. For a mobile coop/run, a wire floor on the run would help keep predators out, or you could make sure to lock your hens inside their coop every night.

    There are many breeds of chicken that could meet your criteria. However, one breed that I particularly recommend is the Wyandotte. Wyandottes are cold hardy (making them great for frigid Wisconsin weather), generally docile, and excellent layers of 300+ eggs a year in my experience. They also come in beautiful color varieties, and are usually readily available for sale.

    Other breeds that I would recommend include Easter Eggers, Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Buckeyes, Orpingtons, and Australorps.

    Keep in mind, though, that few chickens will lay all the time. Some highly productive breeds will manage an egg a day for a year or more, but that is an exception, not the norm. Such high producers tend to live for a shorter amount of time, and many times are rather high strung. Expect nearly all chickens to molt at least once a year, during which time they will not lay eggs. And without supplemental lighting during winter, it is perfectly natural for egg production to slow down.

    I am not aware of a hatchery or large scale dealer that sells only one bird at a time. Sometimes, you can pick single birds up from feed stores, but many have minimum chick limits of 4 or 6 chicks. Or, you could try purchasing from a local breeder, though such birds will usually be more expensive.

    If you have any other questions, feel free to ask! Good luck with your chicken adventure. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Definitely stop by our coops pages. There is a tractor section there as well if you want to go with a moveable coop and run.

    Lots of nice breeds out there and many of them lay without extra lighting during the winter....Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes, Rhode Island Reds, Easter Eggers, etc...And all of these are very winter hardy as well.

    BantamLover has left you with some great ideas for building your coop and run. So I will just welcome you to our flock!
  5. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    You've received some good advice above!
  6. N F C

    N F C no time like snow time

    Dec 12, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    X 2

    [​IMG] Welcome. Good luck on your new adventure.
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Congratulations on your new home, and good luck in establishing your flock.
  9. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop

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