I think im in way over my head...

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by moniquenicole, Sep 5, 2012.

  1. moniquenicole

    moniquenicole New Member

    4
    0
    0
    I've finally convinced hubby to get me some chickens and I feel so unprepared and feel like there's so much that goes into this and having a 4 month old makes me feel like I can't handle this too... What do I need to know? What do I need?
     
  2. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    Are you getting chicks or older chickens? They need a safe place to live, a "run" so they can be outside during the day, food and water.

    I think you will be fine. AND you will have a blast! Please post pics!
     

  3. moniquenicole

    moniquenicole New Member

    4
    0
    0
    We were thinking about chicks but thought it'd be easier to get egg laying chickens.. I'm afraid more goes into raising the chick sand it makes me nervous.
     
  4. moniquenicole

    moniquenicole New Member

    4
    0
    0
    What's a tractor? Where can I get a nesting box? How do I know if I have an egg I can eat or if it needs to be incubated? Do I absolutely need an incubater? What exactly do I feed these creatures?
     
  5. cindy

    cindy New Member

    139
    0
    0
    chickens are very easy to care for all you need is a good shelter with a couple of nesting boxes,straw,food and water.
    you can get a small all in one coop with an attached run to house a few hens or if your are handy build it yourself.
    if you decide on very young chicks they will need to be kept warm about 95 degrees the 1st week then 90 and on down
    until they are feathered and old enough to be outdoors I keep mine in the garage when they are very young.
    in my case I do not want roosters so none of my eggs are fertilized so I have no need for an incubator, I live in a rural
    area but still I have one neighbor who complains about roosters crowing so they went to freezer camp that's something you
    may want to consider. a chicken tractor is just a mobile coop with an attached run lots of back yard chicken keepers use them
    and they are a great way to get you started with keeping chicken. when chicks are young feed them a good brand chick starter feed
    then round 4 months of age I start adding laying mash to the mix they also get any damaged vegi's and stuff from my garden and in the winter months I spoil them with warm oatmeal and honey on occasion.
    I will try to post some pictures of my setups but for the last couple days for some reason they wont let me upload pics. dont worry you will find keeping chickens very easy and rewarding.
     
  6. cindy

    cindy New Member

    139
    0
    0
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Very nice set up you have Cindy. I'll bet it's easy with a big cage like that. They all look pretty happy in there with plenty of room. Enjoy!
     
  8. cindy

    cindy New Member

    139
    0
    0
    I plan to put the coop with the rabbit in it in the run area where the large coop is that way when I am getting my young chicks aquainted with the older ladies
    they can be seen by the others yet protected then I can get rid of the make shift pen you see in the picture:)
     
  9. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    0
    0
    Love Love the coop. And don't worry I feel way over my head, too. There is a lot of support here. Make a decision on what you want and make a list.
     
  10. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Give yourself time to research. Don't jump. Study first. Your chickens are depending on you. :)
     
  11. cindy

    cindy New Member

    139
    0
    0
    I agree when I 1st started I 1st bought myself a prefab coop a waterer,feeder,straw and Dumor chick starter
    then I started reasearching breeds that are hardy in my neck of the woods,I came across an ad on craigslist for
    4-5 week old red sexlinks chicks "already sexed to be pullets" and eggcellent layers :) for me the the large amount of eggs they
    lay was what I was looking for and the rest is history. since then I have gotten into pure breeds and day old chicks my next step
    is to hatch some of my own probably next spring..dont sweat it chicken keeping is as easy as falling off a log.
     
  12. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    A chicken tractor is just a moveable pen so that you can move them to fresh grass every couple of days or so. Not required.

    Nesting boxes can be made out of scrap wood, a plastic milk crate turned on its side or I've even heard of turning a 5-gallon bucket on its side for a nesting box. Doesn't have to be fancy, just something that makes them feel safe and provides a private place to lay eggs.

    You can eat any egg your chicken lays. No egg "needs to be incubated" unless you want to raise your own baby chicks. If you have no rooster, none of the eggs will be fertile so it's not a concern. None of them would ever hatch out baby chicks. You can eat fertile eggs though - there's nothing wrong with doing that. Lots of people prefer eating fertile eggs.

    No one "needs" an incubator unless they want to hatch out their own baby chicks. It's not a required piece of equipment just because you have chickens.

    Feed baby chicks a grower ration and laying hens a laying ration. Find your closest farm/feed store and they will be happy to help you find the correct feed. It comes in bags just like dog or cat food.

    Good luck and have fun!
     
  13. TajMaCluckCoop

    TajMaCluckCoop Not so Junior-Junior Member

    120
    0
    0
    Before you leap, look into your town's Ordinances and Zoning Laws...is your property under a HOA??? Are you permitted chickens? How many? Can you have a roo?

    I don't know where you live but getting chicks now means you may have youngsters outside in the cold and snow. So if you have to start now, get pullets. However, if you don't have a secure coop and run yet perhaps you should get a good book now........and start in the spring. That way your baby is a bit older as well. First you need to decide WHY you want chickens. If you want nice eggs and a nice amount of them you will want a large fowl, if you want to conserve a bit of space and don't mind small eggs maybe bantams are a good fit. If you want pets that you and your children can play with, maybe silkies are a good fit. Each type of chicken requires a bit different type of a set up...my large fowl roost really high, silkies don't roost at all. Large fowl need at least 4 sq ft of coop space and 10 sq ft of run space each, bantams less and silkies maybe even less....
    I just down loaded a bunch of starter chicken books to my Kindle, even though I've had chickens for a few years I thought I might want to learn a bit more, most of them were less than $2.99. Amazon has a bunch of good books, Chickens for Dummies comes to mind. Storey's Guide to Chickens is good. Keep reading and posting here and learn from all our mistakes :). If you wait til spring your local feed store will probably have chicks for sale. Saves you the cost of shipping over hatchery birds. Even better is to get to know some of your local chicken peeps on here...and buy from them!!

    Good Luck! I was so scared and stupid when I got my first batch and all of them lived to lay!
     
  14. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    I got chicks 3 1/2 weeks ago. I live in Missouri. I see nothing wrong with getting chicks at this time of year if you plan for having younger chickens during the winter. I'm not sure I think it's fair to tell someone not to get chicks now if that's what they want to do. Just tell them to educate themselves and be prepared.
     
  15. TajMaCluckCoop

    TajMaCluckCoop Not so Junior-Junior Member

    120
    0
    0

    Who told the OP to "not to get chicks now"? How is it unfair to support her idea that chicks may be too much for her at this time? Even though she has a 4 month old baby, she really wants chicken too. But she's smart enough to realize she may be in over her head (her words not mine) and has come here for advice, I took some of my time and offered some. Is that "unfair"? Now I understand why the folks I know that know alot about chickens won't get involved in forums like this anymore. My apolopies to the original poster, but I think I'll spend my time with my chickens, not in front of a computer from now on. Thanks for the valuable lesson TinyHouse. Regards to both you and moniquenicole.
     
  16. TinyHouse

    TinyHouse New Member

    241
    0
    0
    Wow - I apologize for having a different opinion and stating it.

    I guess the "valuable lesson" *I* learned is to not disagree with certain people or I'll receive a dressing down.
     
  17. cindy

    cindy New Member

    139
    0
    0
    don't sweat the petty stuff! just pet the sweaty stuff;)
     
  18. BootedBantam

    BootedBantam New Chicken Mom

    596
    0
    0
    Coming from a new chicken mom. Take all the advice, research it, and decide what is right for you and your family. Don't be afraid to ask questions, there is a lot involved with chicken raising. I have had people tell me don't do chicks in winter, while others said why not? I think the key words are BE PREPARED and research your decison.
     
  19. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Besides having different circumstances, we have different capabilities. Only I can make decisions that are best for me. That goes for everyone. As I've said before, ALL songs are music in Chicken Land. So be free to express your thoughts and ideas but also be prepared to have someone disagree with you. ;-)
     
  20. Energyvet

    Energyvet New Member

    4,193
    0
    0
    Had to laugh when I got the mail today....
     

    Attached Files: