Hi everyone!I haven't gotten any chickens yet but would like to start ,maybe,next spring.Where do I get info on how to start ,etc. and good "beginner chickens"(if there is such a kind!!!)All advice appreciated!!
I got a lot of my beginner info from the web-sites: My Pet Chicken and Backyard Chickens. Lots of great stuff on there. Easy starter breeds are many. I started with Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rock as day old chicks ordered from a local feed mill. Australorps, Isabrowns, and Orpingtons are good too. All are friendly, good with kids, winter hardy if you are in a cold area, and good foragers too. Depends on what you are looking for in a breed, where you're located, and time planned on spending with them.
I read the forums - this one, and backyard chickens. I read any post that catches my interest. To choose breeds, I started at My Pet Chicken and read up on the different breeds. I live in the deep south, have small children, and want to free range the flock on occasion. So I looked for heat hardy, friendly birds. I'm avoiding bantams as I probably won't be able to protect from hawks - my hope is that I'll have fewer losses with larger breeds. I have two acres, and am technically not allowed any chickens. Since I have the room for as many chickens as I want, and don't have a huge need for eggs, I think I will be better off with chickens that don't produce as many eggs as some of the more popular breeds. The hatchery breeds are bred for maximum egg production at the expense of long term health. Since I won't be eating my hens, long term health is a higher priority. Oh, and no roosters. I have read too many horror stories about small children and roosters.
Think about what predators you might have to deal with. Also what you need in a coop. Ventilation is a must. Headroom seems to be a priority for a lot of people. I am going with a three sided coop - just enough to protect the flock from winds. Then there's the bedding - deep bedding, sand, wood shavings, poop boards.
I'm hopefully going to get chicks this winter. I'm not sure if I'm going to get six "one of each" or a more uniform flock. It's going to be an adventure, that's for sure!
I got the bug to raise chickens about 6 months ago. Now I have 12 three week old chicks and have their coop ready. I have 6 Rhode Island Reds and 6 Barred Rocks from Carter's Legacy Farms. We should be getting our first eggs around Christmas. I bought a book, "Keeping Chickens", that has lots of info, plus the Internet has lots of info. Good luck and welcome to the hobby.
A secure coop. Proper care. Cleanliness. I've been raising chickens all my life. If I had to start new I would start with Americaunas. Very docile, friendly, different egg colors, and beautiful color differences. Rhode island reds are good starters as well.
kathryndianneI too searched all over the internet for information!! I have been compiling a ton of information as well as links on PINTEREST... if your already a member look me up "Sally Sunshine" and let me know how to look you up too! Everything I have been running into as I go! If you need an invite to pinterest let me know! Good Luck!! Lovin our chickens!
I've found that Mother Earth News has some wonderful articles about chickens. They have everything from breed specific information to coop and chicken tractor (although I don't think they call them that) plans. This year's April/May and June/July issues have articles that are very helpful. I've been cruising through their back articles found at The Chicken and Egg Page
Last month I requested a catalog from Murray McMurray Hatchery and received one within a couple weeks. Their catalog has a lot of breed specific information and I've spent a lot of time reading it. Davis and I are doing the research before we make a final decision about keeping chickens in Oklahoma City. We will need chickens that can tolerate high temperatures and deal with some cold too.
Have fun doing the research, there is a lot of good information on the internet. I even found a fairly good book about keeping chickens at Lowe's a couple of days ago. I'll have to bring it up from the livingroom and add the title to this post.
Nonononono I don't fight my birds so they aren't fighting birds. They come from a lineage of fighting birds yes. But you can just say game birds. I want to breed mine and start showing in the Game classes. I love the breeds and attitudes are hardiness of the game breeds but I have never and will never fight birds. I have actually worked with local authorities to stop fights in my area.
First, learn about coops and pick how many chickens (hens v roosters, eggs or meat?) you want and work on a good solid coop. Then move onto learning about chicks. It's just so much easier if the coop is there BEFORE the chicks arrive.
They grow so fast that they need the coop and it isn't up yet.