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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. I hope you guys can help me. My family and I have been thinking of getting chickens and we have a couple of generous friends that want to give us some of their older chickens to get us started. Right now I do not have specific details (age, type of chickens etc...) but wondered if this is something worth trying or should we just start with chicks? Thanks for any and all info.
 

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Before you agree to take them find out their age, breed, sex, and health. Have they ever been sick? That sort of thing. Once you know the breed and age you can research the breed or come here and ask us and find out the average age for laying, characteristics, ect. You need to research what coop is best for you. this all depends on how you want to keep you chickens, the weather you live in, space, ect. There is no simple yes or no answer to taking on full ground versus chicks, it all has to do with how much time you want to dedicate to research and your flock.
 

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If they are giving you chickens and you are merely dabbling, it might just be a way to gain some experience. Raising chicks to maturity takes a big ol' learning curve but getting adult chickens is somewhat easier and can be a practice flock.

I always recommend newbies get adult chickens to start out because they handle mistakes better. This older flock won't be representative of what the individual breeds can do, as their peak laying years may be gone, so they come with their own learning curve as an aging flock. Some may require careful assessment as you go along and need to be killed before they develop laying issues as they age, so that is something to take into account~do you have the fortitude to do what is right by a chicken flock?

Before you ever agree to take them on, I agree with Apyl...examine your goals, how well you can provide housing, feed and foraging space for a flock of chickens on your land and then what plan do you have for when they are no longer laying.

I had always thought that raising chickens was so easy until I read posts on a few chicken forums and realized that I came to the art of raising chickens with prior knowledge and training that many people have never had, so of course it looks easy to me. But to someone who has rarely even seen a chicken except under cellophane at the grocery store, chickens are quite a learning curve if one is to do it properly.

Jumping into it poorly prepared creates a lot of stress for you and for the animal, so get everything ready, decide on your flock management goals and methods, and then be prepared to keep your mind open to learning...then jump into it. It's the quickest and easiest way to get into chickens...just get some POL and older adults and practice your flock management skills until you've managed to keep them alive, thriving and producing for a few years~then you can think about chicks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you Apyl and Bee for the helpful tips. I hope to come back with more details tomorrow because we are going to our friends house this evening to check them out. Hopefully he will be able to give us all the info we need.
Talk to you guys soon (I hope)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OMW. It was a little overwhelming because they have 12 chickens and 1 rooster that they are willing to give to us along with their coops, boxes and everything that goes along with it. My husband has his work cut out for him on Saturday as he will be going and taking down everything (which is in great shape). Now, we will just have to decide how we want to put it all together.

The chickens are a mixture of breeds. There were definitely 2 white cochins, 1 black cochin and 1 turken. Quite a few small breed chickens. He said they are four years old and younger. I think this will definitely be an adventure.

Since we will be having tons of materials to work with, are there any suggestions on coop types to build? I wanted to have a mobile one but with this many chickens is that possible?

Any and all suggestions and comments greatly appreciated.
 

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If they are giving you the coop I would use it until you build one you like. With the birds being 4+ years you'll be lucky to get eggs for long. In my flock I would be butchering them by that age. As for having a movable coop, sure it's possible but with that many birds you will need a decent size pen if you don't free range. Think 10 sq ft per bird when not free ranging.
 

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cluck13
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One more thing - make sure that you are allowed to keep chickens and ensure that Roosters as acceptable, check with your local authority.

Very kind of your friends wishing to give you, just a question why are they getting out of chickens?

If you are getting your chickens from a couple of different places then consider how you combine the flocks.

Look forward to seeing your progress and enjoy these wonderful animals:)
 
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