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owning chickens

This is a discussion on owning chickens within the Farm Animals forums, part of the Farm Forum category
  • 12x8 chicken coop max chickens

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    04-15-2014, 01:24 AM
  #21
Yearling
If you take your old egg shells ,crush them up & boil them they can be used as grit Calcium substitute - make sure there is nothing that looks like an egg left or you will encourage them to start eating their own eggs.

We also have 4 Ducks and 3 Geese

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    04-15-2014, 04:22 PM
  #22
Green Broke
Geese scare me!


So I have mostly everything figured out, its just up to me and the 2 other family members to decide on a coop size. I have a 12x8 coop/run drawn to scale that can fit 10 nest boxes and a 3 foot wide perching ladder. Then I also have a winter coop drawn out that is an A-frame 7x11 coop/run drawn to scale that can fit 7 nest boxes.

The last thing I have to find out is where to get the chickens. I really don't want to raise chicks (though they are cute) because I don't have the knowledge and I only want hens. I would like to get a rooster, but we live in a neighborhood and I don't think the neighbors want to hear it :p I want to get pullets but no one really sells them...
     
    04-15-2014, 05:15 PM
  #23
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets    
the last thing I have to find out is where to get the chickens. I really don't want to raise chicks (though they are cute) because I don't have the knowledge and I only want hens. I would like to get a rooster, but we live in a neighborhood and I don't think the neighbors want to hear it :p I want to get pullets but no one really sells them...
If you go to backyardchickens.com, there is a for sale/swap section there. It is very active this time of year as people are hatching out chicks and having slightly older pullets for sale. There are also region specific threads on there- not sure where you live in MA, but the New Hampshire thread on BYC is very active with several folks selling a variety of breeds.

I love my girls! And, the people here on Horse Forum were truly great coaching me through the early days of chicken owning, when my neighbor suddenly dropped off 4 hens and their coop one day out of the blue.

Here are some of my favorite pictures of my girls- to answer one of your original questions, I definitely recommend rose or pea combed breeds for our climate. The Golden Laced Wyandottes in the pictures had almost no problems this winter, where the others (RIR, Barred Rock, and Golden Comets) all had frostbite of varying degrees on their combs, and lost comb tips. One of the Golden Comets is still healing now, poor girl.

The whole gang:


Goldies out in the field between rain storm and sunshine:


Playtime in the garage (they were obsessed with that wheelbarrow all winter- sometimes I took pity on them and let them hang out in the garage during the worst of the cold and snow):


Wyandottes:


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    04-15-2014, 05:21 PM
  #24
Trained
I own about 30 chickens right now. Since this isn't a chicken forum, I recommend the best one around
Back Yard Chickens.com
Raising BackYard Chickens, Build a Chicken Coop, Pictures of Breeds
I have been a member since 2008 and there are over 200,000 members.
They have threads about absolutely EVERYTHING chicken, and are the biggest and best forum for chicken owners.
You will learn what breeds, how to feed and care for them, how to build a coop and run and even how to butcher, if you like.
I have owned Rhode Island Reds, Welsummer and mutts, and right now I own Easter Eggers, the ones that lay the pale blue eggs.
Chickens lay eggs in white, pink, shades of brown, shades of blue, shades of olive, yellow-green and even mottled, but they all taste the same inside. =b
     
    04-15-2014, 05:23 PM
  #25
Trained
Most people just want hens. 3-4 hens will lay enough for your needs. But, really, even without the roosters, the hens are really noisy!! My neighbors hardly hear my horses, but they Always hear my birds!
     
    04-16-2014, 08:16 AM
  #26
Green Broke
I am a member of backyardchickens.com :)

What do you mean by loud hens? I know the make their little clucking noises, but it's not that loud...
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    04-16-2014, 09:22 AM
  #27
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets    
I am a member of backyardchickens.com :)

What do you mean by loud hens? I know the make their little clucking noises, but it's not that loud...
Posted via Mobile Device
I don't have a rooster, only hens, but some days, you'd swear there was a rooster out there with all the "crowing" the hens do- particularly the head hen. Also, the "egg laying song" can really get quite loud, particularly when one starts and 3 or 4 other join in to sing the chorus.
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    04-16-2014, 01:57 PM
  #28
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets    
geese scare me!


So I have mostly everything figured out, its just up to me and the 2 other family members to decide on a coop size. I have a 12x8 coop/run drawn to scale that can fit 10 nest boxes and a 3 foot wide perching ladder. Then I also have a winter coop drawn out that is an A-frame 7x11 coop/run drawn to scale that can fit 7 nest boxes.

The last thing I have to find out is where to get the chickens. I really don't want to raise chicks (though they are cute) because I don't have the knowledge and I only want hens. I would like to get a rooster, but we live in a neighborhood and I don't think the neighbors want to hear it :p I want to get pullets but no one really sells them...
You can drastically cut back on your nesting boxes. 10 is about the right # for 50 hens. I have 14 hens and they only use 2/9 boxes. They will wait for the preferred box if they have to.

I too prefer the non single comb hens for winter. I have one flop over single comb brown leghorn that did fine this past winter but the BR and CM both with smaller single combs had some damage to the points.

I would have just one coop. Build it right so it is good in winter, is breezy in the summer and is predator proof. If you want a separate tractor for day use, than do that. 12x8 might seem huge for 6-10 hens but I think you'll be happy you went big in the middle of a snow storm when they won't go out for weeks on end.

If you can't find started pullets, than no one else can either. I've really done well with growing out chicks and selling them. I got $20 apiece. I sold 100 and could of sold 200 more. Look into that for next year.
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    04-16-2014, 03:48 PM
  #29
Green Broke
So I could have maybe like 4 nest boxes per 10 chickens and use the rest of the coop space for a perching ladder and maybe…??

In the winter it is easier to keep the food and water in the coop or in the run?
     
    04-16-2014, 05:06 PM
  #30
Trained
I have 8 boxes for 22 hens, they use 3. So I'd go with 3 or 4 boxes max. For sure have a roosting poll, ideally have two so they can hop on a lower one to get to a much higher one in case of preaditors.

I keep the food in the coop and water outside. My birds kill and eat any mice... It's gross. Water outside in the run so it keeps cleaner.
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