chicken newbie - Mothering Forums
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
snugglebug14's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 846
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Growing up we always had chickens but my brother and i never did much to help take care of them. how much work is it? is it a good idea with really small children or can chickens be dangerous? i only want like 3 or 4 chickens so how much space do i need? we have a lot of foxes in the area so is it safe to let them roam free during the day if they're housed at night? how easy is it to get them back into the house? and finally where can i buy a few chickens, all the mail order ones make you buy 25 and i just wouldn't have a clue what to do with 25 chickens!
snugglebug14 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 11:51 AM
 
Stone Fence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sometimes you can buy chicks at a feed store in the spring. Brown egg layers tend to be calmer than white egg layers. Hens can get testy around their eggs, and roosters should be avoided with small children around. Ususally you can get sexed chicks at a feed store. Here in NY we have a minimum of 6 from the feed store. YMMV.

They are not really a lot of work. If you can, brood them in an outbuilding. Just 6 chicks make a lot of dust and mess. You'll need a heat lamp, a box to put them in, some chick starter food, chick grit and food and water containers.

There are some good books on chicken raising out there. Gail Damerow wrote my favorite. Check out this website, www.feathersite.com.

HTH

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
:
Stone Fence is offline  
#3 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 01:38 PM
 
Matanuska Motherlode's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Look in your phone book to see if you have a hatchery close by. I've bought all our girls locally and have had great success! If you can't find one, try feed stores. You want to stay away from straight run orders via the mail, because a lot of the time you end up with a lot more males than females.

They will need a fenced in area and a place to roost at night. An old doghouse will work if you don't feel like building anything fancy. A good site to check out is www.backyardchickens.com Their message boards are very helpful!
Matanuska Motherlode is offline  
 
#4 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 02:50 PM
 
andreac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 2,492
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Check your local Agway. I know ours sells 17wk old almost ready to lay hens. That way you don't have the fuss of chicks...unless of course you want the fuss of cute fluffy little chicks

We are thinking about chickens too, and I haven't decided if I want to go the chick route or get older hens.

I asked this question in the May chicken thread already, but I might as well ask it here too...what do you all do with your chickens in the winter...I live in southern CT...do they handle the winters OK?
andreac is offline  
#5 of 9 Old 05-31-2005, 03:40 PM
 
Matanuska Motherlode's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
Posts: 173
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm in Alaska and now have a flock of 11. My first group of 5 hens made it through the winter with no problem. They would still roost outside until the temperatures dropped to the single digits! If you want them to lay during the winter, provide them with a light. It's more of an issue for me, because during the winter we only have about five or six hours of daylight!
Matanuska Motherlode is offline  
#6 of 9 Old 06-01-2005, 12:30 PM
 
Stone Fence's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 1,300
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I live in Upstate NY. My first year hens lay fine all through the winter without supplemental lighting. (Black Austrolorpes). We get about 8-9 hours of daylight. There is a south facing window in the hen house.

A draft free shelter is most important in the winter.

Amy at Stone Fence Farm
:
Stone Fence is offline  
#7 of 9 Old 06-02-2005, 10:33 PM
 
tuscanymom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: jersey shore
Posts: 73
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If you have freecycle for your area, maybe you could post chickens or chicks wanted. I got rid of my extras that way. I had a really hard time finding them locally so I ended up ordering 15 and giving away what I couldn't keep. Hope you find them. They are so much fun.
tuscanymom is offline  
#8 of 9 Old 06-04-2005, 05:24 AM
 
OceanMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: south of somewhere
Posts: 2,204
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
How small do you call really small children ? My youngest are 4 & nearly 2. We've had chickens for just over a year. No problems. I think if you want a rooster it depends on the breed as to how mean or not they are. Mine is welsummer & he is a big softie. My other roo I got recently is a dorking & I've had no problems with him either. I got almost all my chooks at point of lay from local breeders. If you have a local poultry club, they may be able to help with a list of local breeders. Or maybe try the rare breeds association ( if you have one of them ).

I don't free range my chooks coz of local free ranging dogs. But whenever one has gotten out accidentally they have been pretty desperate to get back in. If you free range, I have read that it is best to have a roo to keep the girls together. They should all happily come home at night to roost.
OceanMomma is offline  
#9 of 9 Old 06-04-2005, 06:16 AM
 
pranamama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Pacific NW
Posts: 5,000
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi
We got a mother hen and her chicks. The chickens/roosters haven't ever "attacked" my children but they are getting less tame the older they get. We can pet them when we feed them if we want. One jumped out and almost got eaten by a neighbor dog but it followed me back to the pen like a cat or a dog after I got ran the dog off. ( it hid in some bushes before that). They roost through the winter or can go in an old doghouse the temperature usually stays in the 20's overnight in the colder parts of winter. I try to feed them extra fat in the winter and spread pine shavings periodically. Good luck and enjoy!!
pranamama is offline  
Reply


User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off

Online Users: 1,107

6 members and 1,101 guests
AlisonNorth80 , dishn584 , greatness1987 , jcpollari , KerriB , omarinbox1888
Most users ever online was 21,860, 06-22-2018 at 09:45 PM.