Raising chickens...info/advice/help

Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: tcalo On: Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:25 pm

My wife and I have been talking about getting chickens for quite some time. Now that we have 3 small children I figure it is the perfect time, good for the kids to learn about nature. With winter fast approaching I plan to put it off until the spring, I figure winter is the perfect time to tackle the research and get plans started. I figure most folks on here probably raise or have raised chickens so who better to ask! We live on Long Island and occasionally see temps in the high teens to low 20's throughout the winter. We own about 3/4 of an acre, but I plan on building a coop to keep them in, lots of hungry raccoons around these parts. I assume a basic wire coop with a hen house for them to sleep in would suffice. Anything to keep in mind as far as plans go when building the coop? Maybe ease of access to the eggs or cleaning purposes? How often should the coop be cleaned, if at all? What would I have to do to get them through the winter? Lots of hay in the hen house? Heat lamp? Not sure how many chickens would suffice? We are thinking between 3-6 chickens would be a good start. Not sure how many eggs they lay daily, would it depend on the breed? What would be the best breed of chicken for a novice such as myself. Sorry for the bombardment of questions, this is all new to us.

Maybe I should get a book on raising chickens...haha
tcalo
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Baseburners & Antiques: Our Glenwood 109
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite



Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: warminmn On: Wed Sep 21, 2016 10:14 pm

If your mainly after the eggs, find someone raising them free range and buy adults or chicks from them. Many chicks hatched anymore dont have the brains to step thru a door as they have been captive bred so many generations.

Find an old incubator for trying to hatch chicks and your kids will be amazed by it. I have many good memories of turning the eggs and watching them hatch. We hatched ducks too. Some dont hatch right and die, but its still a lot of fun and a good learning experience for kids.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin, Frankenstove
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Thu Sep 22, 2016 4:12 am

Count on 5 to 6 eggs per week, per chicken.

Just about every question you have, including how to perform minor operations, such as 'crop surgey' can be found here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: tcalo On: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:28 am

Thanks for the info. Hey grumpy, I'll be sure not to kiss them...haha. Thanks for the link SWPaDon, I'll be sure to check it out. Kids are excited!
tcalo
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Baseburners & Antiques: Our Glenwood 109
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Fri Sep 23, 2016 1:50 pm

Ross Perot was right !
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:02 pm

davidmcbeth3 wrote:Ross Perot was right !

About?
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: johnjoseph On: Fri Sep 23, 2016 2:08 pm

tcalo wrote:My wife and I have been talking about getting chickens for quite some time. Now that we have 3 small children I figure it is the perfect time, good for the kids to learn about nature. With winter fast approaching I plan to put it off until the spring, I figure winter is the perfect time to tackle the research and get plans started. I figure most folks on here probably raise or have raised chickens so who better to ask! We live on Long Island and occasionally see temps in the high teens to low 20's throughout the winter. We own about 3/4 of an acre, but I plan on building a coop to keep them in, lots of hungry raccoons around these parts. I assume a basic wire coop with a hen house for them to sleep in would suffice. Anything to keep in mind as far as plans go when building the coop? Maybe ease of access to the eggs or cleaning purposes? How often should the coop be cleaned, if at all? What would I have to do to get them through the winter? Lots of hay in the hen house? Heat lamp? Not sure how many chickens would suffice? We are thinking between 3-6 chickens would be a good start. Not sure how many eggs they lay daily, would it depend on the breed? What would be the best breed of chicken for a novice such as myself. Sorry for the bombardment of questions, this is all new to us.

Maybe I should get a book on raising chickens...haha



I have 58 chickens...golden comets, red sex links and barred rocks. We have five specialty chickens 2 buff orpingtons, 1 Easter egger and 2 golden laced Wyandottes. I did the research before getting them and they are all known to excellent layers, docile in nature and not broody; the research was correct in all aspects. We bought them in 3 stages a month apart and at this time we are getting 2 dozen eggs a day and will get 4 dozen a day by the time they all start laying. It took 4 and a half months before we started getting eggs and we got our first batch at the beginning of April. If all you want is eggs for yourself, I would get 8 red sex links (they are the best layers, very friendly and well behaved). This would keep you in eggs when some stop laying at certain times of year. I built an 8 X 14 chicken coop (insulated) on the inside of my garage in a corner. The garage is insulated as well. No heat required in this coop. In the summer we clean the coop monthly and winter we will clean every 2 months. 2 square feet per chicken is what is needed for a coop and there outside run should be 10 square feet per chicken. My son, mother and I are doing this together; My son is in FFA (Future Farmers of America) and he is learning a lot from this venture. Overall, the chickens pay for themselves with some pocket money to boot for our efforts. If further inquiry is desired you can PM me! Good luck....we really enjoy our chickens.
johnjoseph
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Keystoker KA-6
Other Heating: pellet stove, oil boiler


Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: lsayre On: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:00 pm

While your chickens are young (between 6 months old and 2 years old) expect (on average) 2/3 of an egg per chicken per day. More in the summer and less in the winter.

Clean the coop once a year. The droppings form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria that efficiently eat ammonia. The coop will wreak of ammonia from chicken droppings soon after you clean it, and until a new bed of droppings mature to 100% handle the ammonia. The chickens will suffer from ammonia poisoning. The coop must be well ventilated at this juncture.

Red Stars are good chickens to start out with. I also like Barred Rocks.

I live in an area that sees colder winters than yours, and I've never utilized heat lamps. I do utilize a thermostat controlled heated water bowl in the winter.

In order to get more eggs in the winter you will need to illuminate the coop for about 14 hours per day. A few hours of electrical light in the early morning and a few more in the late evening, along with sunshine in-between, will suffice.

Chickens will live roughly 8 -10 years. If you are also going to eat them, I recommend that you do it by or before they are 2 years old.

I believe that most of the big commercial egg farms turn their layers into roasters at the age of 12 months, and certainly by the age of 18 months. They drift slowly into terminal egg laying decline after they are about 2 years old. At 5 years or greater old their meat is like eating shoe leather. Ask me how I know. :oops:
lsayre
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AHS S130 Coal Gun
Coal Size/Type: Blaschak Anthracite Pea
Other Heating: Resistance Boiler (13.5 KW)

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: warminmn On: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:25 pm

[quote="lsayre"
I believe that most of the big commercial egg farms turn their layers into roasters at the age of 12 months, and certainly by the age of 18 months. They drift slowly into terminal egg laying decline after they are about 2 years old. At 5 years or greater old their meat is like eating shoe leather. Ask me how I know. :oops:[/end of quote]

I agree with that! I do not have fond memories of eating old hens :lol: You could probably roast them for 3 days and they'd still be tough. The younger ones will taste so good to you compared to store bought as they are actually all meat and not half fat like store bought. We used to butcher when they got to the right size for cooking even if still growing. I think around 100/year. Better too young than too old.
warminmn
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Junior, Efel Nestor Martin, Frankenstove
Coal Size/Type: nut and stove anthracite. Soft coal
Other Heating: wood

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: coalfan On: Sat Sep 24, 2016 3:59 pm

well put warmmin and also murray mcmurray is a good place of info . to always ben treated good from them and a large amount to pick from to .
coalfan
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: handfed coal stove
Coal Size/Type: nut/ pea ant.some bit.
Stove/Furnace Model: ds circulator/1500 sl/wh.

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: davidmcbeth3 On: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:19 am

SWPaDon wrote:
davidmcbeth3 wrote:Ross Perot was right !

About?


Image
davidmcbeth3
 
Coal Size/Type: nut/pea/anthra
Stove/Furnace Make: Hitzer
Stove/Furnace Model: 503

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Sep 25, 2016 8:01 am

Maybe they know something we don't?

Bill Gates Says Chickens Are the Answer


http://www.people.com/article/bill-gate ... oop-dreams
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: tcalo On: Sun Sep 25, 2016 12:48 pm

I guess my concern is do they bring rats and mice? Everyone keeps telling me they do, but they don't actually own any chickens!!!
tcalo
 
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Chubby Coal Stove
Baseburners & Antiques: Our Glenwood 109
Coal Size/Type: Nut Anthracite

Re: Raising chickens...info/advice/help

PostBy: SWPaDon On: Sun Sep 25, 2016 1:08 pm

tcalo wrote:I guess my concern is do they bring rats and mice? Everyone keeps telling me they do, but they don't actually own any chickens!!!

The chickens themselves don't, but the feed that is given to the chickens will as they never eat it all.


http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/86220 ... s-mice-etc
SWPaDon
 
Hand Fed Coal Furnace: Clayton 1600M
Coal Size/Type: Bituminous
Other Heating: Oil furnace