So you want to have a few chickens ?

Caution

New Member
I have neighbors with a fenced in backyard with Chickens. Trouble is they also have 3 little girls who are always leaving the gate to the backyard open. At last count I believe they had about ten chickens.

I have never had chickens, know nothing about them and have had to go trying to chase them around my yard trying to coral them up and get them going back to the neighbors house 2 doors down.

I probably looked like a fool trying to remember what noises to try to make to coax them to doing what I wanted.:killingme

I finally got smart and just asked my neighbors for their work phone numbers and now if they are let out by accident I just call them and all I worry about is trying to keep them out of the road till they get home. LOL I never could get them to go where I wanted but I can keep them from not going where I don't want them.

But everyone should not have chickens. :killingme Otherwise you just have some fool neighbor who ends up dealing with them.
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
Backyardchickens they call it chicken math, you plan on starting with 4 chickens and add 2 or 3 and you have 20 -30... its that damn common core math I tell you.

We adopted the first ones from forumites moving, another friend donated a few.. then we wanted to try incubating and hatching..THEN I wanted to try getting live chicks shipped... THEN we adopted 5 ducks.. and NOW have 12 ducks incubating..
Sheww, I can't get into all that, although opinion may change as things go on.

Just want to start out with a few to see if I like the experience and extra responsibility.

I'm thinking of adding a run inside a fenced area. Can chickens get enough "flight height" to clear a fence? Would like to let them roam if they can't clear the fence.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
Sheww, I can't get into all that, although opinion may change as things go on.

Just want to start out with a few to see if I like the experience and extra responsibility.

I'm thinking of adding a run inside a fenced area. Can chickens get enough "flight height" to clear a fence? Would like to let them roam if they can't clear the fence.
It's not just the chickens.. they need a safe shelter, without a top on the run the hawks, owls and eagles will love you... even grey foxes could climb a fence and decimate your flock.. I like to let our birds free-range all day but I have a fox to take of before we can let them out all day again.

Free range or roaming chickens, even home grown cooped chickens produce eggs ten times better for you than store bought (not am exaggetation)
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
My "run" would be totally enclosed when I they are not "free ranging". I wanted to be able to let them out of the run when I'm home inside the fenced area. Was wondering if they could clear a fence or not. They would go back in the run/coop when not free ranging.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
My "run" would be totally enclosed when I they are not "free ranging". I wanted to be able to let them out of the run when I'm home inside the fenced area. Was wondering if they could clear a fence or not. They would go back in the run/coop when not free ranging.
Gotcha... contemplating the same thing if I can't fix the fox problem...

A couple of our chickens can fly fairly high, others can't get off the ground at all.. I have unintentional roosts 6 feet off the ground that my biggest chickens sleep on..
 

mitzi

Well-Known Member
It's not just the chickens.. they need a safe shelter, without a top on the run the hawks, owls and eagles will love you... even grey foxes could climb a fence and decimate your flock.. I like to let our birds free-range all day but I have a fox to take of before we can let them out all day again.

Free range or roaming chickens, even home grown cooped chickens produce eggs ten times better for you than store bought (not am exaggetation)
We had chickens at one time and had several babies we had incubated. Something actually ripped the chicks thru the fence, I don't know how. All I know is when I went out in the morning to feed them they were shredded all over the yard with only one left hovering in the little house. Seems someone forgot to lock them in the house before dark. It was pitiful.
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
Gotcha... contemplating the same thing if I can't fix the fox problem...

A couple of our chickens can fly fairly high, others can't get off the ground at all.. I have unintentional roosts 6 feet off the ground that my biggest chickens sleep on..
I guess I'll have to judge the individual chickens I get. My fence is 6 foot with the exception of one 4 foot side.
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
My "run" would be totally enclosed when I they are not "free ranging". I wanted to be able to let them out of the run when I'm home inside the fenced area. Was wondering if they could clear a fence or not. They would go back in the run/coop when not free ranging.
I generally only let mine out when I am there to supervise and to retrieve the ones that stroll away from the group.
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
Besides the auction, anyone know where I can buy adult chickens? I know the Amish but narrowing it down to which ones do would be helpful.
 

itsbob

I bowl overhand
Besides the auction, anyone know where I can buy adult chickens? I know the Amish but narrowing it down to which ones do would be helpful.
Check craigslist, and the backyardchickens site.. craigslist you can usually find somebody giving them away.. once my easter eggers start laying I may adopt out a few layers I have..

I'd suggest staying away from the farmers markets, unless somebody can give a referral to one all the chicks I saw didn't look to good.
 
Last edited:

Roman

Active Member
Check craigslist, and the backyardchickens site.. craigslist you can usually find somebody giving them away.. once my easter eggers start laying I may adopt out a few layers I have..

I'd suggest staying away from the farmers markets, unless somebody can give a referral to one all the chicks I saw didn't look to good.
Plus, you never know how old they are at the Farmer's Market. Some of the Amish amputate most of the upper beak to prevent plucking. I got a few from there because I felt sorry for them.
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
I agree with you guys on the market, I'd be worried about health issues.

Coop is ordered and being built........won't be long now.
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
Besides the auction, anyone know where I can buy adult chickens? I know the Amish but narrowing it down to which ones do would be helpful.
The Amish usually de-beak their chickens (clip off part of the beak to reduce pecking at each other) so I personally would never buy any of their de-beaked chickens. The FB MD Poultry and Egg Swappers group is a place you can advertise that you are looking to buy chickens. I believe you need to be put in the group by another member so you can PM me your FB name and I can see about getting you in there unless someone else you know has access?

I have a post out there now saying I'm looking for some L/XL white egg layers and none are close to SoMD - I had some offers from Western MD and PA, but I don't want to drive that far.
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
I agree with you guys on the market, I'd be worried about health issues.

Coop is ordered and being built........won't be long now.
My experience with chickens is that it doesn't matter where you get chickens from, they are all exposed to different germs, and when a new one is added I usually see a round of sniffling or such (from the newbie or my group) and their immune systems kick in and it's over. Each farm has different germs that they have to adjust to. You do need to be cautious about some of the big diseases though. I say this to say that every bit of sniffling you hear/see is not a big disease. It gets complicated trying to learn when to worry and/or when to just give their immune system time, or when to provide an antibiotic.

I'd recommend you get one or two chicken books to have on hand to read up on them. I'm up to having about 6 books now, but I found myself needing to diagnose ailments, so I added some vet type books on poultry. These 2 are the basics that most people start with.

Raising Chickens for Dummies
and
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
Plus, you never know how old they are at the Farmer's Market. Some of the Amish amputate most of the upper beak to prevent plucking. I got a few from there because I felt sorry for them.
yup you are right about age - usually if you see a cluster of hens at the auction, it's because they are older and not laying as well so are being sold for food.

I feel sorry for the de-beaked ones also.
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
Interesting article about Chickens

"This is the time of year that our thoughts turn to gifts and our minds begin to reflect on the past, isn’t it?

I want to share with you some reflections of the gifts my chickens have given me. Many of the gifts are lessons taught to me, and I’m passing these lessons along as my gifts to you.

Number One. Chickens are cannibals.

Well, okay, this is not so much of a gift as a warning. When you are new to chicken keeping, it can come as a terrible shock - when one flock member has a wound of some sort - to find the rest of the flock chasing her around trying to get a taste. It is, however, what chickens do. The solution (and here’s your gift) is to watch your chickens carefully, and if there’s an injury, treat it immediately. If the picking continues, or the injury is deep or extensive, you will want to isolate the injured bird until the wound has healed. Being pecked to death by chickens truly does happen.

This time of year, if you live in the cold parts of the country, you may find chickens have some black spots of frostbite on their combs. Watch these spots, because they can “weep” and draw the attention of the next bird on the roost. Just covering the area with petroleum jelly (or I’ve even used Bag Balm) can help keep inquiring beaks away from the spot while it heals. "

Gifts from The Flock -- Community Chickens
 

General Lee

Well-Known Member
Great info Ark, thanks for providing it. Also no FB but I appreciate the offer. I'm gonna need to get some books, I need education on the illnesses and how to treat.
 

ArkRescue

Adopt me please !
Great info Ark, thanks for providing it. Also no FB but I appreciate the offer. I'm gonna need to get some books, I need education on the illnesses and how to treat.
For the most part, time allows the immune system to handle most things that come up, but there is a lot to learn about the insect-type problems they can have from lice, mites, etc. It's better overall to limit your flock to 1 source if at all possible, but for me that's not practical because we add rescues from time to time.

I have 2 hens right now that are having repeated bouts with Bumblefoot. It develops when the chicken gets a cut on their foot and the bacteria in their environment causes an infection with lumps that inhibit their ability to walk. Once they get it, they tend to have recurrences of it, like with Big Mama. Every so often I have to pull black hard lumps out of her feet. The vet I took Big Mama to (had studied poultry in school) said that when cleaning the hen's feet I needed to use gloves due to the bacteria being a staph infection. People may think I'm crazy for taking a chicken to the vet, but that day the vet didn't charge me (lucky me), the vet said he was just touched by the fact that I would go so far to help my chicken as to bring her to a vet <G>.
 
Top