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Old 10-08-2008, 06:55 AM
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You're making it sound more simplistic than it really is for a beginner. This guy doesn't even know where to get chickens, so that's a sure sign he doesn't know anything about chickens.

Before you buy any chicks, you need to buy or build a coop and nesting boxes. And it has to be built right, or else predators will get in and eat your chickens. If you want eggs in the winter, you need to provide a heat source or the hens will stop laying.

And the chicks themselves need special care. You need a heat lamp, and set it at the appropriate distance so the chicks don't get too hot.

Like I said, go to the library and get a book about chickens.
You can take a oil drum, flip it over on the chicken, cut a hole in the top and feed and water it through the hole. Doesn't get much simpler. Maybe Its where I live, but I don't heat anything. They lay almost all year here, and I don't do anything to take care of them aside from plug in the water dish.

Ok that is one thing, the water will freeze in winter. So you buy a special dish that keep the water warm.

It has been my experience that trial and error works great for farm animals. Most of the stuff you learn, aren't in books because they are considered cruel. Like if a snake keeps eating your eggs or killing your chickens, you put a golf ball in the hatchery. The snake eats it, and latter dies a slow and painful death. No animal rights advocate will allow that in any library book.
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Old 10-08-2008, 07:22 AM
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There's plenty of info online about caring for chickens.

I would get at least a half dozen chickens. It's the same amount of work at 2-3, with the likelihood that at least half will lay eggs regularly. Also, 6 will roost together and keep the flock much warmer.

Also, realize that if you get chicks now, you'll have to keep them in the house for a couple months, unless you have a heated coop. For the first couple weeks, they are very susceptible to cold.

I let my hens out most days, unless I'm going to be out of town or the weather looks bad. The coop is a converted single-hole outhouse (gives you idea of size) with an attached pen that is 6' x 4'. If I didn't free-range them 95% of the time, I'd have a coop double the size.

Last edited by wildjo; 10-08-2008 at 07:23 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:23 AM
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Go to eggbid.com and buy 25 chicks from some good dual-purpose breed like Delawares. When they grow up, save all the hens, eat all but two roosters, and you'll have eggs and meat the rest of your life.
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:31 AM
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i would go to a local swapmet or a live animal auction there should be a couple in your area here is one i found with quick search here in cali the swapmeet is full of them and alot of auctions you could take a cruz threw the country side local farmers usually sell them also

Arcadia Small Animal Auction
2635 NW Highway 70

Arcadia, FL 34266

863-494-1888
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Old 10-08-2008, 09:46 AM
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This is my chicken church. Its important to provide shelter for your laying hens. If you notice I have two layers of fencing that is to keep predators out.

I get flamed pretty bad for having to kill foxes, snakes, and wild dogs who attack our chickens. I don't know where these hippies come from, but they sure love to call you names. I guess that's something we can all relate to.

In this video my wife killed a snake with a sling blade. It killed two chickens and we assume ate all the eggs. That's apart of raising animals, is defending them. If you ever get a chance, go onto youtube, and read all the garbage snake lover write. People love to hate me. LOL

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Old 03-23-2010, 09:53 AM
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We have about 60 Cornish layers for sell, but we're up in the Panhandle.......look for samll animal auctions, not only will they have chickens, but also ducks, turkeys, Quail, goats, etc. and alot of good bartering folks.
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Old 03-23-2010, 09:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crutch View Post
.....I get flamed pretty bad for having to kill foxes, snakes, and wild dogs who attack our chickens. I don't know where these hippies come from, but they sure love to call you names. I guess that's something we can all relate to. .......
I will leave predators alone, unless they go after our livestock, then I have NO problem dispatching them........ We have possum, coon, feral cats and fox, but hey, our livestock are our livelihood and while they DO keep the rats amd moles down, if they go for the Chickens, they're outta here....I had to dispatch some possums last week......buggers went for the chickens in broad daylight. AFA I'm concerned, they were rabid, 'cause no self respecting possum will come out during the day.
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Old 03-23-2010, 10:29 AM
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http://www.florida-agriculture.com/fmb/poultry.htm

Here are advertisements for Florida poultry for sale.

Most states have some sort of market bulletin with ads for any farm animal you could want.

You might want to be careful about buying adult birds as some sellers would be getting rid of old birds that are not laying. Peeps would be the way to go.

Here are some hatcheries to get pullets (female chicks) from;

http://www.cacklehatchery.com/
http://www.mcmurray.com/
http://www.meyerhatchery.com/
http://natureshatchery.homestead.com/index.html
http://www.ideal-poultry.com/

Also a link for a forum that can educate you quickly on chickens. Check out the stickys at the top of the page;

http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/forumdisplay.php?f=26
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Old 03-23-2010, 11:41 AM
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There is a TSC right in town
FORT MYERS #571
2395 S OLGA DR FORT MYERS, FL 33905
(239) 690-3002

It's a good place to start. They will be selling chicks soon and they have everything you need to get started. Feed there is kinda high in price compared to some feed stores, but after you get started you'll figure that out. Seems like everyone up here raises hens, so the egg market sux. But you can't beat the home raised broilers no place. Processing is a mess but we have alot of Amish locally and they charge $1 to butcher. (well worth it, dealing with feathers is a mess) If you want skinless then it's no problem. I prefer the skin, just don't tell my Doc.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:01 PM
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I second the feed store recommendation. Usually $1.25-1.75 each. My suggestion is that you forget about getting a rooster. They are a PITA and you don't need them to get eggs.


P.S. Barred Rocks were the friendliest of all the chickens that I had. Good thing to know if you have kids.

Last edited by crazy; 03-23-2010 at 12:33 PM.. Reason: add
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:20 PM
Haffenreffer Haffenreffer is offline
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Check local first

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/rhode_island_reds.html

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haffenreffer View Post
Check local first

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/rhode_island_reds.html

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers


That's a cool place. I have never ordered from them but I have look at their catalog before.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:29 PM
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I guess the only bad thing is that you have to order 25 chicks

There's another place in Texas that is cheaper with smaller orders, I forget the name
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haffenreffer View Post
Check local first

http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/rhode_island_reds.html

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers
So are Cornish and Wyandots and list of others.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:36 PM
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There is another thread about raising fish in a barrel. You would come in handy when it come time to harvest.
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:37 PM
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RI Reds lay 250-300 eggs a year

Wyandottes lay 200-240

Cornish are for mainly meat
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:38 PM
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I order from Central hatchery http://www.centralhatchery.com/ you can order any amount you like from them but orders under a 100 add $5.00. There hens are $1.00 a pc and straight run is about .75 cents each.

If you want to be able to reproduce your layers yes get a rooster, if you only want eggs and will buy new layers as needed then you don't need a rooster.


If you want more info than you'll ever need to know then please visit http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/index.php there are tons of people from Florida there and they have a sales page that you can buy locally.

Good luck!
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Old 03-23-2010, 12:43 PM
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Try a feed and seed store.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
I had to dispatch some possums last week......buggers went for the chickens in broad daylight. AFA I'm concerned, they were rabid, 'cause no self respecting possum will come out during the day.

Hahaa Possums are ruthless,you cant trust those fools.
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Old 03-23-2010, 04:17 PM
ppalance ppalance is offline
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You don't really have to go buy books or go to the library. There are plenty of chicken lovers sites on the net. www.backyardchickens.com for one, is great.

Your whole chicken housing deal should be taken care of and ready when your chicks arrive. Getting chickens from Craigslist or a farmer down the road can be risky. The chickens could have disease. Best to buy from a reputable hatchery such as www.mcmurrayhatchery.com. They'll send a minimum of 25, but many won't make it. They do throw in extras to make up for it, however.

You should brood them indoors for the first couple of weeks and then you can transfer them to your outdoor coop. The coop needs to be draft free, have light, bedding, nesting boxes, feeder and waterer, and must be completely secure (including putting chicken wire under the bedding so no critters can dig up into your coop.

You'll need to keep your coop as immaculate as possible and that includes either removing droppings daily or covering them with bedding (wood shavings) until the shavings get high enough to shovel them out and start again.

Your chickens need to be able to free range and you'll have to make sure their yard is safe from predators (dogs, cats, fox, raccoons, possum, hawks, and more). You can build an outdoor run with netting over the top, if you like. We allow them out to free range for 7-8 hours per day and they love it. It's what they do, like pigs love to root in the dirt.

You don't need a rooster unless your hens are out free ranging and you want some protection for them (you should provide the majority of that protection, however) or unless you want your girls to hatch new chicks. Otherwise, they're not really necessary for happiness or egg production.

Read everything you can about raising chickens before you purchase your chicks. This will help you and help your chickens to have a great life and product great eggs. Chickens are fun pets, too. One little girl I read about calls them "pets with presents." I find this to be very true.

Best of luck to you.
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