posted on Apr, 8 2013 @ 11:49 AM
reply to post by Gazrok
I don't have specific plans for you, but I did start raising chickens a couple years ago.
First, layer and meat birds are very different with their shelter needs. The layers need a good strong shelter to protect from snow, wind and rain.
You'll have these birds for a few years and they will get to be like pets. We're lucky, our hens are giving us an egg a day each. We have Rhode Island
Reds, Ameraucanas, and Orpingtons. If you are getting just a few birds, they can share a nesting box and take turns. In this case, it's okay to put
all your eggs in one basket. (Ha, sorry.) You don't need a rooster, but we got one to help protect the hens from coyotes and rattlers. He's very
protective of his hens. We have grown to love our rooster. If you get baby chicks, you'll want a big metal tub (we use a small stock tank), a heat
lamp, water dish, and feed container. As they grow, it's nice to let them run free during the day. They will graze all day long on, well, most
anything. They are great at insect control and that will make the eggs taste so much better. They'll find their way back to the coop by evening, or
you can prod them along a little. Now if you're in an urban setting, free range isn't a good option. They can fly enough to easily scale six foot
fences. The hen coop as more like a shed built against one side of our shop. It's mostly 2x6 construction with some chicken wire ventilation on the
south and east sides.
We are getting our first meat birds this year, just starting with 100 chicks. I build a 8x8 chicken tractor for them. We plan to move it around the
ranch to give them a new "salad bar" every few days. Meat birds are only around for a couple months in the summer, then they are harvested. These
birds won't be getting names like our layers.
Good luck with this. PM me if you have a specific questions.
edit on 4/8/13 by AnonymousCitizen because: tpyos