• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

What breed of chicken do we get? - some comments for those starting out.

 
Gary Lewis
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
5
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought folks thinking about getting started in the world of chickens would like to read about how to get chickens, what breed to start with and why.

Find our story on our farm blog.

http://www.almostafarmer.com/want-eggs-choosing-your-first-chickens/


Hope this helps some folks. We really had little idea when we started out - and want to share the love we have for what has to be one the best ways to start out with animals on a farm.

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Pie
Posts: 3911
Location: Zone 9b
293
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This was a very helpful, simple explanation. My partner and I have been talking about getting chicks for a while now but I think we might have to mail order them. That kind of weirds me out too, but it should be fine right. There are SO many different kinds though, super overwhelming! Choices. Choices. Choices.
 
Zach Muller
gardener
Posts: 776
Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
35
bike books chicken dog forest garden urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Cassie, instead of mail order have you thought of using the farm garden section of craigslist? I have had good luck finding locals on there who are letting chickens go for a good price. (free sometimes too)
The upside is that I was able to assemble a strong flock of hen raised birds that lay eggs on a free range diet, the downside is I do not really know what breeds they all are.

My experience with chickens from the farm store was realizing how un knowledgable they are when they are not raised by chickens. I understand when you are a big time money making farmer who wants 100 plus birds all at once it is maybe not feasible to have hen raised chicks but for a homestead sized flock it makes no sense for me to have stupid hatchery chickens who I have to over protect and baby.

I brought in a number of those types of chickens and many have been picked off by predators. Some of their babies were hatched by my main flock and the primary hen did her own culling and pecked out the brains of every one of them. It was tough to see, but i figure she knows best since she is the one raising them, in the end I do not want to deal with a dumb or weak bird so she probably saved me the trouble.

Thanks for sharing Gary, good luck expanding and marketing!
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Pie
Posts: 3911
Location: Zone 9b
293
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh my god. I never knew of this said farming section on craigs list! I have seen the light! Haha this is awesome. Thanks for the tip. I found tons near me.
 
John Polk
master steward
Pie
Posts: 8018
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
269
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah. The Craig's List farm+garden section usually has a good selection (especially in the spring).
Big advantages are:
* These chicks were more likely to have been hatched by a mother (vs. machine). They learn chicken skills from mom, rather than nobody. They know how to forage, watch for predators, etc. A chick raised in your den will not have those skills.

* They are local birds, raised from local birds. If you live in the frigid north, do you really want birds from the Gulf States? Even if you buy from a WI hatchery, the birds may be shipped from AR, MO, or TX.

Craig's List can also be a good source for goats, weaner pigs, etc.

 
Gary Lewis
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Zach Muller wrote:Hey Cassie, instead of mail order have you thought of using the farm garden section of craigslist? I have had good luck finding locals on there who are letting chickens go for a good price. (free sometimes too)
The upside is that I was able to assemble a strong flock of hen raised birds that lay eggs on a free range diet, the downside is I do not really know what breeds they all are.

My experience with chickens from the farm store was realizing how un knowledgable they are when they are not raised by chickens. I understand when you are a big time money making farmer who wants 100 plus birds all at once it is maybe not feasible to have hen raised chicks but for a homestead sized flock it makes no sense for me to have stupid hatchery chickens who I have to over protect and baby.

I brought in a number of those types of chickens and many have been picked off by predators. Some of their babies were hatched by my main flock and the primary hen did her own culling and pecked out the brains of every one of them. It was tough to see, but i figure she knows best since she is the one raising them, in the end I do not want to deal with a dumb or weak bird so she probably saved me the trouble.

Thanks for sharing Gary, good luck expanding and marketing!


Thanks Zach - and great advice....I will add it to the page for people

Gaz
 
Gary Lewis
Posts: 132
Location: Maine, USA
5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cassie Langstraat wrote:This was a very helpful, simple explanation. My partner and I have been talking about getting chicks for a while now but I think we might have to mail order them. That kind of weirds me out too, but it should be fine right. There are SO many different kinds though, super overwhelming! Choices. Choices. Choices.


You are welcome Cassie....and we are chuffed that we are starting you on your way with chickens!

Gaz
www.almostafarmer.com
 
Cassie Langstraat
steward
Pie
Posts: 3911
Location: Zone 9b
293
bee books food preservation fungi
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
John Polk wrote:
* They are local birds, raised from local birds. If you live in the frigid north, do you really want birds from the Gulf States? Even if you buy from a WI hatchery, the birds may be shipped from AR, MO, or TX.


SO. TRUE. Never thought about that.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic