Does anyone know about Chickens? Help please?

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Question by The unknown: Does anyone know about Chickens? Help please?
Hello. My family and I want to build a chicken coop to get chickens. We live in the Granada Hills area in CA, and I heard that Hens are permitted to keep. I have questions concerning the matter of raising chickens for eggs.
Can you keep a rooster in Granada Hills area? If so, how often will he fertilize the eggs?
I mostly have concrete in my backyard, is concrete bad for chickens when it comes to roaming around? (Don’t worry, the area that I will be using for the coop has lots of dirt, like more than 10 feet long, 6 feet wide.)
I own a pool, will that be dangerous for the chickens? It is fenced off though.
Is it best to get chicks or chickens ready to lay eggs?
What do I do if it rains? What covering (Roof/ceiling) should I use for the chickens?
What should the temperature in the coop be? I heard from a YouTube video that it should be 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Is that true? We get a lot of rain in the Wintertime, so what type of heater should the chickens have? A light bulb?
Where should I look for chickens, online, or a chicken nursery?
What are some popular chickens for Valley climates? Warm, hot weather.
How many chickens should I start off with? Is 3 okay?
How are Rhode Island whites? Are they a good breed of chickens?
I know these are a lot of questions, but I really need help from the smart people of the Yahoo community. Thank you so much for your time and effort in answering all of my long boring questions. Thank you! If I have another question(s) I will post them in the additional info.
Once again, thank you!

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3 Responses to Does anyone know about Chickens? Help please?

  1. First, WOW alot of questions lol.
    I can answer a few of these. My father in law owned a few.
    I’ll start with the number. If you like to eat eggs you will want to get around 5-10 of em. Some will die sooner than others so you want to get 1-2 more than you need. Chicks are much cheaper to buy and depending on the type can be laying eggs in 3-6 months give or take.
    If the temp at night drops below 60 degrees you will want a heat lamp for them. Rain does not bother chickens they will go inside the coop if it rains.
    The Coop should have a roof on it and make it 2-3 tiers high or so. You will want to make a divider for each chicken that you have. They like to have their own space. Each divider should be about 16-20 inches wide. You can make the entire thing out of cheap plywood and 2x4s. For the roof you should angle it a little and think about putting some shingles on it or a very secure tarp so the wind does not blow it away. That will make sure that the roof does not rot.
    Make the fence around the coop about 6 foot so they have room to run around and such, 10 foot if you have the space, then you do not need to have the chickens outside of the coop area to mess up the yard and it saves you chasing them down at night to put them back in the coop. You also won’t need to worry about your pool:)
    Inside and outside the coop the best flooring is hay. It’s cheap and easy to clean up. At your local farm and fleet or store that deals with farm animals pick up some feeder tubes for em and for water you can use a large bowl or 2.

    March 25, 2014 at 3:32 am

  2. hi
    i wouldnt worry about the pool, especially as it is fenced off
    even if it wasnt they either wouldnt want to go near it or would swim in it, they wouldnt drown, dont worry
    i would just buy the chickens when they are ready to lay
    buying chicks is alot of work and takes good care
    if you want the chickens just for eggs i would just buy them when they are a bit older
    the chickens should have a shelter with a bit they can all sleep in and a bit with hay or sawdust that they can lay their eggs in, whenever it rains they can just go into the shelter, there is a good brand called ‘egglu’ (not acctually sure if thats how you spell it, its egglu instead of igloo) they do really good chicken shelters, they are all plastic and quite expensive tho, it might be better to just make one out of wood, that will do fine.
    when you get one i would keep in mind security for the chickens as you dont want any predators getting in and killing them.
    the temperature of the coop isnt such a problem unless you live in really hot or cold conditions
    generally the hens like it best at room temperature but they have a big feathery coat so that will keep them warm when its cold anyway, its worse for them when the temperature is a really hot day, you might want to get a little bird bath and place it in your garden so they can cool down in it if need be, i had that for my hens and they seemed to like it
    to find the chickens i would try going online, but dont just look on ebay or anything like that, i would look for any local farms as they often sell chickens, thats where we got ours
    we started off with 3 chickens, that seemed like a good number, i wouldnt go any smaller than that tho as he other ones can get lonely, i know it sounds funny but im not joking.
    sorry i cant really help you with breeds of chickens but i hope the rest helped :)

    March 25, 2014 at 4:17 am

  3. 1) Can you keep a rooster in Granada Hills? You will have to your municipal hall that question.

    2) How often will a rooster fertilize the egg? The rooster mates with the hen. How often, depends on how many hens you have, how much he likes them, as well as his age, and the time of year. But, we will say on average he will mate with each hen multiple times a day.

    3) Is concrete bad for chickens? No, as long as they don’t have a chicken coop with a concrete floor they will be fine. If you do give them a coop with a concrete floor then it is best to toss down a bedding of sorts. However, out in the yard, a little bit of concrete will not hurt them. However, you may find you need to wash the concrete after they poop all over it.

    4) Are swimming pools dangerous? Only, if the chicken has access to them. If a chicken gets spoked they can fall into the swimming pool and drown. If your chicken can’t get into the pool, then no problem.

    5) Is it best to get chicks, or laying hens? Honestly, it is approximately the same cost. It takes less work to buy adults, and killing a chick is easy. However, buying adults is risky. Not raising them as chicks, means they probably aren’t going to be nice pets, and it depending on the person you buy them from, they may not be healthy either.

    6) What to do when it rains? You will need the coop to be covered. If it isn’t covered then rain and predators will be able to get it. The coop is a safe place to hide from the weather for chickens, and it needs to be readily available during the day. If you want to cover the run, the chickens will enjoy that. As chicks, if it rains you will need to bring the birds inside of their coop. As adults, if it rains and the chickens are outside, they are probably having a party looking for worms.

    7) What temperature should the coop be? Whatever temperature it is outside. Chickens are outdoor animals, they aren’t pansies. My chickens experience temperatures in the negatives in the winter, and in the hundreds in the summer. I do not heat my coop, and I do not provide fans (however, we always have lots of water, and shade). The chickens live just fine.

    8) Heater? Once, again no heater necessary. If you have freezing winters then pick well-plumaged breeds with smaller combs. The comb and wattles (red things on their face) release heat. If they release to much heat the will get cold, and could even get frostbite. So pick breeds with smaller combs such as the Cushion, Rosecomb, Walnut, and so forth.

    9) Light Bulb? Light bulbs can be a nice addition (depending on how many hours of sunlight you get in the winter), as the extra light will encourage laying. But, once again, unless you live in Alaska and have 4 hours of daylight, it isn’t necessary.

    10) Where to look for chickens? I recommend local and dedicated breeders. Look around on the web for them. You could also go with a hatchery, or a local pet enthusiast. I have never heard of a chicken nursery. But, a lot will depend on what you want. Remember hatcheries focus on quantity of fowl they reproduce, and breeders focus on the quality of the fowl they produce. The breeder will (and should be) more expensive.

    11) Popular chicks for value climates? How hot are we speaking of here? The best birds for warm hot weather are the thin Mediterranean breeds, Leghorn, Ancona, Minorca. However, they all have terrible temperaments. So I suggest single combed dual-purpose breeds like the Australorp, Barnevelder, Delaware, Java, Rhode Island Red, Plymouth Rock, and so forth.

    12) How many to start with? Three is the smallest flock one should ever own. However, if you start with chicks, I suggest getting a couple of extras. Chicks (particularly for first timers) are easy to kill. I would get 5-6 chicks. If they all live, you can choose to keep them, or sell the chickens you don’t like as much.

    13) How are Rhode Island Whites? Real Rhode Island Whites are a great dual-purpose breed. However, they are very rare and hard to find. The only place I know that sells them is Urch/Turnland. If you are looking at hatchery Rhode Island Whites…they are NOT Rhode Island Whites. Rhode Island Whites only come in Rosecomb. The single combed varieties are just mixed Plymouth Rocks that hatcheries created.

    Best wishes,

    rhode runner
    March 25, 2014 at 4:24 am

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