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Getting Started With Chickens 
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 3:44 pm
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Location: Gundaroo NSW/ACT
Post Getting Started With Chickens
We have created this thread as a resource for those considering the move into getting chickens for the first time or even for those wanting new ideas for their current chicken setup.
For members wishing to submit photo's & a quick description of your pen please PM me & I will submit them. :D

Getting started, the first thing to do is consider the breed of chicken that best suits your purpose be it solely for eggs, meat or a dual purpose bird for both. We have created a resource to help people choose a breed by giving a picture and some information about each one this can be found here http://www.gourmetbackyard.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=245.
Once you have decided on a breed then you need to either buy or build a pen, we have included photo's of a simple A-Frame and will continue to add more to this.

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Shire Horses, Dexter Cattle,Dorper Sheep, Large Black Pigs & Barnevelder Chickens
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Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:04 pm
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 3:44 pm
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Location: Gundaroo NSW/ACT
Post Re: Getting Started With Chickens
The most common way to start with chickens is with an A-frame pen, these are easy to move around and contain chickens so they don't scratch up your yard. A-frame pens range from ultra complex to the ridiculously simple.
I'll start with my first pen which was an A-frame however my design rapidly became too heavy, mainly due to me wanting it to be chicken paradise. My first mistake was using far too much timber & making it far too big. An ideal pen for 2-3 chickens need only be around 3m long by 1.5 wide, mine ended up being 4.8m long by 2m wide making it too heavy to move easily. The easiest way to build an A-fram now is the use of wire mesh it comes in lengths of 3m x 600 and wiring 3 x sheets together in a triangle makes your frame then filling in one end with wire & the other with a triangular door, then covering 1/3 of the roof with corrugated iron makes for a simple chicken pen. I will be building one of these from scratch in the next few weeks and will attach photo's of both the design & build process.
Below is some pictures of my over designed first pen.
Image
Image
Image

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Shire Horses, Dexter Cattle,Dorper Sheep, Large Black Pigs & Barnevelder Chickens
Darkmoor Shire Horse Stud http://www.darkmoor.com.au


Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:15 pm
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Post Re: Getting Started With Chickens
Yes I think a couple of common mistakes are choice of breed in relation to what is available and what breeds are egg layers.

This post is mainly for those who want lots of eggs and for all their chooks to be of the one breed. This is what I like to have....eacxh of my guest cottages has its own coop and each coop has one purebred breed in it.

You can have purebreds and good egg layers which are beautiful in the garden.

To buy your birds find out what you can buy from local breeders (there is no use falling in love with buttercups and finding out the only person who sells them is in Queensland - fine if you bought 5 hens and a rooster and they all lived happily for 4 yrs but this is not the nature of the beast. You need to be able to buy replacements ;) !

So my advice is go to local shows and get involved find out who has what and who annually always has birds for sale. THEN CHOOSE YOUR BREED!

Eg. Anconas and Minorcas are stunning looking breeds and are prolific layers even after the first yr.

I have many guests come and they have between 2 and 6 chookies in the city.

Definitely the most common complaint is quantity of eggs and length of the moult in a breed.

Most people who are happy with their amount of eggs have Isas or New Hampshire, but this is not the only answer! Pure breeds can still work, some purebreeds lay just 20 eggs a yr less than the commercial crosses!!!


Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:40 pm
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