Planning and Preparing for your First Chicken Flock

Everything starts with an idea right? Now that you decided on starting a flock, the next step is to plan. The many questions you need to ask your self: Do I have enough space for a small or large flock? How many chicken’s do I want in my flock? What kind of breed of chicken? What kind of chicken coop/hut do I want?  The purpose of this blog is to have you start mulling over these questions. Planning ahead always ends with good results.

Both Google and Pinterest have a vast amount of  information about the different breeds of chickens. Look in your area for Farming Co-op stores, the one in my area has a large selection of chicken breeds you can preorder. Youll want to decide at this time how many chicks you want? How big do you want your flock? I recommend that beginners start with 1/2 dozen chicks. It’s a small flock, but it will be easier to handle , while you go through the trials and tribulations of raising them. There is a large learning curve the first year, figuring out what works and what doesn’t. I’m hoping that my blogs will prevent any trials and tribulations you would have experienced.  The Farming stores like Farmers coop and Tractors Supply usually start taking preorders in February. This would be a good time to decide on the breed and size of your flock, then place your order. Tractors Supply will also have shipments of chicks that you can purchase without preordering, there is a benefit to this, you can see the chicks before buying them. You are able to pick the strong and active chick. They have limited breeds available, but by choosing the chicks individually, it raises the odds of a healthier flock.

The set up for six clicks is simple. I suggest a large plastic bin that you can purchase from Walmart or Family Dollar Store. You can reuse this “çhick bin” every year .My daughter  keeps the chicks in the bin until they start growing their feathers, then she puts them in the coop/chicken hut. The bin needs to be large and deep so they cannot jump out of the bin. You’ll also need shavings to put at the bottom of the bin, a heating lamp, and food &water containers.The chicks will need to be kept in a warm, dry place. Oh and when they get bigger , you may need to put a screen or mesh material across the top so the chicks don’t escape. Once the chicks are all set up, all you’ll need to do is feed & water them and change the shavings every few days.

The last thing is deciding on the coop/chicken hut. Here again the size depends on the size of your flock and the space you have available. Tractor Supply ; for example, has a variety of different styles you can purchase or you can build one yourself.  We chose to have one built, by my father ,that would hold a dozen chickens.

Eventhough, the chicks will be fine in the bin for a couple of months, a coop/chicken hut needs to be completed by the time their ready to be outside.They will get noisy and smelly and cause a ruckus, if their in the bin longer than necessary. Once you have answered the questions, I mentioned above than your planning is complete for your flock of chickens. The next step is turning your plan into action. Chickens are relatively inexpensive to raise, the biggest expense is the coop/chicken hut ,but if you plan on having a flock for several years the coop will pay for itself. Happy Farming!