Getting Started With Backyard Chickens – Part I

backyard chickens
Caden feeding Gaba’s chickens

This is the first in a series of posts for the beginner on getting started with backyard chickens. Stay tuned for more!

A few months ago, we were out riding our bicycles and ran into my son’s best friend’s Gaba (grandmother). Of course, we did not literally “run” into her. She happens to live around the corner. We stopped to visit a bit and Caden got to feed her chickens some bread. She also gave us a tour of the chicken coop and fed them some hen scratch.

Of course, you know where this is going. He loved it so much, we decided to get some chickens for him. Now, we had done this before when he was about 2 or 3. We had 3 or 4 chickens. Back then, we lived way out in the country. We just let them roam around our backyard. We never built a coop, so they were sleeping on my back porch on my chairs and whatever else they decided to roost on. Needless to say, they were pooping all over everything and I decided I had had enough. We decided to give them away. A nice couple in a little blue truck came and took our chickens to a new home. That was that, or so I thought. LOL!

Fast forward to several years later, we are living in town now so have a smaller place BUT since we are in a small town, having backyard chickens is not a problem. We decided to do it right this time. Once we decided to get a flock of our own, the planning began. We decided to start

Baby chicks, backyard chickens
Our new babies!

small with only 6 chickens. Haha!! We went to our local farm supply store and ended up buying 11 chickens. We bought 5 Ideal 236 pullets, 5 Black Sex Link hens and 1 Rhode Island Red straight run that we are/were hoping to be a rooster. If you add that up, that equals 11 chickens. We kind of went over a bit. The reason we did this is that I had done a lot of research and since I was so new to keeping chickens, I figured a few might not make it through the chick phase. In the end, we ended up losing only one of the Black Sex Links. He was kind of puny on the second day and kept falling onto his back. The next day we checked on them first thing in the morning and he had not made it through the night. So, we were down to 10 chickens. It is 5 weeks later and we still have 10 and it looks like that is what we will keep. My son decided to name a few of them so you know we have to keep them all now. I am already thinking that we will add on to our coop and get more next year. This is an addicting hobby!

Stay tuned for Getting Started With Backyard Chickens – Part II!!