One of the fun things about chickens is discovering the different breeds. There are several questions that you must answer to choose your chickens.
How much space do I have to dedicate to chickens?
Bantams, miniature chickens, are a good choice for those with limited space. Although the eggs are smaler, three bantam eggs are equivalent to two large eggs. They are also very cute.
What color would I like my eggs to be?
Many people are suprised to discover that eggs do not come in just brown and white. Egg color is breed specific. Many people enjoy auracana and ameraucana chickens, also known as Easter eggers. They lay beautiful pastel eggs (pink, blue and green). There are also the maran breeds, also know as Chocolate eggers. Marans lay deep brown, almost mahogany, eggs. We raise marans and will be happy to sell you eggs or chicks. You can read more about them at the Black Copper Marans link. Go to the Chickens link in the Image Gallery to view different breeds. Mypetchicken.com gives an in depth list of the different chicken breeds available in the US.
Why do I want chickens?
Are you raising them for eggs or meat? Some breeds are better layers. Other breeds are better for meat. Most people new to chickens will be interested in good layers. These are some popular laying breeds: Ameraucana, Aurancanas, Plymouth Barred Rocks, Marans, Australorp, Wyandotte, and Rhode Island Reds.
What first, the chicken or the chick?
Once you have decided on your breed and established your housing, you are ready to get your chickens. At this point, you must decide if you want to start with chicks or hens. Although chicks are fun and cute, there are some disadvantages. They must be kept warm for the first four weeks. It is difficult to determine gender when they are chicks no matter what you are told by the seller. Then, you usually will want to get rid of your roosters, which is often easier said than done. You also will not see eggs for a year.
Where do I get chickens?
If you do decide to get chicks, you probably want to purchase locally. If you purchase them online, you will usually have to purchase many more chicks than you want to fulfill an order.
I suggest starting with hens. You can find hens through Craigslist and, in Georgia, through the Market Bulletin, which is published by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. You can view the classifieds in the Market Bulletin at http://www.agr.state.ga.us/mbads/ . Other states have similar publications.
If you would like more assistance, contact us and we will be happy to assist you. We will even get your chickens for you.
Backyard garden and chicken consultations are $60 in the Metro Atlanta counties of Gwinnett, Fulton, DeKalb, Rockdale and Henry. We are willing to travel outside of these areas for an additional travel fee.