Dithering...good or bad sign?

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Bantams=Banter
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Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Bantams=Banter » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:32 pm

So, I have the set up, I have the money, I have all the bits and bobs required, but I still have no chickens...

I was meant to be picking up some Pekins earlier this month, but then thought that maybe some hybrids would be better...

And now, without sounding dramatic, nearly every waking hour is being taken up with researching breeds and collecting opinion and looking up availability online and...and...and... my head is spinning!!

What's worrying me is that all this indecision is dropping massive hints to me that maybe hens aren't for me...

My heart wants them but my head is full of too many pro/con lists.

What can I say, I'm a LIbra... ;)

Any opinion would be great.

The reason I was leaning towards bantams because of space and the fact I have small children and that we are looking for pets first and foremost.

The reason I'm leaning towards hybrids is the hardiness, placid nature of most varieties and the fact they come vaccinated. Reasonable sized eggs would sweeten the deal with the husband too...

FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS FEATHERED WILL SOMEONE HELP ME!!!!! :-)07 :-)07 :-)07
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2 x children
3 x cats
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MrsBiscuit
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:49 pm

Um, no magic answers I am afraid. Are you normally a ditherer? If not, then perhaps chickens are not for you right this minute. They will still be there if/when you decide the time is right. If this is quite normal for you and you are feeling a bit overwhlemed by the choices, then my advice would be to forgetting everything else, do you want chickens right this minute? If No, well then there is your answer. If its 'Yes, but.....' then I would go and get some. If its 'I'm not sure', then I would hold back till you are sure, chickens are sentient beings and deserve the best care we can give them.

If its bantams vs hybrids then really only you can decide, all chooks have pros and cons. Have you actually seen any? If not, go and have a look, you will be the one seeing and caring for them every day. I have known adorable pekins, sweet and small enough for any child to pick up. Equally I have known terrified pekins. With hybrids I have known some to be friendly, curious and very willing to be petted, and others who will run a mile and be a bit bolshy. So, individual birds have individual temperaments and to some extent luck will be involved. If you are ready for this, go for it. If its too offputting, then hold back. Chickens will still be there in the future. And remember, there is no such thing as the perfect chicken, they all involve some sort of compromise, and that there is no 'right or wrong'; its a leap into the unknown.
Bantams=Banter
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Bantams=Banter » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:08 pm

Thanks Mrs Biscuits

I feel I am ready for them now, and I've spent hundreds of pounds getting my set up ready. I'm leaning more towards hybrids if I'm honest. I'm a complete ditherer about everything in life. I never do anything on impulse, which I know makes me very dull by today's standards, but hey ho...
I've seen some lovely birds at a large poultry supplier not too far from me. I've been up there and had a really good look at the place and I think they look wonderful. I just want to get it right.
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Marigold
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Marigold » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:10 pm

Well, as you’ve found a good supplier and have been to see the birds, and do feel attracted to them, now is a good time of year to get launched and buy some. Get three, all different, and take the suppliers advice on which ones will be likely to be placid and settled. Within a week or so, you’ll have the thrill of first eggs, without the hassles of introducing new birds to established ones. What else will you do with all that equipment? If you wait much longer the summer will be over and you and the family have missed out on all the interest and fun of getting to know your girls. Yes there will be problems, but you’re very well informed after all your research, and we’re all on here to help you if there are hiccups.
I agree with Mrs B that there will also be no problem about doing nothing, but I can’t see that’ll help you make a decision, unless you feel so strongly anti- chicken that you want to sell all your equipment unused. You’ll never know, then, how you would have got on, and may well have missed out on a lifetime’s interest, and some great memories to share with the kids.
Re pekins v. hybrids - it will most likely be easier for you as a first-timer to obtain fully vaccinated hybrids, thus avoiding the possibility of getting pekins from a small private breeder, who is less likely to give them the full vaccination programme because of cost per bird for small numbers. Inherited diseases such as infectious bronchitis and Mareks are common in small private flocks of specialist breeds, and once you have affected birds on your land, they may pass on the virus to any others you get subsequently. Of course this isn’t so with all small breeders, but at your stage it’s perhaps a risk you should be aware of. And anyway, they will be pets whatever kind you get - so why not get some which will be useful and provide breakfast in return for all your loving care?
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LadyA
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by LadyA » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:26 pm

I'd say go for it! I can understand the dithering. I also dithered (for about two years, actually!) before getting my first hens, years ago! Like you, everything was in place (although over the years, I've improved things, as I found some things that might work better in my own circumstances),but I was still nervous about actually making the committment. Finally, I took the plunge, with five brown hybrid girls. Bit of a baptism of fire, as one got a stray peck in the settling in period and got an eye infection! I had to put drops in her eye three times a day for a week, but how to tell which hen it was, from five identical brown girls?? A dab of food colouring on her back! :D And you quickly find out that hens are all very individual anyway! Within a week they all had names to go with their personalities, and I could tell at a glance who was who!

Go on. You know you want to! And your children will love them! My 18month old grandson, when he comes over, toddles across the back garden toward the chicken pen going "chuckchuckchuck" quietly to himself! :D He's absolutely fascinated by them.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
MrsBiscuit
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by MrsBiscuit » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:59 pm

It sounds to me that you have made your mind up, and hybrids will be the way to go! Dithering? What dithering?! Don't worry about getting every single thing right, none of us do, not even now. You have obviously done a lot of research beforehand, indicating you are taking it seriously, and that will stand you in very good stead, and as Marigold says there is plenty of good advice on the forum to help you out in the future. If you go for it, congratulations in advance!
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Marigold
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Marigold » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:07 pm

We are hoping for photos by the weekend ........
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Tweetypie
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Tweetypie » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:36 pm

Hello ditherer :-)

I am the opposite and do things on impulse, although I have a husband who reins me in at times.

I created my little set-up after seeing an advert locally for ex battery hens and had often wanted to own a couple of chickens. I also eat a lot of eggs. Anyway, I bought the coop and the other half built a pen. We then "ordered" the battery hens from the BHWT website, £2.50 each and 18 months old. We had to wait a few weeks, as they are advertised in specific areas to collect.

I've had them over a month now and I have to say they are a delight! Barbie lays an egg every day and she lets you pick her up. Cindy lays an egg every other day (a bigger egg) and although not shy and will let you pick her up, she's not bothered about being fussed. They are friendly, curious and don't have a nasty thought in their heads. :-)

They might not be your choice, but I thought I would suggest another alternative.... having said that, I am now so addicted, I am considering another pair of younger hens, possibly sussex breed or plymouth rock or hybrids of those.

Look forward to seeing photo's of yours, when you get them. :-)
Icemaiden
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by Icemaiden » Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:07 pm

A Chinese philosopher once said "A man who's afraid to take the first step will spend his life on one leg"...

Go for it!!!
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
bigyetiman
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Re: Dithering...good or bad sign?

Post by bigyetiman » Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:30 pm

I think hybrids will be better also at the start, you can branch out later once "morehens" disease strikes. You have the set up, you have researched keeping hens so go for it. You will soon wonder how you managed without them and you will also be giving the children the insight into animal lives also.
Looking forward to hearing all about your new arrivals
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