WANT TO START RAISING FOWL?
STEP 1: IS YOUR PROPERTY RIGHT FOR POULTRY
Outside the coop, your chickens should have an outdoor area to roam during the day. We recommend having at least 10 square yards of lawn space per chicken. Keep in mind that the chickens will ruin the section of yard you allow them to be in.
STEP 2: HOW DO I PROTECT MY CHICKENS
In addition to locking your chickens in their coop every night, your outside chicken area should be fenced in as well.
To prevent predators from digging under your coop, we recommend a) digging a trench around the coop perimeter, and filling it will gravel, or b) placing large rocks around the outside of the coop.
Hawk attacks are rare, but to prevent them we recommend keeping the chickens under tree cover, or running wires over the chicken area.
To prevent smaller predators such as weasels or raccoons, you have two options as well: a) Let your dog sleep around the chicken coop at night, or b) Get a rooster along with your hens (keep in mind he will wake you and your neighbors up very early).
STEP 3: WHAT COOP SHOULD I GET
The needed size of your coop depends on the number of chickens you want to get - about 3 ft of coop space per chicken.
From personal positive experiences with their coops, I recommend going to Horizon Structures. Their coops can ship to anywhere in the Northeast, are reasonably priced, and solid quality.
WHERE CAN I GET CHICKENS
If you live in Southern Fairfield or Westchester County, the closest hatchery to you is Robs Poultry & Farm Supplies. The folks there are great, and they have a wide array of chicken breeds.
If you decide to raise chicks, we recommend you keep them inside under a heat lamp until they turn 6 weeks old. They can be kept in a hamster cage, moving box, or anything large enough to keep them from jumping out. We also recommend you have a layer of wood shavings at the bottom of the enclosure, and replace them once a week.