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Ok, I know this may not be the best place, but I figured it was the best place. I would like to get a few chicken to have in my back yard. I LOVE fresh eggs. However, I know nothing about raising chickens. Do they stand a chance if I just let them run loose? What kind of area do I need to set up for them so I can find the eggs? Any pen advise? I work varying shifts, so "putting them up" each night may not be able to happen. Also, any breed recommendations?
 

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Just make a chicken coop. They will put themselves up at night. If you don't make a coop you won't know where to look for eggs or how long they have been laying around until you find them---yuck!!! Lots of different chickens out there from flyers to non-flyers, big to small, brown eggs, white eggs, green eggs. Go to the McMurry Hatchery website and scope out what kind you want.
 

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We always had Rhode Island Reds. They brown eggs and the girls produced like crazy. My Mom never left them free roam because they've raid the garden. We always feed them lots of grass and other green plants, like weeds. they always had some laying mash inside and fresh water and got some scratch feed at supper for a treat. After my parents pasted I kept raising the reds, but I left them free roam. I got tons of eggs, many double yolkers and even some triple ones. The eggs were delicious and the yolks were almost orange olored. I had so many I sold them to a buddy running a resturant,50 cents a dozen. He couldn't get enough and his customers ravied about the eggs. So if you can free range them, so much the better. At night they all went inside to roost. Everything was fine till the coons stating raiding, eventually killing them all. If you don't have a coon problem, good; but if you do, they should probably be secured at night. Also after awhile I noticed a drop in eggs. So After searching around outside and watching the hens, I found where they were laying eggs outside, there must have been 30 eggs or more in that nest, so I penned them up again. Boy, I miss those eggs!
 
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