First off, thank you for the replies and advice!
I didn't get much of an assortment. I want to breed and do local shows, so I'm focusing on Salmon Faverolles. They were the perfect breed for me, as they are cold-tolerant, heat-tolerant, docile, do well in confinement, and are fairly uncommon. My total order came to 16 Salmon Faverolles female chicks, 6 Salmon Faverolles male chicks, 2 Jersey Giant female chicks, 2 Turken female chicks, 1 Dominique female chick, and the free rare chick. I also had MMH add a heat pack for extra warmth. It looks like shipping temps are going to be between 20-50F!
The non-Faverolles chicks are just for assortment and are all breeds I like but can't focus on.
As for my coop, it's held many flocks of chicken throughout the years. We no longer have chickens as we got a puppy a few years back and she completely wiped out the chicken population. :( These chickens won't be free-ranged for this reason. The coop is elevated inside a fenced run. It is 4'x8' floor space with roosts and nesting boxes throughout the coop. The run is 12'x16'. That's about 192 sqft, so I'm thinking it can hold about 19-20 chickens. I got so many SFs so that I can pick out the best stock and keep those to breed. I know that MMH doesn't have APA quality stock, but I'm sure with a few generations of breeding I can get them to local-fair quality. I've been wanting chickens for two years or so now, so I'm beyond excited for these little guys!
I've also gotten plastic spiral bands in multiple colors of sizes 4, 7, 9, 11, and 14 (Just in case one size isn't large enough for older roosters) and numbered plastic bandettes sizes 11 and 12 for the Salmon Faverolles I will be keeping and using for breeding in my project. MMH is going to mark my cockerels so that I can put blue size 4 spiral bands on them when they arrive and settle in. I'll be checking daily to make sure the bands can still move freely over the leg, feathering included.
I'm going to make a separate thread with a few specific questions about chick care, etc. Thanks again for the help.
Welcome to the world of Faverolles!
I am not familiar with MMH's Faverolles. You should post pictures of them as they grow. There is a Faverolles thread here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/268082/faverolles-thread/16390
We would love to see what you get.
For giggles a couple of years ago I raised a few Meyer (I think) Faverolles chicks along with my breeder birds. The Meyer chicks were decent for hatchery stock. Only a few with smutty beards, most had decent type. A definite improvement over the awful colored pullets in the past. They were half the size of my breeder pullets however. Not surprising since hatcheries concentrate on egg laying instead of the whole package. The pullets weighed around 4 lbs, while mine were closer to 7-8.
Faverolles can be difficult to breed. I know you are just trying to improve on what you get for local fairs, so I hope you don't mind a little advice on trying to select your breeders. If any of your chicks have side sprigs on the comb, or extra toes/nails, you can remove them right off. When your chicks are 4 months or so old you can pick out your keeper pullets. If you can, select the ones with the cleanest fronts and beards, as well as the widest heads and bodies. Tight wings of course, and preferably good toes if possible.
Cockerels take forever to mature and will likely look messy color-wise for months. Being hatchery stock hopefully they will mature faster than mine. Similar to pullets, select the ones with the widest heads andbodies and good wing placement. Try to pick ones that have the mahogany color that extends all the way to the tail (it will help prevent getting 2-toned pullets later). Clean fronts are preferable as well (no red/silver bleed through on the front).
And after time if you decide you want to keep breeding Faverolles, and want to move onto APA shows, then see if you can find some breeder stock to add to the mix.
Edited by keesmom - 1/23/16 at 6:07am