Hi my name is Hilltopchicks77 and I am a newly addicted chick mom. We just got our first chicks this weekend (I am brand new to chickens in fact as of a year ago I was terrified of them). So here's my long story and a few questions mixed in.
I have 4 red production pullets, we purchased 6 but 2 were not very perky and passed away overnight. They were definitely less than a week old. Does this happen sometimes or did I do something wrong? I feel bad for them. First off I was not sure the set up in the store I got them was the best they were in stacked brooder boxes and their was the bottom so I am not sure how regulated the temp was in there. As soon as we got home I noticed there were 2 laying down a lot. I made sure the temp in my brooder was 95 on one end and its about 80 on the other side. Food and water in the middle. Most of the chicks were active but taking 10 min "naps" then running around and eating/drinking again and exploring both sides of the brooder. The is one further chick from this group that is still sleeping more than the other but active when its awake. I checked all the chicks for pasty butt since i read that could be a problem and had to clean 4 of them but made sure they were dry and warm ASAP. I have read as much as I can find but I'm not sure how much sleeping is normal behavior.
I also purchased 2 buff orphington straight runs. The BOs were in a tank with barred rocks at tractor supply and practically getting pecked to death, both were laying flat out in the tank and getting trampled. I had low hopes of them making it but brought them home anyway. They have perked up amazingly! They are running around attempting to "fly", checking us out. They are by far the most active of the chickens.
And now here's where my husband suckered me and talked me into also getting 2 ducks... Also from tractor supply so I'm not exactly sure what they are but I believe they are pekin ducks. They are currently in with the chicks and hang out on the cool side of the brooder. After more reading they are getting their own brooder tomorrow or Wednesday since they require lower temps. (plus they're messy!!)
So in all I now have 6 chicks (only 4 I "know" are hens) and 2 ducks. We were originally considering 8 hens but now we have 2 that aren't guaranteed. Our local feed store has BOs and Wyandottes on Thursday and I was considering getting 3 birds total (3 min purchase) to bring our number to 9. Is that a reasonable number or are we crazy here? We live on 10 acres, 9 forested and 1 that's a yard so we have plenty of space. My husband is custom building a coop to the number of hens we get. Any opinions?
Thanks for any responses in advance!