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Wanting to buy chicks to add to my flock

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a flock of 11 hens that I got as baby chicks last spring. I want to get a few more this year to raise and add to my flock. I was planning to use my really large rubbermade tote and make a brooder inside my coop for them. I have a large coop that is a wooden shed turned into a coop. Will this work or would they need to stay inside? I plan to put a heat lamp on top of the brooder but I know heat lamps arent always recommended in coops. Will it be too cold at night in the coop for the chicks? Do i have to quarantine? Ive never added to my flock before.
post #2 of 9


I have no direct experience, but from what i have read, other members do indeed set up their brooder in the main coop. A method that is a safer alternative to using a heat lamp is the mama heating pad approach -those that have used it, seem to rave about it. Heres the link:

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/956958/mama-heating-pad-in-the-brooder-picture-heavy-update

 

Hope that gives you inspiration

 

All the best

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Aren't those really expensive?
post #4 of 9


Not as far as i am aware - just the pad  which i seem to recall peeps spending between $20-40 dollars on and a bit of hardware cloth or strong chicken wire. Since the power consumption is far lower than a lamp, it will probably pay for itself very quickly i would imagine. 

 

If you check out some of the posts on the thread, i do recall people actually including the cost and sometimes amazon link to the exact pad used. 

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #5 of 9

Pad I use was about $40...most everything else was scavenged from around the house.

Need a bit of fabrication skills and tools tho.

Details here http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/862691/pseudo-brooder-heater-plate

 

 

You won't need to quarantine chicks if you get them from a hatchery or even a farm store IMO.

But you will need to think about how to integrate them with the older birds

There's some good info in my integration notes pasted below about chick integration.

 

 

 

Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.......

......take what applies or might help and ignore the rest.

See if any of them, or the links provided at the bottom, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

 

Integration of new chickens into flock.

 

Consider medical quarantine:

BYC Medical Quarantine Article

Poultry Biosecurity

BYC 'medical quarantine' search

 

It's about territory and resources(space/food/water). Existing birds will almost always attack new ones.

Understanding chicken behaviors is essential to integrating new birds into your flock.

 

Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

 

The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

 

Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

 

Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

 

In adjacent runs, spread scratch grains along the dividing mesh, best of mesh is just big enough for birds to stick their head thru, so they get used to eating together.

 

Another option, if possible, is to put all birds in a new coop and run, this takes the territoriality issues away.

 

For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders. If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

 

Best example ever of chick respite and doors by azygous

http://http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1069595/introducing-chicks-to-adults#post_16276224

 

 

Read up on integration.....  BYC advanced search>titles only>integration

This is good place to start reading:

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
For at least this week I'm going to keep them inside but then i will move the brooder into the coop ao the otjer chickens can see them. Today i got 4 ameraucana chicks, 1 polish and 1 frizzle chick. For now they are all upstairs in a homemade brooder.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #8 of 9

Felton, DE.  Did you get the chicks from Rt 300 pet&Supplies, in Smyna, DE?  I picking up a half doz from there later this week.


 

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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes i did. I buy all of my chicks there smile.png i may go back friday he said he is getting a lot more on friday.
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