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Accidently mother of 2 UK

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hi there everyone!

 

I became a parent of two very cute little chicks this Saturday without warning! I'd gone to a local agricultural show and it was the last day of the event. The demonstration hatchlings were being given away and I couldn't resist! I don't know the sex of the chicks yet, but having read into it I think that I may have one boy and one girl. The smaller of the two is jumpier and goes to ground, where as the other stands when startled. But I don't really know at all! They are Cobbs and from what I've read if they put too much weight on then they often can't sustain their own weight, so I think I need to keep the diet low nutrition, any tips? I definitely want pets, but I want eggs too, so my plan will be if I get a noisy rooster he may have to go, I'm in a very residential area and don't want to upset all the neighbours!

 

I plan to add an additional chick or two, preferably a spangled Russian Orloff, once the coop is set up and they have reached permanent outside status. I've been taking my 4 day olds out already, it's been beautiful weather and they have absolutely loved it! I didn't know they could consume so many woodlice! Anything that moved got eaten, I think the tortoise may have been in trouble at one stage!!! They run around chatting to each other, eating and after 10 mins fall asleep, recharge for 2 mins and then start again - so cute! They are already flapping across the garden testing their wings.

 

I'm hoping due to the great weather they will be ok to go out at about 3 - 4 weeks, but I guess will have to see.

 

Looking forward to hearing from you all

 

 

Here they are with the tortoise!

 

Foraging for bugs!

 

Hope you can give me a bit of feedback and anyone

post #2 of 5
Welcome to BYC!

I hate to start with bad news... but if these really are Cobbs, do yourself a favor and don't get attached. I haven't worked with the Cobb strain, but I work the American versions of these broilers. Trying to keep them as pets never ends well. These aren't pets, and they aren't layers - they're not bred to live past 8 weeks with any degree of comfort or health. They've been bred for the chicken equivalent of being morbidly obese. The amount of meat that would take a normal bird 6 months to put on, they can put on in 8 weeks. Growth is just... too fast and too much. Even if they can be kept alive past 15 weeks - and that's a huge if, because most will succumb to heart attacks or cease walking by that age - they aren't likely to live more than a few years, at most. Bad heat wave? They're dead. Too cold for their over-stressed heart and lungs? Gone. They strain a tendon while walking? They aren't likely to get back up, and it will be you euthanizing them because they can't reach food or water anymore. This doesn't even go into the fact that they make poor egg layers, and eat the feed equivalent of three times as many normal chickens.

I'm really sorry to say this, but it would be for the best to find someone local who wants to raise them for meat. Keeping these things alive and with any degree of comfort is difficult for an experienced keeper, much less a beginner. I myself have tried it, and all of them ended up in the freezer eventually - the most recent one was the tiniest runt I'd ever seen, which was why I decided to try and keep her, but by the time her legs gave out, she was upwards of 12 pounds. She couldn't even move across the yard to reach the waterers.

Right now, to prepare them for their new life (or get them the best possible start for an attempt at keeping them alive... which again, I STRONGLY recommend against) they need to be on a high protein diet. Their bodies are developing at an exponential rate, and they need a lot of food and nutrition to support that, if you want them capable of walking. A medicated chick starter or a non-medicated broiler crumble will work, but it needs to be a minimum of 20% protein (and up to 24% is fine). Expect them to eat a lot. Some people choose to restrict feed for certain hours each day to slow growth - I've never needed to do so but if you want to you can remove feed during the night.

Good luck - and again, sorry for being such a downer. I've just... I've never seen this scenario end well. You best bet is to find a local backyard meat keeper, let them allow these birds to have the best life they can until it's time for their end to come, and get yourself some laying breed chicks - a good laying breed will make an excellent pet and egg producer for you for many years to come, and you won't be constantly worrying about their health - they will scratch, run, fly, and roost like a normal bird, and they will be a much happier sight to see free ranging in your yard.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

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200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the candid reply. I'm pretty eyes open in this scenario and if it goes that way I already know where they can go. I did read that if kept on a low nutrient diet they could fair well. Either way I feel this is the start of my love of keeping chickens and this is a good kick start for me. If they do end up without a good prospect, then at least I know they will have had a good life until their time comes.

 

I plan to enjoy them and allow them to enjoy life as much as possible, am still really excited by them and love the way they forage about! :)

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by going cheep View Post

Thanks for the candid reply. I'm pretty eyes open in this scenario and if it goes that way I already know where they can go. I did read that if kept on a low nutrient diet they could fair well. Either way I feel this is the start of my love of keeping chickens and this is a good kick start for me. If they do end up without a good prospect, then at least I know they will have had a good life until their time comes.

I plan to enjoy them and allow them to enjoy life as much as possible, am still really excited by them and love the way they forage about! smile.png

I'm glad you have such a clear idea of the situation then. As long as you know this could (you might even say it's likely to) go south very quickly, and are willing to have someone take care of them when and if the time comes, then this will go much more smoothly - and who knows, maybe you'll be able to keep them healthy for some time. I've seen crazier things happen. Just make sure to keep your expectations realistic.

Your best bet is actually the opposite - you want high protein, high nutrient diets. If these were normal birds who were just growing a little too fast, you'd want to cut back on protein to stunt growth. But you can't stunt these things growth - these are the result of 60 years of genetic tinkering, and their growth rate is in their DNA. They need enough nutrition and protein to keep their legs and organs functioning along with their muscular growth.

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply

200 something birds. 8 species. ♥ Norman ♥ Norma ♥ Misha ♥ and ♥ Taylor ♥ are my babies.
Visit Norman the Rooster's Thread Here!
Breeding Sex Linked Silkies, Gamefowl, and EEs/OEs. Amateur genetics buff. Caponization practitioner/advocate.
Working at The Poultry Palace in Placerville, CA. Come see us for started pullets, chicks, Bar Ale feed, & more!

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 


Thanks so much for the advice - this is exactly why joining this forum is so good!

 

I'll make sure I do the best by them and I'll make a judgement call when necessary. In the mean time I fully intend to enjoy them and get attached and post photos of them because they are the cutest little things, no matter how short the time is!

 

:love

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