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1 wk vs 3/4 wk old chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TLWR, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live around the corner from a poultry and other farm. She breeds/hatches a couple handfuls of varieties of ducks/chicken/turkeys and goats and whatnot.
    Birds are offered straight run.

    I'm contemplating 2 more birds (either 2 easter eggers or an easter egger and a lavender orpington).
    She has day olds/week olds and then has some that are 3 to 4 week olds.
    They are straight run. We don't want/need a rooster, so we'd rather all girls.

    I have a buff orpinton who is 3 years old and has been a single chicken for almost 2 years.
    I picked up 2 more (black sex link and a barred rock) that are now 10 weeks old. They have been in the same coop for a month and last night I took down the fence between them. They have also been free range with the big chicken and the ducks for at least a month as well. That has gone well.


    What are the pros/cons for the day-week olds and the 3-4 week olds? My goal is friendly birds.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    There may be a cost difference but to me everything favors the older birds. They have made it through the first few weeks so you should not have any fatalities. Most day old chicks make it fine but they are more delicate that first week. If they have birth defects it sometimes takes them a few days for it to show.

    In Southern Alabama you probably don’t have to provide any heat for them at 4 weeks. You can check with the neighbor but I’d expect them to not be under any extra heat. They can go straight to the coop as long as you can isolate them from the older chickens until you integrate.

    Easter Eggers can be sometimes be hard, but if the neighbor is as experienced as I suspect, they may be able to make a pretty good guess as to sex with the 4 week olds. That’s still too young to get any guarantees but just maybe that can work out. Day olds are really hard to sex by appearance. Five weeks is usually a better age but some can take a lot longer. But at four weeks an experienced person should be able to avoid obvious males. It helps your odds a little.

    The four week olds should be a long way toward feathering out. You can get a real good idea what they will look like when they are adults. With day-olds you are looking at down, not feathers. A lot of patterns and even some colors do not show up in the down. You have to wait for the feathers to see what they will look like.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree with RR. In your case, I'd opt for the older chicks. As far as choosing them, I'd prefer to pick my own, if given that option. Look for chicks with smaller, lighter colored combs, lack of wattle development, more delicate looking legs/feet. For EE, avoid chicks with obvious red patches on shoulders or breast. If there are partridge colored EE, they are more likely to be pullets.
     
  4. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My only concern with older chicks is if they put them in with the general population by then, risk of spreading disease/worms/etc increases. But if she has a healthy flock then older chicks would be a leg up.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    In my opinion, the risk of bringing in a disease or the chicks getting a disease from her existing flock is the same regardless of age. At some point they are going to be exposed to each other. It may be easier to quarantine the younger chicks in the brooder, but basically if you are going to quarantine it’s the same risk regardless of age. Same if you do not quarantine.

    If the younger chicks have not been exposed to the flock in any way, yes there is less likelihood of them bringing in a disease. But that farm is around the corner. I don’t know how far that really is but the way most parasites and diseases spread, there is a reasonable chance they have already been exposed to anything that is there.

    It is a valid point, there might be a slight advantage in bringing in new chicks that have not been exposed to the other flock but to me the risk is minimal as long as the flock they are coming from is healthy. I don’t see any difference in the risk to the new chicks in exposing the new chicks to her flock and anything they might be carrying.
     
  6. raisingdaisies

    raisingdaisies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    True. Which is why the neighbor boy is currently not allowed out by my chickens...he has some sick chickens. [​IMG]
     
  7. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    That's far enough there should be no serious threat of disease or parasites from one location to another.
     
  9. TLWR

    TLWR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, the had an older lavender orpington, but it seemed like it was a roo. So I left with a day old lavender looks like it should be a girl and a 2 day old blue cochin which should also be a girl. If not, I can swap them out.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016

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