1st time chicken guy

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by arsnow, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. arsnow

    arsnow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2008
    Farnsworth, TX
    My dad has decided he wants to raise chickens this year. His plan: acquire three fighting-chicken hens, order his chicks and stick them under the hens. I'm wondering if this is a good idea or not. Wouldn't this approach lead to more fearful chickens? He also wants to free range the birds, so anything on that process wouldbe appreciated.

    Hope you guys can help.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You can't just stick chicks under hens unless the hens are already broody. Broodiness is hormonal and if those hormones haven't kicked in, the hens may kill the chicks. Why game hens in particular?
  3. nadams4

    nadams4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2008
    I would get the chicks and keep them in a small area with a heat light on them.

    I have raised day old chicks for many years and I keep mine in a box with plenty of (chick starter) feed and clean water.

    once they out grow the box i move them to a small area still with the light on them. I switch them to grower feed.

    and then once the cold weather is gone and and there a few months old I let them free range but they still have access to their coop. I make sure i lock them up in their coop every night so coyotes dont get them. After the first egg is layed i switch them to layer feed (16% protein).

    raising chicks is not hard at all as long as you DONT let them get cold when they're young. one chill can cause death.

    any questions just let me know![​IMG]
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    As Speckledhen already stated - you can't buy hens and then chicks and stick the chicks under the hens; the hens won't take of them and they may kill them.

    A hen has to go broody to raise chicks. Nobody knows what hen will go broody and when a hen will go broody. Certain breeds are more prone to go broody (like Silkies) and some breeds almost never, if ever, go broody.

    I am wondering why he wants fighting hens?? If it's so they are aggressive enough to protect themselves while free ranging then what he really needs is a good Rooster to protect the hens. Some hens will attack dogs or cats or such but most will run for their lives when threatened ... let's face it they are near the bottom of the food chain.

    And, even a good Rooster can't fight off some large dogs and some wild animals; even though he may try.

    As far as free ranging is concerned. That's, in my opinion, the best way to go with chickens. However, many people just don't have that option due to circumstances and even those who do free range almost always lock up their chickens in a secure house at night to protect them from predators. Free ranging chickens are far more likely to be killed by predators than chickens in a fenced enclosure.

    It would help us help your dad if we knew what his purpose for the chickens are. Does he just want eggs? Does he want meat birds? Or?
  5. arsnow

    arsnow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2008
    Farnsworth, TX
    Thanks for the help guys. My dad (in his infinite chicken wisdom) believes that fighting hens 1) are easy to get from the Mexicans and 2) will "teach the chicks what to do". I have told him several times his plan cannot and will work, but he insists on plowing right in (I guess even if he kills all his chicks). What's worse is he's got one his buddies thinking the same thing! They both plan on getting 3 fighting hens from the Mexicans, buying lots of chicks, and sticking them with the hens. My dad (like all dads) claims to be an expert on a lot of things, but raising chickens obviously isn't one of them.

    I got him Storey's Raising Chickens book, and he is reading it, but I fear he has already made up his mind. My mother and I know full well you can't just stick chicks under a hen and expect her to magically become a mother. I welcome any other advice you all are willing to give, and hopefully we can talk some since into my father.
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Some people just have to 'learn' the hard way. Unfortunately, in this case it is going to result in the unnecessary death of little creatures that do feel pain and cold.

    Killing chickens for food, or 'culling' them humanely is one thing - neglecting them to death out of a refusal to admit you are wrong is criminal, in my opinion.

    Hopefully at least your dad will watch the chickens and the babies long enough and have sense enough to realize it's not working BEFORE all the chicks suffer a horrible death either being pecked to death, or being chilled to death.

  7. arsnow

    arsnow Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2008
    Farnsworth, TX
    I regards to what my father wants the birds for he has said a little bit of everything, but mostly I think we are looking for eggs with meat and insect control in the garden as a bonus. He's already decided he needs to get some Javas and I think Rhode Island Reds. It is important to know that we haven't ordered anything yet --- we are still deciding on breeds.

    The building he wants to use as a coop is an old 8x10 ft storage shed. We're going to replace the floor and then (in my dad's eyes) it's time to throw all his chickens in the coop. Any info about how to use a coop this size: capacity, arrangement, ventilation, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
  8. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If you look at the tippy top of the forum page (the page you are reading this on...) there are links up there.

    I'd recommend you check out the 'learning center' one - all kinds of info on raising chicks, etc.

    Also, there is a coop design link with lots of great pics and plans for coops.

    Good luck.
  9. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2007
    Catawba County, NC
    Is cock-fighting illegal in your state?
  10. Stormhorse23

    Stormhorse23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 22, 2007
    cock fighting should be illegal everywhere. i dont think thats what they plan to do with these birds, though

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