6 or 8 chicks to start?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sooju, May 12, 2010.

  1. sooju

    sooju In the Brooder

    May 10, 2010
    Pleasantville, NY
    I fell in love with thegardencoop.com design and before doing my research I placed an order for the maximum number of chicks that it recommended (8). What is the likelihood that all 8 of my chicks will survive to adulthood? I'm not sure whether to try and modify the coop design to accommodate all 8 chickens or reduce my order size to 6. But I'd hate to order 6 chickens only to find that one of them is a rooster (they're sexed but that's only 90% reliable) or to have a chick not survive shipping etc. I have no experience with this and would really appreciate some advice! They'll only be able to free range on the weekends when I'm around all day.
  2. Chickens are addictive. If you get six, you'll want 8!

    That being said, it's not unusual to loose a chick. A lot depends on where you get them. Chicks that have been shipped or purchased at a feed store are usually less healthy than chicks you buy directly from the breeder. If you want to minimize losses, find a local breeder to buy from.

    I'd go for 8.
  3. Also - you might want to consider free ranging in the evenings. Even if you get home at 6, and it gets dark at 7, they'll appreciate an hour out on the grass!
  4. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    Quote:I agree with Turkey on this. It's not unusual to have a young bird die for no discernable reason. I had five, lost one, and now four seems too few.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    8, of course.

    I originally considered 4, then 6, then 8, maximum.

    When a chick failed to thrive and died, I "replaced" it with two more. Then my elderly dog killed one, so I added two more.... ended up with 8 pullets and 1 accidental rooster.

    Then Spring and Chick Season at the feed store rolled around, and now I have 10 more, six of which are about 14 wks old (out in their own separate coop and run) and 4 of which are now 4 wks old (in the brooder). Plus 2 ducks.

    19 chickens and 2 ducks. *blinking*
  6. Quote:Like I said - Chickens are addictive! [​IMG]
  7. esthermgr

    esthermgr Songster

    Oct 28, 2009
    Go for the bigger order for the same reason others have already said. You're going to want more, but you can always build another coop or expand the one you have [​IMG]
  8. Camelot Farms

    Camelot Farms Chickenista

    I started with 6...now I have 82 [​IMG]
  9. greenpeeps

    greenpeeps Songster

    Apr 15, 2009
    Greenford, Ohio
    I say 6 to start. I say this because the more pictures of the different chickens you see the more varity you'll want to add to your flock.

    So what did you order anyway?? [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 12, 2010
  10. CorralitosSunflower

    CorralitosSunflower Songster

    Jun 24, 2009
    I recommend starting with less and having room to add more. I like having 4 babies at a time because it insures they all get held a LOT and turn into the sweetest chickens. When I have had more it is harder to make sure they all get a lot of individual attention. If your not so worried about having completely and totally docile chickens (we have lots of little ones who visit ours so it is very important to us) you can get more and will still end up with some very friendly chickens as long as you invest time into them and they are the proper breed. Another fun reason to get less is yopu have a chance to expand your horizons once they are grown. My interests in birds started very slim but now I want all sorts of different kinds and it is a bummer to want something BAD and just not have the room [​IMG]

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