8-month pullets or just hatched peeps- Help! What do I do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Heathercp, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Note to self...If you've got roosters and don't want more chickens, you'd better collect the eggs.

    [​IMG]

    My girlfriend is downsizing her flock of 20+ Black Australorps that her boyfriend got as peeps last year from McMurray. Long story short, 20+ is too many chickens for her, so we've been frantically building. So far, so good, but the coop still needs a door and windows and we've got to finish the run. The plan WAS to drive from NC to MD at the end of January and pick up the pullets. They're already laying, but still really young - it seemed perfect.

    She just sent me the picture above and asked if we wanted peeps instead. Oh my! What do I do now?? I'm not set up for peeps. And I've read for countless hours on BYC about chicken husbandry - but nothing about raising peeps. Nothing at all so far. Of course, I'm going to start reading posts right away, but I wanted to get some advice from you first. Would you do it? Would you get the peeps? They're sooooo cute! And we could handle them and get them used to being held. Of course we won't be able to keep the roosters because they're not allowed in our neigborhood. First cock-a-doodle-do and it's off to freezer camp for you, buddy. So we might end up with fewer hens than we'd originally planned. But, they're awfully cute.... Can you sex BA chicks? And anyone know how to do it? My poor girlfriend. Her BF doesn't live at her place anymore, another long story, so he doesn't look after the chickens as much as he used to. That's why they're downsizing. Or at least thought they were downsizing. She's seen 5 peeps, but thinks there are at least another 5 peeps in there.

    Okay, another question: if we took the peeps, could we take the mom and another pullet so mom wouldn't be lonely? Could we take babies and grown ups together? And how would that work? Would the mom chicken let us close to the peeps? I'm a total chicken novice, so please forgive my ignorance.

    Any suggestions, fellow BYCers? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. OverEggstended

    OverEggstended Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My suggestion is that either way... you take the rooster!

    [​IMG]

    Why exactly does she have a rooster?
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I'd take the babies and the mom. Then she will take care of the babies for you. If you take other adults, momma should protect them, but I'd keep a close watch just in case. I would not take adults and babies without the momma.

    I don't know of any way to sex BA's.

    Congrats!
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Why don't you take the Mama hen & her chicks, that way she can tend them & keep them warm better than any brooder box set-up. And also take about half as many hens as you had originally planned. This way you'll have an immediate supply of fresh eggs from the older hens, and also some new younger pullets to grow up into layers. All you'll need to do is partition off a section of your coop/run for the Mama & babies to live in. After about 6-9 weeks Mama may be ready to rejoin her flock & leave her chicks to finish growing on their own. You'll want to keep them separated until about 18 weeks so they can eat their grow food. After that you can take down the partition & everyone can live together happily ever after.
     
  5. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    Hooray! [​IMG] Thanks for the replies. I feel so much better now. We'll get to work finishing up what has to get done on the coop and setting up a partition to keep mom and babies away from the other adults. How old do you think the babies should be before I go get them?

    I'm guessing my friend has the rooster because she lives out in the boonies and her birds free range during the day. The roo does a pretty good job of protecting them. She's got two dogs and cats and the roo keeps them away from his hens. The cats are terrified. I also think her BF probably wanted to have peeps of his own someday, but then he got a new job and he just got too busy to continue on that route. He wanted the whole homestead thing, but that's such a time commitment. I just didn't work out. A few chickens are fine for my friend, but having to feed such a big flock only to have to give away all the eggs (or resulting peeps [​IMG]) is just not what she signed up for.

    Any more advice or suggestions would be welcome.
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    You can get your hens & chicks any time the coop is ready. The Mama does an excellent job of caring for her chicks no matter what age. And tell your friend that if she doesn't want more chicks she just needs to keep an eye on her hens. The best way is to do a count of them on their roost at night. If one goes missing she needs to look for where she may have made a nest for herself. She can collect those eggs, cover/destroy the nest, and break the broody hen's spell by keeping her in a wire-bottom cage for a few nights.
     

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