Adding to the flock

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
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After lots of reading and thinking I decided I wanted to expand my flock of chickens. Due to the number of birds I already had and the size that I built my coop I was limited to about 10 chickens that I could add to the flock. That was the first hurdle to jump as most of the online hatcheries have a 15-25 minimum order and many are 5 per breed minimum as well. I wanted to try several breeds and add a rooster to the mix so I could either order more than I wanted figuring some would die in the shipping and raising process, order just a couple of breeds that I wanted and add in some meat birds to meet the minimum (but I wasn't ready to raise birds for meat just yet), or find another option. Tractor Supply also has a minimum order but if you buy in stock birds the minimum is 6 total with no per breed limits. I also have two Farmers Co-ops in my area that carry chicks and they have no minimum. After about 3 weeks of stopping by stores and making phone calls to find what store had what breed in stock I finally caught a break and one of my 8 area TSC had just got a shipment in with 2 of the 4 breeds I wanted. (Side note that the Co-op in the same town had one of the other 2 in when I called but had sold out by the time I got there.) I rushed to town and luckily was the first customer there interested in the Welsummers they had just received. One of the associates there was very knowledgeable and once she realized I already had chickens and was very serious about getting more of the right breed to go with them, she was able to sex the straight run of Welsummers and Plymouth Rocks to pick out the only pullet in a batch of about 30 Welsummers and Plymouth Rock pullet for me. I also picked out a Welsummer cockerel, two ISA Brown pullets, and a Buff Orphington pullet. I then made a call to another TSC in the area that had Leghorns in stock and told them that I had just bought my 6 minimum at a TSC a few mile up the road and could come by and pick up 3 more chicks if they would bend the rules but they would not sell less than 6 at a time. So I called Co-op and went rushing across town to get Leghorns from them but they sold out while I was on my way. (If I sound a bit frustrated about missing Leghorns twice it is because I am.) I also picked up some chick starter feed, a small feeder, and some vitamins/ electrolyte supplement for their water while I was there. I already had a heater, water, and wood chips at home for the brooder.
This was on April 22 that I bought the chicks set up the brooder and snapped a couple of pics.


The Plymouth Rock is in the front, Buff Orphington in the middle, 2 ISA Browns on either side of them and one of the Welsummers is in the back. The other Welsummer is under the heater in the back of the brooder.
 

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
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24
My brooder is a very simple setup:

In the back is a EcoGlow 20, in the middle is a very basic feeder, and in the front is a fresh supply of coffee for the chicks.
The whole thing is a large dog kennel that we use to take our Doberman to the vet in.

And yes that is a coffee canister zip tied to the front.
I put chicken nipples in the bottom drilled a vent hole for the zip tie to go thru filled it up with vitamin water. I then put the lid back on to keep chicks from drowning in an open water container. It took about 10 minutes of tapping the nipples with my finger. I would flick a little water at the day old chicks then back away and wait for the first chick to give it a try. Once the first chick investigated it about 10 seconds the other 5 to rushed up and see what she was doing.
 

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
0
24
Our Buff Orphington was the biggest on the day I brought them home. In the first week the 2 ISA Browns had out grown her. The Welsummers are still smaller than the Buff, but I was wondering if the Plymouth Rock was going to make it since she had so much pasty butt and was not growing much at all. But in the last week she has started to catch up to the Welsummers.
 

4season

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2015
22
0
24
I am very pleased with my brooder. The dog kennel is big enough, easy to clean, the waterer works great, the feeder is ok, and I love the Ecoglow almost as much as the chicks. I put some contact paper on top of the EcoGlow as recommended on another site and also put a rubber shelf mat on top to prevent splayed leg for the first week or two. The bigger birds roost on top of the heater and the smaller birds hide under it for warmth. Without the contact paper I don't know if I would be able to reuse the heater at this point. I have already changed it 4 times and the last time the poop was 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick across the top. Even though this heater is sold for "up to 20 chicks" I don't see you ever getting 20 birds the size of these under this small of a heater. Maybe they should rename it the EcoGlow 10. Also I have found it helpful to set one leg higher than the other since my chicks are growing at a different rate so that the smaller birds can get under the low end for more heat and the larger birds can still fit under the high end if they need a little heat.
Smile girls, it is time for your close up

From left to right, Plymouth Rock, Welsummer cockerel, Welsummer Pullet, 2nd row Buff Orphington, back row both ISA Browns. You can also see the chicken nipples on the bottom of the coffee can in this picture.
 

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