Am I crazy to get a few 8 week old pullets in winter?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by buckabucka, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just lamenting the fact that my hatchery black copper marans lays just a regular brown egg, when I came upon an ad for 3 jeanette mcgee marans pullets, all 8 weeks old. I'm new at this, and have been enjoying my mixed flock of 16 hens and one rooster. If I were to buy these pullets, I would have to:

    -quarantine for at least a month (a cage in the house is my only option at this point)
    -keep them warm until they are fully feathered (how long would that be? It gets down to zero and below, - wouldn't they need time to acclimate even with all their feathers?)
    -learn how to integrate them into my existing flock

    Is this a crazy idea? I don't want to put my existing flock at risk. The for-sale birds came from hatching eggs, so I imagine they weren't vaccinated. I had my chicks vaccinated for Merek's, - does this matter? Maybe the pullets have already sold and I don't have to worry about any of this! Thanks for any feedback.
    Robin
     
  2. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I say, "Go for it!". My hatchery Delawares will be 9 weeks old, this coming Monday:



    [​IMG]
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I think the timing is all wrong. The birds would be fully fledged at 8 weeks, but they would have to be housed inside for the quarantine period, which is an interesting proposition in the winter when you can't air the house out after they get dust and dander everywhere. Then they would need to be acclimated to the extreme cold weather of Maine after their quarantine. They would need to be integrated, which is much more difficult to do in single digit temps. And you would still possibly be needing a heat lamp on them so they don't freeze, but what about cooking the other birds in the coop by adding a heat lamp when they are all acclimated to the cold?

    I think it would be best to wait until spring. Adding birds to the flock in the winter is a logistical nightmare here in the north. It's not impossible, but presents many challenges.

    Good luck.
     
  4. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good points. I read right over the quarantine being on the house... Mine never are inside, from birth on; so I must have superimposed that into your scenario. As stated; that would make a big difference and I would agree with holding off [​IMG]
     
  5. JustAChickenLittle&More

    JustAChickenLittle&More Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Florida
    Ok so what if you hatched 3 different hatches within a months time and they were in the house? Is the house under quarantine with the first hatch? Or second hatch? etc., Just curious as I did a staggered hatch and have three different batches. However, I hatch them all myself in incubators, so is that cool?
     
  6. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I don't know really how long I could live with chickens in my house! [​IMG]

    I think you are right that the timing is all wrong. I would LOVE to have these same birds come spring. Also, the seller does not specify if you must take ALL of the birds. There are 3 pullets and 3 roosters, and I have not heard back from the seller yet.

    I had started a different post, - about how frustrated I am with my one light brown egg copper marans, and how there were no breeders around my neck of the woods. I was half-way through writing it, and imagined that responses would suggest to look on Craigslist. So I stopped writing just to check for the heck of it. Imagine my surprise when I ran into the ad posted just last night!

    My DH does have a semi-heated shop, - not sure he'd like a bunch of birds in there! [​IMG]

    I'm partly hoping the seller says they are long gone, so I'm not tempted. I suppose there will be other opportunities someday!
    Thanks for the advice!
     
  7. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your asking a bunch of Insane Chicken Addicts if you are crazy? If we say yes we totally mean it as an encouragement and compliment.
     
  8. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    I stopped reading after the first three words of the subject so I could post a response: YES.

    You are here after all.... [​IMG]

    Seriously though, unless you can give them the right growing conditions without destroying your own health, then it is better to wait.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    First, they are essentially fully feathered already. I would for sure swipe a corner of hubby's shop -- the house is not good at all, not only for you but for them, as they need to begin to acclimate to the cold. The month of quarantine will give you time to make arrangements for them to live next to each other for integration.

    I'd go for it, myself. Not that easy to find the kind of chickens you want, already past the chick stage and its messes.

    Here's a quick guide to integrating, hopefully to save you some researching:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    I'd be sure I knew how they are living at present, how much heat, how protected from weather, etc., if you don't already.
     
  10. buckabucka

    buckabucka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the integration information, - I've bookmarked it. I still haven't heard back from the seller (it's only been a few hours). Meanwhile, I can run the "shop housing" idea by DH.
    Lucky for me, it was HIS idea to get chickens, and I think he's hooked!
     

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