Bought Chickens at TSC On April 15th - what on earth are these???

mzhelaineous

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
7
0
9
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Hi BYC Folk!

We are very new to the chicken thing - we live in the low desert in Calif. and we went up to the TSC in Yucca Valley, Calif. on Tuesday, They had "Red Pullets" so we bought 6 and gave 2 to a nice man who was helping us with information when we were trying to find out answers.about how to raise, etc. We only have room for 4, so we didn't need the requisite 6 TSC requires you to buy. Anyway - we got the red pullets, but one is definitely yellow and one is a lot darker red than the rest of them. She (I *hope* after reading some of the posts here) is a bit bigger than the rest, the darker red one, and the yellow one is already developing a little comb. I am not certain how old they are - no one up there seemed to know either, so I'm guessing a couple of weeks? We're keeping them in our bathtub (which is non-functional due to a crack in the bottom so until we can fix it, we're keeping the chicks in it) in the spare bathroom in a large cardboard box with the pine shavings in it. We also attached my corn snake's heating lamp about 10" above the box so they will keep warm. There is fresh water in a very shallow dish and plenty of baby chicken feed for them to eat and they all seem very healthy and happy so far :) Our son is building a small coop for them and we have a large fenced yard (we live in city limits, but we're up in the foothills so we have a large yard area). I am concerned that with the desert wildlife, i.e. coyotes, raven, roadrunners, etc., will they be safe enough to run around the yard on their own or should we invest in a chicken run as well? I don't want to have chewed up or missing chickens once they're old enough to let outside. If we need such a thing like a run, can it be made so that we can move it around the yard? It gets into the 120's in the summer and I want to be able to move them with the shade on the days it's that hot. We are also getting one of the small plastic kiddie pools to keep in the yard so they can get wet if they want - I might add we bought 4 ducks as well, so we'll need the pool for them too.

I don't want them to die unnecessarily and I don't want to go crazy either so I'm trying to find out as much as I can so I am informed about the entire process. I've learned a lot in just 2 days of being on this site! There is so much information to glean from here and from all the folks who have a ton of experience in raising chickens. Someday I'd love to get more - but I want to make certain I know what I'm doing before I take that giant leap into a larger flock.

Thanks for any help!
 

Kelsie2290

Free Ranging
Premium member
8 Years
Feb 18, 2011
36,683
4,863
556
Ohio
There are quite a few things the "Red Pullets" can be, those reddish ones look like red sex links or production red for the darker one, the yellow could be an amberlink or white leghorn (hopefully not a male red sex link which are yellow), TSC often carries all of them. Here is a nice Learning Center article on keeping chicks for the first few weeks... they look maybe a week old or so and they should be at around 90*, if you want to take a thermometer and check the temp under the lamp, (they should have a warm spot, but also a cool spot at the other end so they can get away from the heat if they want) www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-to-raise-baby-chicks-the-first-60-days-of-raising-baby-chickens

Not sure if you have seen the Coops section, but it sounds like what you are looking for is a chicken Tractor ... basically a movable coop and run that you move around the yard occasionally https://www.backyardchickens.com/atype/2/Coops
If you have a lot of predators in your area, you will want something pretty secure, everything likes to eat chicken and most predators in suburban areas are so used to people they will go right into yards, especially racoons and coyotes, and stray dogs are another problem...many chickens are also pretty good flyers and will fly over fences also.

Chickens generally won't go into water like ducks will to cool off, they do appreciate it if you hose down the sand or whatever you have in the run if it is really hot out (in your area sand is probably what you will go with in the run if you wind up doing something permanent).

And Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!

And you may like to check out your state thread for chicken keeping neighbors https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/270925/find-your-states-thread
 

mzhelaineous

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
7
0
9
Desert Hot Springs, CA
Thank you so much!!! There is soooo much information on this site and I've a bit of ADD so I start to look for one thing and end up on a whole different tangent, lol! I bet I could stay up for a few nights just reading all the great info here - so thank you again for pointing out the way - I'd be lost in a couple of clicks knowing me
We have a lot of rescued animals here at our house - all of our dogs, and there are 4 of them, there's 7 cats, a Senegal parrot, corn snake and we have koi in a small pond in the back yard as well. My partner feeds the wild rabbits, quail, burrowing owls and ground squirrels so we usually have quite a bit of animal goings-on. We've wanted chickens for eggs for awhile, but when we were at the TSC, it kind of just all fell into place. I am not really picky so I'll be happy no matter what kind of chickens they are, but we might have trouble with the neighbor (only one that's kind of a pain) if we end up with a crower rather than a hen, lol! Apparently, ducks are rather noisy as well, so we may have a spot of trouble anyway - I am hoping we have quiet ducks, but I know better.
Anyway, thank you again & I just want to say I've learned more here in 24 hours than I did on Google for a week when I was researching chickens/ducks!

 
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