Can you raise just a couple of chicks????

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bangor777, May 4, 2008.

  1. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2008
    Hi,
    I am so excited to find this board! We will be acquiring our first flock of chickens at the end of May. The hen house is almost done and we have relatives in state who will be selling us 10 40 day old pullets. I would like our flock to be about 12 -14 hens. Is it possible to raise just 2-4 chicks in a brooder? My husband loves the idea of getting our hens from relatives, but I would so love to have the baby chick experience as well. I worry that if I only raise a couple of chicks in a brooder they will be sad or lonely. What do you think? Thanks in advance for the advice.
    Lori
     
  2. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    QCA, Illinois
    [​IMG]

    Hi Lori!

    I would go with 4 chicks instead of just 2. Sadly, chicks have a way of dying on us sometimes and if that happened to one of yours, you'd only have one left. Chicks need other chicks! I'd raise 4 and that's very doable!!

    Have fun with your chickens!!
     
  3. ticks

    ticks Pheasant Obsessed

    Apr 1, 2008
    The Sticks, Vermont
    yes. my friend (hobobrando) is raising 2 chicks right now and he is getting 9 mor may 30.
     
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You can have your pullets and your chicks. There are some things you need know that alot of people are not aware of beyond keeping them warm until they feather out.

    Chicks begin to feather with more adult feathers pretty quickly after hatching. It takes 8 - 10 weeks for those feathers to come in and the chicks to be able to keep warm and regulate their own body temps without a heat source. The heavier breeds can take 12 weeks to feather out.

    When the chicks get over the cute stage and become small chickens you cannot take them out and just mix with with the older pullets. Putting small chicks in with older pullets can be fatal. Older hens have been known to kill smaller chickens new to the coop. Not pretty but it happens in the chicken world.

    You need a place for them to grow out for about 16 weeks so that they start to get some good size on them and are nearing the size of your pullets. You can put them in a pen where they can see one another but don't let them mix in the general population for a week or two. When you do finally introduce them to the older pullets put them in the hen house and on the roost at night so they all wake up together and not know what happened.

    There will be some squawking and squabbling. The new addition has upset the pecking order and the older pullets will let them know where they stand. You have to watch them over the next week or more. The older pullets can bully them and starve them out by not letting them eat. They need to be 16 weeks at least to be able to defend themselves from the attacks that will come. Usually they will work it out themselves and it is rare that you have to step in but it does happen. But there are times when we have to go in and take out a bully and get things on track.

    I am not trying to scare you or anything. There is a lot of responsiblitiy when you brood chicks and add them to an existing flock. These are things you need to know beforehand.

    Good luck with your pullets and your chicks. You're going to love them. [​IMG]
     
  5. bangor777

    bangor777 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    miss prissy,
    Thank you for the reply. I was hoping to get the chicks soon (in the next week). This would mean i would have about a three week age difference between my chicks and the pullets. Does this help? My family raised chickens when I was growing up and I remember the pecking order that develops within the hen house. I appreciate any advice anyone can give.
    Lori
     
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    The closer the age difference the better! It means less work for you trying to incorporate them into one big happy flock!
     
  7. 55885100

    55885100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    id go with 4. i got my first 2 chicks, the next day they looked so sad with just the 2 of them so i went back and got 10 more, i got 10 more because i thout if i got even 1 more i would half to re-build my chicken coop for when they get biger so i decided to get a hole flock
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Colorado
    Lori - Welcome to BYC!! We're glad you are on your road to addiction. We'll help you all we can..[​IMG]

    I agree you should go with at least three and four is better. MissPrissy gave you the best advice for integrating the two flocks later.

    Have lots of fun!!
     
  9. Vamp-A-Billy Princess

    Vamp-A-Billy Princess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2008
    Indiana
    The answer is a big no. You will be overwhelmed by the cuteness and go anywhere you can find chicks to get more. Then something makes you have to go to the feed store...such as getting more feed other supplies, whatnot...there are more chicks...you get those too. Well there are 5 chicks and you don't wanna split up the group so you buy all 5...it just goes on and on. I am up to 40 chickens if you count my eggs. This all happened in 2 months. I planned on getting one originally but then it would be cold or lonely so I got 3. Well...you know the rest!
     
  10. Joy1

    Joy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lancashire,England
    Quote:Unfortunately in England we don't have feed stores that sell chicks, otherwise I would never be out of them! [​IMG]:
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008

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