Chickens in Texas

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Break an Egg, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    I was wondering if there are any breeds that can cope with the heat better than others. I live in San Antonio and it gets very hot here. I don't even want to make an attempt at keeping chickens unless I know they are atleast going to survive the elements. [​IMG]

    Also, I was wanting to raise a few chicks, but my husband wants to buy older birds, but over here the best price I have found for laying hens is $15.00 each which I thought was ridiculous. Does anyone have any advice? [​IMG]
     
  2. Yogiman

    Yogiman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana
    You won't have any problems raising chickens in your area provided you take the necessary steps to insure their welfare. The secret is to provide plenty of shade and cool clean water.
    I raised chicks in west Texas with no problems. I tend to stay with the lighter colored chicks because of the heat, i.e. white. I agree with you about the cost of started pullets. Ideal-Poultry in Cameron, TX would be a good source for chicks for you. They do not have a minimum number of chicks to order. The do have a minimum of $25.00 per order including shipping and handling.
    I currently have a flock of buff orps, white orps, delawares, rhode island whites and white rocks. All of them are brown egg layers. Most of them came from Ideal Poultry.
    Good luck with your chicks.
     
  3. Rafter 7 Paint Horses

    Rafter 7 Paint Horses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    East Texas
    $15.00 a hen is about the going rate for a young hen before her first molt.
    After a molt (about 1 1/2 to 2 yrs old), $10.00 is what they are selling for around here.

    It all depends on whether you want to raise your own and wait for 6 months to get eggs, or have the eggs right away from grown hens.

    If you buy hens, make sure you buy from a reputable breeder. Some will sell old, used up hens after a molt as young hens.
    Also look at their beaks, if they bought old battery hens to re-sell, their beaks will all be trimmed. (Now, started pullets from a hatchery will also have their breaks trimmed, and they ship them out at about 16 weeks of age.)

    Either way, the cost per chicken will be comparable to each other, you can fork it out all at once or spend a little at a time over the 6 months it takes to get chicks grown to laying size.

    We have plenty of shade, I change their water at least twice a day when it gets really hot, sometimes I put ice in their water. We have fans in the hen house, and I will water down their run. They enjoy the water in their run, they have scratched out several holes and I fill them up with water, they love to scratch in the wet dirt and run through the water puddles.
    I think any color chickens will do good with proper care. We have had Black Australorps, Black Sex links, and Black Sumatra's. The heat didn't seem to affect them any different than the lighter colored chickens. I wouldn't raise chickens here if I had to keep them locked up in a coop 24/7. The heat would be too much for them if they had to stay locked up.

    Jean
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Howdy Texas Star and welcome to BYC!
    I live in SW Arkansas and having lived in many places over the course of my life (Navy brat), I find summers here to be something close to H-E-double hockey stix.
    I researched alot of breeds and decided on the brahmas. They are reported to be both cold hardy and heat tolerant. The heat tolerant part kinda surprised me, because they are a large, heavy breed; but I've talked to people around here who have raised them and they say that the brahmas do just fine. I have designed our coop with LOTS of cross ventilation in mind and have even considered taking a cue from the commercial houses and putting box fans in the windows when we get into the dog days of summer.
    For me, the choice between chicks and grown chickens was simple. I want to be the one that raises them. A good choice for you may be started pullets (not chicks, but not completely grown either). I'm pretty sure that Ideal Poultry in Cameron, TX. has them for sale at least some of the time.
    Have fun!
     
  5. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    Thanks for all the help and the welcome! I finally talked my DH into buying chicks instead of half grown chickens. I told him it will be cheaper lol. He loves chickens and in the past he has raised Rhode Island Reds. I thought the Buff Orphs were very beautiful and I called around. I found a feed store getting in some Buff chicks Thursday. I plan on picking up five of them. I can't wait. Thanks for all the advice![​IMG]
     
  6. Sharylva

    Sharylva Out Of The Brooder

    Don't know if your still looking for new chickens but if you want to drive up to Burnet, Texas there is a guy there in town that sell all ages of chickens. I bought my 15-17 week old chickens for $10 each. They are very healthy and were quite helpful when this brutal cold front hit.
     

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