Dilemma on when to order chicks...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by carolynm, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. carolynm

    carolynm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2011
    Bailey, CO
    I am chickenless. My forays into chicken farming didn't go that well this year. I was given 2 game hens who were very wild. One died in the heat of the summer, and the other decided that permanent free ranging suited her better than night time lockdown. The coyotes thought that was a good idea too. I tried hatching out eggs and had one successful hatching but of course it had to be a roo -so he was rehomed. My one pullet I purchased fell victim to coyotes while free ranging during the day. And that is the end of the chickens for 2011. I did have one small victory - apparently the coop is secure as I caught a coyote practically drooling on the hutch one morning but all birds safe and sound (for the time being).

    So my thoughts have turned to chicks for 2012. I'd like Cochins and as they are not readily available in the feed stores (I looked and inquired last year), I will order some. My dilemma is we are moving at the end of April. We are moving from Texas to Colorado. The critters will all come. Should I put off thoughts of chicks until after the move? What I don't like about that scenario is that means starting chicks in May...which means I probably won't get layers until the following year. My thoughts were to order early in the New Year (as in as soon as Ideal has chicks available) and that way the birds will be fully feathered and moved outside by the time moving time comes. Is the move likely to be hard on them? Am I better off trying to search for pullets at the new place? I'm not talking about a bunch of birds, I was thinking a couple of regular sized cochins and a handful of banties.

    That also leads me to another question. Most poultry sellers have small order fees -I think you need 25 to make an order. In your opinion is it better to order many birds, select the few you want to keep and sell the rest -ie do you end up with better birds this way? Or is selling the extras more trouble than its worth? It seems Cochins are pretty popular here so I'd think selling them at a couple of months age should be pretty easy. Your thoughts? Order what you need or order more (allowing for casualties) and then pick from the lot?

    It would seem a shame to put chicken plans back yet another year by not ordering but I'd hate to cause way more trouble than the chickens are worth...
  2. Ariel301

    Ariel301 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2009
    Kingman Arizona
    Ideal doesn't have a 25 chick minimum, they have a $25 minimum. Of course, if you order under 25, you'll pay a fee for a small order and they will also stuff the box with some rooster chicks to fill it (unless you pay another fee to keep them from doing that, but if it is cold, the fuller the box is the better). I personally prefer to order more than I need to make up for possible losses and so I can choose the best and sell any extras.

    It just depends on whether or not you think it will be too much hassle to make that long drive with extra animals. They should be fine during the trip. I moved 14 hours from Colorado to Arizona with a horse, a cat, an aquarium, three adult goats (one of them pregnant and due the day we drove, fortunately she waited a few days late!) and a newborn baby goat. They were all fine. I've taken long drives with parrots before and they were fine. If you can't have water in with them for the whole trip, offer them water and something to eat when you stop for gas or a bathroom break.
  3. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    Quote:Look at Meyer Hatchery.. [​IMG]
  4. MustLoveHens

    MustLoveHens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2010
    Albion, Wisconsin
    There are a number of ways to go here. Honestly, I think you should wait until you are moved. Mainly because you will need to set up coop, unless the property has one? The move it's self is not that hard on them, but you just have to make sure your place is ready for them on the other end.
    There are ways to go about getting started hens. Even Cochins. One of the easiest ways is to contact the local 4-H or FFA group in Colorado. I bet you can find someone who has Cochins and will be culling non showable ones. Also try to find out where a local poultry club is. They will definately know a Cochin breeder.
    Also look at the International Cochin Club website. They might have a list of breeders in your state. The APA (American Poultry Association may also be of help.
    I think you could start now so you can hook up with a breeder before you get to CO and let him or her know what you want so you can have eggs sooner rather then later.
    As far a bantams, Tractor Supply usually carries them during their chick days. I think they have a six chick minimum. But keep in mind that bantams are not sexed.

    If you do order from a hatchery, Ideal and Privett are both great. In your case, I would order the minimum 25 and sell off the ones you don't want. This also takes into account mortality rate. You might consider a few different breeds along with your Cochins. This makes it easier to sell off the birds if they have more of a production value to them. Sex Links are a good choice as are Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Rocks, Australorps, and the ever popular Easter Egger.
    Last spring I ordered a bunch of chicks ( about 75) from both Ideal and Privett and sold all but 12 of them for a nice profit. There are always people looking for started hens and I put my add on Craigslist with a photo. If you do decide to order before you move, please take into consideration the weather before you order. Unless you can pick the chicks up from Ideal, the babies still will have to travel in the USPS system in the cold dead of winter. You may be opening up to a very high mortality rate.
    HTH and good luck!
  5. itsy

    itsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    New England
    Two things:

    I ordered 14 chicks from Ideal this past year to make a $25 order and they DID NOT charge me for a small order fee and they DID NOT need to add additional male chicks to the box. I'm sure each scenario may be different from one another, but I'd recommend talking with them if you are concerned about a smallish order. They are very nice to work with. The chicks in my avatar photo are actually from them.

    And.... we made a move from NJ to NY with 10 of our girls (9 pullets and one 3 year old hen) as well as a rabbit, lizards and a whole menagerie of other animals. Oh, the horse too....

    I would hold off on getting chickens until you move and are set up for it. We're still using a temporary tractor and trying to get their new permanent coop built. One thing lead to another and two months go by and we're still not fully unpacked. There's just so much involved in a move, it would have been so much easier for me had we not already had our girls. Not only that, but orchestrating an out of state move with the order in which we would pack and drive based on the animals nearly drove me nuts. Then again, I'm glad we have them. But...if I were in your position, I'd wait. Just my two cents [​IMG]
  6. confusedbanti

    confusedbanti Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 5, 2010
    I think you should wait until the move is done and start new. I ordered 9 Bantams all Girlies for next Fall from mypetchicken.com. They have a HUGE selection and ship as little as 3 . But because I live in nevernever land I had to get 9. Which is cool. Check them out. And good luck [​IMG]
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'd wait for the move and find someone with started pullets or birds already laying. You can then work on getting the chicks of your choice but eating eggs in the meantime.
  8. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    I'm sure I am not alone is saying that every move I have made has been full of surprises. Adding new chicks to the mix seems like a good way to add more complexity. But, there's no reason why you couldn't order some chicks once you're set up in CO.
  9. happytraylz

    happytraylz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2011
    Southern Maine
    Quote:Agreed. I'm sure you can find some nice started pullets and it may be cheaper than shipping hatchery ordered eggs. And moving is a huge time/money consumer and your chickens will be more enjoyable when you're settled and ready, instead of the stress and worry about them getting settled in at the same time you are.. good luck with the move, and the chickens! [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by