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Getting peeps...can I take the mom too?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Heathercp, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    I'm a soon-to-be first-time chicken owner. A friend wanted to give me 8 BA pullets. She just went out to the coop and found this. [​IMG]

    So, my question is: Can I take the peeps and mom? And maybe another pullet? When we started out thinking about chickens, we expected to get peeps. Then shortly thereafter, my friend, who has more chickens than she wants, offered me 8 of her 8-mo BA pullets. She got them as peeps last year from McMurray and they've been healthy, robust, and prolific layers. Okay, I thought, we'll just get set up for pullets instead of peeps. Now she's got the unwanted peeps to go with the unwanted pullets! What to do. What to do.... Our coop is almost finished. We could get the door on and the windows done in a couple of days. We wouldn't be able to get the run finished by then, but the peeps wouldn't need it yet because it's still pretty darn cold here in Durham, NC. The coop is 7'x8' and not insulated. It also isn't yet wired for electricity, but I do have a really long extension cord that would work in a pinch.

    I think it would be fun to raise the peeps, but we really wanted 8 hens ultimately. There are at least 5 peeps, but probably more, she said. Could I take the peeps and the mom? How old should the peeps be before I try to move them all if I did take the peeps and mom. And should I take another pullet (or two) so the mom doesn't get lonely. And could I house them all in the coop if I put a heat lamp in it so it doesn't get below freezing inside and just trust that the mom is going to keep her babies warm? Or should I just take the peeps and raise them under a lamp in some box-type setup in the house? AARRRG! I don't know what to do! I felt so prepared for the grown-ups. Now I just feel so unsure about everything.

    My friend's BF (the one who wanted sooo many chickens in the first place) will inoculate the peeps for me (at least that's what my friend said). Not sure how he'll do that because - in case I forgot to mention this - I have no idea what to do with peeps!

    Over the last few weeks I've spent countless hours reading probably thousands of posts and learned so much. I know our coop design is all the better for it. And I hope that our care of our new chickens will also be the better for it. I don't think I'd be as excited about getting chickens if it hadn't been for all you BYCers. I hope some of you will have some advice for me. Many thanks in advance.

    Heather
     
  2. bantybev

    bantybev Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    Wow...what a decision to make! First of all, I'm not an expert on chickens by any means of the word, and new at chickens myself. But I, too have read about a million posts on this great site both before and after getting my chickens. I was wondering...are the mom and chicks used to a heated coop? If not...as long as your set up is draft free I would think they would be ok. You would have to set up a nest with lots of bedding material (straw or wood shavings) for her and the babies to snuggle up into. As far as her being lonely...how could she be with so many chicks to keep her company? [​IMG] From what I've seen on here and my Aunts hens, they pretty much stick to themselves and their babies until they "wean" them anyways.

    I say...Go for it!! Take the mom and babies. You won't be sorry. They are quite the entertainment raising their babies. I guess it would depend on what you wanted the chickens for in the first place? If it is for eggs...then you will have a while to wait. Momma won't lay any for a while and the babies (the ones that turn out to be hens) won't be laying any for a few months. Also..are you prepared for some of the babies to be roos? If it is for entertainment and pets that you want chickens...then you should take mamma and babies. If you only want chickens for eggs....you might want to leave the momma and babies and go with the pullets alone.

    If you are really worried about the cold nights....an extention cord with a heat lamp can be done...just use extreme caution with how you set it up.
     
  3. Heathercp

    Heathercp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    I've been scouring the forum looking for threads about broody hens and their babies. From what I can tell, taking the mom and the babies looks like the best way to go. This is mom's first time to have babies, and I'd hate to take them from her if I don't have to. Call me a softie.... At any rate, I'd love to have the help raising the peeps. They're cute and all, but they're so little. Mom should know what to do, right?

    Ultimately, we'll want eggs, but that's not the primary reason for getting the chickens. I'm looking forward to watching the chickens run around scratching for whatever they can find. They'll be able to free range in a wooded 1/3 acre yard. I'm hoping they won't jump over the 4'fence too often. An 8' fence is on the to do list, but after building the coop, it's going to have to wait a bit longer. They'll have a secure, predator proof run, but I really want to let them out as much as possible.

    We've already spent about $1,500 on building materials for the coop and lumber for the surrounding deck (which had to be replaced if we were going to build the coop in our location of choice). I don't even want to do the math to figure out what any eggs would really "cost" if I included the cost of the coop. But we did build the coop such that we could use it as a garden shed if we ever decided we didn't want any more chickens. (Though from what I've read here, chicken-keeping can become an addiction [​IMG]) This chicken-keeping thing came on so fast, we didn't have time to wait for Craigslist or Freecycle items to become available. My friend really wants the excess chickens gone, gone, gone. But not necessarily into freezer camp since she's a vegetarian.

    I should really get out to the unfinished coop now and do something to it. My husband, the jack-of-all-trades and current coop master is on his way home from a trip. He thought he was building for immediate eggs, but when he got the photo of the babies he just said, "They're sooo cute!"
     
  4. bantybev

    bantybev Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2009
    SW Michigan
    YAY! You won't be sorry. The new additions to your family will be so much fun!
     
  5. cobrien

    cobrien Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    As one softie to another, are you prepared to have about half of the chicks become roosters? Or maybe all of them or maybe none of them? If you have more than one rooster, they will likely fight, and of course they'll crow and they won't lay eggs. If you are prepared to eat them or give them to someone else to eat they you won't have any problems, but personally I get too attached to them. It is extremely difficult to find a new home for a rooster where he won't get eaten, but you might get lucky. Something to think about. Other than that, I can't think of anything more fun than watching mamma hen raise her babies. Good luck!
     

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