Hatchery chicks

Pa chicken lady

Hatching
Mar 26, 2021
4
5
6
I am getting day old pullets shipped on April 14th. My question anything special to do when they arrive as they are being shipped. This is my first hatchery order. I usually get at tractor supply or rural king but I got 6 roosters in the last 2 year's when I bought straight pullets is why I ordered. Thanks in advance
 

BirdsBeesTrees

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Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
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Have the brooder ready for their arrival, warmed up. Give them warm water with a bit of sugar in it and dip each chicks beak slightly in the water when putting them into the brooder. They've never had a drink of water before so this is really important.
 

Pa chicken lady

Hatching
Mar 26, 2021
4
5
6
Have the brooder ready for their arrival, warmed up. Give them warm water with a bit of sugar in it and dip each chicks beak slightly in the water when putting them into the brooder. They've never had a drink of water before so this is really important.
Thanks. My brooder is all ready will have the light on the day before they come. Thanks a bunch.
 

Pa chicken lady

Hatching
Mar 26, 2021
4
5
6
I like to have nutrition-drench on hand when getting shipped babies. It’s a nutrient supplement that gives them a boost from the shipping stress and I use it for my older birds during emergencies. I get it at tractor supply. What kind did you order?
I do have one of those on hand. But wasnt sure if there was anything else or not. I ordered 30 brown laying pullets. They will be a variety of breeds and joing the 36 I currently have
 

BirdsBeesTrees

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Premium Feather Member
Mar 10, 2019
4,402
13,942
732
Iowa
I do have one of those on hand. But wasnt sure if there was anything else or not. I ordered 30 brown laying pullets. They will be a variety of breeds and joing the 36 I currently have
You are putting older and new chicks together? Or do you mean in the future.
For now they need to be separated.
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,648
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726
USA
I am getting day old pullets shipped on April 14th. My question anything special to do when they arrive as they are being shipped. This is my first hatchery order.

I ordered 30 brown laying pullets.

Have the brooder ready and warmed up, with water and food available. It helps to have something like paper towels for bedding (not slippery like newspaper, but no little bits they can mistake for food, like sawdust or shavings might have), and sprinkle a bit of food directly on the paper towels at first.

I do not dip the beaks of the chicks in water.

Dipping the beak of that many chicks in water takes quite a while. And the only way to be sure you get them all is to do it when you take them out of the box, one by one. So that means some of the chicks spend a while sitting in the box while you dip beaks of the first ones.

Instead, I put them all under the heat lamp with no delay. And I have glass marbles in the water--they peck the shiny thing (marbles) and learn that water is good to drink. Once a few figure it out, the others copy them.

I've had chicks do fine, in group sizes from 7 to over 30, with having marbles in the water right near the heat lamp, and not dipping beaks.

I check on them often, and if I find one laying around looking lethargic when the rest are running around eating, I might dip its beak, but most of them figure it out just fine.

For the first little while, you might need the heat lamp extra hot (closer to the chicks), because they need to warm up from being shipped. By the next day, they should behave about the same as ones you purchase from a store. Since you've raised chicks before, I assume you know how to judge temperature by their behavior--huddling under the heat source indicates too cold, crowding away from the heat means too hot.
 

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