Help choose-days old vs. weeks old

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by UrbanHenBilly, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. UrbanHenBilly

    UrbanHenBilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello all,
    I'm about ready to acquire my starting flock and have two choices. I would certainly appreciate your input, as I have NO experience.

    Option1
    6-7 weeks old chicks about a 30min drive from my house. Barred Rocks and Easter Eggers

    Option 2
    2-3 week old chicks BR and EE, and some days-old Barnevelders. About 3 hours round trip.

    My real concern comes from the fact that I work, and so I'm away from the house for 9-10 hours per day. I read that newly-hatched chicks need nearly constant attention. Is this true?

    I'm starting to lean towards the idea of getting the older local birds, gaining experience with them, and then getting day-old Barnevelders in the spring when I have know more about them. That wouldn't be nearly as satisfying as the kid-in-a-candy-store-I-want-it-all-now mode that I'm in, but might be better for everyone involved. At the same time, my kids would miss out on the warm fuzzy little monsters running around and looking all cute and helpless.

    What would your recommendation be?
    Thanks for your help!
    Bill
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Hmmm. Hmmmmm. Hmmmmmmmm.

    I work a 9 hour day, which actually come out a 10 hour day, and I have raised chicks. You just have to make sure you have things set up okay, and "make up" for the chunk o' time you haven't been able to check on them. Always top off their water and feed before you leave. Always check their little bottoms for pasty butt before you leave. Always make sure they are active and healthy before you leave.

    Do the same thing as soon as you get in the door after work.

    The only problem with the second option you mentioned, some 2-3 week olds plus some 2 day olds, is that you've got two groups of chicks with different heat requirements. Ordinarily, that would require two brooders. But if you have a large enough brooder, and set up the heat lamp correctly so there is a cool end and the hot end, the babies can monopolize the warmest part of the brooder and the older ones can stay further away from the heat lamp.

    When I buy chicks from a feed store now, I ALWAYS choose those which have been in the store longer. The deliveries are on one day of the week, and if the particular breed has not been sold out by the next delivery, they're all jumbled together. So I just pick out the older chicks. That way I know they have already survived some time in a brooder after having been shipped from the hatchery. Better chance for them not to "fail to thrive" or die from shipping shock; they've already survived that stressor!

    If it were me, I'd go for the younger of the two bunches you mentioned. More baby time to spend handling them, so they get used to you.
     
  3. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

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    Well the 2-3 weeks olds should be fine while your gone.....but those days old Barnevelders are soooo cute
     
  4. UrbanHenBilly

    UrbanHenBilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:There's the conundrum. I have room to build a good sized dual-brooder and planned to accommodate for the different ages. I have enough space, lamps and materials.
    The handling was a question. I would like the younger. Hmmmm. Hmmm. Hmmm.
     
  5. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

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    Um you can keep them in the same brooder. if the big ones get hot they will move...
     
  6. UrbanHenBilly

    UrbanHenBilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Well, it's funny because my original plan was to raise 4 and get 25 Barnevelders in the spring, but this just popped up out of the blue.
     
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    HORSEPUCKY! New Chicks do not need constant attention. I work a full time job and I've raised many batches of chicks. I personally would recommend that you get the younger ones because then they will be tamer....

    However, if they're going to be more livestock than pets to you, then I would get the older ones.

    That's just my humble opinion. [​IMG]
     
  8. UrbanHenBilly

    UrbanHenBilly Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Pets. Pets, pets pets. And well-pampered pets at that. My kids love hunting for eggs in their grandfather's village.
     
  9. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Quote:Pets. Pets, pets pets. And well-pampered pets at that. My kids love hunting for eggs in their grandfather's village.

    Good choice....all my chickens are pets too.....LOL
     
  10. suzyq53511

    suzyq53511 Drowning in Chickens!

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    Same with mine!! I can't come up with good names though........
     

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