HELP!!!! I have 52 chicks coming in a few weeks and I'm not sure what to do!!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cannoli04, Oct 2, 2014.

  1. cannoli04

    cannoli04 New Egg

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    My wife and I wanted to start raising chicks. We went to a hatchery and ordered 2 breeds Ameruacana (sp) and Black Sex Link. Well my wife wasn't really sure about the next part. The minimum order per breed is 25!!! So the Black sex link are coming straight run and the Amer's are female. So we plan on using the excess roosters for meat. Now onto why I am posting this under this title. I didn't realize how many chickens we were receiving because our initial plan was 10-20 total. The brooder I am building I wanted to be sturdy and reusable. So I used a plan off of this website and constructed a 5ftx3ftx4ft high rectangle. Well then once I realized that we are getting 52 chickens I determined this isnt gonna work and maybe I can use it for a broody hen to hatch for further breeding. So my dilema is what to do now???? I am also currently constructing a coop into the current structure of our barn. I have a 20ftx20ft garage that I am dedicating the floor space to brooding these chicks. Should I just section off an area with cardboard but my bedding material straight on the concrete and make a stand for my light? Or, should I construct some sort of brooder? (maybe giving each breed there own brooder?) I am looking for suggestions please feel free to tell me im crazy and whatever else but at least make sure there is something constructive included in all ideas. So thank you again in advance.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Sounds like you are jumping in with both feet! If you don't actually want all the chicks, you might try posting in your state thread and the BST forum to see if anyone local to you would like to buy some off of you when they come. Big cardboard boxes make great temporary brooders, this time of year the boxes pumpkins come in you can often get for free or nominal cost... for the first week or so at least it is nice to have the chicks a little contained like you suggested so they don't wander off to far from the food and water.
     
  3. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure you don't have that backwards? The whole point of sex link is that they don't have to be straight run because you can tell at the time of hatching which are male and which are female.
     
  4. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, those great big boxes that pumpkins come in are great. With 52 chicks I would suggest that if you can locate these boxes, grab at least TWO of them. You can 'connect' them by cutting one side off each of them and "duplexing" them together. Shoot, you could go on and on with that kind of setup! [​IMG]
     
  5. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    The Pumpkin/Watermelon boxes work great! I used one for about 2 weeks until I got my outdoor brooder completed.


    I got this Watermelon box at Walmart for FREE!! Just ask someone in the produce section. When they finish with them,they are just thrown away.

    [​IMG]



    There are 21 chicks in this brooder. They are all under the heat plate.

    [​IMG]



    They had plenty of room to run around for the first couple of weeks. They do grow fast, so be prepared to expand/connect your boxes together.

    [​IMG]

    If you plan on having all your chickens in one coop, I would try and raise them all in the same pen. That way they will be used to each other. Good luck!!
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    What a nice setup you've got there...yes, those huge produce bin/boxes are great for use as brooders...best of luck with your little fuzzy-butts!! [​IMG]
     
  7. henless

    henless Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! They grew up just fine. I did not lose a single chick! They are now 7 1/2 months old, and laying up a storm. :)
     
  8. cannoli04

    cannoli04 New Egg

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    right i understand that but when i ordered them there were 3 different options

    1. pullets
    2. cockerels (sp)
    3. straight run

    the first option was most expensive per chick, then option three, and finally option two. So i guess they give you an exact 50% ration of female to male. We wanted to have the sex link so that we would be able to continue hatching on our own and be able to sex them ourselves, keeping the females for layers and the excess males for fryers.
     
  9. cannoli04

    cannoli04 New Egg

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    ok so here is an update, since making my original post I have since spoken to the hatchery they were willing to reduce my order and only send me the Americuana (sp) chicks that were ordered and give me a store credit for the difference. So, crisis averted!!! I also have found a piano crate (for free) it measures about 7'x8'x2' high. It is made of wood so it will be a little more permanent. I will be going to get some of those pumpkin boxes just in case because that set up looks very nice. Thank you all for the input it have been very helpful.

    -M-
     
  10. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Two things for when you order in the future. Straight run doesn't automatically mean 50% males and 50% females. Secondly, the sex linked trait only works for one generation. Breeding a sex link to another sex link does NOT give you more sex links. You would have to start with the initial cross.
     

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