Hens or Chicks for a newbie? Advice needed!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickNH, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. chickNH

    chickNH New Egg

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    Aug 3, 2013
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    I would like to start a small flock of 3 hens. My goal is to have back yard pets, we don't eat a lot of chicken eggs (shame on me for loving egg beaters!) I like bantams and was originally thinking that Silkies would be perfect. But then I realized that in getting a small number of chicks I will likely end up having to rehome cockerels (which isn't easy in my area) and if 2 out of 3 are cockerels I'll have to do it all again until I get my 3 hens! On the flipside, I could buy 3 older hens but they may not be friendly toward my family or used to the setup that I have.

    I have a basic brooder setup and it seems from reading online that it is better for a newbie to start with young chicks. Should I just abandon the Silkie idea and go with sexed Buff Orpington chicks or another popular newbie breed? I want something quiet and docile. Any advice would be helpful!
     
  2. WillowChick

    WillowChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'd get some bantam cochin chicks, if you want to go with chicks. Although if you have no place to re-home the roos to, I would buy sex link or adult hens.

    Willow
     
  3. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you get chicks I would also recommend that you get more than 3 as they are very fragile in the early days and you might lose some. My original plan was 3 also and I got 4 chicks in case of "death or rooster" We lost one very early on and so then I was worried about being under 3 if we ended up with a rooster so I got two more from a local person. Even if you get from a hatchery and ask for pullets, there is only a 90% guarantee from most places.

    Good luck!! They are a ton of fun
     
  4. ChirpyChicks1

    ChirpyChicks1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd go with chicks. They are so fun and entertaining to watch. After having chicks I'd never want to miss out on this part of their life
     
  5. Crazycomb

    Crazycomb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started out with Buff Orpington chicks. The are a hardy chick and I can not stress enough how friendly these chickens are! No matter how many breeds I own, the buffs will always be my favorite!
    Have fun!
     
  6. RandomDude42

    RandomDude42 New Egg

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    Aug 13, 2013
    You probably want to start off with chicks, they are easy to take care of. Like, REALLY easy. My family got away with keeping them in an aquarium until they got too large for it; after that we put them in a dog cage. The dog cage was perfect for them, nice and roomy. During that time we saved up for a coop, and put them in there once we deemed them too large for the cage. Be sure to spend time with and play with your chickens, because if you do that they will like you, regardless of age.
     
  7. chickNH

    chickNH New Egg

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    Aug 3, 2013
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    Thank you everyone for the feedback. Now I just have to find some orpington chicks! (I'd like buff, lavender and blue.)
     
  8. Crazycomb

    Crazycomb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just ordered 10 chicks yesterday from Ideal Poultry. They have a pretty good reputation and their shipping rates are very reasonable.

    http://www.idealpoultry.com/

    Good Luck!! [​IMG]
     
  9. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ChickNH - I just got a pair of English Orpington chicks from a breeder in northeast CT. After losing a chick to shipping stress I was looking to add a couple but not have to ship. We had to drive two hours but it was worth it to me. I really recommend this man. He shows some of his birds and seems to really know his stuff. His birds are beautiful. We got a Black/Blue and a Splash. Not sure yet whether our Black/Blue will be black, dark blue or a combo of black on top and blue on the bottom. Our splash will be mainly white with splashes of blue or black. He has Blacks, Blues, and Splashes.

    Let me know if you want his info. I don't know if he ships though.
     
  10. Mathew544

    Mathew544 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would recommend going with chicks and getting a "sex link" breed. That way you can pick out females and watch them grow up. Plus you get to develop a good bond with them when raising them from birth. But even if you get older females, pullets or hens, as long as you feed them they should still be fine with you and your family. Roosters are usually the aggressors and with only females they should be fine with you, but might fight with each other a little. Good luck and enjoy!
     

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