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How big of a box should I make?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by conradpdx, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. conradpdx

    conradpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2009
    On my couch
    Next week I'm going to the local feed store and picking up 3 or 4 day olds. I got me a waterer and a feeder, a light. But now I'm looking into obtaining a box to rear them in. How big of a box should I use? Could I make a cage out of the 1" hex fencing I bought for when I make the coop or would that be too drafty for such young chicks?

    Also I'm looking at getting a Barred Rock, EE'r, and Silver laced Wyandotte. Is there any useful tips on sexing of day olds of these breeds? The store gave me their ordering form for the year from the hatchery they use and all three of these are listed as pullets, but how accurate are they for these breeds? And I'd like to double check.
     
  2. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    You can only sex chicks when they are freshly hatched. Over the next 24 - 48 hours, the sex organs withdraw into the body and then you have to wait until they figure it out themselves. Hatcheries claim 90% accuracy, but feed stores often buy straight run chicks (much cheaper) and sell them as pullets assuming that most people wonʻt complain since they will assume that their chick was that one in ten the hatchery flubbed on.

    As far as your brooder box, allow 1/2 sq ft for each chick. 20 chicks require 10 sq ft or a box a little bigger than 3ʻ x 3ʻ. Make sure the sides are high enough or that you have a sturdy cover since the little buggers can scramble and jump almost immediately. Chicken wire cages are too drafty and donʻt hold the brooder lamp heat in well enough.
     
  3. conradpdx

    conradpdx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2009
    On my couch
    Cool thanks. Big old boxy box then.

    As for the sexing I'm going to assume that the chicks are sexed at birth since the log sheet they gave me for when the different breeds are due in was a photocopy of the actual order sheet from the hatchery, and there are orders for straight runs on the meat birds and pullets for the layers. Since this is an in town feed store I'm guessing that they're not gunna pull anything like that on their customers, since our city code allows hens only. And I feel very comfortable with the owner after a few chats with her.

    I'm just mostly paranoid with getting one or more of the 10% miss sexed, since I'm not sure what I'd do with a roo. Because with my luck I'd pick the only 3 roos in the shipment. Oh well, live and learn or--- something like that.
     

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