How Many Chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lkcaffery, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. lkcaffery

    lkcaffery Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Hello all! I am a new and green so-to-be urban chicken owner. I have been lurking on the BYC forums for some time now, but just joined. You are all so knowledgeable and I don't know what I would have done without BYC. My question in this -- how many chicks should I start with? We live in Charlotte, NC and our coop will be 4X6 and have an attached run. I have ordered 2 silkies, 1 EE, and I Buff Orpington, all due to arrive the week of April 9th. I'm thinking of adding one Salmon Faverolle to the order. Opinions on whether I should add the 5th chick?

    I began to wonder lately if I start with 4 what the likely hood of having 4 adult chickens will be, given the fragility of chicks AND the number of hawks that seem to frequent our yard. I just saw a hawk yesterday pluck a baby bird from its nest in our yard. This isn't to say our coop and run won't be predator proof, but I do want to let my girls out almost daily, supervised, but I suppose there is always a chance that mother nature might take over.

    Thoughts? Suggestions?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Asweet23

    Asweet23 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2012
    Great Plains
    Hello & welcome! I think you would be safe to add at least 3 more if you plan to let them out daily. And yes, you will almost always have something get one...be it hawk or some type of animal. In my case my own dog was the culprit. :( These predators are sneaky and as soon as you go in the house they will grab one. So definitely be on the lookout and don't leave them unattended when they are chicks especially. My husband built a chick tractor which is great....they are completely safe and yet outside on the grass and it can be moved wherever you want it. Goodliuck!!
     
  3. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    I got 7 chicks the first time, with the same intention (if we lose one or two to just dying/hawk attack/etc...) and still have 6, 3 years later. One got eaten by a raccoon at over 1.5yrs old and was our only loss.

    You'll find that hawks are not as smart or willing to work as hard as you'd think. Squirrels are easy pickings, as are baby birds. When my chicks went outside - no coop, no run, just a backyard with a deck and plenty of bushes - at 6 weeks, one got attacked but recovered.

    So... sure, plan for losses, but also plan for that plan to fail and make sure you have enough space for any additions (it sounds like you have PLENTY of room). Go for it!
     

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