I Ordered my Chicks!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kristy in WA, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. Kristy in WA

    Kristy in WA Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Eastern Washington
    Oh boy! I hope I know what I'm getting into!! After much research, consideration, and discussion with dh, I took the plunge today and ordered my chicks. They will be arriving on April 8th at the local feedstore, and we will pick them up that day. This is what I got:

    3 Rhode Island Red
    3 Barred Rock
    2 White Leghorn
    4 Buff Orpington
    2 Ameracauna
    2 Aracauna

    16 Total Chickens

    I keep thinking maybe I should get a couple extras in case a few die, but I guess I'll just see what they have extra that day, and if I think I need more, I can just buy a couple more.

    We will be building an 8 x 12 coop, with 80 sq ft of floor space. We will use 2 x 8 across the end for storage. We live in a cold climate, so the chickens will be locked up for much of December, all of January, and a lot of February as our temperatures are in the single digits for much of that time. I'm pretty sure this coop will be big enough for them to not feel crowded.

    I haven't decided about the outdoor run yet, whether to just let them free range, or build an enclosure. I have never actually seen a raccoon, possum, or skunk around here, but I have seen them dead on the road, so I know they are around. I also have no idea what our yard dog will do!

    I plan to put them in a rubbermaid tote for the first 2 weeks, and then move them to a 4 x 4 puppy playpen with a linolium floor, which is out in the garage. I will move their light out there with them. I don't know how long they can stay there--16 birds in a 4 x 4 area, but I plan to move them outside as soon as they and the weather are ready.

    So, have I missed anything? I am totally green at this! I have been eating, sleeping, breathing chickens for the last couple weeks, but that is all the experience I've had. I wanted to have a rainbow of egg colors, and produce enough for our family of 5 to eat (approx 12-18 per week), and have enough to feed to our dogs (we have a kennel), and have some to hopefully sell. I'm afraid I will have more eggs than I can handle with 16 chickens if I can't find people to buy them.

    I"m glad I have a month before they will arrive and I can keep reading and learning during that time! Kristy

    PS, regarding the Ameracaunas, and Aracaunas...I read that whole post, and I realize I may be getting a mutt chicken (that is what I understood from the post) and that's all right. I just wanted the green/blue colored eggs!
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The playpen should be big enough til about 14-16 weeks, and I think they should be feathered out by then, so ready for the coop even if it is a bit chilly.
  3. Sequin

    Sequin Songster

    May 20, 2008
    I am sure you will find you will need more chickens. hee hee hee... we are a family of 3 that used to very Rarely eat eggs. Now we eat them and bake with them pretty much every day. Not only that, but friends and family are always happy recipients of home grown eggs from happy hens. I also wanted to feed them to the dogs - but they have yet to get one and we have been getting eggs for about 6 months now. What kind of dogs do you raise? Where abouts in WA are you? We are in Camas.
  4. Kristy in WA

    Kristy in WA Songster

    Mar 3, 2009
    Eastern Washington
    Quote:We're near Colville, in the northeast corner of the state. You can see all of our puppies on our website. There's a link just to the left of this page "My Website". Do you think 16 isn't enough, really?? I don't know that I can build too much bigger of a building for them, so I think I'll have to be happy with 16. Kristy
  5. Sequin

    Sequin Songster

    May 20, 2008
    I am sure you will be happy with 16 to start. Just don't be suprised if next year you decide you might want a few more! hee hee hee... [​IMG] 16 will feed your family plenty, and since you have small breed dogs there will be enough to share with them too. I don't know why I just was thinking you had large breed dogs. I have 5 dogs over 75lbs each and our 4 chickens barely keep up with the family demand. Still, we like giving away eggs here and there especially to families really in need. You are wise to start with 16 and see how things go from there. I just wanted to warn you that if you go through a dozen or so a week now you will see an increase in that consumption once you are getting your own eggs.

    Congrats on your new chicks!!! [​IMG] And on your new puppy litters. My friend has a cavalier and they are just such sweet dogs!!
  6. JenMT

    JenMT Songster

    Jan 21, 2009
    Kalispell, Montana
    Congrats on your new chick order and welcome to BYC. I'm new here too and I am a first time chick mom also, I have 4 RIR, 4 Buff Orpingtons and 4 Barred Rocks. I ordered more but several of mine died, I think that I ordered them too early and they got cold. Some of the babies were DOA and some died within the first 2 days after arrival. You may want to prepare your kids just in case you loose some too. April seems like a much better time to travel so hopefully you won't have to deal with that, I think that some deaths should be expected though. I also did lots of reading for the few months before I got my chicks and that helped me a lot. It sounds like you have everything that you need for them. In Colville you won't be too far from a feed store if you need anything so that should be a comfort to you. They have been remarkable easy to care for and fun to watch. Here are a few things I wish that I knew beforehand....

    [​IMG] I didn't have enough feeders and waters to begin with, it really helps to have several so you can always have clean ones on hand. Chicks poop a lot.....and I mean A LOT and it gets on everything. I have 3 waters and 3 feeders now, you know those really cheap ones that are metal or plastic and cost about $2 each. I change the water at least 3 times a day, but I don't know if that is really neccesary.

    [​IMG] When you first get them they sometimes fall asleep while they are eating or drinking...I thought that mine were dying or dead. It's funny to watch!

    [​IMG] I was also glad that I ordered chick electrolye with my chicks it was really helpful. They are 6 weeks old now and I'm still giving it to them but it is a bit diluted. I saw some at my local Murdochs and it was about $2.50 for a good sized powdered packet. Someone else here suggested adding a tsp of apple cider vinegar to a gallon of water for chickens.

    [​IMG] I think that you have a great plan for housing, I have mine in a 3 X 5 water trough in my laundry room. They grow very fast and are starting to get cramped in there. The coop won't be done for at least another 2 days, I should have planned that better.

    [​IMG] Know what you want to feed them and have it before you get the chicks. It's nice to just bring them home and set them right in their new space without having to run around looking for everything.

    [​IMG] Finally, if you plan on giving any treats after they are a few weeks old you may want to get some chick grit, I'm sure you already know that, but it was pretty difficult to locate here. Everyone had regular grit but nobody had "chick grit".

    Hope that helps some, I'm no expert yet but just like everyone else here I'm learning while I go. I'm in Kalispell, Montana...not too far from you. Good luck with your new adventure and keep us posted.
  7. bdp7150

    bdp7150 In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2008
    i would keep them in coop until they are sure where home is before letting them free roam , that way they no where to go for trouble and after night fall when they go in coop for the night.

    my first batch i let roam alittle early and they seemed confused but finely came around and all is ok .

    my second batch i waited a longer time before letting roam and these girls are pro's with a little help from Shooter the roo

    1 roo and 16 girls and i can't wait to leave work and go home to check on my birds i'm addicted to chickens . is this normal?

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  8. Tailfeathers

    Tailfeathers Songster

    Dec 31, 2007
    Washington State
    Quote:Hi, It sounds like you're all set. You didn't mention whether or not you plan to put anything down on the linolium floor? I would highly recommend putting either shavings or something down so it's not so slick. Otherwise you a very likely to wind up having the chicks develop leg and feet problems.

    God Bless,
  9. Birdbrain99114

    Birdbrain99114 In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2009
    Colville, Wa.
    Don't worry about your chickens and our cold weather. We put a 250 watt red heat lamp above their water and our birds never complained a lick. We live out Hwy 20, 8 miles east of Colville and have far too many coyotes and hawks to let the girls free range. I wish we could as we enjoy it when they are grabbing grub on their own. (We've let them out but only under parental supervision.)

    You are going to have plenty of eggs. Our 5 gals keep us, the neighbor and a few families at church supplied.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: