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I'm picking out chicks today, any advice?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by westtxamber, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. westtxamber

    westtxamber In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    West Texas
    I'm going to the local feed store to pick out 3 chicks. This is my first experience with them so I'm not sure what all I should be looking for.

  2. TinaSwarr

    TinaSwarr Songster

    Mar 10, 2011
    More...More...More... 3 is not enough to satisfy chicken math!!!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. westtxamber

    westtxamber In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    West Texas
    lol What is this chicken math? And bf set a limit, I can only get 3
  4. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    Chicken math means that you can't resist getting more chicks than you planned or that you can't resist adding more to the flock later on. So in your case your boyfriend says three, but when you get to the store you'll quickly realize that three really means four or five. When we first got chicks we went to the Wilco store expecting to get four chicks but we came out with five. We thought the odds were good that one of the five would be a rooster so we'd actually end up with four. All five turned out to be hens. We did the same thing three years later and one did turn out to be a rooster.

    On a serious note... if you only have room for three, make sure you stick with just three.
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2012
  5. kipper

    kipper Songster

    This may be obvious, but:

    If you want layers, not roosters, be sure you are buying "pullets". I read a lot of posts on this forum from people who assumed they were buying pullets (girls) but actually bought "straight run" (boys and girls). Ask to see the packing slip if they were shipped to the feed store, it will note this. If the store gets them "locally", they are likely straight run. Okay if you want to butcher or find homes for them in a few months. About 10% of "pullets" can be roosters, so shy away from the largest chicks (at a few days old this may not be something you can tell yet). Bantams and crested birds are usually not sexed.

    Look for chicks that are active. Make sure the chicks are kept in a clean brooder in the store. If the store or brooder are gross, don't buy there. Texas should have PLENTY of feed stores to choose from.

    Check: their bottoms for stuck on poop, crooked legs or toes, crooked or crossed beak, and eyes that aren't bright and wide open. Ask for another chick if you see any of these problems.

    Be sure to read the BYC learning center section on chicks, it is great. Have fun! Were are addicted, getting 25 more in 10 days. You will soon fall under the same spell.....[​IMG]
  6. magnolia-1971

    magnolia-1971 Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    SE Wisconsin
    thanks for the words of advise, Kipper. Good advise. I will be picking chicks up on Friday and will remember what you said when doing so.

  7. westtxamber

    westtxamber In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    West Texas
    Chicken math...hahaha. I appreciate the input kipper that's the kinda stuff I was looking for. I was told to go for the fattest chicks and I don't want any males. I called ahead and the store says they have pullets, so should I look for the largest of the females? I'm not raising them to eat...they're pets and also I want egg layers.But I do want happy healthy chicks, so does size really matter? Oh and BYC learning center - very cool.

  8. Madjohn85

    Madjohn85 In the Brooder

    Jan 27, 2012
    Central Jersey
    Depends why you want them. Like said here before, if you want layers, Rhode Island Reds, Plymouht ( barred rock), Orpingtons and such are good ones. If you are looking for meat, then go with...cornish?

    I was all about the eggs.

    And yes, chicken math worked well for me, too. When we orginally started talking about chickens I thought 4 would be enough. Well, when I ordered, I thought, well 6 would be better because then, my daughter who is moving back with her family could get some eggs, too. SO I ordered 8 in case one or 2 died in transit. All 8 survived, so I went to TSC and bought 6 more.

    My husband laughed at me and redid the coop plans for a 'few more chickens'. lol

    But not for nothing, I am thrilled with them. Excpet for maybe the fact that they grow so darn fast!! Seriously, don't blink.

    OH! And it is true, I neglected to check when I was at TSC getting my barred rocks and ended up with a rooster in the mix. [​IMG] I am looking for someone to take him for we can't have roosters here. So check!! Unless you don't care. :)
  9. gapeach717

    gapeach717 Songster

    Mar 9, 2012
    North, ga
    have fun and post pics!!!!!!!!!
  10. hollyertley

    hollyertley In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2012
    Yep.... That chicken math got me in trouble. My hubby said lets just get 6 to start and my math skills, being what they are, means we have 12 chickens instead. If you don't want a roo, look at the little signs they put up telling about the chickens and don't pick from the straight run group of chicks. Choose the ones that are all pullets. If it is Tractor supply then there will also be an assorted pullet tub. Our TSC runs out fast. If so, don't settle for whats left. They usually get in new orders every Monday or Tuesday. It's best you wait for what you want. I favor Orphingtons, Reds, Brahmas, and Rocks. Those are your best layers. I ended up with a roo in an all pullet tub so you may not know until a couple of weeks for sure. From what I have heard, sexing is hard and mistakes can be made. Just have a backup plan for any unwanted roos. Craigslist is a good place to check if you need to re-home a roo. Folks are always looking for chickens there. Just beware of weirdos. Also I went with the medicated chick feed to start. I think it just gives them the little jump start they need to be healthy. Watch out for poo that gets all clogged up in and around their little booty holes. That happened to one of mine last week and I am glad someone pre-warned me or else I would have lost my favorite one (pictured below). I had to but her little booty in a dish of warm water until it all dissolved. When it did a massive amount of poo cam out of this little chick. No doubt it would have killed her. Good luck and Do post pics!! Guessing their breeds are a blast.


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