Just got my first chickies!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by TexGardenGirl, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    1
    129
    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    So apparently I'm an idiot and didn't realize that the date they gave me was the delivery date, not the ship date, because I was expecting them tomorrow! I had just gotten the brooder totally set up and the light on long enough to know it would actually heat up properly, and cleaned the food & water dispensers. Then I got the call from the post office - man was I surprised!!
    Anyway, I ordered 10 and got 21!! That's a lot of "males for warmth", but hey, I guess we'll be looking at lots of chicken dinners in a few months. Not sure if we'll be emotionally prepared for that, but we'll work it out!
    The chicks are so cuuuuute! And loud. I heard them as soon as I stepped in the post office. (Apparently there was also a much larger order in there for someone else as well but my guys were pretty loud too!) All the other customers were smiling & didn't seem to mind waiting for us to inspect the babies (both postal employees were helping me, not because they needed to but they were both oohing & aahing). I feel like a proud new mom. [​IMG][​IMG]
    I'll try to get pictures soon... I got 2 EEs, 2 Brown Leghorn, 2 Buff Orpington, 2 Buff Catalana, and 2 Barred Rocks. And apparently the males are Production Red (which is a variety of RIR? or am I wrong about that?) No losses, they all seem healthy and active so far.

    So does anyone have advice about introducing cats & chickens? I have 4 cats, currently all indoors but I think I'm going to start letting them out more. (We have electric fence around the chicken run, but hope to let the chickens out into the full yard often. There are wild - I mean feral/stray - cats around and I guess I'd like for my cats to defend the chickens if necessary, or at a minimum peacefully coexist.) My impulse is to introduce them as soon as possible (with the chickens protected - the brooder is under a hardware cloth screen anyway) so the chickens think cats are normal. On the other hand, will the cats be less likely to see them as prey if I wait until the chickens are closer to cat-size? Two of the cats have caught mice in the house before. One of them is a former outdoor cat so she may have seen mice before, but the other was my bottle-baby from 10 days old so I know she'd never seen a mouse (and she caught the first one) so I guess there is some instinct involved, but I don't know how it will work with chicks. Anyone got any experience with this? Or at least ideas? Thanks!

    Well, after going and reading another post about Ideal's shipping dates, I went back and re-read my confirmation email and they did say they would ship today, not yesterday. So I guess I'm not an idiot, but I'm glad I was ready...
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  2. chutewoman

    chutewoman Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    39
    Dec 28, 2008
    Mid- Missouri
    My outdoor cat who hunts birds and small animals has never once hurt my chicks. When I first introduced them the chicks were very young, I let them out near the cat who looked at them like they were supper. When she got down to pounce I slapped her and said no. She left the area to watch from a safe distance but did the same thing again, acting like she was going to pounce, so I snuck up on her and slapped her again saying no! She has never once ate one of my babies and will get up to leave the area if they come near. She is a very smart cat though, just be sure to supervise and punish for bad behavior. I bet after a couple of scares the cats will leave them alone. The strays in the area will be of a concern though. My guess is that your cats will not defend the chickens but will more or less avoid them after being taught not to eat them.
     
  3. congdon476

    congdon476 GaLLiNa LOcA

    503
    1
    141
    Dec 31, 2008
    Pueblo Area
    Good luck with dogs. I've let our Aussie look at them in the brooder for 2 weeks... then one day I hear all this chirping... go down to find the dog has crammed himself into the brooder (his old dog crate) because the bottom latch on the door wasn't fastened. (this would have been hard to get into anyway it was so tight) and the chicks going bonkers. The little roo was trying to defend them, but the dog didn't seem intimidated by a 5 inch cheeping roo. I unlatched the top of the door and the dog scrambled out. Looking over everyone one chick was slobbery wet and poor little heart beating away. I thought for sure she was a gonner... but she pulled through. Though I must admit her name is now Tiny because she's not as large as the others. Anyway- the dog still looks at them like they might be tasty little snacks. I have NO idea how to make him look at them differently.
     
  4. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    1
    129
    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    Thanks for the info, y'all!
    Everything I'd read seemed to indicate that cats & chickens usually just ignore each other, I assumed it's because a full-grown chicken weighs as much as a small cat & looks as big as a big cat, so the cats don't see them as prey. I agree the strays may be more of a concern, but I'm hoping the electric fence will help with that. It's 42" electronet, supposed to keep raccoons out (which is honestly my biggest fear besides hawks). We have a good perimeter fence against dogs (though I will be careful at first - it could just be they haven't been motivated to get inside - they will wander in if we leave the gate open).
    A little while ago I took 3 of the cats in, one by one, to look at the chicks. I held onto them and the screen was on the brooder so there was no actual danger. They seemed somewhat curious but not really excited about the chicks. I was surprised. I'm still not going to let them get close yet, but it may not be that bad. I talked to them in the friendly-mom voice "chicks are friends, not food!" The 4th cat was too freaked out by me picking up the others & carrying them into the forbidden room and ran away when I tried to get her. (She's my prettiest, dumbest, sweetest cat, who is often afraid of inexplicable things, like the ghost under the piano, who much to my surprise was the first one to catch a mouse![the cat, not the ghost!])

    congdon, that's interesting that your dog is an aussie - I would've thought the herding dogs would be ok, maybe see the chicks as their tiny herd. I guess not. Good to know. I don't have a dog yet, but we're planning on it when the right one comes along (well, that was the plan when I worked at a vet clinic & had frequent animal adoption opportunities - I guess now we might have to actually go to the shelter & seek one out...). I grew up with border collies & all the herding dogs are my favorites, though they can be high-maintenance as far as needing a job to do or else they'll make their own. I wonder if they'd be better if you do wait until the chickens are grown up so they never get the idea the chickens might be food. Or maybe it's just an individual thing that you never know until you try.

    I got some photos, downloading to photobucket right now, I'll post the link soon... There's one chick that I can't figure out. I was supposed to get 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Buff Catalanas along with others that are clearly not buff as chicks. After figuring out all the rest, it looks like I have 3 that are solid yellow/buff, and 1 that is pretty much the same but has some black spots on her head, and 3 faint black stripes on her back. I think I got a few good pics, hopefully someone can help me figure it out (I guess Catalanas are rare enough that I couldn't easily find a picture of a chick...)
     
  5. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    1
    129
    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    Here's my mystery chick:
    [​IMG]
    and again:
    [​IMG]
    here's one of the plain buff chicks:
    [​IMG]
    I think you can see all 3 plain buff ones here:
    [​IMG]
    here's a barred rock in the foreground, brown leghorn behind her, I think the rest are production reds but might be a piece of one of those buff ones in there somewhere...
    [​IMG]
    I think it's so cute how the Ameracauna/EE already have their little beards!
    [​IMG]

    There's 12 photos altogether on the photobucket site. Thanks for looking at my babies!
     
  6. TexGardenGirl

    TexGardenGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    150
    1
    129
    Feb 2, 2009
    northeast of Dallas
    Oops, I thought I was just posting links to photobucket (kinda new to all this photo stuff). Someone please let me know if what I just did is monstrously slow, or if it's just not how to do it... Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2009
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    153
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Thanks for posting the pics!!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by