Just ordered my first Chicks, need a little advice...

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
1
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
I just placed my order through Meyer Hatchery in Ohio. I ordered 22 ladies, and 3 boys, all Barred Rocks. Originally, I wanted to go with an assortment of ladies, with no roosters. My husband convinced me to get some boys, and I was afraid of mixing the breeds so I just stuck with one breed. I wanted to get chickens just as egg layers, not for new babies.

IF I decide in the future to let one of my ladies raise some babies, should I worry about the chics growing up, and one of the new chick hens mating with its possible father, or a littermate brother?? That kinda weirds me out lol Or should I build a seperate coop to store the newbies if/when they come.

I know, I'm prolly putting the egg before the chicken(ha ha yep, that pun was intended) and worrying about something that wont happen for quite a while, but I'm a compulsive planner/worrier. Thanks for any advice!
 

FlashPointFarm

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
1,891
18
198
Iowa
Shouldn't be a problem. The birds you are getting are probably "line bred" anyway.
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If you are free ranging your birds, it's good to have a roo or two out there with the girls. They will watch over them, look out for predators, sound of if danger rears it's ugly head.
 

Ariel301

Songster
10 Years
Nov 14, 2009
1,355
23
151
Kingman Arizona
Congratulations on your new babies! You'll have lots of fun with them. Barred Rocks are a good egg breed, that is where I started as a kid. Mine laid pretty much daily, huge pinkish eggs, with lots of double-yolkers, and all we fed them was scratch feed!

If you just wanted eggs, and no babies, you didn't actually need the roosters, but they will be a nice addition anyway as long as you don't end up with mean ones. But, as long as you collect all your eggs regularly and don't have one go broody and hide away with a bunch of eggs, you should be ok. A little inbreeding won't destroy your flock usually, but it's good if you can add new blood in sometimes to prevent bad traits from popping up too much. And it's ok to mix breeds, so if you want to try another breed later on, it should be ok. If you decide to have babies, unless one of your hens actually goes broody (which my Rocks didn't really do) you'll have to incubate them. And then you will want to separate either incubated babies or mom and babies into their own area at first to keep the little ones safe from being picked on/eaten. But you have a while before you need to worry about that part.
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catdaddy66

Songster
10 Years
Nov 18, 2009
1,050
17
151
Lugoff, SC
Feel free to mix-n-match the breeds to your heart's content...adds interest and color/personality to the flock!!

I have decided not to introduce flocks together to avoid possibility of cannibalism and disease, also to keep all happy and w/ low stress levels. When my feed store gets birds in March I will get 4-5 EE's, but will have separate accommodations built for them, as they will be about 3-4 weeks behind my current flock.

Good Luck!!
 

Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
1
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
Thanks for the advice everyone!

Few more questions...
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1) I've read and heard a few different opinions when it comes to the chicks first water. Some say just give them plain water, some say add sugar, and the hatchery says to add sugar and terrymycin??? What do you suggest?

2) I've also been told to have feed and water ready for them, but now I'm being told, again by the hatchery, not to feed them for 1 hour after I get them, just offer the dosed water. Your opinion?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,967
22,409
907
Southeast Louisiana
1) I've read and heard a few different opinions when it comes to the chicks first water. Some say just give them plain water, some say add sugar, and the hatchery says to add sugar and terrymycin??? What do you suggest?

I did not add anything to the water and all 28 of mine lived. Just dip each and every one of them's beak in the water when you put it in the brooder. I did have an Australorp that was just standing and giving the distress cheep the next day. When I again dipped its beak in the water, it stopped cheeping and drank quite a bit.

Adding a little sugar in the water when they first get there does give them a bit more energy. It certainly will not hurt them and may help them get over the stress of travel, but remember to clean the waterer quite well afterwards.

2) I've also been told to have feed and water ready for them, but now I'm being told, again by the hatchery, not to feed them for 1 hour after I get them, just offer the dosed water. Your opinion?

I had feed immediately available and mine survived. I'm not sure what trhe logic is to delay giving them food, but an hour delay won't hurt them, especially if they are getting some extra energy from the sugar water.

It is in the hatcheries benefit for your chicks to survive and they are the experts in that. I'd trust them before I would any source from the internet, including me.
 

HickoryGuy

Songster
9 Years
Jan 27, 2010
144
1
111
Hickory, NC
I'm no expert, but I just got an order of Barred Rocks from Meyer's on Weds. of this week. Meyer's always ships out on Monday, so that'll help you figure out the arrival date. I ordered 25 pullets & they sent 26. No other extra packing peanuts. They were all alive, although a couple were a little groggy. I dipped all of their beaks in water as I took them out of the box & they figured the whole drinking thing out soon enough. Gave them sugar water(3 tbs. per quart of water) for the first 24 hours, then switched to regular tap water. I also went ahead and spread starter feed in the brooder on the paper towels when I put them in. Didn't take them long to start eating.

Today is Day 4 and I've only had 1 chick die(overnight, night before last). It was smaller than the rest, kind of a runt, and I just think it never had the energy or vigor of the other chicks. The remaining ones seem to be full of life though. They bounce all over the place and are eating & drinking very well.

If I were to do anything differently, it would be to maybe add chick vitamins & electrolytes in addition to/or instead of the sugar water. Although 25 of these 26 are doing great, extra nutrients can't do anything but help, right?
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Duchessk75

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 25, 2010
70
1
39
1.9 Acres Ohio
I'm expecting mine on Tuesday. I'm only 1 day shipping from Meyers, really only a few hours drive from there, but time wasnt on my side for picking them up next week. My post master is already aware, and has handled many chick deliveries over the years. In his experiance, they arrive on the first truck, at 7 a.m. I'll probably be there at 6:45 after my kids get on the bus waiting lol

Ridgerunner: I'm sure you are correct about the hatchery knowing what they are doing
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I spoke to the hatchery, and they advised me since I should recieve my chicks pretty fast, just adding the sugar will be enough.

Again, I appreciate the advice!
 

MANNA-PRO

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