Just realized I have to buy 6 chicks, uh oh. What to do with spares?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Peggy O, Feb 26, 2014.

  1. We ordered a small coop that holds four chickens max according to it's description, but I want to keep three, so they will have some room to groove, and hopefully be happy. I read (I think on here somewhere) TSC sells them in batches of 6+ only. I understand why, and that's fine. We can definitely buy and brood 6 babies. I just don't have anyplace to keep them when grown. I wish I would have known about the 6 thing before buying the small coop. I feel like such an idiot. What would you do with the "spares"? I wish I knew of someplace to buy just 3 or 4. I am in NY between Buffalo and Rochester. I don't know of anyplace other than TSC to get chicks, or of any way to even give them away if we do have the spares. There is a chance one of our neighbors might want them. But we didn't ask yet. Would you go ahead with the 6 if you didn't have homes for two or three lined up? Not sure what to do. We already spent about $300 on chicken stuff. I am hoping to maybe find someone shopping in the store who would split a box of 6, but then part of me wants to keep them till they get bigger in case we get a rooster by accident. What would you guys do in my shoes?
  2. Have you tried contacting the smaller local feed stores in your area to see if they carry chicks? I know around here a lot of the feed stores carry chicks in the early spring, some carry them almost all year. Most don't have minimums.
  3. Themehmeh

    Themehmeh Chirping

    Apr 12, 2012
    Keep them four weeks or so. There is a small chance one might be a rooster, or you might lose one. In the meantime you can look for a neighbor or friend who wants them. Once they're past a certain age and you know which ones you like and which ones you don't you can sell the rest on craigslist or maybe a local community classifieds site.

    This year I bought a set of 25 chicks from a hatchery and I'm going to try to sell the extras locally so we'll see how that goes. If it doesn't work out we'll have 20 expensive little dinners.
  4. The TSC here in Tn I don't think you have to get 6....have you checked craigslist may have some breeders in the area up there that have chicks. I have family up there Dunkirk, Fredonia area I dont think any keep any chickens though. I would get the six and you can list them on craigslist
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    Go to your state thread on BYC, and see if there's anyone who would like to split the order with you. Good luck.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I think it's a state by state thing, not a TSC thing.

    I'd get the 6 and brood them out to around 6 weeks, knowing you're not keeping them so you don't get too attached to all of them! At that point, you'll probably have 3 favorites, plus you'll have an idea if anyone's male. And unfortunately, sometimes chicks do die, so all 6 might not survive. So, at the 6ish week mark, decide who you're going to keep, and sell the rest. Folks will be looking for feathered chicks at that point--they might have had to get rid of roosters, or had a high mortality, etc. Posting ads at your feed store or Craigslist are great ways to get rid of surplus birds. If you go to the "where am I/where are you" section, there's a thread for NY, so that would be another place to look into selling them.

    I'm also a bit concerned about the coop--sorry, I've just seen too many where the manufacturer states they can hold X number of birds, but that would be way too crowded. Do you have the dimensions on it? For 3 full size hens the coop itself should be a minimum of 12 square feet, and a run should be a minimum of 30 square feet.
    1 person likes this.
  7. ChickenPox

    ChickenPox Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Middle GA
    Ditto to keep them, and then rehome them on craigslist or someplace. Everyone wants hens. Or one might die. I have never had a problem giving away my extras. Selling hens cheap enough works too. No worries on the coop size. Birds get used to small spaces, providing they have room to manuver. If the coop says 2-4, 3 should be fine.
    1 person likes this.
  8. http://www.rakuten.com/prod/pawhut-...and-wheels/238424847.html?listingId=235792718

    This is the coop. I got it (free delivery/no tax) for $200. I see it has gone up. It will have a 10 x 10 foot walk in run off the left side when we are done improving it.

    Oh and I forgot to mention I have found a home for any chickens over my target # of 3 :) YAY! I was nervous about that.

    I have also decided to use the laundry room to brood and set it up last night. It's perfect, and I feel alot better with them upstairs with us, rather than in our damp little basement. The furnace and the dampness, lack of ventilation scared me too much. Laundry room is warm and clean and the dryer is electric, so no worries about gas fumes, unlike in the cellar with the ancient fuel oil furnace 10 feet from the brooder. Oh I hope they do OK. I'm so nervous.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2014
  9. ChickenPox

    ChickenPox Songster

    Feb 2, 2011
    Middle GA
    I"m sure you will do great! Welcome to chickens, they are addictive!
    1 person likes this.
  10. ctibbitts

    ctibbitts In the Brooder

    Feb 19, 2014
    Western New York
    I agree with the idea of raising them up to about 6 weeks old. If you happen to get a chick that falls ill you'll still have a couple extra to choose from. People are always looking for younger birds on Craigslist at about the same time you need to put yours in their coop. By selling the three extra chicks later you could end up paying for all the chicks you bought. I live by Jamestown in Bemus Point and I own a breeding and hatching farm. In our area of WNY a lot of people wait to get their chicks for a couple of more weeks and that's the perfect time to sell your started chicks. Also, when they are chicks they usually do better with some friends to sleep by to keep warm with, and raising 6 chicks is just as easy as 3.

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