Just received 42 chicks...from my order of 25!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by newbie coops, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. newbie coops

    newbie coops Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England

    I've enjoyed reading about baby chick adventures and all the wonderful advice and support from this forum. This is only the second time I've posted but I have indeed gained a wealth of knowledge and confidence in this new venture by reading the posts here.

    My husband and I finally received our first order of baby chicks today. We were prepared for 25 - ordered 10 Buff Orps, 10 Barred Rocks, and 5 NH Reds - but this morning when my husband brought the two boxes of peeping chicks home, we counted 42!!! One of them has patchy areas of bare skin and it almost looks like he (we think he's a BRR) has either been pecked or has some skin condition. He seems energetic and is eating and drinking normally, but I'm concerned that if he has a skin disease or mites that he'll pass them on to the group. Does anyone have any ideas on what could cause this symptom? I can't imagine how he'd have mites just hatched and packed and shipped within hours of hatching. He doesn't appear to be getting pecked by other birds but maybe it happened in transit.

    Our brooder box has plenty of room for 25 chicks for a few weeks at least, but I'm afraid 42 will quickly grow out of a 4' x 3' box. Does that sound like too confined a space for this number of chicks? They all seem healthy and energetic but we'll see how that goes after a few days.

    Here's a few photos. I've included a couple with the chick with the patchy skin areas as well. I'm thinking perhaps I should quarantine him from the rest...? Any advice or comment is very much appreciated from this novice! :)




  2. arlee453

    arlee453 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Really nice brooder!!

    Why can't I be so lucky?? 40+ instead of 25... way cool!

    I think they will be fine for a while at least. You can always get a large rubbermaid type storage bin and split out a few if/when they seem overcrowded in your brooder.

    Depending on your setup, you may be able to move them outside in this type of weather with a heat lamp at night sooner than the typical 'fully feathered' 6-8 week range also.

    Enjoy them!!
  3. ILoveJoe

    ILoveJoe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2008
    Northern Kentucky
    Gee congratulations!

    I don't think I would seperate the patchy one, unless it looks sick, runny orifices etc. I would contact the hatchery and tell then ooops I may have someone elses baby chicks and one is almost bald.
  4. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    WOW! That is a really nice brooder box and alot of little peepers! I suggest you call the hatchery and ask how you ended up with so many. They may have thrown in some roosters to fill the box and keep everyone warm, or just to get rid of them or... I would be suspect that I got 25 hens and 17 roos.

    These guys will grow in front of your eyes, and you'll know when it is time for bigger quarters. Another box to split the group is a good idea, so they can have some room as they get bigger.
  5. HeadHen

    HeadHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Houston, TX
    Where did you order from? [​IMG]
    You have the nicest brooder (I'm so jealous!)
    Watch the chicks to see if they are pecking him. If they are you might try giving them some cooked egg yolk to up their protein. I wouldn't take him out of the brooder before you wait and see if you can sleuth out the situation. Sorry not more help, very odd....
  6. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    Did you order all pullets? Hatcheries are notorious for adding extra roos for warmth. You may have food for the table
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    They'll outgrow that in a week, I bet.
  8. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Where did you order from? Those 17 extras are most likely roosters.

    Very cute.
  9. newbie coops

    newbie coops Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 20, 2008
    Northern New England
    The brooder box came from where my husband works, it housed some kind of bearings, and he added the corner pieces and wheels, and made a top out of some wood for a frame and hardware cloth. I'm sure it's good enough for 25 chicks for 2-3 weeks but not 42![​IMG] The coop isn't nearly finished yet so I guess we'll have to improvise with some other box when they're too crowded.

    We've figured at least 7 of the BR's are roosters - we can tell by the white spots on their heads and their light-colored legs - and a few of the BO and NHR. But we'll have to wait and see how it plays out when they grow a bit. There's one BR that is without doubt a rooster, and a dominant one to boot! Already showing his ruler-of-the-roost bossiness!

    We ordered all pullets from Meyer Hatchery. We figured they'd probably toss in a few extra in case one or more didn't make it, and we figured on a couple of roosters but not 17. I hate to say it but they will likely become capons. I'd love to keep a rooster or two and we are out in the sticks but we do have neighbors who probably wouldn't appreciate the wake-up calls morning, noon, and night!

    I will keep a watchful eye on the patchy one. Thanks so much!
  10. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Free Food!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG] Any extra roos we cull become table fare !! Nice brooder setup !!! Great job !!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by