Looking for Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by beth1004, Feb 13, 2018 at 4:12 PM.

  1. beth1004

    beth1004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey All,

    I'm a newbie here. Actually a newbie to chickens, but I'm excited to be here. I want to add more chicks to my existing 5-6month old Silkies. I want some different breeds. I've read and read and want to add Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks and RI Reds. I ended up with 2 roosters and 2 hens, Silkies. I had wanted to purchase locally but am having trouble finding any. Are hatching eggs difficult for newbies? Thanks for any directions or suggestions.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2018 at 6:08 PM
    penny1960 likes this.
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Very soon the feed stores will have chicks for sale, and for a few, it's not a bad place to get them. Much easier than hatching eggs!!!
    You already have two cockerels, and more won't be better.
    Silkies are fragile compared to many standard breeds, so I'd avoid the RIR's, who tend to be tough ladies. The Plymouth Rocks and Easter Eggers might be better, although temperament is very individual. Also avoid the red sex-links, more tough feather picking individuals, often.
    There are so many choices, but your feed stores will likely have a fairly small selection.
    Mary
     
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  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! :frow

    I suggest getting chicks from the feed stores. They should all be getting chicks in soon and those will be some of their most popular breeds. This way you hopefully wouldn't have to deal with any more boys and you have less chance of transmitting disease to your flock then if you get local non NPIP birds.

    Hatching eggs isn't that hard. Dealing with roosters is... for some people. And your male female population is already a little whack. So if that will be hard for you then I don't suggest it. We eat our extra boys... Silkie's included! ;)

    I personally won't let my Silkie or any ladies sit to hatch eggs before they are over a year old. They are still growing and filling in, maturing. Sitting hens lose condition, become weak and get shaky. It still happens when they are older but they are better equipped to deal with it then. But if they go broody like that and I want chicks, I might adopt them feed store chicks after they set only a SHORT time their first year I mention it because my girls are obsessive about sitting... :barnie

    Good luck! :)
     
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  4. beth1004

    beth1004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2018
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    Thanks for the info. I will check the feed stores. I can't believe that we ended up with 2 roosters. I will see how it goes. Someone may need to find a new home. I hope eventually to let my Silkies hatch some eggs but that is definitely down the road. I'm still waiting for eggs. I will post what I end up with. I did talk to someone who lives a couple hours away who will have Ameracaunas in a couple of weeks. I hope that I'll end up will pullets not more roosters, lol. Only time will tell.
     
  5. beth1004

    beth1004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 11, 2018
    Duluth, GA
    Thanks for the feedback. I've read different things about RIR, guess I'll stay away from them. I'll start checking feed stores.
     
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't hatch anything (or buy straight run chicks) if there isn't a plan for what to do with the cockerels you end up with, as you already have two with only two pullets.
     
  7. matt14132

    matt14132 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know a lot of people are shying you away from the hatching eggs aspect of raising chicks, but I think its a pretty rewarding experience and you can learn a hell of a lot.

    I ordered a few sets of eggs off ebay in the past. Some might cringe hearing that but I had very positive results with it.

    I had a batch of Black East Indie duck eggs shipped to me from Florida. Out of 8 eggs, 6 hatched. They are all doing very well. I ordered another set of eggs from someone in Ohio. Just assorted bantam chicken eggs, nothing fancy. Out of the dozen eggs I received, all 12 hatched. The 100% hatch rate on those eggs was quite a surprise.

    It really depends on who the seller is, in what kind of shape the roosters are in, and the ratio of males to females in the sellers flock. All that has an effect on fertility.

    If you do decide to order some eggs, always check feedback, where the eggs are coming from, weather for shipping, etc. To make sure you will get the best possible hatch rate out of the eggs.

    You can do as much research as you want about hatching eggs but bottom line is;
    Every incubator is different. Also hand turning your eggs or using an auto turner will play a role in hatch rate too.

    One thing that is important that was mentioned earlier by another response is you will definitely want to be sure you know what your plan is for unwanted cockerels.

    So, if you've got a plan for that, give it a try. Its a lot of fun.
    Maybe you know of a good chicken soup recipe:)
    OR If you have the space you could always create a rooster only flock on another part of the property if you have too many of them. A lot of rooster aggression comes from just not having enough ladies and they fight over them.
     
  8. beth1004

    beth1004 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the information. I really appreciate the details. What incubator do you recommend? It sounds like you've had incredible success.
     
  9. matt14132

    matt14132 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use an old Hova-Bator. They are just the styrofoam incubators with the wafer thermostat in them. I turn the eggs by hand 3, sometimes 4 times a day.

    The incubators are only like $50 for the base model
     
    eclecktic1 likes this.

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