NEW TO CHICKENS HELP NEEDED WITH LOTS OF BIG DECISIONS!!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Coturnix Quail, Jan 2, 2017.

  1. Coturnix Quail

    Coturnix Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HELLO!!! I'm super excited to say I'm planning on buying 2 baby chickens!! But I do have quite a few problems... Here's one of my problems: WHAT BREED DO I GET? Thats my first problem. I want a nice chicken that can be a pet and is friendly, cuddly, and cute/pretty! I'm planning on keeping them for as long as they live so please mention the life span too. I want a breed thats easy to take care of and not too large. Also.. I have a fox problem.. So that might affect the decision... I need a lot more help so lets just get this covered first.. I need a breed that matches my expectations, and a place where I could specifically order 2 chicks! Thanks!!
     
  2. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A local feed store would probably be the easiest option for 2 birds. The only downside is that might limit your breed options but many of them carry an assortment.

    Other considerations for breed are your climate - if it gets cold where you're at, chickens with small combs like pea combs are going to be less prone to comb frostbite. If it gets very hot, a Mediterranean breed might be better as they're bred for hotter climates.

    Popular breeds that shouldn't be too hard to get would be the various Orpingtons, Rocks, Sussex. Easter Eggers (often labeled as "Americauna") would be an option too if you like the idea of colored eggs, and the chickens themselves come in a wide variety of colors. If you don't care about eggs you could try Silkies, I think they're super cute.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree, a feed store is going to be your best option. Or a local breeder, but getting sexed chicks from a breeder is really a crapshoot.

    As to breed, my first thought was any of the feather footed bantams would suit you nicely....but they're usually not sexed. Since you're only getting two birds, and looking for pets, I'm guessing roosters are out.

    Easter eggers are always a good bet, IMO. they come in so many different colors, lay different colored eggs, and nothing is cuter than fluffy cheeks. The're easy to come by, every feed store sells them (usually as Ameriucanas), they're friendly and tolerate both heat and cold well.

    Otherwise, the classic breeds are classics for a reason. I'd avoid hatchery Reds, they do tend to be aggressive and not as friendly. Rock, Wyandottes, Australorps, Orpingtons are all dependable backyard birds, and readily available at any feed store come spring.
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 If you want to avoid the sex links there are some breeds that are autosexing so you can tell by their looks. Or if you find someone local, perhaps they'll sell you something a month or two old when they can sex them.
    Most hatcheries won't ship that few so if you wanted to go the hatchery route perhaps you could find a friend or two to go in with you on an order.
    My problem would be trying to limit myself to just two birds. Have you heard about chicken math yet?
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Personally, I'd never get just 2 birds. They are flock animals. When you loose one of them, and eventually that is going to happen, simply because one will die first, you will then be left with a single very lonely bird. I'd opt for at least 3, if not 4 and be sure to provide them with plenty of space: minimum of 4 s.f./bird in the coop, 10 s.f./bird in the run. If you want to make your enclosure predator proof, you will need to use 1/2" hardware cloth to cover all openings, and put a skirt around it.
     
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  6. jazzyb

    jazzyb Out Of The Brooder

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    You can order 3 chicks from My Pet Chicken. They sex them so you should get all girls. I was very happy with my chicks. Arrived at the post office peeping loudly. The box was made nest like and they had a heat pad to keep them warm. I'm new to chickens but agree that you should get at least three. They really do like to be together and if you loose one the survivor would be lonely. Good luck!
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    My local Tractor Supply does not sell them Rachel. They normally have five bins for chicks, one for ducks, and colored egg layers is not one of the selections.

    You might try going through these breed selector tools and see if you can narrow it down. I haven’t tried them lately but maybe they still work.

    Breed Selectors
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/chicken-breeds/which-breed-is-right-for-me.aspx
    http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/chick_selector.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/316042/new-feature-breed-selection-tool-search-tool

    Another approach is to look through Henderson’s Breed Chart, then go to Feathersite to see what they look like. As you can see, your options are huge. It can be very challenging to make that final decision. I probably haven’t made it any easier for you. But the good news is that practically any breed you choose will work as long as you meet very basic requirements.

    Henderson’s Breed Chart
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html
    Feathersite
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/BRKPoultryPage.html#Chickens

    I support LG, I’d never have less than three to start.

    Some others have mentioned some of your challenges. In the US, hatcheries will not ship as few as three. Most feed stores sell a minimum of 6 and selections can be limited. Extremely few people even try to sex bantams and you probably don’t want a rooster. If you buy from a local person they probably won’t sex then for you.

    My suggestion is to forget feed stores and hatcheries unless you can find a neighbor to split an order with you. That’s always a possibility. My suggestion is to go to your state or country thread and start chatting with your neighbors. Find someone local with pullets old enough that they can be sexed by looking at them. This can be as young as five or six weeks, though some breeds like Silkies are a lot harder. From your criteria I don’t see that you even need a breed, a barnyard mix could easily suit you. This gets around the problem with minimum orders and sexing issues. Plus you have chicks that have lived for several weeks, you don’t have shipping and early mortality issues. You just pick healthy chicks and take them home.

    This is for others reading this as well as your benefit. If I knew where you were I’d have searched the “Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum to find your state or country thread for you, that can be a bit frustrating if you are not familiar with searching on here. I did that for someone else this morning, I knew which state they were in. Putting your general location in your profile can help us respond to many different types of questions and give you good information. Even if a hatchery like you want existed, we’d need to know the country you’re in to see if it is even relevant.

    Good luck with it. With your criteria I can’t see any way other than talking to your neighbors.
     
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  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    MyPetChicken will ship as few as three and they sex bantams. But they only ship three if you happen to live where you have a major US post office hub so you are pretty much guaranteed almost instant delivery. How many they will actually ship to you depends on your zip code. The last time I checked my zip code with MPC I think 8 was my minimum order. That’s been a while though, it could have been 11 minimum.

    That’s my one complaint with MyPetChicken. They are a great group with great customer service, but they advertise that 3 chick minimum pretty heavily while in reality it apples to very few of us.
     
  9. IdyllwildAcres

    IdyllwildAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    3 would be better in case one dies, and they all do eventually... Meyer hatchery will ship as few as 3 in the spring.


    Gary from Idyllwild Ca here

    Have you looked at the breeds tab above^^^^


    Good luck
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Huh. EE are so common here, it never occurred to me they wouldn't be at pretty much every blessed feed store.

    The 6 chick limit is a regional thing, though. Apparently in the South and the East, but here on the west coast we don't have any regulations like that. I can go to a feed store and buy one chick any time I want.......really, I could.....I can stop any time........whoops......well, in theory anyway, they would sell me a single chick [​IMG]


    Agree about putting location in the profile. It helps a lot.
     

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