New to chickens.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Eggs on Toast, May 15, 2016.

  1. Eggs on Toast

    Eggs on Toast Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    I'm getting some bantam chicks on the weekend and have a few questions:
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    1. Does anyone know the breeds of these chicks? I know that the white ones are leghorn and the brown one might be a wyandotte?
    2. The chicks are approximately 5-6 weeks old, is there any possible way to sex them?
    3. Can these birds be used in shows? I read somewhere that leghorns are popular showbirds.
    3. What do I feed them? Regular feed or chick crumbles?
    4. What are their behaviours? Are they friendly, jumpy, etc.
    5. Will they be easy to tame at 5-6 weeks?
    6. Can they be kept with guinea pigs?
    7. Are they good layers?
    8. I'm thinking of purchasing only one. I know they get lonely alone but is there a possible way to make this work?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    1. I think they're mixed breeds. Even the one 'leghorn' in the front looks sooty and like it has other colors coming through. This doesn't happen with a purebred leghorn.

    2. Yes, sort of. For instance the white one with the brown head that's turned away is a cockerel. I'd be suspicious of the white one in front too. It's the red developing comb that gives it away.

    3. Probably not. They don't look to be pure, and even if they are, unless the breeder is breeding to the standard they won't do well in shows.

    4. Chick crumbles :)

    5. They should be possible to tame. Try to win them over with treats such as scrambled egg or egg yolk from a hard boiled egg. These are treats they love and don't require you to give them grit to digest.

    6. No. I'm not sure if guinea pigs are susceptible to coccidia, but if they are the chicks could be carrying it and give it to them. Also they could be injured by the guinea pig or injure the guinea pig themselves.

    7. That will depend on their breed backgrounds, but probably not. Most bantams are not good layers and are generally kept as pets more than for eggs.

    8. No, you need at least two, preferably three in case one dies. You'll also need to build them a coop etc. I'm only mentioning this because asking if they can be kept with guinea pigs and asking if you can only keep one makes me concerned that you're maybe intending to try to keep them inside, or don't know their housing requirements.
     
  3. Eggs on Toast

    Eggs on Toast Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    Okay thanks. How long do I keep them on chick crumbles for? And the guinea pigs live in a spacious square pen outside on the grass... not a hutch. I'll try to get two then, they seem pretty healthy.
     
  4. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    Sounds good! Keep them on chick starter/grower until around 18 weeks, then you can switch them to a finisher until they start laying, at which point you'd switch to layer feed.

    I would definitely get at least two. And you'll be able to build them a cute little coop :) You'll need at least 8 square feet of coop space and 20 square feet of run space for two birds.
     
  5. Eggs on Toast

    Eggs on Toast Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    Okay thanks a lot! Really helpful. They'll be free-ranging during the day. I do have a chicken run but it's turned into an aviary with birds inside and I don't think they'd get along. Meanwhile I'll have to find a cheap coop for them.
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchaholic Extrordinaire Premium Member

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    This time of year they do have several coops at Tractor Supply that would work temporarily for two bantams. They're a little pricey though, around $300. You'd probably end up saving money if you kept these guys in a brooder for a few weeks and built your own :)
     
  7. Eggs on Toast

    Eggs on Toast Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 10, 2015
    News; managed to get a hutch for $20 off of a friend :D Just moved the guinea pigs to the hutch and cleaned out the pen for the chicks arrival.

    I'm waiting for the lady to drop off two chicks today. Will send pictures of them once they arrive :)
     

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