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Newbie Needs Some Help!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by new2chickstx, Sep 16, 2011.

  1. new2chickstx

    new2chickstx Hatching

    Sep 16, 2011
    I have never raised chickens before but we have a small ranch and are wanting to get started with raising about 3-4 chickens. I live in Texas and it can get quite hot here in the summer. I am needing a breed that is heat tolerant and is ok with confinement. They will have a good size run but won't free range in the yard due to other livestock. I like the look of the Australorps and the Barred Rocks. Would these breeds work for me? Are they good layers? Also, do you have a recommendation for a good hatchery to order from. Since I only have room for a few I need a place with a low min. order. Is there a better time of the year to order or does it matter? One more question... How long do you keep your chicks indoors with a heat lamp before putting them outside in the coop and run? Thanks for all your help!!

  2. lincolnsilkies

    lincolnsilkies Songster

    Aug 27, 2011
    Lincoln Nebraska
    Before ordering from the hatchery i would check out to see if there is someone local that has some check out craigslist and also on here under the for sale area and i think both of those breed of birds are heat hearty if im wrong i am sure someone will chime in!
  3. TexasToucan

    TexasToucan In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2010
    I live in Texas as well. I have read that Barred Rocks do well, along with EE's, and the Leghorns. I have mostly Orpingtons, and while I love them, I am not sure they are the most heat tolerant breeds (in fact, I know that). I use misters, shade, wetting down the runs, even have put ice in the nest box when they were getting too hot while trying to lay in 113 degree temperatures. I wonder if comb size has any bearing on heat tolerance, and whether or not breeds with large combs would do better? I am thinking about selecting roosters with the largest combs for breeding, and see if that would make a difference in their offspring. I just don't care much for the white egg layers (too flightly as a group), and that group is probably best suited for high temperatures.

    For ordering small numbers of chicks, try My Pet Chicken (min. of 3-5 chicks) or Ideal (they have a minimum dollar amount you need to spend). I hatch using broodies, so I can raise chicks year round. The momma hen will sit down next to the food and water. Babies will come out and do their thing, going back under the mom whenever they get too cold. She is a portable heat lamp. This is actually why I chose the Orpingtons, as they are great moms and go broody often. If you are brooding indoors, you won't be able to put them outdoors until they feather out (about 2 months) unless you have a coop with a heat lamp for when the temperatures dip down.

    Hope this helps.

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