Newbie with a lot of questions.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by fluffyxx, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, so I have had chickens before.. it has been a few years though, and I don't recall what breeds we had. Anyways, I wanted chicks last year.. but, never bought any, and now this year I have decided to take the plunge. Hah. So, pretty much I want to know where to find some good basic information. I'm currently trying to navigate around the site & forums to read up on all I can. But, it is sort of over-whelming at first. I called our local TSC and asked what breeds of chicks they had in stock.. the sales girl told me they had : Americaunas (hope I spelled that right!) , Cornish Rock, Rhode Island Reds, and Red Sex Links. Which would be the best breed to get for a semi beginner.. my dad grew up with chickens, so he knows more than me. But, they are really just going to be "pet" chickens. Also, I plan on putting them in one of those metal cow water things, is that okay? With shavings in the bottom. I know I'll need a heat lamp, feeder, water supplier, and food. =) Pretty much any types of pointers you can give, or links you can direct me to, would be wonderful. Sorry this is all kind of random.. trying to get the point across without a long story. I feel like an expecting mother getting ready to have quite a few little additions. Haha. [​IMG]
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Anything from hatcheries will not be pure Americauna. What they will be is what's called an Easter Egger which is a mixed bird that still carries the blue egg gene, because mixed will range from pink to pale green or pale blue, very good layers. Pure Americauna and Arucana lay bright blue eggs not nearly the EE layer quantity.

    Cornish cross are strictly a meat bird that is ready to process at 8 weeks, as your looking for pets and layers stay away from the white birds there at TSC.

    Hatchery Rhode Island Reds and any of the sex links are excellent production birds. You'll be swimming in eggs in 24 weeks. My production reds (hatchery RIR) squat for me and come running when called but are also the worst of my birds when trying to introduce new members to the flock. They get over it and accept new birds in a week or two, integration is tough with all birds but my reds were relentless.

    Depending on where you live you may easily find local breeders where you could pick up heritage lines of birds, I like the heritage flocks, perpetuating my own Plymouth Rock flock. Though you have to want a rooster for that. But the sex link. hatchery RIR and EE's will make good pets too and with sex links your 100% guaranteed females. Make sure to ask if the RIR's and EE's are sexed or straight run. Plan on 50% males if straight run, or don't pick any with large honking legs to lessen the odds [​IMG]


    Oh, and buy your pine chips and chick starter in bulk. Get the 50# bag of starter and 3.5 cubic ft bale of bedding. You'll use all the food and bedding no problem. It's just incredibly cheaper in bulk.

    Another note is when you move up to large water dispenser think about getting a heated one if you live in winter area. Dealing with frozen water on winter mornings is a pain. The galvanized are same price as the heated plastic ones so think ahead.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012
  3. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for all of the info! [​IMG] So very helpful!


    So, if I am wanting all females, I should go for the Red Sex Links? I've tried to find some local breeders around me, but most I have found have been pretty far away, closest one was like 5 hours. I live in East Tennessee.. you would think I'd have better luck finding some. I didn't ask them at TSC if they were sexed or not. But, I am assuming they are straight run, as I believe that is what they have been almost every year. But, I haven't been in the store this year. I plan on making a trip up there, possibly today, to check out the chicks and make sure they all look nice before I get too excited about getting them.


    Is a certain type of wood chips prefered or is any kind okay?

    And I am definitely in a winter area, that was one big issue we had a few years ago when we did have chickens, was the frozen water during the winter, it was SO frusterating. So, that will definitely be on the list to get. :)
     
  4. Panth

    Panth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you seriously can NOT have any roosters, then sex-links are the best choice, but IMO you should try one of each (minus the Cornish). If the store by you is anything like the one in our area, they may have a different set of chicks every week, so wait and be picky about what you want. I have gotten Red Sex Links, Plymouth Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, EE's, Black Sex Links and several types of bantams from TSC before. The BO's and EE's are the most friendly and the BSL's have to be all up in whatever I am doing (they have even jumped in the car while I was trying to clean it out).
     
  5. MineAlways

    MineAlways Out Of The Brooder

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    Just a heads up most TSC will not be getting in any more chicks after the 13th so if you want to get chicks from them I would get them sooner then later. Also all of the ones around me sell out pretty quick.

    I got red pullets "hatchery RIR " and they are my sweetest ones!
     
  6. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2012
    I am so glad I was on the TSC web site trying to get a tally of what I would have to spend to get the little ones started, noticed that their ad said that chick days ends on the 13th, I believe was the date.. maybe the 14th. Either way it was way too close for me. Heh. So we went out yesterday(Thursday) and got 10 of the Red Sex Links. :) They are so cute! I am keeping them at my parent's house in the basement and I can't wait to go and check on the little ones tomorrow. Thanks to all of you for your help and for the information. This site is amazing and I am very glad I found it.




    Also wanted to add, that one of the chicks from the pen that I got my chicks from, it had like a bulging eye. It didn't seem to be bothering it though, like it was still eating and drinking and hopping around. Just it kept it's eye closed and would sometimes open it but not much. I started to say I'd take it home. But, I wasn't sure what was wrong with it. Anyways, should I be worried about my little ones getting the same thing?
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  7. MineAlways

    MineAlways Out Of The Brooder

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    I wouldnt worry. It could have been injured by one of the other chicks and the eye was just a little inflamed
     

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