Newbie with Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by AngieB, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. AngieB

    AngieB Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2009
    The coop is almost done, I've arranged with a local farm to buy feed.... I called My Pet Chicken today, but they aren't taking orders for spring yet.... I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!!!

    Anyway, a few questions, if that's okay.

    I plan to start our flock with 1 Buff Orpington, 1 Plymouth Barred Rock, 1 Austrolorp, 1 Easter Egger, 2 white silkies, and 1 Bantam Buff Brahma. Is is okay to just mix them up like that, with 4 standard and 3 bantams? That's assuming those varities are available when we place our order.

    I have done lots of reading on this site and checked out books from the library and read through them. I have also located a vet in my area that will treat chickens. But what I'm wondering is what I need to do to be proactive about things. I see lots of threads about lice, mites, worms, etc. Do I need to regularly treat to prevent these problems, or just watch the birds for any signs of infestations? I would like to raise them as "natural" as possible.

    I have small children who will help me care for the chickens. Are there any precautions I need to take besides good hand washing?

  2. TK Poultry

    TK Poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Greencastle, Indiana
    well i dont think it will matter what size the chickens are especially if they are raised together. i have a d'uccle (bantam) in with my standard EE's and she is ironicly head hen! so i dont think that will be a problem and for lice and mites regular inspections will be needed and if you are going all natural DE will do the trick. and to check for mites and things you lift up the feathers around the butt and lower leg where the really fluffy feathers are and you can see the parasites run for cover...... if that is present then you sprinkle some DE and that should take care of the problem. hope this helps and happy broooding!

  3. [​IMG]

    We always buy our hens in 2s and 3s and the groups are always best friends [​IMG]
    I believe that birds like other birds of the same breed as they're always friends.
    We had 10 hens that were raised together from 3 weeks of age and the same breed birds are now best friends.

    Hope this helps [​IMG]

  4. chicken boy sam

    chicken boy sam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2009
    i have 13 chickens all standards except for 1 bantam black cochin who is head bird and is doing just fine.[​IMG]
  5. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    Congratulations on deciding to keep chickens! You're going to have a lot of fun keeping them, they're wonderful! I've been raising chickens for eleven years now and I can't imagine life without them now. [​IMG] It sounds like you're well prepared for their arrival! I keep a mix of bantam and standard chickens (as well as ducks and guinea fowl), and they all live together peacefully enough. The bantams and standard chickens definitely do just fine together!

    Hygiene-wise, it's not too difficult--just keep the coop reasonably clean, check your birds for signs of illness or infestation regularly, and you'll be fine! I would do some reading on what they could get and the symptoms just in case, but there's no need to be paranoid. Of course illnesses and infestations happen, but more often than not your flock will just be healthy and happy. I don't know if I'm just extraordinarily lucky, but in eleven years the only thing my birds have gotten is leg mites, and those are easy to treat. And I'm a wildlife rehabber, so I regularly have diseased birds on my property, and so far, because of proper hygiene and quarantine, no one has gotten sick! It is important to isolate new flock members before introducing them to an existing flock, but that doesn't really apply to your situation yet.

    Good luck, and I look forward to hearing about your birds when they arrive!
  6. AngieB

    AngieB Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2009
    Well, I guess I better rethink my order. I certainly want the girls to all have a best friend, and I know I can't talk my husband into doubling our first order.

    Thanks for all the info!
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Quote:I don't think you need to rethink your order. I started with 7 and they were all fine together. I lost 1 to a hawk, so now I have 6 of the original 7. Now I have 11, since I hatched some babies in October.
  8. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Well, let's see, AngieB. . . .

    You've built the coop before you ordered the chickens.

    You've already lined up the feed source.

    You've already lined up a vet who will treat chickens.

    You've been reading on BYC and at the library. . . . .

    And you STILL think YOU need to be MORE proactive???[​IMG]

    Most of the BYC crowd come on here and write about how they got the chickens at the feed store because they were cute, and THEN set up a brooder, and then decided to build a coop when the chickens were grown and laying eggs under the dining room table!

    We NEED you on this website, lady! You've got your head together!! We need you desparately![​IMG]
  9. AngieB

    AngieB Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 29, 2009
    Aw, thanks. It can be kind of scary reading the Emergencies/Diseases thread. you realize how quickly things can go bad, and also how little I actually know about chickens, especially diseases.

    Just can't wait to get those little peepers! And I'm sure I'll be on here about every hour with a question!!
  10. Sequin

    Sequin Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2008
    I have two bantam roos, 2 standard roos, and 23 standard pullets/hens in a variety of breeds. For the most part, everyone gets along peaceably. This year I ordered my chicks in stages and they all became one flock easily enough. I will say that the welsummer and speckled sussex that arrived together are best friends and are Always together. Wherever one goes so does the other. Guessing they are both firm believers in the buddy system. [​IMG] hee hee hee... Two of the roos are in their own pens with their own girls and the other two roos are in one pen with enough girls to share. For the most part, everyone free ranges in the same pasture. I don't think you will have any problems with size/breed getting along or not. They seem to know how to work it out naturally. Especially since you are getting your flock as chicks and raising them all together.

    As for diseases, keeping the coop dry, well ventilated, and clean will go a long way in preventing any illnesses. I also am of the opinion that happy healthy birds are stronger and more immune to disease and pests. Fleas don't like the blood of healthy dogs fed a nutritionally sound and complete diet; and I suspect the same holds true of other animals and pests as well. Thus, a diet that is right for chickens and rich in the correct vitamins and minerals etc will also help ward off unwanted disease and pests. I am sure you will do just fine in all aspects of keeping and raising chickens. Your order sounds lovely, I can't wait to see pictures!!! [​IMG] Oooohhh... AND [​IMG]

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