Newbie with several questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bamachicks8, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. bamachicks8

    bamachicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi everyone I am very new to chickens and plan on ordering my very first batch very soon I've read a couple of books and done literally days worth or research but I have several questions and after reading the the first few pages of post still have some surely some have been answered before but 5 years and close to 2000 pages of post seemed very overwhelming so here they are.
    1. Day old chicks seem to take alot of time with constantly checking temps etc I'm usually gone from the house from 6 am to 6pm I can run home during lunch for a quick check any advice?
    2. I want to order a small number of chickens as a starter 15 or less I definitely want only pullets NO cockerels thrown in but a few different breeds wouldn't bother me as long as there wasn't any roosters and healthy chicks what is the best online hatchery for this (My local feed store doesn't sell all the breeds I'm interested in) also preferably being able to tell the breeds apart but this isn't necessary a deal breaker
    3. Also dh refuses to let them in the house and we don't have a garage will they be ok in a draft free coop inside a brooder box with an electric heater I know they should be kept 90-95 degrees was curious if anyone has successfully raised chicks in a similar situation or a I doomed for failure from day one
    4. Chickens can succumb to extreme cold/heat but what exactly does that mean temp wise i.e. 30 degrees is to cold or your should hook up the ac at 100 I live in Alabama so we rarely get snow but summer can be hot and humid any tips for beating the heat
    5. I plan on keeping my chickens till they die of old age should 15 chickens supply eggs for 3 people
    eating a carton a week at most I don't mind losing some money but I don't wanna have to feed chickens and buy grocery store eggs or should I plan to double my numbers and if so around what age 3, 5, 10 years etc "planning on getting rir and Easter eggers for sure with one other white egg laying breed possibly the pearl white Leghorn"
    6. What are your personal preferences to breeds of white egg layers with docile personalities
    Thanks everyone for your help and opinion
     
  2. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Hello, again! I'll be happy to try to help.......
     
  3. bamachicks8

    bamachicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Extremely helpful thanks
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I agree with what Wisher has shared, with an added suggestion because you will be gone all day: if you don't mind the initial expense, a Brinsea EcoGlow20 brooder unit is THE way to raise chicks. It only uses 18-20 watts a day, versus 250 watts ALL THE TIME. It's much safer than heat lamps, and the chicks self-regulate by running out from under it and then back under it again only when they feel chilled.

    If you get into incubating and hatching your own, an EcoGlow is a must. If you buy chicks annually, it's still worth it. Much, much simpler brooding!
     
  5. nwredrooster

    nwredrooster Out Of The Brooder

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    Not sure what limit you have in mind for the ultimate size of the flock, but if a dozen eggs a week is your goal you might just start with a half dozen birds this year and add three or so each year so that you don't have an extreme excess of eggs for two years followed by a rapid and steady decrease in the subsequent Years.
     
  6. Familyochickens

    Familyochickens Out Of The Brooder

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  7. gabrielle1976

    gabrielle1976 Overrun With Chickens

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    1. Day old chicks seem to take alot of time with constantly checking temps etc I'm usually gone from the house from 6 am to 6pm I can run home during lunch for a quick check any advice?

    Make sure you have the brooder set up where you want it for a few days befor you get the chicks,when you can check temps say like if your off for a day or two from work ect. That way you can do any tweeking befor the chicks arive. Also if your going to have them out side I would suggest you get a brooder heater such as http://www.brinsea.com/prod-EcoGlow_Chick_Brooder-239.aspx this way you dont have to worry about bulbs quiting or fire harzards. Keep them somewhere without a draft and just make sure you check for pasty butt and legg or beak problems once a day perhaps befor you go to bed or befor you leave for the day whatever time is less hectic for you. It would probly be a good idea to schedual it for when you have the day of there delivery off just in case so you can keep and eye on them and be able to set them up promptly.

    2. I want to order a small number of chickens as a starter 15 or less I definitely want only pullets NO cockerels thrown in but a few different breeds wouldn't bother me as long as there wasn't any roosters and healthy chicks what is the best online hatchery for this (My local feed store doesn't sell all the breeds I'm interested in) also preferably being able to tell the breeds apart but this isn't necessary a deal breaker.

    I have heard good things about most of the hatcheries and I have heard bad things about them , some of them dont do small orders I think I have heard the most good things about my pet chicken who do smaller orders. http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks-c36.aspx
    Did you mean you want to tell the breeds apart as chicks , if your going for egg layers then possibley
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Barred-Plymouth-Rock-p231.aspx these little ones are sexable at birth and grow up to be pretty and good layers. They can dual purpose as meat as well and tend to be pretty friendly.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Australorp-p234.aspx these are good little egg layers and the babies remind me of penguins pretty easy to tell from other breeds IMO. These can also be dual purpose and can be friendly.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Buff-Orpington-p229.aspx These guys are big friendly chickens the babies you can tell apart from lots of breeds and are good egg and meat birds.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Rhode-Island-Red-p228.aspx A classic all time favorit , they are good layers and can be used as dual purpose as well , chicks are easy to tell from the above breeds and cute as can be.
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Day-Old-Baby-Chicks/Delaware-p230.aspx A some what newer breed , beutifull big birds that lay well and can be dual purpose the chicks would be easy to tell from any of the breeds above.

    3. Also dh refuses to let them in the house and we don't have a garage will they be ok in a draft free coop inside a brooder box with an electric heater I know they should be kept 90-95 degrees was curious if anyone has successfully raised chicks in a similar situation or a I doomed for failure from day one

    You are not doomed , as long as you put in the effort and time befor hand to make a safe , draft free area that is completly predetor proof they will be fine. You dont want any thing with a gape bigger then 1 inch , or anything that can be dug into easly . Everyone one likes a good chicken dinner. The brooder/heater I mentioned above would be better in this situation then a heat lamp or space heater witch can cuase fires . Whatever you use make sure you have a good therm or two and you set it up and run it day and night checking temps to make sure theywont get to hot or cold.

    4. Chickens can succumb to extreme cold/heat but what exactly does that mean temp wise i.e. 30 degrees is to cold or your should hook up the ac at 100 I live in Alabama so we rarely get snow but summer can be hot and humid any tips for beating the heat. ***I used a fan this summer and kept the doors open at all times kept them in the shade, ect. didn't loose a single chicken, oh and refilled their water mutilple times a day to keep the water cold.

    I have indoor chickens so others with more experiance can speak up better here for this question then I can.

    5. I plan on keeping my chickens till they die of old age should 15 chickens supply eggs for 3 people eating a carton a week at most I don't mind losing some money but I don't wanna have to feed chickens and buy grocery store eggs or should I plan to double my numbers and if so around what age 3, 5, 10 years etc "planning on getting rir and Easter eggers for sure with one other white egg laying breed possibly the pearl white Leghorn" ***I have 6 and 4 people and it is plenty. I plan on having a geriatric ward for a couple of mine as well. I would around 3-5 years just watching their production, however there is something called chicken math you will soon learn about, I already ordered more for spring, its fun and they are so stinkin cute, couldn't resisit, and the coop is big enough to handle more.

    15 chickens even old and only giveing an egg every 3 days or so should be able to supply you with enough eggs for sevral years. I am fairly new so I dont know as much about that . Sorry if I listed breeds you wernt intersted in earler.

    6. What are your personal preferences to breeds of white egg layers with docile personalities
    Thanks everyone for your help and opinion. ** I only want brown egg layers, can't help you there

    I like the good ol white leghorns personally but I dont have first hand experiance with them.

    Good luck and keep us updated.
     
  8. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Congrats on chicks! They are fun and entertaining little puffs of cuteness! Yeah I agree with what most have said...You will def want to spend the most time with them during their first week home so you can get used to what is normal, this way you will know if one is acting "off" or sickly right away. Also, if you want your chickens to be well-socialized, you will want to spend as much time as you can talking to them and holding them and feeding them treats.
    15 is...alot. I only have 4 and they still lay more than I can eat, my bf doesn't eat many eggs, but even when I had them at my parents house and there were 4 of us, we didn't have to buy any. If it were me, I would probably do what others have said and order like half that many to start and then add a few every year or two. Hens only lay really prolifically for about 3 or 4 years and then begin to drop off.
    Everyone's advice about a draft-free area for them to stay is essential
    It is true that sexing isn't 100%, but I haven't had problems yet....it's mostly a disclaimer lol
    I got mine from our local hatchery...you should check to see if there is one in your area....and there are soooo many chicken breeds right? And they all have slightly different personality tendencies. I wanted a colorful egg basket though, so I have an Rhode Island Red(medium-brown with occasional speckles), a Barred Rock(light-brown), an Americauna(greenish-blue), a White Leghorn(white) and a Silver Laced Wyandotte(very light brown to white) (she is old, was a second hand chicken from a neighbor and doesn't lay much anymore but Wyandottes are GORGEOUS if you can get them) A small cautionary tidbit about Legs....my Daisy is very friendly but she is the only Leg in my flock...some people I hear who have more than one Leg say they can be very bossy and aggressive but I have not had this problem. Barred Rocks are very docile, and I LOVE my Americauna. She is a boisterous little bugger and curious, but super friendly. A lot of peole love their RIRs (as they are called) but my Ginger can be a hothead. Buff Orpingtons are also very popular it seems...I also have 2 ducks...that'll be your next step! LOLOL. Good Luck!

    PS If you haven't researched feed, chick starter crumbles are what you will want, either medicated or non-medicated. I personally went non-med mostly because I raised ducks with the chicks, and I was a bit worried about it but a couple people on here talked me through the non-med route and I'm glad I did it. Also make sure that if you want to treat them with anything besides their feed to get chick grit so they can digest properly....mine LOVED yogurt and spinach leaves when they were little.[​IMG]
     
  9. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Gryeyes is right, the EcoGlo20 (or 50[​IMG]) is absolutely the best, and easiest, and safest, and MOST expensive. It is on my list of future purchases, but since I already have nice brooder lamps with ceramic sockets ($10 at TSC) and an EcoGlow will run $50 plus shipping AND what I really want is the EcoGlow50, my chicks will have to live with the lamps, for now.
     
  10. bamachicks8

    bamachicks8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The ecoglow looks like a perfect solution alot safer looking and I don't plan on hatching any out these ladies are pets graciously donating eggs and I have decided to get a few chicks to begin with and add a couple more later as has been suggested and thanks Gabrielle for the chick breeds you can tell apart I may check into that
     

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