OMG!! Getting chicks! UPDATE: Heard from the chicken dr.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gritsar, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    What started out as a joke - me telling my neighbor that I would trade him 5 dozen eggs for 5 chicks he got in his broiler houses today - is not such a joke now!
    The neighbor told me that he will be culling at three weeks any chicks that aren't growing at the rate they need to for commercial chicks. The chicks are perfectly healthy, just not fast enough growers. He said any chicks that are still able to get into the chick feeders at three weeks old (vs. the large feeders) are culled.
    Having this chicken addiction thing I said sure bring em on!

    What have I gotten myself into?!? Setting a brooder up isn't a problem. The chicks are less than a day old today, so I have three weeks to get that all set up.
    My question concerns the fact that these chicks have been vaccinated for everything under the sun and my full grown chickens have had zero vaccinations, nada, none. I have a very healthy, hardy flock of free range birds.
    Would the new chicks ever be able to be around my birds, without risk to my current flock?

    I have tried in vain for several months to get some battery hens from a local farmer. People like him aren't too fond of backyard chicken keepers like me. [​IMG] Whereas the neighbor that has the commercial broiler houses admires my free range flock every chance he gets.
    Taking these chicks I would be saving a few from a too short, terrible life.

    What to do??????? Please help!
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2009
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    The new chicks will be fine around your chickens.

    Vaccinations prevent disease, not cause it.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:OK, so the chicks won't be shedding the marek's disease or anything? I'm a bit confused on vaccinations, since I chose to raise my birds without them. In fact, the only medical intervention my birds have had is worming and my roo has had treatment for his sore feet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    Congrats!!
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it's great that you are able to take them in. Poor little things.

    ETA: Does DH know about this yet???[​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  6. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    You should be fine but I would still house them away from your flock for a good month if your getting them at 3 weeks?. I'm not a boiler chicken expert at all but don't they live a short life anyway? Aren't these what grow rapidly to butcher out? Told ya I didn't know boiler diddle. If they are what I think they may be just expect them to not live long lives anyway.
     
  7. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    So are these Cornish X ? Are you planning on processing them? I ask because at this age they will only last a few more weeks anyway before their legs give out or they have heart attacks, I know some people have tried to keep them alive longer but they have alot of health problems if they get too big. If you are only getting a few and plan to eat them then maybe you could keep them seperate anyway.
     
  8. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Quote:See Kat this is what I was thinking.
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Yeah, he knows and he's all for it. Back in the day, when his family had commercial houses on this farm, his mom didn't buy her egg layers; she simply diverted some from their commercial houses. DH's dad was the "chicken doctor" for the company, so no fear of them getting caught having backyard birds by the poultry company.
    His mom simply never started the chicks on the high powered feed they feed the broilers and they made fine layers. Of course, back then they didn't mess with the chick's genetics the way they do nowadays. However, with careful management I should be able to keep these chicks alive for a few years.
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Okay, I guess we are posting at the same time. Thanks y'all for posting. My DH knows alot about the management and care of these type of birds. We also have a friend that keeps chicks from the commercial broiler houses as his egg layers. There's also the neighbor that is giving me the birds to rely on for info. I've seen the friends full grown chickens. They are huge, but get around fine.
    Two factors go into making up a commercial broiler chick. First, they are genetically altered for rapid growth. Second, they are fed a high powered feed; DH calls it a "hot feed".
    Nothing can be done about their genetics. Something can be done about what and how much they eat.
    I figure it's worth a shot anyhow. Every day of life they have past three weeks is a day they wouldn't have had anyhow.
    Hope I don't get slammed for my opinion. [​IMG]
     

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