Ordering baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jerseygirl1, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    OK, I am a beginner at this, and I have been getting my chicks from a local breeder, but now that I have all 20 of them, have become somewhat leery of integrating chickens into my newly developed flock. From what I have been reading (and also from experience) it is just not really good to integrate newbies of unknown origin into an existing flock. So, with that, I think I may order chicks from My Pet Chicken in February and raise some day olds.

    I am nervous - I do not have an incubator

    I don't want to bite off more than I can chew. ALso, if I raise them, they will be friendly, unlike my existing flock, who are quite neurotic from being brooder raised without a mommy.

    Is there any one thing you can recommend that I make sure I do faithfully? Heat lamp, place to keep them, etc.
    How long to do they need to be indoors? If I order in Feb/Mar, do they need four weeks to feather out?
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I suggest you read this thread. I'm not sure it answers any of your questions but I think it will help you.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=158038

    How friendly they will be will depend partly on the individual personality, partly on the breed, and partly on how much you handle them.

    In New York in late winter/early spring I'd probably give them a little longer to feather out. It depends on the breed, the weather, the number of chicks you have so they can huddle and keep warm, and the conditions you keep them in. If you keep them in a well ventilated yet totally draft free brooder in the coop, they can stand colder temperatures than if they are just let loose in an open coop. I certainly cannot give you a hard and fast age.
     
  3. hangin'witthepeeps

    hangin'witthepeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I'll take a stab at the friendly-ness part of your question. My first chickens were day olds from Tractor Supply in the Spring. They are super friendly. I had only 6 and really played with them a lot. Then I hatched out one batch of Silver Laced Wyandottes (turned out to be mixed breeds) they were spastic. I did play with them as much as they would let me, but NOT super friendly. I hatched out some silkies, the roos are friendly but the hens are shy. I also hatched other breeds (mixed) and had mixed results. Then I got 25 rainbow layers from MPC. The leghorns were flighty and not friendly. The Barred Rocks and Welsummer were friendly. So I believe it depends on the breed, not whether they are brooded by you or a hen. I just hatched out 4 mixed Black Australorps, super friendly chicks.

    Now that my mixed breeds (first hatching) are laying, they have calmed down considerably and I can walk next to them without them running and screaming, some will even squat for me and I pick them up to pet. So keep in mind that breed can dictate what personality you get in a chicken and then each chicken has it's own personality. So try to stick with the known friendlier breeds such as Orphingtons, Australorps and Barred Rocks to name a few. Don't be afraid to make your own incubator and try to find some one close to pick your eggs up from as the first hatch is not always the best as you are learning. I would not recommend paying a lot for eggs on a first hatch until you have experience and know what breed you want.

    I have had good results from ordering day olds from MPC. I ordered 25 and all made it through the mail. I had 2 die (my fault) and 2 go missing (predator), but 25 is a lot to handle at one time. I know, the poop was a chore I do not want to repeat. I sold off most of my 25 only keeping 4. The other consideration is temperature (weather during shipment) and where are you going to brood them and the coop you have available for them when it's time to move out.
     
  4. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you
     

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