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Picked up our first chickens. Some guidance would be great!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Cncwhiz, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
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    We visited the local auction for the second time tonight. I spoke with a few of the regulars and they suggested getting a few half grown chickens for our first time. they did have some chicks, but I was not sure how old they were and I had not done any reading on how to raise them up from babies.

    I bid on two that were together in a cage, and I have no idea what they are. They are very dark color with almost black beaks. They have an iridescent blue color to their feathers. There is some brown up in the neck area of one it looks like. One may be just a little larger than the other, but they are close to the same size. Picture of them:

    [​IMG]

    The second I bid on was just one chicken. it is about 75% of the size of the other two above. It is a game chicken. Here is a picture of it.

    [​IMG]

    I'm pretty sure all three are hens.

    When I originally bid on the smaller game hen, I thought that it was about the same size as the others. Afterwards we noticed that the two larger ones were pecking at the smaller one. I put the larger two in the coop we just built and shut them in for the night. I then put the smaller one in a small kennel we have for the night and stuck it in the garage.

    Not sure what to do. Maybe they are just stressed and don't know each other. I hope that we can socialize them and put them all together.

    I know these might not be the ideal thing, but we feel like we have a decent start. here is a thread that will give some more insight on what we have going.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1021656/first-go-at-chickens-now-looking-at-free-range
     
  2. Jchicken311

    Jchicken311 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Texas
    Hello,
    I think you should block off one area of your coop for the one chicken so that the others can still see her but, not be able to touch her. It will be at least a couple days of separating before you can put them together but, this should help the process. Then you can try slowly introducing them to each other for about 10 min about once or twice a day. You need to be there when you do this, so that you can break up any fighting. I think one of them might be a cockerel so you might want to get some more pictures to see if we can find out for you. I am not too sure but, maybe someone with more experience can help you. Good luck with your new chickens![​IMG]
     
  3. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
    Central AL
    OK. Well that is good news. What exactly is a cockerel? I will get some better pictures tomorrow.
     
  4. Jchicken311

    Jchicken311 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Texas
    A cockerel is a baby rooster.
     
  5. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
    Central AL
    Oh ok! Lol. Well that's fine too. When would he start crowing?
     
  6. CTKen

    CTKen Monkey business Premium Member

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    I agree that you have a boy (the brown headed one in the first photo). Depends on their age and disposition. I have two roos (14 weeks) and they crow every morning just as i let them out of the coop - but thats the only (rather pathetic) crowing they do at the moment, but very soon i am sure that it will be an all-night affair!

    Good luck

    CT
     
  7. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
    Central AL
    I get up pretty early for work, and got up a little earlier than usual this morning. I checked on all three at about 4am and they were fine. Even with the back porch light turned on, the one we suspect is a rooster did not crow. I am still unsure of their age though. For a size reference, I'd say the larger two are about the size of a quart mason jar, and the smaller game hen is about the size of a coke can. The smaller game hen is still making the peeping chick noises, while the larger two are making noises closer to full grown birds.

    Two bit me, so I assume the third will eventually as well. Not necessarily a good thing at the moment, but we'll see how it goes. They were probably just stressed from being moved and sold and moved again. The one we are thinking is a cockerel actually got out in the process of moving from the cage to the coop, and by luck we got him back up to the back porch. He did not run like crazy, so I assume he has some tameness. For a minute I thought he was a goner. When I finally did round him up, it was quite an affair to grab him and pull him in, at which point he bit me on the arm and held for a few seconds. It was pretty forceful, and surely would have scared the kids enough for one of them to let him go.

    The black one didn't bite, but I could tell she was stressed. They seemed to settle down once I put them in their coop. I put a temporary food and water bowl in the coop. Today I am going back to tractor supply to get some of those nipples that can be attached to the bottom of a bucket, and set the watering bucket up. I'll also build a feeder.

    The small game hen bit me as well, but she is pretty small so it wasn't a painful bite. still a bite nonetheless. Hopefully when they get more used to us this won't be as bad. I have no desire to pick them up every day, but I'm sure my oldest daughter (6YO) will want to.

    I'm excited that the one may be a rooster. We live in the woods, so no problem there. I know he'll probably be annoying but I think roosters are cool.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I can't see the one in the crate well enough to say, but the pair of birds is one male (with the red) and one female.

    At this young age, there will be some pecking and sorting out who is boss, but it shouldn't be serious or involve bloodshed. If you have enough space for your birds and maybe some hiding places, they should be fine to all put together. They've got to sort things out eventually.
     
  9. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
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    OK. I will get some pictures up later. The one in the crate may be a rooster too. I guess there is a chance.
     
  10. Cncwhiz

    Cncwhiz Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2014
    Central AL
    Got the birds all in the run together. Everything seems to be going okay. I guess tonight I'll put them in the coop together. Here are some better pictures.

    Everybody is saying cockerel or young rooster. I see small knots in the back of his legs for what will be spurs. He has the long pointy feathers on his neck.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the hen that was with him when the bought the two as a pair. No sign of spurs. No comb at all that I can see. She might pass for a crow. Lol

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then this is the little game chicken. Pretty sure this is a hen. No sign of spurs. It has the straight tail feathers like the other larger hen too. But it has a comb. So I guess we can't be sure yet.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Still not sure of age. Best guess is that the rooster and black hen are around 3 months and the smaller game hen is 1.5 - 2 months.
     

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