Planning to order 25 chicks soon...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Fenika, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    Hello,

    I've been wanting chickens for awhile now, and I'm finally going for it [​IMG] I have had guineas in the past (years and years ago), with a mama chicken that had a hard time keeping up with the flock!

    So, since 25 is the minimum order at the hatchery I wish to buy from, I plan on buying mostly dual purpose breeds so I can butcher most of them and keep about 10 laying hens. I'm thinking a mix of Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Araucanas, and maybe some (2?) Cornish crosses since they can be butchered sooner than the others.

    I plan to butcher all the roosters at the appropriate age, and some of the hens (not the Araucanas! Those will be my only 'female only' part of the order). But I was wondering (and getting ahead of myself) if I should keep one rooster so I can breed the next generation and maintain a closed flock. Would any of the above egg layers cross well with the others? I know the Orpingtons and Australorps are closely related... Said rooster would have to be very well behaved, so a RIR is probably an unlikely pick...

    On the other hand, I wouldn't mind separating a rooster and select hens so I avoid strange crosses. There is so much to think about!

    Back to more immediate issues- I'm planning a grand chicken tractor with a 6x6 coop that will attach via a short tunnel to a 8x10 run. I like the EMT chicken tractor design over on the coop design area. The 6x6 coop is based off several designs and hopefully will be movable with the help of some wheels! I'm moving to NC shortly so the coop will be thin plywood around the bottom, hardware cloth at the top, and an insulated roof.

    So, any thing else I should be worried about? I'm slowly working on getting supplies and seeing what I have around the house.

    Anyone raise their chickens all natural or organic(ish)? Any good resources on that?

    Cheers!

    PS- A guinea or two would be nice, but that means less laying chicken-hens right now...
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010
  2. jmemom

    jmemom Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    May 13, 2010
    Congrats! Sounds like you have chicken fever. [​IMG] Are you ordering from a hatchery online or driving to one? Most of the online hatcheries I have seen require you to buy at least 5 of each breed you want to order, so you might want to check that out. I can't really speak to breeding since I don't have any experience there yet. I do know that many people raise their chickens by free ranging, and I think you can buy organic feed or mix your own.

    Have fun! [​IMG]
     
  3. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    I have a horrible horrible case of chicken fever. I spend several hours a day thinking about chickens, drawing coop plans, thinking about eggs, etc etc!

    [​IMG]

    I'm ordering from McMurry's since they still have chicks through November and I know they are good. I didn't see anything about at least 5 of each breed but I will call and check. I am sad b/c you used to be able to throw some guinea keets in with the chicks and apparently they no longer do that? At any rate, by the time I order, their guinea season will be done.

    I plan on letting my birds free range a few hours a day, but only when I'm home. When they get older and wiser I might risk more free ranging hours. With the chicken tractor, hopefully they'll be more than happy locked up most the day.

    I know of one organic chicken feed supplier in PA, but I need someone in NC. I also have no idea of cost, which is my main concern.

    Thanks jmemom [​IMG]
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
    116
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Couple things come to mind. If you can sustain your chick fever through till spring, you'll have less chance of losing chicks in shipping due to sudden cold snaps. I'm originally from NC so I know that cold snaps in late Sept, early Oct. are rare, but do happen. Plus, in spring the chicks would be able to go to their coop sooner; without having to worry about it being too cold.
    If I'm not mistaken Ideal Poultry in Texas has all the breeds you are interested in and more, but not all are available this late in the year. Ideal has a min. dollar amount, not a min. chick amount; so in the spring you could order just what you want and no more. You just need to specify when you order that you don't want male chicks added for warmth. Sexed chicks too, so you wouldn't have alot of extra cockerels to worry about. Sexing is 90% accurate, so accidents happen, just not as often. Guineas or ducks can be shipped with chicks as well.
    It's just MHO, but springtime is the right time for chicks. [​IMG]
     
  5. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    I dunno, I've got it pretty bad [​IMG]

    I certainly wouldn't want any babies to die otoh. I didn't realize it could get cold enough for me to lose some during shipping.

    There's not much to do in the area so I was hoping for chickens to keep me occupied and let me pour my love into something new. I'll check with the hatchery to see what they think, though they might just be optimistic to help make a sale??

    Cheers!
     
  6. WV_Chicken

    WV_Chicken Out Of The Brooder

    57
    1
    41
    Sep 18, 2010
    Augusta, WV
    Maybe find someone locally and buy some pullets. I just finished my coop last week and within a few days I found a local breeder and purchased some pullets to cure my chix fever.
     
  7. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    I've been keeping my eye out locally. So far just 2 or 4 for sale at a time... The last one was Buff Orphingtons though [​IMG]

    I am planning on visiting a friend in a week or so, and the feed store near her usually has chicks. Dunno about this time of year, but worth looking into...
     
  8. jmemom

    jmemom Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    May 13, 2010
    Sometimes you will have luck w/ Craigslist. I know there are trade days in some of the small towns in my area where you can get chicks. I'm hoping to get a few more myself in a couple of weeks. GL! Hope you find what you are looking for. [​IMG]
     
  9. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    Trade days sound fun. I need to find one of those before winter hits.

    I still have horrible chicken fever here. I was up past midnight reading this forum [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by