Question on chicken math with chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Seatrout00, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    11
    108
    Oct 18, 2012
    Melbourne Florida
    OK - here are the basics. I will be getting baby chicks next month - my first ever chickens. My coop will be 4 foot by 8 foot once we finish it - posting a photo of its design too, with the coop being 4 feet by 4 feet.

    [​IMG]

    The chickens will free range during the day in my side yard - approximately 30 feet by 80 feet.

    I originally figured on having four hens as that is the regulations for my county, however my city allows more - its actually not got a hen limit on land, they just said it can't be ridiculous.

    I read that sexing baby chicks is only 90% accurate and then read to expect 20% death when purchasing baby chicks - thus I thought I should probably get a few more chicks to make sure I end up with at least four healthy hens because I don't want to deal with the stress of getting more chickens later on if a few of my babies don't make it. I don't want to try to introduce any more chickens into my flock, once its established.

    My question is thus - is my chicken math logical? Are these real statistics? What if I ended up with five hens, or six? Could this small coop accommodate that many hens? Am I going over board getting six chicks? I don't mind culling later on if need be (or giving away) but I really don't want to end up with two surviving hens and then have to deal with the stress of introducing new chickens to the flock and everyone being mean or getting beat up.

    Help me, Chicken Jedi, you're my only hope!
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,946
    2,925
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Ignore chicken math, especially the stats you've read. You can be sure you are getting pullets and not cockerels if you study up on breeds and choose a breed that is accurately sexed at hatching, such as sex links which is 100% and some breeds which are pretty close.

    As far as ordering more than you want because you're afraid a couple will die, don't. I managed to raise nine batches of chicks over the years and only had a death for the first time this summer. It happens far less than most people believe.

    So order the four chicks you want, and don't get panicked into ordering more than you wish for the ideal size of your flock.

    Also, while I'm here, consider brooding with the heating pad system right in your brand new coop. It's better for your chicks and better for you to raise them right in their own house, and the heating pad is much safer than a heat lamp. Read up on it on "Mama Heating Pad for the Brooder" right here on this forum.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,721
    4,403
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I too have ordered many batches of chicks, they have always been sexed correctly, and very seldom do I lose one, it will usually be in the first few days from the stress of shipping. The worst thing you can do is crowd chickens, it leads to all sorts of evil.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. RooDen

    RooDen Out Of The Brooder

    51
    7
    33
    Dec 21, 2014
    The size of your coop can accomodate 4 chickens comfortably and yes crowding thus lead to pecking and unwanted behaviour. Speaking of chicks dying, it has a very less probability especially with all the super feeds we have these days. So go ahead and get yourself some sexed chicks and have fun just watching them to doing their stuff.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    11
    108
    Oct 18, 2012
    Melbourne Florida
    Wow .... I had some bad chicken math advice! Glad I asked here ...

    Are Barred Rocks and Australorps easy to sex? I was going to check their wings - I've looked at some photos, read some articles on sexing and was hoping these two breeds could be sexed by their wings.
     
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    4,766
    576
    281
    Aug 29, 2012
    Australia

    I don't know anything about barred rocks but no it's not reliable on australorps.

    Do barred rocks have a dot on their heads or something for sexing? Anybody?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,946
    2,925
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    At the hatchery, they usually use the vent sexing technique, which is pretty accurate when performed by a person with training, experience and the aptitude for the task. There is also wing sexing, but it works only for breeds bred for slow wing feather development in the males. You can use it to get an idea of the sex of your chicks mainly in the first few days. The boys will have little or no feather stubs in a even row, and the girls will have noticeable feather shafts emerging in uneven rows.

    Better to choose breeds that can be color sexed like sex links, Welsummers, Salmon Favorelles , most barred breeds such as Cuckoo Marans, Dominiques, and Cream Legbars. I don't know about Austrolorps.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,487
    2,594
    366
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Nice looking coop design. I agree, it would fit 4 comfortably. I ordered my chicks from a hatchery (Meyer) and they were vent sexed properly. If there is a certain breed you really really want, then that's what I would get.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

    16,721
    4,403
    456
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    In barred rocks the white on the back of the head is larger and less defined in roosters, in hens it's smaller and more defined, limited to the head.
     
  10. Seatrout00

    Seatrout00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    247
    11
    108
    Oct 18, 2012
    Melbourne Florida
    Thank you oldhens, I have been looking at youtube videos explaining this on the BRs. My feed store also explained that they don't get straight run chicks unless they get bantams. So I should be getting all hens. They said they don't hear too much about folks accidentally getting roosters.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by