Raising Chicks and hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mikem2424, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. mikem2424

    mikem2424 Hatching

    Jun 1, 2010
    Im new to the site and new to the idea of Building a large coop and never buying eggs or overpriced chicken at the store. Got a couple of questions for everyone that is reading this. First off is they anyway to raise chicks without removing them from the flock the only thing i can think off is to seperate my fertilized eggs with a good couple of mothering hens that will sit on them and keep them warm. Im trying to prevent using a brooder and an incubater. My second question my propety where my chicken will be our away from my home so do you think if i use a timed deer feeder to feed my chickens. Do you think i will be able to go to my property every other day. Or would i still have to check on them at least once a day. I appreciate all in puts. I have heard great things from friends about how helpful and friendly everyone is on this site.
  2. mikem2424

    mikem2424 Hatching

    Jun 1, 2010
    I would really appreciate any advise
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Welcome to the forum.

    Sure, you can raise chicks from a broody hen...but you first have to get a broody hen. Not all breeds go broody, and even if you pick broody breeds of chickens, not every individual will set. Once you have a broody, usually it's recommended that you give her a separate area where the rest of the flock can't bother her while she's setting. If you don't do this, the hen can get scared off the nest, get back on the wrong nest, have eggs added to her clutch at a later time, etc., all things that can lower your hatch rate.

    I wouldn't try to use a deer feeder, myself, because of the risk of food getting moldy on the ground. Moldy feed can sometimes kill chickens. But many people use large feeders and waterers and leave their chickens for a day or two with no problems. It's best if you can find someone to check in once a day, though: pick up eggs, check to make sure everything is OK.
  4. mikem2424

    mikem2424 Hatching

    Jun 1, 2010
    Thanks Elmo for the advice. Yeah i had never even thought of that with the food being on the ground. Sounds like it may be a smarter idea just to go ahead and get a broader and buy day old chicks. Really would like to try a natural habitat time situation but sounds like more of a pain.
  5. SarahIrl

    SarahIrl Songster

    May 4, 2010
    West Cork, Ireland
    Water would be a problem, too, unless your planned chicken home has running water and you can rig up self-filling drinkers. To combat feed problems, get cat food feeders and attach them to the wall inside the coop. Mine love to fill theirs with shavings, so I fixed that problem by having it at head height. It is also out of the reach of the (forever) rain. However, my chickens love rain, so regularly get totally drowned looking for worms and slugs, and so soak the shavings every night. I'm on the verge of putting a hot air blower in there too!
  6. felidaet

    felidaet Songster

    Dec 10, 2008
    Vancouver, Wa.
    I built a wooden feed bin that holds 150 lbs of feed. I usually put 100 lbs of feed in it about once every 5 weeks for 15 LF hens. I do usually feed them a treat almost every day but it does not amount to much of their diet. For the next 5 months I will also be feeding them a wheelbarrow of weeds from the garden a couple of times a week. They are using a 7 gallon waterer that I only have to fill about once a week.

    "Technically" I could check on them every other day and they would be fine. HOWEVER, I would not want to do that. My entire family enjoys going outside to seem them at least a couple of times a day. They are a lot friendlier than most people think. The are fun to be around. I will take chickens over a dog any day!

    Another consideration is predators. Chickens are near the bottom of the food chain. There are lots of different kinds of predators that would love a fresh chicken lunch or dinner. You will find that most people here on BYC have a secure coop that they lock their birds in at night. During the day some of us have a secure run to keep them in. Others let them free range during the day. Some of the predators in my area include Coyotes, Raccoons, stray dogs, Hawks, and Eagles. There are occasionally reports of weasel attacks in the area but there are not very many of them around. I have only seen one in the last nearly 50 years.

    It sounds like you are doing this in part for economic reasons. Be warned that most people never come out ahead. I sell the majority of the eggs from our birds but we are not making a profit. We earn enough to pay for their feed and most supplies. This does not cover the cost of new chicks and their feed. I never expect to make enough to pay for the building of my coop (now 2 coops...) and outdoor run. I don't know if you save anything in raising meat birds over store bought chickens. I suspect it costs more in feed to raise them than buying them at the store. I don't know much about meat birds because I don't have any interest in this area.

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