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Should I change the breed I chose? & Constant light for four days?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hatrick, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. Hatrick

    Hatrick Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Alright so my "girls" won't be here until May 5th but I've been reading the brochure that the farm supply store gave me and it's saying that the won't guarantee the sex of the Plymouth Barred Rock's that I chose. Considering I only ordered four, I'm kind of worried about my chances of getting a rooster in the bunch. (What am I supposed to do with him? We can't keep him.) We chose that breed because we have three small kids and want to have the friendliest of the bunch. Should I choose another breed to help with the chances of getting "girls" or take my chances with the Barred Rocks?

    As well, it says that I should have the chicks under constant light for the first four days and then introduce them to the day/night routine? Is this right? And now we didn't plan on putting electricity in the coop but with winter in Canada we don't get much light, how much will their laying suffer during that time?

    I know, lots of questions.[​IMG]

  2. ChickenToes

    ChickenToes Songster

    May 14, 2008
    NE Wisconsin
    With 4 straight run chicks, there's a good chance you'll get a few roosters. If you do have some roosters you can sell them, trade them, give them away, or eat them. If you can get a few more chicks, do it. You'll have a better chance of getting pullets.

    I keep my chicks under constant light until they're old enough to go outside without a lamp.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you post pics of them, I can tell you what the sex is of BRs, with some degree of accuracy. They are easy to sex from the headspot, down color and leg color, usually. I love my BRs, even the roosters.

    I keep light on my chicks for weeks. They need heat, I use heatlamps and they put off light. So mine never see the actual dark till they are over two months old.
  4. grullablue

    grullablue Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    You'll need to keep a heat lamp on them constantly until they're fully feathered (depending on outside temps). My chicks are 8 weeks old, and I only just started shutting the heat lamp off, it had been on 24/7 this whole time. They need to be kept warm, around 95 degrees the first week, then lower it by 5 degrees per week every week after.

    I agree...you'll probably get some roos in there! You could probably order more, then let go of any roos on Craigslist or something.....

  5. Hatrick

    Hatrick Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    I didn't order straight run, I ordered pullets, but they still won't guarantee hens. The accuracy is only 80% in the Barred Rocks and there is no guarantee in orders under 30 birds anyways. So fingers crossed I guess.

    And as for the light question, I didn't mean the heat lamps. That I understand, but when they say "light" for four days straight at first I'm assuming they mean like sunlight/artificial light etc. Does this make sense?
    Are the hens going to lay anything in the winter? Because we definitely don't get anywhere near 12-14 hours of daylight after November around here.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Mine lay through the winter, even without artificial light, but it depends on their health, the breeds, etc. When you get your BRs, apply the sexing rules in this article about Dominiques..same rules apply. Then you can tell. The hatcheries use vent sexing, not these methods, but I always sex my BR chicks this way.
  7. Hatrick

    Hatrick Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Thank you for the advice on sexing. It should give us some clarity when we first get them of any suspicious males. [​IMG] This is going to be interesting. I'm glad we're waiting until May, I need time to absorb all this information. [​IMG]

  8. I'vegotchickenfever

    I'vegotchickenfever Songster

    Mar 10, 2009
    Northwest Florida
    If you post pics of them, I can tell you what the sex is of BRs, with some degree of accuracy

    Hey...can you do this with mutt chicks? [​IMG] We've hatched 22 from RIR and BSL hens and the 2 roos BSL and Dom. We think the BSL fathered most of them, but not sure. Either way, we don't have a clue and they are 3 wks old. May have to wait a few more weeks to be sure. I've been trying to feel for spurs, but all have some degree of a little nub. Oh, well.​
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    When you cross breeds, that muddies the waters, so I would not claim accuracy with those. A BR sire will pass barring to all of his offspring, even if they are another non-barred breed. For example, I cross my BR rooster with my BBS Ameraucana hens and get Barred Easter Eggers, come blue barred, some black barred, but all barred.
    You won't see spurs till a cockerel is about 8 months old or so.
  10. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Crowing

    Jul 17, 2008
    DC Region
    I have BR roo over BA pullet babies now, cute little black barred suckers but the BA has thrown off the leg coloring thing and because BA's are black and yellow/white at birth it's also thrown off the head spotting.

    I just get to wait. Spare roos aren't particularly difficult to sort over time and easy to sell off. Usually a few weeks wait will provide adequate comb and ankle evidence to do a final sort. I just sold off a bunch of four week old delaware cockerals, big pink combs, and great big cankles and a ton of attitude.

    In barred rocks it's rarely a mystery for long. All Rocks are good birds to have. I have barreds, partridge and in the incubator, blue black splash and blue barreds. They're easy keepers, good layers and most are sweet natured animals.

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