Some questions

Rachealx4

Songster
Mar 11, 2018
118
211
126
East Central Missouri
Hi everyone! I have some questions. I brought 8 Buff Orpington chicks home from our local farm supply store Thursday. When I asked how old they were I was told “I think they are 1-2weeks.” I know that our chick days started March 1st. I’ve been looking at my crews feathers and tons of pictures and I am almost certain that a majority are older than a week. My question is, can you get an idea of age based off of the feathers that they have in and/or size?

I am using the EcoGlow as my heat source. The chicks do not show signs of being too hot or cold right now. Since I have less control over the temperature should I pull it once they are fully feathered, sooner or later? Also, should I keep a light on or turn it off at night?

I’ve read that the BO matures a little slower than other breeds and that dertermining the sex can be tricky until you have an egg or crow. At what age should I have an idea? When should the combs start developing? Some of mine are orange at “1-2 weeks” while the others are more of a very pale orange??? I’m hoping for a roo...which leads to my final question...if I get more than 1 out of this bunch can they be kept together or do I have to get rid of him? I live in the country so I don’t have to worry about neighbors or ordinances.

Thank you in advanced for your help!
 

Roosters110

Chirping
Mar 10, 2018
144
147
89
Yes you can tell by feathers and size the age.As far as heat and etc buy four weeks during the day I started removing the heat lamp,and at night when things got chilly I’d turn it on.Are they inside or out?
By thre or four weeks I’d start looking for waddle development and comb.As young roosters will begin turning pink on the comb And waddles while pullets tend to not even have either waddles or combs and if they are delevoping their usually pale or light pink/red.
Roosters who grow up in a flock tend to do better as one,but watching them grow can be hard.I have had young roosters bully and fight each other continuously,their so competitive things can seriously get outta wack.Just my experience my first actual hatched cockerel fought his sister and they were only four or five weeks old.He ripped her eye lid causing a huge infection and mess,so sometimes there is complications.Absloutly no idea what made things go south that fast but it did.Chicks that young don’t usually fight like that but things happen.

My last batch of roosters I hatched weren’t as hostile and that was all boys lots of tension though but it wasn’t like my other two groups.I raised to roos one time and thy would go at each other’s necks a lot,my New Hampshire red was the younger guy while his brother was a older leghorn being about 2 and a half and three months old.Things would probably be different if Zeus would have been a few weeks older.
However sometimes they switch up.These brothers got along till one day they just tried killing each other.Depend on the rooster,amount of hens,and space.
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
You can definitely get an idea of age from size and feathering. Also, feed store employees are often talking out of their butts. In my experience, there's one employee interested in the chickens and that one person is the only one who knows anything about chickens beyond "they eat food. And some of them lay eggs." If you happen to come by on that guy's day off, tough luck.

If you post pictures at seven weeks, BYCers can generally sex them pretty accurately.

Keep your heat on at night. I begin switching to a smaller wattage bulb as they age, or move my heat lamp away. Yours should start leaving the heat pad for longer and longer stretches as they age and adjust to the coolness of the brooder. It should be on at all times. {EDT: unlike with a heat lamp, on a heat pad, chicks can wean themselves. It's part of the reason why senior members of BYC are so happy about it.}

Have a plan for roosters. You can keep them together, but your hens won't thank you. Plan to keep one rooster, and have a plan for the others. A stag pen will work, as will a crockpot, if you aren't squeamish.

I don't recommend Craigslist, as one lady had a guy try and take her free roosters for archery practice.
 

Roosters110

Chirping
Mar 10, 2018
144
147
89
Ok I’d stick with the lights off during day thing and on at night once they are about four weeks.And if their not looking cold I wouldn’t waste your time leaving it on and after doing this process for awhile after about a week and half of the on and off method you can probably take the entire lamp away.Have you built their coop and run?
 

Rachealx4

Songster
Mar 11, 2018
118
211
126
East Central Missouri
You can definitely get an idea of age from size and feathering. Also, feed store employees are often talking out of their butts. In my experience, there's one employee interested in the chickens and that one person is the only one who knows anything about chickens beyond "they eat food. And some of them lay eggs." If you happen to come by on that guy's day off, tough luck.

If you post pictures at seven weeks, BYCers can generally sex them pretty accurately.

Keep your heat on at night. I begin switching to a smaller wattage bulb as they age, or move my heat lamp away. Yours should start leaving the heat pad for longer and longer stretches as they age and adjust to the coolness of the brooder. It should be on at all times. {EDT: unlike with a heat lamp, on a heat pad, chicks can wean themselves. It's part of the reason why senior members of BYC are so happy about it.}

Have a plan for roosters. You can keep them together, but your hens won't thank you. Plan to keep one rooster, and have a plan for the others. A stag pen will work, as will a crockpot, if you aren't squeamish.

I don't recommend Craigslist, as one lady had a guy try and take her free roosters for archery practice.

I have yet to kill anything on purpose, however there is a reason why I chose a dual purpose bird. My brother-in-law will slaughter for me until I learn to do it myself. So at least I have a plan b. Oh my! Archery practice?!?!
Can you point me in the direction for info on aging by the feathers?
Thank you
 

Rachealx4

Songster
Mar 11, 2018
118
211
126
East Central Missouri
Ok I’d stick with the lights off during day thing and on at night once they are about four weeks.And if their not looking cold I wouldn’t waste your time leaving it on and after doing this process for awhile after about a week and half of the on and off method you can probably take the entire lamp away.Have you built their coop and run?
I have not built either yet. We have a big coyote population out here as well as hawks, eagles and so on. Free ranging won’t really be an option so I need to get on that. I love the Woods style/open air coops so I’ll probably go with something along those lines. Is there a such thing as too big? I know that I will grow my flock.
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
I have yet to kill anything on purpose, however there is a reason why I chose a dual purpose bird. My brother-in-law will slaughter for me until I learn to do it myself. So at least I have a plan b. Oh my! Archery practice?!?!
Can you point me in the direction for info on aging by the feathers?
Thank you
This woman has pictures of hers at three and five weeks. Generally, it's a bit of a go-by-experience thing for me.
 

Riche Bronson

Songster
Aug 23, 2015
126
244
147
Utah
Hi everyone! I have some questions. I brought 8 Buff Orpington chicks home from our local farm supply store Thursday. When I asked how old they were I was told “I think they are 1-2weeks.” I know that our chick days started March 1st. I’ve been looking at my crews feathers and tons of pictures and I am almost certain that a majority are older than a week. My question is, can you get an idea of age based off of the feathers that they have in and/or size?

I am using the EcoGlow as my heat source. The chicks do not show signs of being too hot or cold right now. Since I have less control over the temperature should I pull it once they are fully feathered, sooner or later? Also, should I keep a light on or turn it off at night?

I’ve read that the BO matures a little slower than other breeds and that dertermining the sex can be tricky until you have an egg or crow. At what age should I have an idea? When should the combs start developing? Some of mine are orange at “1-2 weeks” while the others are more of a very pale orange??? I’m hoping for a roo...which leads to my final question...if I get more than 1 out of this bunch can they be kept together or do I have to get rid of him? I live in the country so I don’t have to worry about neighbors or ordinances.

Thank you in advanced for your help!
This post really helped me when I was trying to get an idea how old my chicks were. Kept track once I used these pics, and judged by when they all started laying how close I was. Was spot on with 2 of them and the third I was a week off, if it wasn’t that she started laying a week later than expected. Hope this helps!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...f-orphington-wyandotte.1226492/#post-19665319
 

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