starting with only 2 chicks, is that a bad idea?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by babyelle, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. babyelle

    babyelle In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2011
    we are brand new to raising chickens and wanted to start slowly so we are ordering two barred rock bantam chicks. we were told we were fools if we only had two because loss is almost inevitable. we were going to order bantam cochin hens in a few months...should we order them all at the same time? what is the least stressful for the chickens? and what about pecking order? will they get along better if they all arrive at the same time?
  2. jessieandjustin

    jessieandjustin Hatching

    Mar 13, 2011
    I would say start with 4. Loss is, in almost all cases, inevitable, true. But pecking order will also be established at the same time, there will be less stress on the birds, and each couple of birds would be less lonely if you just got them at the same time. Taking care of 2 birds is not really different from taking care of 4 birds, especially bantams. I recommend getting 4.

    Hope this helps you make a decision,
  3. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    We got 5 then 12 weeks later got 7 more. We still have 2 flocks in one coop--the ladies that are laying and the girls that just aren't quite laying yet. Yes, they all live sorta happliy together (no blood) but nine months later we still have two groups within the flock. I strongly suggest you get more than 2 and you get them all at once. If you only have 2 and you happen to lose one now or even later, you end up with a lone, lonely hen. And adding to a flock is difficult at best. Just speaking from my experience.
  4. jenesis536

    jenesis536 Songster

    Oct 3, 2010
    Definitely get more than 2 at a time.... get like 35. Just kidding... but I would get 4-5 because 1 might end up being a roo, and then if something happens to one the rest aren't alone. It's harder to introduce new ones later then to get them all at the same time and have them grow up together. Even my babies get attached to each other and want to be together.

    I have 5 five-mo olds and a group of 9 babies (7-8 weeks) - the older ones wanted nothing to do with the babies when I brought them out today, and they were so mad they yelled at me for 4 hours. I'm sure putting them in the same coop would have been a disaster for the babies.
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh my goodness. Yes, get more than 2!

    Integration later is a bit of a bother, as pecking order has to be established every time you change flock members or locations. If your chickens all grow up together, they got it going already. And four chicks/chickens are no more hard to raise than 2 of them.
  6. mboreham1

    mboreham1 Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Carmichael, CA
    i now have 8 birds, i got 4, then 2 and then another 2, in line with the broodiness of one of the original 4. I have never had a problem introducing birds, the key is space, introduce them while they are free ranging, then if there are any skirmishes, there is plenty of space for them to run away into.

    most of the time 2 would be fine, there is a small chance of getting a roo from a pullet bin and there is a small chance of death. So, maybe a 3rd would be a good idea, i have wished i had gotten more different breeds to begin with but dont be put off in adding to the flock, there will always be a pecking order, dont be concerned about that!
  7. Josie

    Josie Songster

    Jan 3, 2008

    I would go with three or four, depending on your chick source. With the chicks I bought at feed stores (hatchery chicks), there has always been losses, with reputable local breeders losses are rare.

    Our first go, we got three chicks, and before maturity one died suddenly. If we had only bought 2 chicks, it could have been a lot worse. We ended up with two happy hens, and that went smoothly. It was easy to add four more later, regardless of pecking order because they were outnumbered.
  8. chicknhawaii

    chicknhawaii Songster

    May 15, 2008
    Honolulu, HI
    Aloha from Hawai`i!

    We got 2 RSLs from Asagi Hatchery here on O`ahu as friends for our older Cornish X a few years ago. They did just fine. [​IMG] There is a limit to what we can have here in the city so...tried to stick to it. If I could though, I'd love to have 4 hens since our neighbors are quite close. [​IMG]
  9. rocky41102

    rocky41102 In the Brooder

    Jul 31, 2010
    I started with 2 bantams, then got 6 more chicks the next week. I'm sure a few of them are roosters so those will go soon. I'm thinking of getting a few more now because I have my brooder in my walk in closet and I'd rather have it over and done with at the same time instead of running a light nonstop for another 5 weeks or so! I've convinced myself (and hubby) that I need the extra chicks now in order to save electricity!
  10. ChickyLaura

    ChickyLaura The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Mar 31, 2009
    Eastern/Central PA

    Welcome, babyelle!

    I definitely wouldn't call you a fool for ordering two. If you decide to stick with the 2, just be aware that you may lose one and have a lonely chick that chirps loudly for long periods of time! At minimum, I would suggest you get at least one more "just in case". Hopefully you won't lose any! You will have fun!

    Again, welcome!!!

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