Suggestions and Input please

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by EmptyNest, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. EmptyNest

    EmptyNest Songster

    Jan 7, 2008
    SW Iowa
    Hi everyone – I’m a newbie to the world of raising chickens and this sight is wonderful. I incubated and raised a few americanas last year and now have been bit by the chicken raising fever. My real baby chicks have all flown the coop so Mother Hen needs something to occupy her time!!![​IMG]

    I have a couple of questions for you more experienced chicken herders. I plan to order a variety of chicks (blue silkies, quail antwerp belgian, black giants, buff orpingtons, golden polish, turkens, golden campiness, and Rhode Island reds) from McMurray to be delivered at the end of February (I am so excited and just can’t wait any longer). Would be interested in any feedback on any of these breeds – good, bad or otherwise. I wanted a variety so thought this would be a good mix for meat and egg production and just fun to look at ones.

    I live in southwest Iowa where it can get pretty cold. Will a hanging radiant heater be enough to keep the chicks warm the first few weeks? They will be in an enclosed room in a cement block building.

    Also, if all goes well I would like to raise some baby chicks. Do most of you try to keep the chickens separated by breed so you get a purebred (maybe not the right term – I’m used to cattle language) or do you just let everyone run together and get what you get?

    Thanks for the input.
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I have always gotten quality birds from McMurray. You will not get show stock, only pet and farm yard stock. The jersey giants and orpingtons and rhode island reds will be heavier and larger birds than the others on your list. They are also great layers. The buff orpingtons are gentle beauitufl fluffy chickens.

    If you want to keep a purebred line of your chickens they will need to have a separate coop and run for each breed.

    Until the weather is above 70 at night they will need a heat lamp. When you first get the chicks they will need a heat lamp 24/7 until they completely feather out. I know evenhere in Va it is still very cool through early April and my chicks always need a heat lamp 24/7 until the days warm up but still at night they need the warmth of the heat lamp.

    My laying flock is all mixed up. I don't plan to hatch eggs from them. I have buff orpingtons, jersey giants, white wyandottes, barred rocks, marans - to name a few in with a barred rock rooster named Buster. I don't need a rooster to have eggs but I like to hear the crow of a rooster from my hen house.

    Good luck with your chicken plans! You are going to love it!
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I'm in agreement with MissPrissy...Your going to need a heat lamp and a brooder box set up...not just a building and radiant heater or your going to lose need to keep drafts off them thats the reason for a brooder box....even a large cardboard box works great with the heat lamp hanging securely down from the top...chicks need warmer of 95 degrees the first acouple weeks and then lowered by 5 degree there after until they are fully feathered out...they chill easy....

    If you want pure to incubate you will have to separate the breed that you want when they are mature enough to lay and mate...
  4. EmptyNest

    EmptyNest Songster

    Jan 7, 2008
    SW Iowa
    Thanks for the input - my radiant heater is actually a hanging one and I do have an enclosed area ready for my new babies - do you think I will still need the heat lamps? I guess if nothing else I can have it ready to go w/heat lamps and just monitor the temp closely.
  5. KingsCalls

    KingsCalls Songster

    Oct 22, 2007
    New Market,Tn.
    Of the one's you mentioned here are the one's I've had....Buff Orpingtons...Silkies....RIR's..
    and Belguin Quail. The buff orps will be big fluffy, friendly and mostly calm birds. They are good egg layers and most are good setters when they are older. You cannot go wrong with Orpingtons. Silkies...are also pretty calm , friendly birds. They will try to hatch a rock! I like them for setting on other breeds eggs. RIR's ....are not as fluffy as Orpingtons they are a little taller, they lay eggs well but, hardly ever go broody. Also fairly friendy but, not as much as Orpingtons. Belguin Quail....roo's are friendly, hens are very protective mothers. They are not the best egg layers tho.

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