The eggs are hatched. . . what comes next?

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 4, 2013
I've been hatching several years for my personal enjoyment, nothing so serious as a business. But, before I hatch, I make sure I have someone to take whatever I've got cooking, as we aren't allowed farm animals in town.

I was just wondering when's the best time/least stressful for sending chicks to their new home? I don't ship chicks, it's always a car ride of: down the street or several hours to their new home.

Last year, I hatched quail and kept them about 2 weeks before they went to their new home. 2 died a day or so after they arrived. I wonder if the stress of the new environment did them in or? I do try to make sure the new homes know about heat lamps and what I have been feeding them, etc. . .

I go back and forth. On one hand, I like to keep them several days to make sure they are eating and aren't sick.

On the other hand, hatcheries ship chicks right after hatching so maybe that's the best time to send them to their new homes?

What do you think is the best way?
The reason hatcheries ship chicks at a day old is because they are still fresh out of the egg and have yolk reserves to keep them fed and hydrated during the next few days. If you were to try to ship chicks after they'd used up that yolk reserve, they'd almost certainly perish. If you are taking the chicks straight to their new home, any time is as good as any other, really. No matter what you do, the change will be stressful, and chicks who are too weak to handle that kind of shock won't make it. It's the kind of loss you have to expect when working with poultry and fowl.

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