The joys of ordering chicks months in advance

Lcraigaz

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
14
14
20
Northern Arizona
Well my first thought is, What color eggs do you want. Going for a rainbow assortment could give you the most variety in breed colors and characteristics.

Next I would ask, how much space can you devote to them. depending on that would determine if you would be better off with Banties, of larger chickens. It will also determine how many you can get, which then goes back to narrowing down breeds with the color eggs you want.

And I would then figure out, how sociable and 'petable' do you want your chickens. If you want physical interaction then steer clear of breeds listed as flighty 'in the beginning'. Because all breeds can have those who are more skittish than others and run from the sight of you.

Then when you have those three questions figured out, start going to the hatchery websites and look at pictures. Most hatcheries segregate their breeds by egg colors. look at the pictures, realizing they always take the best of the flock to grab pictures from, and don't forget to open up the tabs for breed facts, or statistics. make sure you open it fully as a lot of them to save space only give you a short glimpse. Information like color of egg, number of eggs per year, whether they go broody are just a few of the facts you will find there.

Once you have your list of what you like, it is time to decide on if you want chicks, laying hens or close to laying also called 'POL'or if you want young birds that still have some time before they lay but no longer need a brooder and close attention to heat as they are feathered. I personally, like to sell the hens that will not make it into my breeding or laying program as backyard layers at 6 - 8 weeks. I have never had chicks at that age be listed for more than 4 days before they were sold.

Swap meets happen in Phoenix twice a month, as I think you mentioned you were in north east Arizona, so depending on how close you are that would be a way to look and see the breeds in question. I say look and see as opposed to touch and feel as bio-security is important to almost everyone who brings stock to these meets. Or it should be.

You can also look online for fairs in your area, there usually will be a nice selection to look at and the 4h kids are proud to tell you everything about their entry. Just don't forget to ask about what they dislike about the breed, but remember what they dislike might be something you like so don't discount a breed just because that chicken has bad habits. There are also chicken specific shows. Those can be eye opening and most who enter are trying to get as close to the breeds SOP or standard of perfection as possible to win ribbons and awards. The next one listed is at the Pima county fair in April.

Now you are actually about to seal the deal so to speak. You've researched and found breeds you want that have checked off your list, but before you buy, there is one last important step to take. Make sure their home is built and ready for them. There are numerous threads, and articles on coops and runs on BYC to give you ideas. Just keep in mind a hastily built coop or run because you have to have it done now, as your chickens need to get out of the temporary home you have them in, is more than likely NOT as secure as you think it is. And could lead to premature deaths from predators or neighbors animals / pets. And heartache, frustration and the killing of the joy of raising poultry, instead of the joy, smiles, laughter and scratching of your head at the antics they get up too of your flock.

Now this has become long winded, but I hope it helps somewhat. And don't be afraid to start a thread and ask for opinions as you are making up your mind. Or even posting your questions back here if you want. there are a lot of great people in this forum that will be glad to help you out and tell you why we like our chickens the best LOL.
thank you for all your time and input...so to start I think an assortment of eggs would be fun but I do want friendlier birds because I have a 2 year old that I also wasnt to raise the chickens around. I have 2.5 irrigated acres with a barn and chicken coop so I think I have room although I don't wasnt to start out with more than 12 or less :) that should be plenty was even thinking about a couple ducks in place of a few chickens.
 

wolfwalker

Songster
Dec 21, 2018
221
814
114
Cochise county Arizona
thank you for all your time and input...so to start I think an assortment of eggs would be fun but I do want friendlier birds because I have a 2 year old that I also wasnt to raise the chickens around. I have 2.5 irrigated acres with a barn and chicken coop so I think I have room although I don't wasnt to start out with more than 12 or less :) that should be plenty was even thinking about a couple ducks in place of a few chickens.
Do a search for kid friendly breeds in the search box in the upper right hand corner and you will find numerous threads on that subject.

Easter eggers come to mind for looks and eggs which en-trance kids.

Now, having had my sisters kids over around chicks and chickens, one of which is not as healthy as she should be due to birth complications. You need to drill in your child's head that it is okay to touch and pet the chickens BUT one must wash their hands as soon as they are finished. Make it seem as a natural part of gardening and barnyard chores and as they get older the habit will help deter a lot of illness's out there that good hand washing hygiene can prevent.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
74,415
81,066
1,607
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Do a search for kid friendly breeds in the search box in the upper right hand corner and you will find numerous threads on that subject.
Humans behaviors often have more to do with 'friendliness' than breed.

Now, having had my sisters kids over around chicks and chickens, one of which is not as healthy as she should be due to birth complications. You need to drill in your child's head that it is okay to touch and pet the chickens BUT one must wash their hands as soon as they are finished. Make it seem as a natural part of gardening and barnyard chores and as they get older the habit will help deter a lot of illness's out there that good hand washing hygiene can prevent.
Ditto Dat!
 

Lcraigaz

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2020
14
14
20
Northern Arizona
Well my first thought is, What color eggs do you want. Going for a rainbow assortment could give you the most variety in breed colors and characteristics.

Next I would ask, how much space can you devote to them. depending on that would determine if you would be better off with Banties, of larger chickens. It will also determine how many you can get, which then goes back to narrowing down breeds with the color eggs you want.

And I would then figure out, how sociable and 'petable' do you want your chickens. If you want physical interaction then steer clear of breeds listed as flighty 'in the beginning'. Because all breeds can have those who are more skittish than others and run from the sight of you.

Then when you have those three questions figured out, start going to the hatchery websites and look at pictures. Most hatcheries segregate their breeds by egg colors. look at the pictures, realizing they always take the best of the flock to grab pictures from, and don't forget to open up the tabs for breed facts, or statistics. make sure you open it fully as a lot of them to save space only give you a short glimpse. Information like color of egg, number of eggs per year, whether they go broody are just a few of the facts you will find there.

Once you have your list of what you like, it is time to decide on if you want chicks, laying hens or close to laying also called 'POL'or if you want young birds that still have some time before they lay but no longer need a brooder and close attention to heat as they are feathered. I personally, like to sell the hens that will not make it into my breeding or laying program as backyard layers at 6 - 8 weeks. I have never had chicks at that age be listed for more than 4 days before they were sold.

Swap meets happen in Phoenix twice a month, as I think you mentioned you were in north east Arizona, so depending on how close you are that would be a way to look and see the breeds in question. I say look and see as opposed to touch and feel as bio-security is important to almost everyone who brings stock to these meets. Or it should be.

You can also look online for fairs in your area, there usually will be a nice selection to look at and the 4h kids are proud to tell you everything about their entry. Just don't forget to ask about what they dislike about the breed, but remember what they dislike might be something you like so don't discount a breed just because that chicken has bad habits. There are also chicken specific shows. Those can be eye opening and most who enter are trying to get as close to the breeds SOP or standard of perfection as possible to win ribbons and awards. The next one listed is at the Pima county fair in April.

Now you are actually about to seal the deal so to speak. You've researched and found breeds you want that have checked off your list, but before you buy, there is one last important step to take. Make sure their home is built and ready for them. There are numerous threads, and articles on coops and runs on BYC to give you ideas. Just keep in mind a hastily built coop or run because you have to have it done now, as your chickens need to get out of the temporary home you have them in, is more than likely NOT as secure as you think it is. And could lead to premature deaths from predators or neighbors animals / pets. And heartache, frustration and the killing of the joy of raising poultry, instead of the joy, smiles, laughter and scratching of your head at the antics they get up too of your flock.

Now this has become long winded, but I hope it helps somewhat. And don't be afraid to start a thread and ask for opinions as you are making up your mind. Or even posting your questions back here if you want. there are a lot of great people in this forum that will be glad to help you out and tell you why we like our chickens the best LOL.
When will you have chickens that you know youI don't wasnt but will be good back yard chicks?
 

wolfwalker

Songster
Dec 21, 2018
221
814
114
Cochise county Arizona
In 6 weeks I will have chicks that no longer need a brooder for my laying flock. Of the chicks for my breeding flocks, it will be 8 weeks for the first cut that I will have chicks moving to the future laying flock pen.

I will have the following:

Red Star - Brown egg
Olive egger = Olive to greenish egg
Welsummer - Dark brown / sometimes spotted or speckled
Cream Legbar - Blue egg
French Black Copper Marans - chocolate egg
Easter Egger - various shades of blue to green

This list is from this week and next weeks shipments
 

wolfwalker

Songster
Dec 21, 2018
221
814
114
Cochise county Arizona
The unhappy part of receiving the first chicks hatched in months from the hatchery.

ten hours into day 1 I lost the extra light Brahma that was sent. By next morning I lost the smallest Cream Legbar.

Which the hatchery promptly credited my. all looked good then day 4, which was the weekend and outside the 48 live guarantee window.

2 welsummer females that the night before were quite active, found them dead.

then this morning, another 2 dead. The last Light Brahma male I ordered and one of the red star females.

I've had to wash more crusted over dried poopy butts than ever in near 40 some years of having chicks. its also been near 30 years since I've had to order chicks instead of hatching our own.
 

wolfwalker

Songster
Dec 21, 2018
221
814
114
Cochise county Arizona
And on another note, my next batch of, way to early as in November ordered, chicks should ship tomorrow, which means they should be here on Friday. Different hatchery and also their first hatch of the new year for these breeds.
 

wolfwalker

Songster
Dec 21, 2018
221
814
114
Cochise county Arizona
So my second order arrived this morning, different hatchery and 26 chicks in the box. these chicks shipped out about 8 hours from the house and went east to Lubbock before heading west to me. so it took them 2 days to arrive. Welp must subcontract withe Privett hatchery for certain breeds as these came from there. One of the FBCM was not doing good upon arrival and it passed a few hours later. they all are sharing one big brooder, next week I will separate them out or remove the divider wall to add another 6 square feet of space. Just have to put the brooder plates in there and warm them up.

20200214_074338.jpg
 
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