The pullets are coming! Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChickyChick2, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi, new to chickening here. We are finally picking up our pullets this weekend! [​IMG] Is there anything I should know about how to make sure I'm getting a healthy one? Would I automatically need to give it any kind of lice/mite/flea treatment? How would I know if it's free from pests?

    Thank you in advance!
     
  2. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] It would be a good idea to de worm them with Valbazen, inspect every inch of them make sure they don't have runny noses or bubbly eyes. The learning center is a good place to start. [​IMG] happy chickening!
     
  3. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow. Congratulations on your new pullets! To help in giving you advice, if you give us a little more information it will help us. How old are they? day old, couple of weeks old, ready to lay pullets? Also where are you getting them from? Breeder, mail order, store?
     
  4. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you guys for responding!! They are Red Sex Linked, about 20 weeks old and just started laying. I am getting them from a nearby farm, so, breeder? I want to make sure they still have their natural beaks (I forgot to ask that over the phone today). What are some other good things to ask when I pick them up?
     
  5. PirocaKeeper

    PirocaKeeper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    check their butts, make sure the feathers around their butt are nice and fluffy. If you see any signs of stickiness, or runny poop, don't take those. Also when you pick them up, make sure they have a good weight to them. If they are suppose to weight 4-5 pounds, get a feel for what that feels like and there should be very little variation from that, especially since they are at laying point. You may also want to ask the breeder, what do they normally feed them so that you start with something similar. Most of all when you bring them home, make sure you place them in a place that is out of reach from predators, land ones and sky ones. Make sure they have fresh water every day and a nice dry place to sleep and plenty of food to eat. Birds hide very well diseases, so your chickens should look pretty perky and happy. Best thing for you to do is to observe them a lot once they are home. Get familiar with them, their sounds, their behaviors and their demeanor, this will help you in the future to spot if and when something is wrong with them. Most of all enjoy them and their beautiful gifts to you (their eggs) and their presence. Make sure you provide them with a well balance diet. Most commercial layer mixes are just the right thing, but a lot of us like to indulge our girls with treats and other goodies. Keep those in check, believe me you will want to give them more that what is healthy for them. Don't be alarmed if when they come home they stop laying, moving them is very stressful on them, so they may stop laying for a little bit, once they get used to their new surroundings and any diet changes they may go through, they will start right back up. If you live in a cold state, make sure they are out of drafty areas and bitter cold exposure.
     
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  6. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you! Should I ask if they've received antibiotics, vaccines or if they've been wormed (is that a common practice?)?

    Also, I would kind of like to add wire to the bottom of their run to keep anything from digging inside. Yay or nay? And where can I buy wood ash for a dust bath bin?
     
  7. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, yes, yes, and yes. Also a barrier under the coop is a good idea. Idk where you live, are you using the wood ash in or out of the coop? We get snow = frowning chickens so I put deep cat litter pans in the coop in winter filled with play sand. Not dusty compared to ash and they love it. My coop is not insulated and they rarely get a heat lamp. The boxes of sand also serve as thermal mass and scooping the poop out is easy. [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    So is there any answer to any of those questions which should make me NOT buy from this breeder?

    I live in VA so not much snow but LOTS of rain this year. I have a kitty litter pan I was planning on filling with something. I like the sand idea!

    Do you provide oyster shells or grit to your chickens? Or both?
     
  9. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, some vaccines you can give so that's not necessarily a deal breaker but it's best if they have been vaccinated for mareks. I still have a banty hen I hatched who is 6 years old and has never been vaccinated for anything. You'll want to know why they were given antibiotics, if it's for respiratory I would not accept them. Other illnesses that come up, you can treat, it's part of the chicken deal :) You can de worm when you get them too.
    All chickens need grit, laying hens need oyster shell around 20 or so weeks. If it is really wet where you are, be sure to keep the coop and bedding and sand dry, dry,dry!
    It took my chickens over a week to figure out what the boxes of sand were there for, I had to keep shoveling my hand in it like I was dust bathing until they got the idea. [​IMG]
     
  10. ChickyChick2

    ChickyChick2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Aw, thanks! Does the sand count as grit or do I need to buy some? Thank you for answering so many of my questions!
     

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