thinking of getting a few chicks need help

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bosoxbratt, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. bosoxbratt

    bosoxbratt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there
    I am thinking of getting a few chickens for laying eggs and also for our daughter to be apart of something pretty neat ..I have researched alot of chicks on line but was wondering if you have any advise as to what type to get and how to go about getting started? Is it OK to jut have 2 chickens? any info wouldb e appreciated also can you raise chicks this late in the season? some sites seem like it is around Spring time? TY :)
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Two chickens would be fine (they are social) assuming you don't end up with two roosters...lol. With only two (or three), I would wait till early spring, but that's just me...unless you live in a warm weather state. If you live near a major city, then MPC will ship as few as 3 chicks. I think there may be another hatchery or two that would ship very few chicks as well. With a hatchery, you can get them sexed, which seems to be fairly reliable. If you get them from a feed store (probably wouldn't be till Spring), then you've got about a 50/50 chance of ending up with little boys. You'll get 100 different opinions on best breeds. For eggs and calm personalities, australorps are good picks. Americaunas are generally quite friendly and good egg layers (not the same as general Easter Eggers). Orpingtons and Plymouth Rocks are friendly and decent egg layers too... Good luck with your decision!
     
  3. swimmom

    swimmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG] I just have 3 chickens as we live in the city. We had planned to just get two but they were all so cute at the store! I got them as a family project and for eggs. I got mine in the spring from a old timey hardware store that got them from Ideal. They were all sexed and the store said that if for some reason any turned out to be a rooster they would exchange it. We got 1 Red Sex Link who started laying at 18 weeks (5 eggs per week on average), one Buff Orpington who is not laying yet but almost ready (23 weeks) and one silver laced wyandotte also not laying yet. The Sex Link and the Buff Orpington are super friendly but the Wyandotte is skittish and doesn't like to be picked up. She may get friendlier once she starts laying.

    You can order as few as 3 chicks from My Pet Chicken and they have a nice selection. I had originally placed my order there and then cancelled when I found a local source.
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome!

    I'd get at least 3, if you lose one(I lost one to a hawk), then you won't have a chicken all by itself. They don't do well alone.


    I'd suggest getting an Easter Egger. Some hatcheries sell them under the Ameracauna. Mine lays pretty green eggs and the kids love getting them.

    Other breeds that are good choices: Light Brahma (super sweet, easy to handle), Barred Rocks (great layers), Orpingtons (sweet natured), sex links (cross bred birds for laying). Just search the breeds index here and find some breeds that are suitable to your location (not all do great in cold weather), and have the qualities you want.
     
  5. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    as far as breeds go, i think Black Australorps are a great breed! They are usually friendly, docile, and don't' mind being handled by kids. They are also GREAT layers. They lay a light brown egg. They're black, with a shiney green tint to the feathers (much like a June beetle).

    here are some pics of a black australorp hen and chicks (not my pictures, but i have some Black Australorp chick pics on my BYC page)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Another breed that a LOT of people like are Easter Eggers. They aren't a true breed, in that they don't have breed standards. However, that's a completely different matter. If you see a chick on a hatchery website that lays blue or green eggs, that's an Easter Egger. They come in all kinds of shapes and colors, and always turn out very pretty! They lay blue or green or "pink" eggs and usually have "fluffy" cheeks and friendly, inquisitive dispositions. I haven't met a mean one yet!
     
  6. Quadog

    Quadog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got into chickens a couple months ago & this site has all the info you could ever need. If I did learn one thing the hard way it would be to get everything ready for your new chicks before you buy them. That means the brooder, feeders,feed,waterers, coup,bedding, nest boxes,Predator proof run, & I'm sure I'm forgetting stuff. They grow way faster than I realized & it takes longer to get setup than I thought (ie. building Coup) but it is fun & easy once you get everything going. There's plenty for ya to do till spring chicks arrive & it will be alot more fun taking care of them for the first time when it is warm outside & ya got spring fever.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  7. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:that's a very good point! they DEFINITELY get bigger than you think they're going to get and sooner than you think it will happen!
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to the forum. Glad you are here.

    Chicks have certain basic requirements, food, water, warmth, space, no drafts, ventilation, and need to be kept dry. If you can supply that, you can raise them anywhere anytime. They do grow very fast so space is an important criteria.

    I don't know how much you already know. Ask whatever you want on here and you will get a lot of advice. Some of us even occasionally agree. We all have different set-ups and goals, so our answers will vary a lot. Just pick what answers apply to your situation and go from there. You can get a lot of information in the Learning Center, which you can find at the very top of this page.

    I also suggest three as a minimum to start with. They are social animals and three seems to work well. There are a huge number of good breeds and mixes for you. Any of the Rocks or Wyandottes, the Australorp, Orpington, Dominique, Delaware, Sussex, Easter Eggers, or Buckeyes would do you well and I'm sure I'm forgetting some. The ones I would recommend you consider is the sex links. These are cross breeds that can be sexed at hatch, usually by color or occasionally by feathers. They go by a lot of different names, Black Sexlink, Red Sexlink, Golden Comets, Cinnamon Queen, Red Stars, Black Stars, and others. It depends on what breeds are used for the parents. Since these can be sexed easily, your odds of getting all pullets are very good. They lay very well, are usually friendly with good dispositions, and are usually quite attractive.

    It can be difficult to get this small a number of chicks as most hatcheries ship either 15 or 25 as a minimum shipment. The chicks need each other's body heat to stay warm during shipping. This is especially critical during the colder months. My Pet Chicken will ship only three and add a heating pad if you live in a major metropolitan area with a regional post office, basically where you are guaranteed to get next day service. They may ship as few as 5 to a major regional post office, but for most of us their minimum shipment is 8. Ideal will ship fewer chicks as their minimum is $25, not a specific number, but they will add packing peanuts (additional free chicks to provide body warmth) as they feel the weather requires. Your best bet to get 3 chicks is to talk to your local coop or feed store (Tractor Supply is a standard) and see what their policies are, advertise on here for someone in your area to split a shipment, or try to find chicks locally. For local chicks, you can adverise on here, check Criagslist, or put up a sign in your local feed store.

    Another option for you is to buy three pullets locally that are POL (point of lay). That is a pullet t hat is about 20 weeks old and could start laying pretty soon. At that age, you know what sex they are and you avoid the additional worries of brooding chicks. They will cost more than chicks, but you will not need the expense of the brooder, you avoid the higher risk of mortality period in their growth, and somebody else pays for that feed.

    Anyway, that is my opinion and input. Again, glad you joined us and get ready for a fun ride.
     
  9. NateinFL

    NateinFL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would get no less than 4, that way they can look out for each other when predators are around. But I had a very happy and spoiled hen that was by herself when I lived in an apt. and me and the dog were her flock members [​IMG] so it also depends on how much time you spend with them.
     
  10. Germaine_11.20

    Germaine_11.20 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    Idaho
    How old is your daughter? Are you going 4H or just for fun?
     

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