Unprepared Hatchery Mixup

Xotomi

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2016
4
2
24
Florida
We adopted our flock from the previous property owner. He had way too many chickens and no early months special feeding regimen. We hatched our first eggs last winter and did very well caring for them. I did not lose a single hatchling. Our birds are huge compared to their parents.

But this year we wanted to bring in fresh genes to the flock. I decided on a hatchery in Texas due to the much more cheaper cost. One that we looked at wanted $20-40 per Pullet with a dozen minimum purchase and $250 for shipping. My choice was $3-5 each and a $42 total. I know you are going to say, I got what I paid for.

Instead of receiving 9 Pullets, I received today, 17, one week old chicks. We are not prepared for chicks at all, as we got rid of our wood crate brooder last year due to it was left to us by the previous property owner and in very dilapidated condition.

We put up a new coop yesterday, just for our new juvenile flock members. I intended to only keep them housed in it until they were old enough to mingle with our older birds. I am very nervous about needing to heat chicks in this coop. I was under the impression Pullets would be feathered. I have a heat lamp up inside the coop. My husband intends to get a thermostat for it tomorrow so it will not overheat. I am venting the coop, cracking every sliding door. There are so many horror stories online about heat lamps inside coops.

I live in North Florida and it was in the 40’s overnight last week, but it is typically in the 60’s at night for the next few days. Should I worry about using the heat lamp inside their coop for the next month and a half while they are so small and cannot possibly touch it?
 

darlingdarla

Songster
Oct 28, 2018
106
171
116
Laurel, Maryland
We adopted our flock from the previous property owner. He had way too many chickens and no early months special feeding regimen. We hatched our first eggs last winter and did very well caring for them. I did not lose a single hatchling. Our birds are huge compared to their parents.

But this year we wanted to bring in fresh genes to the flock. I decided on a hatchery in Texas due to the much more cheaper cost. One that we looked at wanted $20-40 per Pullet with a dozen minimum purchase and $250 for shipping. My choice was $3-5 each and a $42 total. I know you are going to say, I got what I paid for.

Instead of receiving 9 Pullets, I received today, 17, one week old chicks. We are not prepared for chicks at all, as we got rid of our wood crate brooder last year due to it was left to us by the previous property owner and in very dilapidated condition.

We put up a new coop yesterday, just for our new juvenile flock members. I intended to only keep them housed in it until they were old enough to mingle with our older birds. I am very nervous about needing to heat chicks in this coop. I was under the impression Pullets would be feathered. I have a heat lamp up inside the coop. My husband intends to get a thermostat for it tomorrow so it will not overheat. I am venting the coop, cracking every sliding door. There are so many horror stories online about heat lamps inside coops.

I live in North Florida and it was in the 40’s overnight last week, but it is typically in the 60’s at night for the next few days. Should I worry about using the heat lamp inside their coop for the next month and a half while they are so small and cannot possibly touch it?
I've never brooded chicks outside but to decrease the risk of fire you could use a heating pad cave for a heat source instead. It's what i did when i received three one week old chicks unexpectedly this spring and it worked really well. The chicks duck under it if they're cold for a warm up just like they would if they had a mama hen.
 

keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,687
3,148
441
MA
But this year we wanted to bring in fresh genes to the flock. I decided on a hatchery in Texas due to the much more cheaper cost. One that we looked at wanted $20-40 per Pullet with a dozen minimum purchase and $250 for shipping. My choice was $3-5 each and a $42 total. I know you are going to say, I got what I paid for.
For future reference that $20-40 per pullet is for started birds. They have been raised to 12 weeks of age on average, and the price reflects the cost of raising them to that age. It's also very expensive to ship older birds hence the $250 shipping. If you're paying only $3 then they're going to be day olds.

I wouldn't want one of those 250 watt bulbs in a coop either. Look into the mama heating pad method, use a 100 watt bulb or maybe even a reptile lamp.
 

Xotomi

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2016
4
2
24
Florida
Saw your cave post earlier and none of those things in the store in my area. I have to order them and wait.
 

Xotomi

In the Brooder
Jul 26, 2016
4
2
24
Florida
Reptile lamp is probably available in stores. Thanks for the idea!

We would certainly have paid a higher price for juveniles. I feel it’s cheaper than our cost for weeks of starter feed. Only we can buy them from a local store in the spring and save on the shipping cost.
 
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