What would you do?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Goaldielocks, Sep 9, 2010.

  1. Goaldielocks

    Goaldielocks Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 17, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We started a year and a half ago with 7 wonderful chicks. They really were perfect (except messing with my flower beds)... So now, thanks to a fox, we have 3 left. I have a hard time thinking of giving them away, but we are about to order 12-15 chicks and worry about adding them to the original 3. My concerns are will the original ladies pick on the newbies? I am going to order 1 day olds from Ideal...what would you do? If I give the 3 I have away, we start fresh and have a chance to clean out and fix the original issues with the coop before the babes are ready to go in and they'd be ready for bug eating season in the spring. What would you do?
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. [​IMG][​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  2. sunshine23

    sunshine23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2010
    Hialeah, FL
    I don't think I would get rid of my first girls, and you can still get eggs while raising the baby chicks. Can you divide your actual coop until the babies are bigger? Where will you put the babies when you get them cause they obviously can't be out in a coop for the first 5 weeks
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I think you've got a good idea. Then you won't have to worry about the youngsters being beaten up by the older gals. Do you have someone, maybe a farmer friend you can give them to? Or you could list them on Craigs list. Or maybe an animal swap meet?

    I will sell some of my chickens if I want something different. I have limited space, and it's better than over crowding.
  4. SunnyDawn

    SunnyDawn Sun Lovin' Lizard

    Sep 12, 2009
    Nor Cal
    I built a bumpout on the back of my coop that is divided in two for new babies every spring. This last spring I had 3 groups of little ones so the youngest ones stayed in the garage brooder for a couple more weeks until the oldest chicks were ready to join the big girls in the main coop. The bumpout brooder is open on the inside to the main coop but has chicken wire on it so the big gals get used to seeing the younger ones until they are old enough to join them.

    At first I just let them out into the run with the big girls (both areas have their own pop door) and I monitor them the first couple of times. The big girls do try to push their weight around but soon learn that I won't tolerate it much. I also have areas for the younger ones to hide from the big gals in the run area. There is no way to avoid the pecking order adjustment completely but this helps keep it less traumatic.

    I thought it would be hard to do the final move to the big coop but found that, as time went by, more and more of the younger birds were just following the big gals into the big coop at night and fighting for a spot on the upper roost! They integrated all by themselves! My outside brooder is empty now so I cut out one panel of wire so all the birds can use this area to walk around in until next spring when I get more babies and I close it up to start all over.

    This kind of setup works well and I think you'll find that you will be adding birds more often than you thought. When I first started I thought that I'd have the same birds 'til they stopped laying but stuff happens. Predators, you've already realized, can change your plans quickly but so can disease, group dynamics and sometimes you get some problem birds that just need to go (feather pickers, egg eaters, non layers...). I haven't had most of these issues but just predator problems are enough to realize that new birds every year or two are a part of life with chickens.
    Good luck whatever you decide!
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  5. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    Never give your birds away unless you know that you're getting someone "HOOKED". I gave a woman 4 hens and a roo and already she asks if I am getting more in the spring. Heh, heh, heh. What kind of question is that? Of course I am, just 50 though.

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