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where to buy baby chicks locally

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by laoster, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. laoster

    laoster New Egg

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    Jan 19, 2012
    hello,

    i am new to raising chicks. i would like to get some advice and information so here is a list of questions.
    first of all, i want to say thanks for helping me to the right direction.

    1. where to buy little chicks locally here in beaverton, oregon
    2. what kind of breed should i get
    3. we are a family of 3, myself, wife and our little dog. will my dog be a problem? she a little 6 pounds of sweeten!
    4.how big should the coop be for 2-3 chicken
    5.as for the chicken run, would it be great if it just dirt or sand on top of dirt?
    6. will have a heat lamp installed in the coop for cold weather, i see some picture of the chicken coop but don't
    where to put the lamp and how long should the lamp be turn on? during the night or day. again i live in NW and its rain a lot
    7. once the chicken coop is built and heat lamp is install, we can just put the little chicks in their new home or is there a way to raise them before or a waiting period before i put them into their new home.

    thank you so much and sorry if my grammar isn't great!
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I pretty much agree with Mahonri, but I'll add a bit.

    1. where to buy little chicks locally here in beaverton, oregon

    Possibly feed stores, or maybe go to the Oregon State thread in the Where am I? Where are you? section of this forum, and post there. You might find someone that can either provide chicks or point-of-lay pullets, or maybe they will split an order with you. You might also be able to put a notice up on your feed store bulletin board.

    One problem you might run into with buying chicks locally is that they are real hard to sex. It is possible your feed store will have a pullet's bin but mine does not. Each feed store is different, even if they are both the same national chain. That's why buying point-of-lay pullets might be an option for you.

    2. what kind of breed should i get

    That depends on why you want them. If for pets, practically any breed will do. If for eggs, leghorns are hard to beat, but there are many other very good options. But there are too many possible reasons you might want them to get too specific.

    3. we are a family of 3, myself, wife and our little dog. will my dog be a problem? she a little 6 pounds of sweeten!

    Dogs probably kill more chickens than any other animal, so that is a risk. Dogs can also learn to eat eggs, even if they don't bother the chickens themselves. But many people also use dogs to guard and protect their chickens. I can't tell you how your specific dog will react with chickens. I don't have any problems with my dogs and my chickens. But they were introduced fairly early and I spoke quite "severely" to mine when they acted like they were even thinking about chasing chickens. But I have also had chickens killed by other dogs when someone abandoned them in the country.

    4.how big should the coop be for 2-3 chicken

    You can get a whole lot of different opinions on that one. There are a lot of different things that go into it, the personality of the individual chickens, your climate, and your management practices. Chickens need a certain amount of space. That can come in a coop, a coop and run, or a coop and allow them to free range. If you have weather that keeps them in the coop a lot, or your management practices leave them locked in the coop a lot, the coop needs to be bigger. There is a general rule of thumb used on this forum by some people of 4 square feet in the coop along with 10 square feet in the run for each full sized chicken. That is just a general guideline for people that have to have numbers and will keep most of us out of trouble most of the time. There are ways to get by with less coop space if they have better access to the outside. Some people find they need even more coop space. My recommendation is to build it a little bigger than you think you need it. That gives you a little more flexibility in how you manage them, you tend to have less behavioral problems with chickens if they have some extra room, and I find I have to work less if the space is a little bigger. That is mainly about poop management. They poop a lot. There are techniques to handle it, but I feel the less often I have to clean out the whole coop, the better.

    There are many different styles of coops you can build, especially for only 2 or 3 chickens. Some things I would consider is that you need to be able to get to all parts of the coop; whether to clean, retrieve an egg not in the nest box, maybe make a repair or change, or maybe retrieve a chicken that does not want to be retrieved. If you are building it yourself, most building materials come in 4' or 8' dimensions. You can probably build a 4'x4' or a 4'x8' with less cutting and probably the same basic cost as a 4'x3' or a 3-1/2'x 7'.

    5.as for the chicken run, would it be great if it just dirt or sand on top of dirt?

    The critical thing is to try to keep water out of the run to start with. Try to place it where water does not run into it. Use berms or swales maybe to redirect rainwater runoff. Put it up on higher ground so it will drain if it gets wet. I'd guess you are going to have a fairly small run so it will be manageable. Sand on top of dirt is great for different reasons, but if it is set up right, a pure dirt run works OK too. In your climate, you might consider a solid roof over the run, or at least part of the run. Just slope it and the roof of the coop so the water does not fall into the run.

    6. will have a heat lamp installed in the coop for cold weather, i see some picture of the chicken coop but don't
    where to put the lamp and how long should the lamp be turn on? during the night or day. again i live in NW and its rain a lot


    I do not believe in providing heat for grown chickens. They come with a down coat. I’ve seen them sleeping outside in 0* Fahrenheit weather and do fine. Those trees were in a protected valley and they were out of direct breezes, but they did fine in those temperatures. The keys to me are to provide plenty of ventilation and keep direct breezes from hitting them. I do this by providing lots of vent space under my roof overhangs higher than where they sleep. That’s only in winter though. Your bigger danger will be heat in the summer. They handle cold a lot better than heat. In the summer I have a window at the level they roost I also open and I have vents lower down I can unblock. I do put hardware cloth over all vents to keep predators out.



    7. once the chicken coop is built and heat lamp is install, we can just put the little chicks in their new home or is there a way to raise them before or a waiting period before i put them into their new home.


    Here is a huge reason to provide a heat lamp in the coop. If you can keep drafts off the chicks and keep one area in the coop the right temperature, there is absolutely no reason they cannot go straight into the coop. My brooder is 3’x5’ and I keep it in the coop. It is made out of wire so it has great ventilation, but I put a draft guard around the bottom 18” or so to keep direct drafts off the chicks. I only keep one area warm. The rest is allowed to cool off to ambient, whatever that is. With my last batch, that was probably in the upper 40’s. They did great. They spend some time in the warm area, a lot of time in cooler areas, and just find where they are comfortable. I don’t have to worry about keeping the entire brooder the perfect temperature. They get acclimated much better than if they are kept in a hothouse environment. My last batch, I had them in an unheated grow-out pen with real good draft protection by 5 weeks old. At 5-1/2 weeks of age, the overnight temperature hit the mid-20’s. They were fine.
     

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