Wife wants to order from Cackle....help!


8 Years
May 14, 2011
Smoky Mountains
Ok, so the wife is looking to order a dozen or so chicks from Cackle. We have a flock of 14 girls and a boy, all laying or within a couple weeks of laying. We have a smaller coop that these would go in for a while. But questions...OH, SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!

Firstly, when you order chicks, they say day old...are they literally day old? Do you sometimes get chicks that are a week or two old? How does that work?

Secondly, wow...seems pretty overwhelming...I'm wondering if there is a "don't kill your chicks the first week 101" thread I might read? Something that simply takes me through the time between getting our chicks in the mail, and the period where I can put them outside in the little coop...whenever the heck that might be.

Should have thought this out before asking them to send the catalog...oh boy....
A "Chicken" intervention is necessary! Put the catalog down and back away slow. Do not go to your feed store and buy a incubator to hatch your own eggs coming soon.
yes,they are literally a day old. they absorb their yolks right before they hatch, which gives them roughly a 3-day supply of nutrients, allowing them to be shipped without food or water. if you wait, those nutrients have been absorbed, and they're far less likely to survive their journey (at least without providing gro-gel or something for them to eat in the box).

do a search on here for "brooders" or "brooder box" - it's pretty simple, they mainly just need a heat source and to be kept out of harsh elements. that's how you keep young chicks until they're feathered enough to go outside. you'll also have to introduce them slowly to the main flock, your older chickens will probably pick on them if you just throw them together. good luck
Chicks adsorb yolk just before they hatch so can last up to about 3 days without food and water. So any mail order chicks will be within a few days old and hopefully get to you alive. As long as you order in a mild season and keep an eye on the weather across the path they will travel to get to you, they should be fine. You will read terrible stories of dead chicks and so on, but more than often inclement weather and unlucky timing come into play. So do not be discouraged if you read such things.

As for integration, figure they can share the same coop when they are about the same size.
Yeah, as far as integration, we've done that with our last 4 we bought at 10 weeks. Kept them separate for 6 weeks, but let them free range together the last 4 or so. Things went perfectly.

As for feathering out, so they can go outside...how long does that typically take?
Yes you should be able to find just about everything you need to know here--and of course, the internet. I also bought the book Raising Chickens for Dummies. Very helpful book and I have used it and read it cover to cover several times and many pages are worn and dog-earred. Comes in handy when I don't have acces to the internet or other resources. Should be able to find it at any book store or TSC at a very reasonable price. Enjoy--this is on of the most enjoyable hobbies around..
LOL!!! I ordered mine from Cackle. they shipped on Wednesday and I got them this morning. All were/are healthy, perky and active. The only issue I had was that I got twice as many as I ordered! Be certain that when you place your order you are VERY specific if you do it over the phone, and leave no room for confusion. I ordered 5 gold laced wyandottes and got six gold and six silver. But truly, they came in healthy and beautiful!!
No, I didn't have to pay extra. When they realized the error was their they actually refunded me the cost of the extra birds I didn't order. What I had originally wanted was the City/Town Pullet Special - 5 Gold Laced Wyandottes. What I got was the City/Town Pullet Special - 5 Gold Laced Wyandottes and 5 Silver Laced Wyandottes. For a total of 12 birds. So, yes, they do add an extra one in for every 5 you order as a "just in case" type of thing.

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