Ordering Chicks

Before we leave Arizona, I want to order our day-old baby chicks, so they can arrive at our farm shortly after we do. Gina really wants some rainbow egg layers (Araucanas I think), because she likes the look of the easter eggs. I really want some New Hampshire Reds, because I am worried about our ability to protect these chicks through their and our first Nebraska winter, so some rapid-maturing, and rapid full feathering is what I want/need.

nh-red-chicks.jpg

We should be arriving at our farm on a Sunday afternoon. We will be painting on Monday and Tuesday (although Gina has a medical appointment on Tuesday afternoon). We will continue painting on Wednesday, when the truck will be delivered. Thursday and Friday we should complete the painting and start unloading some of the items off our truck. Saturday we will get alot of assistance in unloading the truck, and that is when we should finally get a refrigerator. My guess is that I won’t want those chicks delivered until after the truck is unloaded, the house is painted, and my wife is generally happy.

I am thinking that during the move-in/painting week, there should be some time for me to put together a brooder for the chicks to live in and go into town to pick up some feed and a feeder and waterer. So I am thinking that the Monday after move-in/painting week is when I want the chicks delivered.

nh-reds.jpg

I had talked to Gina about the possibility of getting the Reds for the Winter, so they will be ready to lay eggs in the Spring, and then ordering some easter egg chicks in the Spring, so they will have an easier time of maturing, but she isn’t digging it. So, my current thought is to order 25 straight run (male & female) NH Reds and 11-12 Araucanas. We’ll see what Gina thinks of that when she wakes up.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Ordering Chicks

  1. I REALLY like my Ameraucanas (Araucanas don’t have tails, Ameraucanas do, but both lay colored eggs). They are some of my more outgoing birds (but not aggressive). My favorite one, Roxanne, likes to fly up on my shoulder and ride around. They have interesting feather tufts, are good foragers, and are pretty quiet. They lay pretty consistently, regardless of weather, too. We’ve had both extremes of weather and it hasn’t seemed to bother them.

    I got some NH Reds in the spring. They are a bit more aggressive than most of my other ones. They (and my White Rocks) try to steal food out of my hands and run off with it. Some people may be a bit overwhelmed by their “feeding frenzy” behavior, though it doesn’t bother me. I didn’t notice that they feathered out any faster than my other ones. They will be larger birds than most of my other ones. (My son named our cockerel Clifford. 🙂 ). If you are looking for fully feathered and cold-hardy, you might want to consider Cochins. They are beautiful gentle birds, but not record-breaking layers.

    I like all my breeds except my Silver Laced Wyandottes- I find them raucous and annoying. I’d stay away from Cuckoo Marans since all but one of mine have eventually developed leg problems or dropped dead at 8 weeks for no explainable reason.

    If you are looking for a self-sustaining flock, you might want to get a few that are known to be good broodies and mothers. I really want to get some more Silkies and that is one of my main reasons.

    Do you already have a brooder plan? I came up with an easy one that didn’t take long to construct and stores easily. Let me know if you want more info.

    Hope the move goes well.

  2. Laura,

    Thank you so much for your full and complete comment. You have given some really helpful advice that we will definitely take into account. I would be interested in your brooder plans. My plan was to build an ‘Ohio’ brooder, which is kind of an upside down box, with enough space for the chicks to run out from underneath.

    Don

  3. Here is a link to a posting on our blog from March. I’d be glad to discuss it with you in more detail if our design interests you. At this time of year, you probably wouldn’t need the cardboard to help contain the heat/keep out drafts.

    http://farmchronicles.wordpress.com/2007/03/20/roomier-quarters/

  4. Thank you for posting the link. After responding to your last post, I went looking for it and found it, but this makes it easier for others to find it. It looks pretty simple and adaptable and storable. The style of brooder I had been looking at is this one here: http://www.plamondon.com/brooder.shtml

  5. Ellen

    I use the Ohio brooder and I like it very much. I can’t recommend Robert Plamondon’s book on brooding chickens enough–Success With Baby Chicks. He addresses the breed selection with a simple table that shows the cost per dozen eggs from each of the breeds. He also lists the breeds that he likes best. The profit for commercial vs. non-commercial breeds at $2.50/dozen is $31 per laying hen vs. $5.00 per hen per year. (Even if you are simply raising them for your own use, the cost factors are important. I’ve taken his advice and been happy.

    I’ve heard, and it fits my observations, that red breeds are more likely to cannibalize each other. It’s important to have very light density if you choose one of the white breeds.

    Some day, I’d like to find a sustainable breed, so I’m not dependent on ordered eggs. Sooner or later the USPS will stop delivering them, which they have threatened to do in the past.

    He likes Barred and White Rocks if they are egg strains. The profit for these 50’s era breeds is around $23/year, a good tradeoff, I think, for sustainability.

    I’ve had great luck with the cattle-panel hoop houses we built from Plamondon’s web site.

    One more thing, if you are ordering plastic waterers and feeders, order them directly from Kuhl at the factory. They make all the chicken stuff that’s sold on the hobby and hatchery sites, and sell it for a lot less money direct to you. Ask for a shipping estimate, as this stuff is bulky, and it can be expensive to ship.

    The address is http://www.kuhlcorp.com/cgi-bin/cp-app.cgi?pg=cat&ref=poultry

    I like their bell-type waterer that I hang with a 5-gallon bucket to hold the water. Buy a couple of extra spring assembly for the inside, as these break during a freeze from time to time. They’re less than $2. each.

    I really don’t like their screw-on feeders, as the feed “bridges” and fails to drop into the feed tray. You can have a mostly-full feeder bridged so there’s no feed in the tray at all. I like their 25 to 30 lb. hanging feeders with the rod down the center.

    Good luck!

    Ellen

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