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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:13 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:56 pm
Posts: 29
Hi there,

We're looking at getting a small number of chicks. Having sadly lost one of our three chooks last week, we thought it might be a good excuse to add two or three to our backyard 'flock'. I have a couple of questions though...

Do people buy two or three chicks (day old or close, perhaps)? It sounds like such a small number to me, but we don't want any more than that to eventually move into our coop outside.

If there are days when nobody is home between about 8:30 - 3:30, is that a problem? I work two days a week, but have someone who could pop in in the middle of the day if need be. Providing all is going well and the food/drink/heat lamp situation was appropriate, I would imagine they'd be right occasionally?

Any help in these areas of ignorance would be great!

Thanks. :-)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 4:04 pm 
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Golden Robin
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Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 5:26 pm
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Location: Tuross Head, NSW fsr south east coast
If you check them for food, water and warmth before you then they should be right til the time you get home. I have raised chicks that I have left in the garage and basically only checked twice or three times a day. They must safe and secure though in some sort of a brooder.

The chicks you buy at pet shops and similar places are usually much closer to a week old with all things supply, transport etc and quite often unsexed. Week old chickens are quite sturdy little birds. Added to that, its not uncommon to lose one or along the way for various reasons. When you do buy them make sure they are layer chicks and not meat chicks. Quite different birds.

It is a lot more common to buy point of lay hens from one of the business that regularly supply produce stores. These are pullets that are 16 or so weeks old and they begin to lay within a few weeks. Check your produce store. Dont just buy one and your two remaining hens could very well bully a single pullet to death.

Mike

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:17 pm 
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Assist Admin
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Joined: Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:06 pm
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Also try to ensure that the birds are sexed as pullets. Otherwise you may end up with 2 or 3 crowers in the backyard

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:34 pm 
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Great Game
Great Game

Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:20 pm
Posts: 1280
Location: Thirlmere nsw
If you can source them 6 week old chicks , sexed and off heat are a good choice. Otherwise as Mike said buy at point of lay, there is plenty around and the hard work is done. And believe me you might think they are expensive but in reality the cost of feeding and raising them , plus disposing of cockerals, there isn't much margin for profit for the supplier. Buying at week old isn't bad if you can sex them reasonably, but even for the experienced you can get it wrong, at six weeks they should be easy to sex for most breeds. (Except Silkies). Good luck, it is fun raising them but :biggrin: .


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 1:07 am 
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Gallant Game
Gallant Game

Joined: Fri May 15, 2015 9:54 pm
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Location: adelaide
as long as they have food and water and are safe from predators I would say very little.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:10 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
What petanque said. Water that is not too deep that they can drown, adequate heat and an area which is cooler. And an escape proof, secure brooder.
Chicks from commercial hatcheries are generally sold as sexed females.(generally reliable if you want commercial layers).
Some pure breeds can be sexed fairly reliably at day old by an experienced breeder- eg. some lines of Wellsummers, Barnevelders, Plymouth Rocks and there are some auto sexing cross breeds. Sourcing them may be a challenge.


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