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Old 03-23-2010, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by headhunter74 View Post
look at mcmurrayhatchery.com.... they have some intersting combos.... dont have to get all of the same kind....
I second mcmurry hachery i have found they have a great selection and there chicks have alwayse been exceedilgly healthy I would recomend them Im placing an order in a few months
o and if theres a tractor supply near you they usualy sell em too
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Old 03-23-2010, 08:23 PM
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Great to hear you're thinking about getting some chickens. Some great advice here, so all I can add is: DO IT!

I got my hens a year ago. Great hobby. Very rewarding. You won't be disappointed. Just do it!
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Old 03-24-2010, 12:09 AM
lanahi lanahi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuniticFringeInc View Post
In my area the Feed Stores usually sell Cornish Rock Cross (big meat chicken) and Plymouth Barred Rock pullets (good egg laying hens) in the spring time. The rest of the year I have to oder them from a hatchery. I believe McMurry is who I have used the last few times I have bought chickens. The down side is the hatcherys usually sell them in lots of 25 chicks.

As for food. With chicks I would start off with the medicated crumbles as much as I hate that. The chicks do really well on it and put on some size quick. After they get some size you can use scratch which is really cheap and not all that great, but if supplemented with some scraps and free ranged is okay. With just scratch you wont see fast gains in weight or spectacular egg production, but it works. For egg laying chickens if you want good egg production there is a layer feed available but it cost more than the "Scratch" does.

I do about 4 batches of 25 Cornish Rocks a year and try to keep a good dozen or so laying hens on hand along with a seperately penned Rooster or two. The Cornish Rocks go in the freezer and any culls from the rest of the flock make soup or dumplings. It works out pretty good this way for me. The biggest issue I have had is keeping them safe from preaditors. A good strong chicken pen and roost go a long way to that end despite the number of preaditors in the area that will often attempt to get to them.
I love Murray McMurray
http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html
They are healthy chicks and their catalog is much fun to go through. You do need 25 minimum to order chicks so they can keep warm, but if you have excess chickens, you can sell them as a starter flock, maybe 5 hens and a rooster each starter flock. Their free catalog is very good about listing the characteristics of each type of chicken.
I like medium sized chickens that lay well but can also be used for meat. Barred rocks, Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, etc. The light breeds are usually flighty and nervous and arn't as pleasant to raise, IMO. The heavier ones eat more feed for the number of eggs they produce, so they arn't that efficient for egg layers, but are the best meat birds.
I've had trouble picking out an order of 25 chicks from them because I always wanted to try them all! I usually ended up with more than 25 of different breeds, including rare breeds. You can order straight-run, which are unsexed, but I prefered ordering them already sexed so I know I'd get the right mix I want. If you want to hatch chicks later, you need a rooster or two.
All chickens will hatch out chicks, but some are more broody than others, so if you want hens who will be good mothers, you will want to pay attention to the write-up about them. My favorite mother hens were New Hampshire Reds. The broodiness has been bred out of many of the breeds on purpose because they don't lay when they go broody for three weeks. You can start your own chicks in an incubator but it is easier to just let the hens do it!
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Old 03-24-2010, 01:04 PM
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Talking live chickens......

same place you get "hats for bats"
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Old 04-03-2010, 02:56 PM
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Default My little testimony

A friend and I ordered 50 chicks from McMurray's. Half Buff Orphingtons, half Aracaunas. Plus a few extras.

Go them Monday 6 days ago. This Saturday, all 28 are still alive. Now to be fair, there are one or two who seem to less energetic and may not make it, but I am pleased.




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Old 04-03-2010, 03:07 PM
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Go to backyardchickens.com!!! All your questions about space, feeding, coops, etc are answered there...some of the info you are reading in this thread will start you off on the wrong foot, and in less than 6 months your "like 2 or 3" will be dead.
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Old 04-03-2010, 05:08 PM
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This being Easter I have found them at my local Farmer's Market. Actually in a few weeks I could go on Craigslist and find them for free from the dumb parents that bought them for their children because they were "cute" and failed to realize they grow up fast and make a huge mess.
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Old 04-04-2010, 07:48 AM
Kfdiesel Kfdiesel is offline
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I would start a little bigger than you want. Some might die but I found it a pain to introduce chicks to a flock. Have to watch them, a lot of competition. They sometimes kill them.
I started at the library. Find a book you don't like or doesn't really apply to you-take it back, get another. The video section is helpful too.
For baby chicks I have gotten them at TSC, a local feed store, and a mail order business. Murray McMurray is a good one. There are many others. The periodicals section at the library might also have a monthly publication.
You can also look up Backyardchickens online. It's also a forum style site for raising a small flock, coop design, care, etc.
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Old 04-04-2010, 09:11 AM
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the amish sell them in this area
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