Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
posted 7 years ago
2 Day old chicks is a great way to start. You will need to keep them warm until they are fully feathered.
By raising chicks this age, they will grow accustomed to you, and your land. Chickens are rather simple minded critters, and fairly low on the food web. Therefore, they are easily stressed by changes. Adult birds who are moved to a new location can become very nervous, especially of the previous owner was not their best friend. The young chicks aren't old enough yet to be as traumatized by the move, and once they recognize you as the provider of their food, they will quickly learn to trust you. Older birds may never trust a new owner.
Happy birds stay much healthier than stressed birds throughout their lives. Stressed birds create more acidity in their stomachs, which allows gram positive germs to multiply rapidly, thereby making them more prone to disease. Keep your birds happy.
I'm no chicken expert, but we have six hens and they love us! They are our very best friends (next to our six goats who are also our very best friends). We got all six chickens when they were hatchlings and hand raised them. They bonded to us and now they're all part of the family (zero chance we'll be eating any of these girls). Now most people won't believe this, but our chickens are trained. They come when we call them, and they go into their coop when we say 'IN'. I believe at least part of the reason our chickens are so wonderful is because we raised them from chicks. You'll have to buy eggs for a few more months, but it's worth the wait!
ps: Buy more hens than eggs needed per day. If you buy commercial grain and play with the lights, you'll get a few more eggs, but why hassle? If you want four eggs a day, get six or seven hens. They cost $2 a piece and if you have extra eggs, you can make friends with the neighbors!
'Science is the father of knowledge, but opinion breeds ignorance.' - Hippocrates
Thanks you both for your answers with the kind of insight I needed!
I was ready to wait yes, and will get them when everything is ready to welcome them.
As I am from the "training field" I believe you about training hens!
And I had planned to do it.
Here they will have a natural life indeed, and natural light only. Being in a remote place with difficult access, I will have to produce most of their food, that will count for the number of hens I will plan, and I will make another topic.
About giving extra to neighbours, it made me laugh, as they are vegan. The cats will be very happy!
Xisca - pics! Dry subtropical Mediterranean - My project However loud I tell it, this is never a truth, only my experience...
I agree with everybody ,and get more chickens than you need, it cuts down on your dog and cat feed bill,eggs for everyone , plus your neighbors will like you more when you come to visit bearing free eggs
No holds barred. And no bars holed. Except this tiny ad:
Wild Homesteading - Work with nature to grow food and start/build your homestead