What do I need to get started with chicks?
Check the “Basic Guidelines for Proper Poultry Care” page for how to get started.
Do you carry anything older than 1 day old baby chicks?
Unfortunately, we are unable to carry anything older than 1 day old baby chicks at this time due to lack of coop space. Please give us a call and we may be able to direct you to a source for older birds.
What is the mixing ratio for the vitamins and electrolytes?
One packet of vitamins and electrolytes is good for 128 gallons of water and the mixing ratio is 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water.
Do I need roosters with my hens to get eggs?
You do not need roosters for hens to lay eggs. However, if you want fertile eggs, 1 rooster per 6-10 hens is sufficient. Also, some prefer to have a rooster around as a “protector” of the flock.
How are chicks shipped?
Chicks are shipped through the United States Postal Service. They will be shipped priority mail or express mail depending on your location (check shipping chart here). The USPS is the only outlet for shipping chicks as they are the only ones who will accept live birds. They are shipped to your local post office and the office will contact you to pick them up once they have been received. Please check our policy page for further information regarding the shipping process.
What is Marek’s disease and do I need to get them vaccinated?
Marek’s disease is a liver disease that can affect and be fatal to poultry. We do offer vaccination against this as a special service. While it is a personal preference to get them vaccinated or not, it does protect them and gives them a good start.
When will my chickens start to lay eggs?
This can vary by breed, however, most hens will begin to lay anywhere from 18-24 weeks of age. Environmental factors and feed choices can play a role as well.
How can I stop my chickens from pecking at each other?
Pecking is a habit that chickens can pick up due to stress, feed deficiency, illness, or boredom among other things. Once it has begun, it can be tough to fix, however, we recommend using a red light bulb in the coop (makes it more difficult for the chicken to see any bleeding that may have already begun), place a head of lettuce or other chicken treat in the coop to give them something else to peck at, as well as to have the beaks trimmed the next time you order.
How many nests do I need?
1 nest box per 7 hens is sufficient. You can coax your chickens into laying in them by hanging them 18-20 inches from the floor and eliminate any dark corners in the coop.
Can I put new chicks in with my older birds?
We do not recommend putting new chicks in with an existing, older flock as the older birds will tend to pick on the little ones. You can attempt to introduce them once they are similar in size, however, keep a close eye for pecking issues.
Can I raise other types of poultry (turkeys, ducks, guineas, etc.) with my chickens?
We also do not recommend mixing breeds as they do require different feed, heat, and can pass diseases to each other.
Can I raise my meat birds with my egg layers?
Again, this is not something we would recommend. You can start the chicks out together, however, you will quickly notice the growth rate difference and your broilers may start to peck at/ trample your egg type chicks. The broilers also require a higher percentage protein feed for optimum growth.
How much feed will I need for my meat birds?
The conversion rate is about 3 lbs. of feed to 1 lb. gain on the bird. At the proper percentage protein feed, you will need about 25 lbs of feed to get one 8 lb. broiler. Typically at 8 weeks, you will get anywhere from a 5.5 to 8 lb. bird. Weight difference can depend on the sex as the roosters do get bigger, faster.
When should I get my broilers butchered?
This will depend on what size you would like them to be. Cornish hen size would be around 3-4 weeks, a fryer would be around 5 weeks, a roaster would be around 8-10 weeks. We do not recommend raising them past 12 weeks as it may become too stressful on their legs.
What should I feed my broilers?
Meat birds need a higher percentage protein feed than an egg layer. You will want to get a 22-23% protein feed for around the first 4 weeks and then drop it to a 20% protein feed for the remaining time. Your local farm store or feed mill should be able to help pick out a proper feed.
- *We recommend a 12 hours on and 12 hours off feeding schedule after the first 2 weeks to help reduce leg problems and heart attacks*