We have new babies on the homestead! Twelve new chicks came home today and were put in our brooder. Time was well spent one evening after work this past week getting everything ready for them. The brooder was scraped and sanitized and the waterers / feeders were scrubbed and dried in preparation. Our heat lamp bulb had been changed and dusted and hung over the brooder. By the time, we made it home with the chicks, the brooder was nice and warm and ready.
We have enjoyed our mixed flock and the babies fall into that category as well. For now, mail ordering chicks is out of the question. First, my brooder isn’t large enough for most of the minimum orders. Second, I currently don’t feel that our work schedule is safe for picking up chicks at a post office. We opted to go to Tractor Supply and see what they had available. The chicks did not disappoint. All the little birds were lively and actively pecking or running around in their temporary homes.
We opted to get six of what they call tinted tetras, their only variety listed as pullets, and six chicks in a straight run variety. Our straight run birds consist of 3 breeds, with two of each breed: Red rangers, Buff Orpingtons, and what they call Asian. The tetras are from what I have read a hybrid cross of Leghorn and Rhode Island Reds. These should end up being really good hearty layers. The Red Rangers, a bird I wasn’t familiar with, turns out to be a popular meat bird, and they will soon have to be moved to a separate brooder space as they will outgrow the other chicks. The Asians were black chicks, and I really feel that the nomenclature was more or less a sales tactic. As these get older I will probably be able to determine at least part of their breed cross.
I have read that a large number of people refrain from buying chicks from TSC, as they either experience higher than normal mortality rates or the birds themselves not being true to breed. I don’t want to lose any chicks, but I understand that some may die. I have been lucky with my other broodlings and have never lost a bird. Accounting for breed, I wouldn’t consider anything in my flock, aside from the buff and barred rocks, to be pure breed. So, having hybrids for me is perfectly fine as all I want is healthy happy birds, eggs, and the occasional chicken in the oven.
Since I am better prepared for these chicks, having successfully raised chicks before, I am wanting to document their progress. Keep tuned for how they are doing!