Category Archives: Buying chickens

Purchased chicks from McMurray Hatchery

I haven’t had much luck lately getting my two-year old Barred Rock hen’s eggs to hatch out except for a couple chicks out of the 8 that I would put under a Silkie hen.

So, I ordered 25 chicks (plus the free rooster) that are Barred Rock hens.  The BR hens seem to sell pretty well here.  I want to keep maybe 5 for myself and I will raise the other 20 to sell.  The first of June 2016, they will be four months old.  I should be able to get $15 each.  That is 300 dollars and I am paying $95 for the chicks. I will make a little money out of it.  I will have to pay for four months of feed plus a little extra on the electric bill for the heat lamp during the cool nights.

I just enjoy raising the chicks so much that I am not really trying to make money out of the deal.  I would love to make some extra money, don’t get me wrong.

My Barred Rock chickens are at least two years old and I still get 2-4 eggs daily from the 8 hens.  I hatched out BR hens on September 10 and two more on November 14 of 2016 so I do have four more hens that will start laying.

I also have two Cochen/Silkie mix hens that just started laying in the last couple months.

My five Silkie mix hens are still pumping out the eggs daily.  They have been laying for about 17 months.

So even though it is winter in Florida, I am getting between 5-10 eggs a day which is a gracious plenty (as we say in the South) for just me and my husband.  It was 71 degrees here today.

So, just a thought, maybe buying about 25 hen chicks might work out well for you, too.  I do have 2 acres so that makes a difference, too.  Lots of room to keep the chickens healthy.

Isn’t it amazing that they can mail baby chicks to you thru the post office?  I know the chicks can last three days without food or water because they have absorbed the yoke from the egg as food.

I will go to the post office on Jan 30th when the chicks will be mailed off and give them my phone number so they can call me as soon as they come in.  I don’t want my mailman to deliver them to my house.  I think it is mandatory for a phone number to be provided to the post office to call you to pick them up. I expect I will get them the 31st or Feb 1 at the latest.

I am so excited.  Good luck with your chickens.  Keep their water clean and their yards clean and it is not hard to have healthy chickens.

Update:  12 May 2017, added comment.  Unfortunately, I ended up with four roosters out of the 25 chicks I received that were suppose to be all hens.  I called McMurray and they credited my credit card for the four roosters but it still remains a problem that now I have to find homes for the roosters.  That sucks.  I did manage to give one away to a person who purchased 5 hens from me.

I ended up selling the chickens earlier than I expected  because I needed to go out of town.  So, I sold  3 sets of 5 hens for 50 dollars so I made $150 off the chickens.  I put them on Craigslist for 12 dollars each or 5 for 50.  I am keeping five of the hens for myself.  So, I made about 55 dollar plus the 11 credited back to me and I got the five hens free basically.  Since I have not gotten ride of the roosters, I am thinking of processing them myself and putting them in the freezer.

 

Added a fluffy Silkie rooster to my flock

I love the fluffy Silkies.  I only have four girls and they are probably 2-4 years old but I can’t decide if I want to have more of them or not.  I may buy about 4 more females to breed with my new rooster.

The lady I bought Bernie from raises show Silkies and travels the country getting ribbons for them, I guess so if they are not show quality, you can get them cheap.  I only paid 5 bucks for Bernie.  I asked about buying some of her hens but she said 50 bucks and I said no thank you.  They are just pets for me.

I picked out Bernie among at least 20-25 roosters that were about 7 months old because he was hiding behind the others and acted like he was shy and scared.  He is brown with a lot of other colors mixed in (mostly reddish and blondish).

I brought him home and put him in a yard with the four Silkies and the five Silkie mix hens.  He acted so scared for over a week.  We have had him now for probably 6 weeks and he has fit in perfectly and we actually heard him crow about a week ago.

I wanted to take all the roosters home because the lady we bought him from has over 200 chickens and she said if they don’t sell, she uses them for dog food.  That broke my heart.

Moving those roosters out

I believe I am down to about 64 chickens now and I still have another 14 roosters I am looking to re-home.  Often when people come out for the free roosters, they want to buy my hens which are not for sale.

It is amazing that people are so undependable.  I don’t know why that amazes me.  People say I will be out at 4pm and then when 5pm gets here, I check my email just to make sure they didn’t try to contact me.  No phone call, no email.  How inconsiderate.  I have learned to give my cell number out and say call me first to make sure I am home.  That way I can go about my business and if they don’t show up, it doesn’t bother me.  Just because we are retired, doesn’t mean we don’t have a life.  lol

I am telling you this so if and when you decide to sell or give away chickens, make your plans for your life and don’t sit around waiting for people to show up as they say they will.

 

Too Many Roosters and Sexing Chicks

The only bad part about hatching out chicks is you have a 50/50 chance of winding up with roosters.  Buying chickens at age 6 months, guarantees you end up with a hen.   Or you can buy day- old chicks from a hatchery but you often have to buy at least 25.

A Craigslist contact I made sells her day old chicks straight run.  That means she doesn’t sex them for you.  You pay the money and may end up with all roosters.   It doesn’t matter to some people because they eat the roosters but I just can’t do that.  It is a messy,  smelly job and my husband says he doesn’t want to do it either.

So I have been researching how to sex the chicks.  You have to do it within a couple hours of their hatching.   You can go on U-tube and see videos of feather sexing and vent sexing.

The vent sexing is gross.  You squeeze the chicks butt to remove any poop in the area and then you can see inside the vent to look for the bump that indicates it is a male.  It says the vent with be shiny and have a bump.  The female vent is dull and no bump.  I would be afraid I would squeeze the poor little chick and hurt it.

The other option is feather sexing.  The primary wing feathers are the ones that are farther away from the body.  If the feathers look like toothpicks (pin feathers) then it is a male.  If the primary feathers have fluffy feathers on the ends of the toothpick-looking feathers, then it is a female.  Again, look at the U-tube videos for more details.

I guess there are a lot of things you can learn from specific breeds, too.  Barred Rock roosters have a yellow spot on their head and have lighter colored legs.  The hens of this breed have darker bodies and darker legs.  They have a white spot on their head, too.  I guess it is just a lighter color spot.

There is just so much information on the web.  Can you imagine if we actually had to go to the library and look this stuff up or buy books?

White Silkie Rooster Added to Flock

I purchased a white Silkie hen with some Partridge Silkies recently.  I want more white Silkies so I knew I needed a white Silkie rooster.

I went on Craigslist and this nice lady named Patty was looking for a home for her free white Silkie rooster.  It was just meant to be.  She had only listed her post 15 minutes before I read it.  After talking, she knew I would be a good match for her rooster.

I offered to give her a hen instead of just taking her rooster free.  I could not find a hen I was willing to give up so I just gave her 10 bucks instead.

She had a nice setup.  They had built nice houses for their chickens and a great goat house, too.  I got some good ideas from that visit.  Plus, they gave us a bunch of oranges off their tree.

As I said before, it is great going to other people’s chicken yards and getting ideas for my own building projects.  People are so nice, too and willing to share their experiences and knowledge of chickens.  I shared with Patty about hatching out chicks and offered to lend her one of my incubators.

I brought my white rooster home and put him in with the Silkies and the black rooster jumped him and fought for awhile.  I just couldn’t stand it so I put him in with five small Silkies and added the white Silkie hen to keep him company.  The yards are side-by- side so they can get use to seeing each other and hopefully that will help them adjust.   I hate that peeking order that they go through.  That is one reason why I always try to add more than one chicken at a time.   I also try to sell at least two chickens.   If there are two or more chickens added, it seems to confuse the other chickens and they don’t bother the new ones as much.  They gradually do the peeking order thing but they don’t do it all at one time.

I am hoping that I will be posting some news about white Silkie chicks in the Spring.   I have to keep the white hen with only the white rooster for at least a month to guarantee HIS chicks will be hatched.   This means I will be making more chicken houses and putting up more fences to divide my flock.   I am constantly drawing diagrams.  Oh well, at least I am not at the bingo hall wasting money.  lol  By the way, I am more of a slot machine grandma instead of a bingo grandma.