United States Edition

I Ordered Chicks! 20 Barred Plymouth Rocks are coming!

Wednesday, 29 Feb 12 Cloudy -1°C / 30°F

  • 8
  • Very Happy

I did it! Today I ordered 20 day-old Barred Plymouth Rock chicks from Frey’s through the local feed store. I’ve been wanting to get chickens since moving here, and began thinking seriously about it last year.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading, including information in The Small-Scale Poultry Flock: An All-Natural Approach to Raising Chickens and Other Fowl for Home and Market Growers. It’s a very interesting read, and I’m finding it a good midway point between large scale production type books and those for people keeping a few pet hens in the backyard. I’ve ordered 12 girls and 8 boys, which I’m hoping means I’ll get at least 10 laying hens. The hatchery only guarantees 80% accuracy Barred Plymouth Rocks and only if you’re ordering at least 30 birds. Based on what I read in the Small Scale Poultry Flock book, I feel better about the boy birds living here for a while and then having “one bad day” than what might happen to the excess at the hatchery.

I have lots to do to get ready for them in the coming weeks – I need to make space to brood them in the garage (the basement won’t do, as the kitten I took in last summer is a hunter and I think they’d die of fright), pick up a lamp, litter, and feed, and rehab a shed off of the old garage to house them. They arrive on March 21st!

Comments

  • macchick

    macchick wrote:

    Good for you! I will have a new batch of chicks soon myself!

    Posted on 01 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • Deanna

    Deanna wrote:

    How exciting!

    Posted on 02 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • TropicanaRoses

    TropicanaRoses wrote:

    HazelJ, how much did 20 chicks cost you if I might ask? We easily go through 18 eggs a week at least, between baking and scrambled eggs. Just wondering. I am also trying to get an idea of how much it would cost to feed that many chickens. I am excited for you!

    Posted on 02 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • HazelJ

    HazelJ wrote:

    @macchick When do yours arrive? Are you getting White Rock Xs? If so I’d be curious to see how much more slowly mine grow compared to a meat-only bird.

    @TropicanaRoses I’m spending around $45 on the chicks, plus a $15 delivery fee (which is the same whether you order 1 chick or 200). At Frey’s the pricing depends on whether you order males, females, or straight run (not sexed, just filled into orders as they hatch) and the number of each breed you are ordering. The price per chick decreases at 20 chicks, then again at 50, and again at 200 I think. They were $2.03 for straight run, $1.65 for males and 2.65 for females when buying at least 20 Barred Plymouth Rocks. They were among the most expensive breeds along with the Rhode Island Reds. There are quite a few hatcheries in the US that send day-old chicks by mail and that have their prices online.

    I figured that the feed should cost me about $125 to get them to laying/freezer ready if I feed them organic feed. Other costs to consider are litter, fencing, waterers, feed troughs, a coop, etc. I’ve read that raising chickens is a bit like gardening in that you may not really save much (or in many cases it costs you more) over buying conventional products at the grocery store, but that most people stick with it for the satisfaction of knowing where their food comes from and the superior flavour.

    @LouiseM The Small Scale Poultry Flock author states that he only buys straight run because he is not comfortable with the ends the boys might meet at the hatchery, and I’d like eventually to do the same. However, since a straight run order could (theoretically, though the probability would be pretty low unless the hatchery is stacking the deck) wind up being all hens or all roosters and I wanted some assurances that I’d get enough hens, I went with ordering sexed chicks in somewhat even numbers.

    Posted on 02 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • redloon

    redloon wrote:

    Neat! I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences with them! I’ve been tempted by chickens and rabbits, but haven’t succumbed… yet. ;)

    Posted on 04 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • macchick

    macchick wrote:

    My chicks are free as my father is incubating eggs right now. Yours will start laying eggs around 20 weeks or so and will be full size by then.

    Posted on 16 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • nickyn

    nickyn wrote:

    1 more day until you see the new family additions! Have fun tomorrow!
    (:

    Posted on 21 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

  • HazelJ

    HazelJ wrote:

    Thanks Nicky! I’ve still got to go install the hook for the brooder lamp… about to go out to do that now!

    Posted on 21 Mar 12 (over 2 years ago)

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