Will NOT be buying TSC feeds again
I agree. I prefer TSC.
I tried our local feedstore & was amazed at the stupid mis-information they spout as fact - i.e. I asked for organic feed (which they don't carry) & the guys response was, "Well it was all organic at one time, if you think about it."
Even after that, I still purchased from the local feed store 3 times, all 3 times they loaded the wrong thing & I had to make return trips to exchange. Not worth the time, effort, & frustration.
Plus we are blessed with a really great TSC. The staff is knowledgeable & helpful (they have never failed to load my truck for me).
My two cents!
I agree, our local place has a lot of Hubbard feed which is good feed when you can find a blend without medication in the mix. The feed store always says the there is no withdrawl like that makes it OK. I use Hubbard non medicated feeds for the pigs and chicken layer mix.
I used TSC Dumor (no meds) starter for the chicks -- about the only non medicated feed I could find for starting chicks. I still rotate in some Dumor feed for the chickens Chickens are healthy and the goats have beautiful coats and are very healthy.
I like Dumor and Hubbard feeds.
Wow you all have the opposite from what we have here! At my TSC all of the chicken feed is $14/50 lbs. The local feedstore charges $15/100 lbs. and it's fresh. Easy choice for me!
I hit up Tractor Supply about once a month or so and during Chick Days it’s impossible not to check out the new babies. I’m usually pretty good about not getting impulse chickens but if my kids are with me all bets are off.
As a veteran chicken tender I want to give you a few tips to help you make the most of your (impulse-driven or not) Chick Days experience.
Get Set Up Before You Go
It doesn’t matter if the chicks are coming in the mail or you’re picking them up from the local feed store, it’s really important to get everything set up ahead of time.
I have a semi-permanent brooder set up on my porch, my blind chicken spends the winter there and I clean it out and set up heat for chicks in the spring.
It also comes in handy as a temporary hospital, like when my duck got grabbed by a bobcat and escaped, when my Marans almost lost her head or when my rooster got hit by a car (again) and broke his leg.
Read more about Setting Up a Brooder & Preparing for Chicks
The most important thing is making sure your heat light or plate brooder is set up and getting the brooder up to temp. You don’t want to come home with a box of chicks and find out your bulbs are shot.
When I start with mail order chicks I put paper towels under the food dish and waterer to help them figure out where the food is. When you’re getting chicks from Tractor Supply you can skip that step if you want because the feed store did it for you.
Understand the Terminology
There aren’t a lot of confusing things about chicken keeping but occasionally you’ll come across a term or phrase that throws you off.
This is a mixed batch of males and females, ideally it’s a 50/50 mix. The chicks are sent as they hatch with no sexing. Sometimes you get lucky with mostly hens or really unlucky like the year 4 out of 6 of my straight run Buff Orpingtons ended up being roosters.
These are young, female chickens that haven’t started laying yet. Chick sexing isn’t 100% but usually they’re pretty good.
If you can’t have roosters where you live, you don’t want to deal with too many roosters fighting or you don’t like chicken soup you want to go with pullets.
Read more about How to Tell Roosters from Hens
There are two groups of chickens, you have the heritage breeds and then you have the hybrid layers. I’m a big heritage chicken fan, I love the history and I think they’re a better long term investment.
Hybrid layers aren’t anything crazy like a duck chicken mix, they’re a carefully selected cross between two chicken breeds.
The benefits of hybrid layers are: they start laying earlier than heritage breeds, they lay a lot of eggs and some can be sexed as chicks based on color.
Downside is you can’t breed them with predictable results and they burn out quickly on laying eggs, you’ll get a year, maybe two. I had a few hybrid layers many years ago, they were nice chickens but they didn’t last long. One even ended up waddling like a penguin thanks to waterbelly.
The varieties TSC carries seem to change every year but anything titled ‘sex-link’ or ‘Star’, Comets, ISA Browns is a hybrid layers.
Know What You’re Looking At
The stores are usually pretty good at getting the birds in the right bins but it’s not unheard of for some chicks to end up in the wrong tubs. Sometimes they’ll even have two varieties in the same tub.
Read more about Identifying Chick Breeds
My local TSC always has a tub of ‘assorted bantams’ that always seems to be Silkies and Seabrights.
Seabrights are a true bantam with an active temperament and are largely ornamental.
Silkies are known to be much friendlier and make better pets than a lot of breeds. They’re also easy to pick out in a crows as chicks, they’ll have black skin and an extra toe.
Read more about Bantam Chickens
The big thing you want to get right is not buying meat birds when you’re after layers. I avoid buying white chicks all together, when they’re only a few days old it’s not that easy tell a Cornish cross from a white leghorn.
Get a Great Deal on Older Birds
I’m not really set up to raise meat birds at the moment (and I really don’t like butchering, especially by myself) but if I was going to the cheapest way to do it is to nab the ‘old’ chicks from the feed store.
Tractor Supply gets chicks in on a regular basis, you’d have to chat with an employee to figure out the schedule at your store. Sometimes they sell out, other times they have chicks from an earlier shipment hanging around when the new ones come in.
The week old chicks are usually marked down to get them out of the way for the cute little babies. Yeah you’ll miss out on that adorable baby phase BUT you’ll save some money and you’ll be bringing home some sturdier birds.
Don’t forget to Pin this to your Chicken board!
Check out my Livestock page for more info or start here:
Glad you decided to our flock. In my 50 years of experience, the most common breeds carried by local tractor supplies are Rhode Island Reds (or Production Reds), Plymouth Rocks, Easter Eggers, Sex Links, Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Leghorns, and Silkies.
Click to see full answer.
Herein, does Tractor Supply sell chicks?
Chick Days at Tractor Supply Co.Live chicks and ducklings are now available in Tractor Supply stores. We have everything you need to care for your flock, including chicken coops and runs, feed and treats, waterers and feeders, supplements, shavings, egg care products, and other accessories.
how many chicks do you have to buy at Tractor Supply? In select states, customers can purchase a minimum of four chicks with the flexibility to mix and match with ducklings. Tractor Supply offers a variety of breeds, from Rhode Island Reds and Sapphire Gems to Easter Eggers and Silkie Chickens.
Also to know is, how old are chicks when you buy them at Tractor Supply?
chicks-8-16-weeks-old | Tractor Supply Co.
Where does Tractor Supply get their chicks?
The TSC here got their chicks from Privett.
Chicken Feed: Does Brand Matter?
Reading Time: 6minutes
It’s a common question when you’re figuring out what to feed chickens. What chicken feed brand should you choose for your feathered friends? Does it even matter? With so many choices offered in most feed and farm supply stores, you could get a headache trying to read all the different labels! So let’s break it down and take a look at what is offered, remembering that different areas have different chicken feed brands available. Some are only available in a small, limited market.
Chicken Nutritional Requirements
Before we go too far into this discussion, the first consideration for what to feed chickens is their nutritional requirements. Chickens need protein, carbohydrates, and fats, along with the appropriate vitamins and minerals. Most starter and grower rations will have 18% to 20% protein. This is formulated for growth and development of bones and internal organs. In addition, the fat, carbohydrate, and protein amounts will be formulated with vitamins and minerals for growth.
In some cases, a starter ration will pave the way to a grower ration. You will see grower rations used more in a facility raising chickens for meat than in a backyard chicken raising project. The final feed transition is to a layer feed.
As a growing pullet reaches maturity, the nutritional needs change. As the pullet begins to lay eggs, the calcium requirement increases dramatically. Excess calcium fed to growing chicks can actually result in weak bone formation because the higher than necessary calcium causes fast bone growth. In addition, a fully grown hen does not usually need the protein level of a growing chick.
This is why most people will start their chicks with a chick starter/grower ration and then switch around the time that the hen reaches maturity. An exception to the protein requirement might need to be made during a hard molt. Temporarily increasing the protein for laying hens, during the yearly molt may help them regrow feathers faster before the winter weather. As a side note, this is also an excellent time to treat your hens to some tasty mealworms, scrambled eggs, and the occasional treat of cheese to add protein into the diet.
How is Chicken Feed Formulated?
Now that we’ve discussed why there are different formulas for different ages, let’s explore the different brands on the market. I don’t mean that I will be examining each brand specifically, but instead talking about what to look for in each specific brand.
Protein: 16% protein is the norm for laying hens. If you have a rooster, don’t worry. This is adequate and acceptable nutritionally for him too, even though he is not producing eggs.
The main source of the protein in commercial chicken feed will most likely come from corn and or soybean meal. Fish meal will supply some protein and also a good source of calcium and phosphorus. Some smaller feed mills are offering soy-free and corn-free alternatives to the traditional chicken feed choices. Unfortunately, these feeds are not available in all markets. If you are interested in feeding your layer hens a corn-free, soy-free, or organic feed, checking most feed dealer’s websites will give you information on where the feed is available.
The chicken feeds come in a crumble or a pellet form. The pellet form helps them get more food into their bodies in less time. Occasionally, you may find a mash form of chicken feed. This is a very finely ground grain formula. Scratch is a mixture of three to five grains, primarily corn. It is not recommended as a complete feed for laying hens, but, it is a tasty treat and the chickens will be happy to receive it occasionally. Some people use it for training the chickens to go in the coop at night. It can also be used as a training reward in other situations. The fact that it is a high carbohydrate food makes it unsuitable as a primary food. Chickens can overheat in warm weather when fed only scratch grain. On the other hand, it can help the chickens to keep warm during the cold weather months when added to a regular layer ration in small quantities.
Read the Chicken Feed Labels
Each bag of chicken feed sold in the USA is required to have a nutrition tag on it. The tag will state the ingredients and the percentages of the main ingredients. Protein levels should be between 15% and 18%, sourced from grains, or soybean meal. The label will state if the grain is all corn or list the individual grains.
If you’re raising chickens for eggs, the calcium need of a laying hen will be much higher than that of a growing chick. Look for a rate of 4.5 to 4.75% and make sure the phosphorus percent is also listed. The phosphorus level is usually around .40%. Calcium and phosphorus, along with adequate vitamin D work together for strong eggshell formation. Ground limestone, ground oyster shell, and fish meal are all common sources of calcium and phosphorus. You can save your eggshells at home, rinse to clean, dry completely and crush fine, before adding them back to your chicken’s feed.
Fat content should also be specified. Most commercial feeds will use vegetable oil. This is the source of energy and it is as important as the protein level for growth and production.
Lots of Decisions
Soy-free, organic, non-GMO, all-natural, vegetarian, name-brand, generic brand, store brand; so many choices and how do you make a decision?
Commercial Chicken Feed Brands
If you know even a little about the ingredients on the label of each bag, you can decide what is right for your flock. If raising an organic flock of chickens is important to you, then search for an organic chicken feed in your area. A couple of brands to look for are Scratch and Peck and New Country Organics. Purina has an option in the organic, soy-free market but it is only available in some parts of the United States.
Nutrena Feed has a line of chicken feed called NatureWise. While not being an organic feed, it is a reasonably priced alternative. The feed contains no antibiotics or hormones. Be aware that even if a feed is vegetarian, this does not make your chicken a vegetarian. Chickens naturally eat bugs and worms and enjoy doing so. Unless you are keeping them in an environment completely away from nature, they are going to be adding protein from insects to their diet, making them not completely vegetarian fed.
Purina and Southern States are the leading options for poultry feed in my area. I have used feed from both manufacturers and I don’t see much if any, difference in using one brand over the other. My chickens eat both well, and I have not noticed any difference in egg production using one versus the other.
Store Chicken Feed Brands
Dumor is one of the well-known private-label brands on the market. Sold by Tractor Supply farm stores across the country, the feed is comparable to the other major commercial feeds. If possible, learn the manufacturer of the feed being sold under a store label. Chances are it is being milled by one of the major feed companies anyway, but offered at a discount price due to volume bought, lower advertising cost, and cheaper packaging.
Other Chicken Feed Options
You may live near a chicken feed mill that sells certain animal feed formulas. If you have the space to store the bulk feed, this may be an economical choice. I would ask for the feed ingredients, to be sure that all of your hen’s requirements are being met. In addition, ask if antibiotics are in the feed. Personally, I don’t mind using a coccidiastat for my chicks, but I am uncomfortable adding antibiotics to their feed without a reason. Each of us needs to make that decision for ourselves.
I realize that the feeds I mentioned are certainly not a complete list of what is available in our country. The point is, we have many choices of what to feed chickens. Take the time to read the labels, and decide what is the best feed for your flock and your wallet.
Chicken feed tsc
All Flock Feed Tractor Supply Recipes
FRESH RECIPES - TRACTOR SUPPLY COMPANY
Tractor Supply Co. Search Products Here.Press enter to go to results page Keyword Search ... Start Your Flock Poultry Breeds Coop Tips Chick Care All . Outdoor Life. Birding Camping Recreation Hunting Fishing All . Tool Shop. The Garage Tool Tips Stock Your Shop All . Garden, Home & Land. Gardening Fresh Recipes Heating & Cooling Bees Lawn Fencing All . Home; Garden, Home & Land; Fresh Recipes ...
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ORGANIC HOMEMADE CHICKEN FEED RECIPE (THAT WON'T BREAK THE ...
- Ingredients. The first question is to address the ingredients for your homemade chicken feed. You need ingredients that will provide the right protein, vitamin, and mineral content for your flock.
- Sprout Your Seeds. This is where the real savings comes in. When you sprout your wheat into fodder, you automatically unlock nutrients, and create a homemade chicken feed that’s easier for your flock to digest.
- Create a daily ration. Because everyone has a different amount of chickens, it’s hard to give you exact recipe. For 5 chickens, however, in my experience, the following recipe works well for each meal
- A note about fermenting. If you want to ferment your homemade chicken feed, you can leave the wheat soaking for another day or so. You will get bubbles what let you know the fermenting is taking place, and the berries will still sprout while submerged.
- Adding supplementary ingredients. You can add your supplementary ingredients to your homemade chicken feed, such as kelp, garlic, or oregano right before you feed your hens.
"ALL FLOCK" FEED? | BACKYARD CHICKENS - LEARN HOW TO RAISE ...
2016-11-29 · Bu where in the real world do you get it? I have looked at Tractor Supply, all the farm feed stores, even the local supermarket has ... layer and scratch (useless except for treats). No one has ever even heard of a general all flock feed, and I'm beginning to wonder if such a thing even exists or whether y'all haven't been spending just a little too much time with your birds. Last edited: Nov ...
User Interaction Count 31
Estimated Reading Time 4 mins
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DUMOR 17% ALL FLOCK PELLET POULTRY ... - TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
2021-09-21 · DuMOR 17% All Flock pellet is a complete feed for mixed flocks in a single bag. This formulation contains 17% protein and has been formulated to support and maintain the health of your backyard poultry, specifically gamebirds and ducks. with essential nutrients and beneficial additives including probiotics, prebiotics, and organic minerals, DuMOR 17% All Flock is an easy, worry-free …
Crude Fat 2.50% min
Crude Protein 17.00% min
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NUTRENA NATUREWISE ALL FLOCK PELLET FEED, 91594 AT TRACTOR ...
Country of Origin Made in USA
Brand Nutrena Naturewise
Flavor or Scent No added flavor or scent
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TRACTOR SUPPLY CO., 1780 FIRST ST, KENNETT, MO (2021)
2021-08-14 · Tractor Supply Co. Tractor Supply is your neighborhood rural lifestyle store, providing pet supplies, livestock feed, power equipment, workwear & more. Our team of experts, better known as your neighbors, is proud to bring you the products and seasoned advice you need. (3) …
Location 1780 First St, Kennett, 63857, MO
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CALLING ALL POULTRY ENTHUSIASTS: TRACTOR SUPPLY OFFERING
2019-07-24 · For 30 days, these young birds will need to be quarantined away from the current flock to stay healthy. Tractor Supply carries essentials like feeders and waterers, heat bulbs and lamps, quality ...
Estimated Reading Time 5 mins
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CHICKEN LAYER FEED
2018-11-29 · Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe (That Won’t Break The. Organic Homemade Chicken Feed Recipe (That Won’t Break The Bank) July 9, 2015 by Maat Of course most people are interested in feeding their chicken flock a homemade, organic, non-gmo feed you are what you eat, after all but if you’re anything like me, the expense is out of your reach.
Estimated Reading Time 7 mins
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HOW TO RAISE THE BEST CHICKENS FOR MEAT - THE SELF ...
2013-04-08 · Best Feed for Meat Chickens. To get your hybrid meat chickens up to butcher weight quickly, you’ll want to feed them a good quality meat producer feed. The formula contains a higher protein (21 to 22% minimum protein) content than chick starter, all-flock, or layer feed.
Estimated Reading Time 7 mins
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TURKEY STARTER FEED TRACTOR SUPPLY - EATMULTICOURSE.COM
2021-05-25 · We went to the feed store to grab a few bags of chick starter, but the feed store was low on supply. Along with the grower feed, other food like soybeans, grains, wheat, corn and rice may be included in the feed. Kreamer feed conventional chick starter/21% protein/$460 for 2,000 pound tote (.23¢ a pound) from tractor supply.
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FLOCK BLOCK POULTRY & CHICKEN FEED | PURINA
Flock Block. The Purina ® Flock Block ® Supplement is a treat for laying hens and mixed poultry flocks. Made from whole grains, it provides nutrients and enrichment no matter the season. In the summer it encourages natural pecking behavior, and in colder weather it’s a useful boredom buster – giving birds a place to peck besides each other.
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32 CHICKEN FOOD IDEAS | POULTRY FEED, CHICKEN FEED, POULTRY
Oct 13, 2020 - Explore Dorothy McDougall's board "CHICKEN FOOD" on Pinterest. See more ideas about poultry feed, chicken feed, poultry.
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TRACTOR SUPPLY CO. - HOME | FACEBOOK
Tractor Supply Co. 132 likes · 1 talking about this · 174 were here. Tractor Supply is your neighborhood rural lifestyle store, providing pet supplies, livestock feed, power equipment, workwear &...
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NATUREWISE ALL FLOCK POULTRY FEED FROM NUTRENA | POULTRY ...
Nov 27, 2019 - Provides proper nutrition for chickens, turkeys, geese, and ducks
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ANTIBIOTICS USE RULES CHANGE FOR BACKYARD CHICKENS
Antibiotics Use Rules Change: What the USDA Veterinary Feed Directive Means for Backyard Chickens Print Page A s of January 1, 2017, backyard chicken keepers can no longer purchase water-soluble antibiotics for their flocks without a prescription due to the US Food and Drug Administration’s Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) #213.
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ALL FLOCK POULTRY FEED BY NUTRENA | POULTRY FEED, ANIMAL ...
May 3, 2016 - Provides a complete diet for a wide range of birds, including chickens, ducks, turkeys, and geese
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BUYING CHICKENS TO START A LAYING FLOCK | THE CHICKEN CHICK®
NPIP simply means the flock has been tested and is free from certain serious, contagious diseases, but not all. CHICKS vs PULLETS. ... Feed Stores Corporately owned feed stores such as Tractor Supply Company (TSC) typically begin getting orders of chicks into their stores from hatcheries mid-February though April-ish. The main advantages are the low per chick cost and ability see & select each ...
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POULTRY FEED AT TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
DuMOR 17% All Flock Pellet Poultry Feed, 3006315-206. SKU: 149672799 Product Rating is 4.6 4.6 (155) See price at checkout Was Save Bulk Price Free ...
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PRODUCER'S PRIDE SCRATCH GRAIN, 50 LB. AT TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
Producer's Pride Scratch Grain, 50 lb. at Tractor Supply Co. Nutrition for Adult Chickens Producer's Pride Scratch Grain is a feed supplement designed to provide nutrition for adult chickens. This blend of clean, whole and cracked grains serves as an energy source, while pecking behavior provides a stress-relieving activity for confined or semi ...
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LIVESTOCK FEED & TREATS AT TRACTOR SUPPLY CO.
DuMOR 16% Layer Pellet Poultry Feed, 3006319-206. SKU: 149672999. Product Rating is 4.7. 4.7 (662) See price at checkout. Was Save. Bulk Price. Free In Store Pickup. Standard Delivery Eligible.
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DUCKS NEED NIACIN (AKA DUCKS LOVE PEAS!) - FRESH EGGS DAILY®
It also helps the body use fat, carbs and protein and turn it all into energy. A water-soluble amino acid, niacin is necessary for both chickens and ducks, but ducks need more than chickens do, and since niacin isn't stored in the body, they need a steady supply of it in their diet. Ducks Need Niacin (aka …
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WE DON'T USE CHICK STARTER: THREE REASONS WHY - A FARMISH ...
We went to the feed store to grab a few bags of chick starter, but the feed store was low on supply. A ... I read all kind of magic recipes but all wasted. Here in Queensland I have to keep them in enclosed yard due to predators. I do take them for a tour outside but watch them closely. Reply. Laura says: January 22, 2017 at 7:45 pm. Friends of ours only use “grower” feed for their flock ...
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NATUREWISE FEATHER FIXER POULTRY FEED | NUTRENA
Jul 20, 2018 - Poultry feed for feather growth during molt, and mite prevention. Jul 20, 2018 - Poultry feed for feather growth during molt, and mite prevention. Jul 20, 2018 - Poultry feed for feather growth during molt, and mite prevention. Pinterest. Today. Explore. When the auto-complete results are available, use the up and down arrows to review and Enter to select. Touch device users can ...
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CHICK DAYS! WHAT IS NEEDED TO START A BACKYARD CHICKEN ...
Please take a second and give us a like with the thumbs up button and hit those subscribe and bell buttons so that you'll be notified of my new content.Today...
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Have I mentioned that we love Tractor Supply? Friday evening we went into TSC to get some more chicken feed for the chicks. Of course we always have to look around no matter what the time of year. But being it is “Chick Days” we strolled on over the see if there were any baby chicks or ducks left.
I couldn’t resist. I had to take a few pictures of those adorable balls of puff!
I tried to take pictures of the Bantams. They just boggle my mind how small they are. However, the pictures were dreadfully blurry.
These chicks and ducks were 5 days old. Tractor Supply gets 1 day old chicks and ducks in every Monday during “Chick Days”. Many of them already had some little wing feathers. Wouldn’t you know that the “Weekly Straight Run” special were Barred Rocks? That is really what we had wanted when Jon did his research, but when we purchased our first baby chicks they did not have any and we could NOT wait.
Of course being a straight run you don’t know whether you will get pullets or cockerels. Most people we have talked to that have gotten straight runs (no matter what source) seem to turn out well over 50% cockerels. Here we were staring at these tubs full of cuteness while we felt a deep void from our recent chicken disaster. Surely, you see where this is going?
Well, the sign said there was a minimum of 6. There is no way that we could get 6 more in addition to the 5 we had left. The coop and run just wasn’t designed for that. We decided to ask if we could get only 3. Since we had recently gotten 7, they allowed us to get 3 more and “add them” to our original paperwork quantity. So, we came home with 3 new baby chicks that were 5 days old.
We are keeping them in a separate brooder box under the lamp not with the other 5 of course. We truly believe these 3 look smaller than any of our first 7 and they are older. It’s amazing to see how small they are compared to how big our other girls have gotten so quickly.
Naturally, I wanted to post pictures of the new babes, but again I really suck at taking pictures. I need to do better! These are the only two descent pictures out of several shots. Both of these are of the same chick.
We may need an intervention….
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If you’ve been thinking about having backyard chickens in Ferndale, MI, now is this perfect time to get started.
Every year in mid to late February, Tractor Supply hosts their “Chick Days”, where they receive shipments of chicks from hatcheries to their retail stores. For your average backyard chicken keeper, these days are a boon: it makes it so much easier to source chicks and visually inspect them before bringing them home, and allows you to take home a much smaller number than would normally be shipped to you direct from a hatchery. My preferred TSC is located in White Lake MI, about 45 minutes away from Ferndale.
Advantages to getting your chicks through TSC Chick Days:
- Chicks can be visually inspected for leg issues, disease, and injuries prior to taking them home.
- No “dead on arrival” chick issues that come from hatchery shipments; most hatcheries will only ship 30+ chicks at a time and often include a few extra to account for those that die en route.
- Supplies for chick rearing are located at TSC- you can get everything you need to get started right there.
- Smaller quantities: TSC requires that you purchase a minimum of 6 chicks. While this is problematic here in Ferndale where we can only have 3 chickens, it’s a far better option than sourcing through a mail-order hatchery that only ships a much larger volume (30+) of chicks per box.
- Chicks are about $4 each. $12 for your 3 hens in Ferndale (plus additional expenses to set up the coop, get feed, set up brooder box, etc)
- New chicks are shipped to stores every Monday. You can call to check what breeds they have every Monday around noon. White Lake’s TSC just had their first shipment delivered today, 2/23/15.
Disadvantages of getting your chicks through TSC Chick Days:
- Limited selection of breeds. If you have your heart set on a certain breed of chicken, you may not be able to get it at TSC. Right now, at the White Lake TSC they have Red Star & Ameraucanas.
- If you’re in Ferndale or a city that limits how many chickens you can have, you’ll need to consider how many of the chicks you can actually keep. You can have 3 hens in your backyard in Ferndale- and NO roosters. This means you’ll need to rehome 3 birds from your Tractor Supply chick run. You can do this by coordinating efforts with others who would like to get started raising chickens, or by rehoming through craigslist or by social media postings. I see a surge in people selling started pullets/chicks around March on Michigan Poultry & Hatching Eggs Forum on Facebook & Metro Detroit Backyard Chickens Forum on Facebook.
Points to keep in mind when getting started raising chicks in Ferndale:
- You might end up with a male chick/rooster, even if you select from sexed chicks labeled as female. There is almost always a chance that you’ll wind up with a male chick, and you won’t know until they get older and their behavior changes & they start crowing. You can limit your risk of winding up with a rooster in a few ways:
- never buy “straight run” chicks, only “pullets”; pullets = sexed as female
- consider selecting sex link chicks– these are chicks who have a distinct visual difference between
males & females, making it foolproof to separate males & females. Examples of high production common sex link birds are the black sex link (Black Star) & red sex link (Red Star). This is the best option for those who absolutely can’t have a situation where they wind up with a rooster.
- visually inspect slightly older chicks for characteristics of male chicks: look for thicker legs, bigger body, and a much more friendly/bold personality
- You will need a place to raise the chicks. TSC provides brooding kits, but they’re really only suitable for new chicks. You’ll need something bigger before long. This chick brooder box idea board is a great place for inspiration.
- You will need a heat lamp, and will need to secure it. Heat lamps are dangerous and can set wood shavings/sawdust on fire. Be careful by securing the lamp to something stable or in such a way that it can’t fall into the litter the chicks are using in the brooder box.
- You will need chick food. TSC has this, and it’s very cheap. You can get medicated or non-medicated feed; as much as I’m a pseudo-hippy that lives an organic lifestyle, I prefer the medicated feed to avoid potential illnesses among the fragile chicks. You can add in a probiotic to their feed when they are juveniles to ensure that their gut bacteria are all in order.
- You will need a coop for them to live in after they get bigger. In Ferndale, that means you will need to create a permanent structure, and go through the process of getting the building approved. Read more about the muni code & information on building a chicken coop in Ferndale MI. Chicks grow quickly, and will need a place to transition to- and you will look forward to getting them out of your house. Why? Because…
- Chicks create a lot of dust & droppings. The droppings are stinky, and frequent. You’ll need to clean the brooder box daily to keep the chicks from stomping around in their own waste. This gets tiresome, but far worse is the dust that’s created. This fine dust WILL coat everything in the same room as the brooder box. It’s not toxic or stinky, but it often comes as a surprise after you’ve had the chicks for a few weeks and begin noticing that all your nice furniture has a fine, pervasive layer of dust on it.
- If chicks get ill, you will need to get them medication immediately. That’s why I prefer having some on-hand, though it needs to be replaced regularly as it loses it’s effectiveness.
- Backyard chickens, much like dogs & cats, are a commitment of time, energy, and money. You will need to make sure they are protected, fed, and healthy- and because they live outside in a world that wants to eat them, that presents its own set of unique challenges. Plan on having to deal with attacks from local wildlife, and secure your coop like Fort Knox. Make sure you have a veterinarian lined up for illnesses. And always arrange for someone to look after them if you’re going away for an extended period of time.
- You will need to ensure that you don’t attract rats. Rats are attracted to food & places to hide: nothing more, nothing less. If you build a coop that won’t allow rats to get inside as well as secure all sources of feed, you won’t have rat problems. If you think you have rats, contact me immediately and I will help you figure out how to get rid of them. Ferndale has a problem with rats in the downtown area due to improperly secured dumpsters, we as homeowners must not provide ‘greener fields’ for the rats to move to.
- People who keep backyard chickens fall in love with them, but not everyone feels the same. By being a conscientious homeowner & chicken keeper, you’ll keep the peace among your neighbors. Keep it clean, attractive, and in-compliance with the law.
Ferndale, MI, USA