should I take on 5 week old hens for my first time?

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anitaws

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should I take on 5 week old hens for my first time?
« on: February 24, 2009, 10:17 »
I have been enquring about Barnevelders, which I am hoping to be able to collect early April.  The breeder said that if the older birds had gone would I mind younger ones, 5 to 6 weeks old.

As a complete novice I have no idea what I would be letting myself in for if I decided to have birds this early.  I am well read on point of lay and older but had not considered younger hens.

Would I have the basic requirements for their care in a roofed run with built in house.  No power laid on? or should I wait out for older hens.

I realise this is all on an if and a maybe but your thoughts on the basic care for hens thsi young or where I can find further information would be very gratefully received.

Anita

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Sarah Mitchell

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Re: should I take on 5 week old hens for my first time?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2009, 12:26 »
Hello!  In my view at 5 weeks (and at this time of year) they are too young to be outside without any access to heat (especially at night). Normal advice is that they should have additional heat (normally via a heat lamp) until they are 8 weeks old although you would wean them off it from about 6 weeks. 

It is also very hard to sex chickens at 5 weeks old even for the professionals!

I would suggest waiting and finding some older birds.

Hope this is of use

 ::)
Mad chicken woman

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anitaws

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Re: should I take on 5 week old hens for my first time?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2009, 13:01 »
Thanks very much. 

I had looked up 5 week old chickens on u tube and realised that they looked so small still without propper feathers.

I supose that if I just waited another 3 weeks or so, towards the end of April rather than the beginning that the weather should be better and they would be bigger/older.

I also am very doubtful about our neighbours accepting a cockerel even if it was by accident.



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