Looking to add to my flock

On Craigslist there is a listing for some chickens for sale that are broody with eggs and one that has babies.  I would like to add to my flock but don't really want to have the extra responsibility of having "chicks" in my house.  How would I add a bird that has fertilized eggs or a bird with babies to my current flock of 6?  Is there another area I could try to get some new birds?  Thanks,

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  • Thanks everyone!  I will wait until the weather is better and get some chicks.  If I plan it correctly do you think I can raise them outside?  I will make sure they are protected from my hens. 

    • No, you cannot solely raise them outside without a mother hen. They aren't good at temperature regulation (warming up or cooling down) so without a mother they don't do well. Best to wait until they are fully feathered and have them grow into sturdy little hens.

  • Even when my momma hen was an accepted part of the flock, I gave them a separate fenced area so the others wouldn't pick on the babies.

    Broody in this heat?  No way!

    Be aware when you get chicks, they are straight run and you will need to care for roosters as well as hens.  I love roosters, but some cannot have them due to unpleasant neighbors.  (Me!  Me!)  

    I found hens that were healthy from a member of this group.  Watch the posts.

    There are certain feed stores in the area where you definitely do not want to buy birds.  Ask your chicken friends.

    • You can buy "sexed" pullets.  They are 90% accurate.

    • We are looking to add 2 or 3 chicks to our family this fall, is there a place you can suggest we can find some? We do plan on attending Tour De Coops this year, and could purchase then. Thanks for all your help
  • We've had more than one VPA member end up having to kill birds after buying adult birds on craig's list/feed store to add to the flock. I don't think any of them were sold maliciously, it's just a matter of immunity. I would strongly discourage broody behavior in this heat (being broody in 115˚ can kill the hen) assuming the hen stayed broody despite the stress of a move. Also the logistics of six old birds and a new mother with chicks could very easily end up with dead chicks; she doesn't have any 'respect' within the current flock and would have a difficult time protecting her babies against their onslaught, especially since they will also be attacking her. In short, bad idea.

    I think it's always worth it to start with day old birds.

  • Introducing unknown birds into your flock can introduce deadly disease.  I learned the hard way, and had to kill several of my favorite birds.

  • Be very, very careful adding adult birds to your flock, even if they look healthy.

    Make sure you quarantine separately!

    I always get day-olds to ensure that I don't inadvertently wipe out my flock.  Yes, chicks are a pain for a little while, but  they are also much friendlier when grown if you raise them yourself.

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