And then there were 4

timmersgal

Chirping
Aug 6, 2019
31
48
59
Southern California
Thank you all for helping me identify that out of my 10 chicks only 2 were in fact pullets. So I kept my 2 favorite Roos and my hens and the rest will be dinner. I watched as they were butchered yesterday. We are under quarantine here and I can’t get new birds yet, but i want to make sure when I do that I get hens. How do I make sure? I want to get a couple different breeds, so where do I get them? And when I do is it better to get chicks or adults?
 

Acre4Me

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Nov 12, 2017
5,050
12,816
617
Western Ohio
You can actually order pullets at Point if Lay (POL), usually they are around 16-20 weeks old. Shipping cost is higher, but you won’t be waiting long for eggs, and they will be guaranteed female. For example, on Meyer Hatchery site, they have started pullets for approx $15 each, many breeds. Many other hatcheries do this same thing. Good choice of breeds.

You can look for farms/breeders in your area and they may sell you young pullets. Buyer beware, however, bc more than one unsuspecting buyer has gone home with males if the farm/breeder isn’t reputable.

Look at NPIP website, there you can search by state for all NPIP hatcheries/breeders. Maybe you will find one close to you and can pick up birds, rather than getting them shipped once quarantine over.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
11,707
21,649
792
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
If you want chicks you can either go for sex-linked birds, so the females can be sexed by color/patterns, or aim for sexed birds from a reputable hatchery (not a local farm, as they are unlikely to have the training needed to sex birds with any accuracy).

If you go for older birds, either older chicks or point of lay pullets, you should be able to sex them yourself just by looking at them. The https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/what-breed-or-gender-is-this.15/ forum has a lot of examples and you can familiarize yourself with characteristics to look for.

I personally would rather get chicks so there's less issue with needing to do medical quarantine, and so I have control over how they're raised, but of course they're a little more work and there's also a higher possibility of getting a wrongly sexed chick versus a bird closer to maturity.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,226
32,115
1,036
southern Michigan
I hope your Newcastle issues go away soon too!
It's safest, IMO, to order chicks from a safe hatchery and grow your own birds, rather than getting birds from a random source. When it's safe again, if there's a hatchery nearby, check it out. Sexed chicks can include a male or two, but would never have eight of ten!!!
Picking breed is fun, and then find sources for what you are looking for, and place an order when you can.
Good luck!
Mary
 

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