Another Question to Prove My Ignorance

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by frjeff, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. frjeff

    frjeff In the Brooder

    Jan 1, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    When I am ready to get the hens for my backyard (complete coop, run, etc.), do I get chicks or young hens?
    I talking here of my "starter" flock of 4-5 birds.

    Just seems that older birds, nearer laying, would be less cost in feed, etc. before they start laying.
  2. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    You are right about cost, but you get one little chick, & the spell has been cast. You will get more, & more, & more, & more. Before you even start, you'll need a bigger coop. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    Started hens will cost much more to buy and it will be hard to find anything other than the very common breeds. However you are right about saving all the cost of raising them to laying age.
    With chicks you can order much more variety, but will most likely lose one or two, so I always recomend a person just starting out to buy laying age pullets to start.
    There's really no right or wrong choice though, it's just a matter of what YOU want.

    And the only ignorant question is the one not asked. [​IMG] I've been raising chickens for over 40 years and still learning new stuff all the time.
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    It does cost to raise them from chicks, but you will also pay more for point of lay pullets than your will chicks. Raising them from chicks generally makes them friendlier too, if that has any importance to you. On the other hand, you will have to mess with a brooder w/chicks, and not w/older birds. You know the total (health) history of chicks for the most part, and not so much for older birds. But if you want eggs quickly, then POL or mature hens might be preferred... Pros and Cons for each really. Good luck with your choice.
  5. magoochie

    magoochie Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    Grantsburg, WI
    Birdaholic is right. They are addicting.

    We wanted to get older birds to start so we would have eggs too. But we ended up getting some chicks that were about 3-4 weeks old that we found online.

    The question is, do you want them as a pet, or just as a layer/meat bird? IF you want to pet them and interact with them often, you may want to get younger birds. In my opinion the younger they are and the more you handle them, the less skiddish they will be. Thats been my experience so far. But I am by no means an expert.

    Whichever you choose, you will love them and want more!
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    Check out craigslist in your area...I often see ads for people needing to sell their flocks for various reasons. You could have eggs from the start and later get chicks...of course chicks are cuter and more fun, but waiting for those first eggs is agonizing! Do you have a limit to the number of chickens you can have or were you just going to start small and get more as your go?
  7. [​IMG] from North Carolina

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