As a newbie to chickens, should I do chicks or eggs?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Desirai, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    I know exactly what I want. Buff Orpingtons and Cochins.

    I know I want at least one rooster, I think a cochin.

    Should I go ahead and get already living chicks? Nowhere around me in my research have I found anyone that sells those 2 breeds. The supply/feed stores here sell leghorns, RIRs, plymouth rocks. I have talked to 2 or 3 people who live in my state, but.. 3 to 6 hour drive away.

    But someone I've met here has offered to give me some fertile eggs to get me started. However they won't be the exact breeds I want..and I may not get an equal amount of genders!

    Could any of you give me some advice or opinions?
  2. kari_dawn

    kari_dawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2009
    North Texas
    For starting out, I would begin with chicks. Eggs can be tough to hatch, and can be discoraging if it doesn't work out. You can order from hatcheries, or even ask your local feed store to order some chicks of the breeds you want, and purchase the chicks from them.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Absolutely begin with chicks. That's enough to deal with for a beginner. Incubating comes with it's own hassles, especially the whole issue of unknown breed that is in the egg, poor shipping, low fertility, etc.
  4. Desirai

    Desirai Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 12, 2011
    That's what I'm thinking. I would feel horrible if I got eggs and I didn't make them hatch. I think I'm going to try not to worry about where or who I'll get babies from til I get the coop built.
    But gosh, looking at everyone's pictures of their babies, I want some soooo bad..

    But I want to experience the joy of having an egg hatch.

    But maybe I'll get to that point maybe. At some point.

    Since I'm limited on my chickens I want to get exactly what I want .. [​IMG]
  5. satay

    satay oz-e-chick

    Sep 2, 2008
    Esk Qld Australia
    Got to agree with the others. Go with chicks first. The later down the track try eggs.
  6. SueBaby

    SueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    We hatched eggs when we started our adventure with chickens. We have young kids and it was really a great experience for us all to see those little guys come out of the eggs. Although the incubating and hatching were very exciting, it was so hard when we ended up with 2 roosters that we loved but had to give away. I would not suggest hatching eggs unless you know where any unwanted roosters are going from the start. At least when you buy chicks you are 90% sure you're getting what you're getting.

    I'm sure if you ask here on BYC about hatcheries/breeders you could find someone somewhat local or even just someone to ship you chicks of the breed you want.

    Good luck. I must say that after 6 months with chickens they have proven to be the most entertaining and useful pets I have ever had. [​IMG]
  7. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    How MANY do you want?
    I have had good luck with hatcheries, but they only ship 25+ chicks. But ordering them is often cheaper and less stressful (and dissappointing!) than incubating. You can get any breed you want from someone here (and better quality than hatchery chicks!) if you buy shipped eggs, but they don't hatch well and the incubator can be expensive and a hassle. Especially if you don't plan to hatch anymore later. I learned that the hard way when I wanted to add a few chicks to the flock, but was not ready for the 25 hatchery minimum. Out of 32 eggs, I got ONE chick. An ornry rooster. I still paid for those eggs, and I bought the incubator. All told, I spent MORE on my attempt to add 6-8 chicks by hatching eggs than I would have to order 25 chicks. Ordering chicks, I got (in 3 batches over 3 years) 78 chicks, though I paid for only 72. I was easily able to sell surplus pullets from my most recent order (I only wanted 15, so the extras I sold on craigslist for $20 each once they neared POL) PLUS since you CAN just order pullets, you know you get what you want.
    Unless you can find a good local breeder, I would order from a hatchery.
  8. ladyride

    ladyride Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2011
    East Tn
    I would try starting here for the chicks you want. As others have stated incubating can be difficult & disappointing especially for a newbie. There is alot of people on here that will have what you are looking for. Ideal hatchery doesn't have a 25 chick limit but a $25.00 limit so you can get what you want that way as well. Make it easy for yourself start with chicks. Make a plan for any unwanted roos sooner than later this problem will come up. My plan was to grow & process but that doesn't work for everyone. The breeds you are looking for should not be hard to find.
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would look online at a few of the hatcheries. Some are familiar with (not a hatchery), but you can order as few as 3-4 chicks. Meyer Hatchery in Ohio is also a place that will ship a few chicks, and their website is great for reading up on the various breeds and details. This time of year the pickings are slim, but by Feb/March they are back shipping again. Cochins are popular, but they don't lay a very large egg. Barred rocks are great and they are plentiful. Late spring is a good time for shipping--you have to be careful about extreme cold or hot temps since chicks can be lostin shipping during extreme temps. Be very sure that you want a roo because they can become aggressive, and very hard to give away. Unless you plan on breeding they are are not necessary for eggs. The farm stores in spring will take orders from local hatcheries where you can buy certain breeds. Wintertime is a good time to read everything you can get about chicks, build your coop, and then place your orders early.
  10. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    For a beginner the idea is to have fun and buying chicks is easy. You can go to a local farm supply and just pick everything up that day and start. Or Go to the very same store and buy set up stuff and get ready and go back now that you have it all that was on your list and go back and now get the chicks. 1 week old or 6 week old and your off.

    [​IMG] Have lots of fun!!

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