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Baby Chick vs. Started Pullet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TheSpiceGirls, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I started with four chicks and one turned out to be a roo. So now I have just the three. I want to add one to my flock and I'm torn between buying a baby chick or a started pullet and I'm curious what your thoughts are? There are certainly pros and cons to both methods.

    Baby Chick
    I could wait for my BO to go broody and pick up a baby chick and let her raise it. She could reject it but then I could raise it. But raising a single chick could be tough. And then I still have to deal with integrating her to the main flock. And there's always the issue of getting another roo again. One big plus is that I would be less likely to introduce disease to my other three hens. And I'd hope that introduction to the other two birds would go easier since the BO would act as her mom and protect her. And watching a mama hen raise a baby chick is just so adorable.

    Started Pullet
    My biggest concerns here are getting her integrated into the flock and possibly introducing disease. But maybe I'm just reading too many worse case scenarios. It would certainly be easier than raising a baby chick. No need to have baby chick feed for the baby and setting up some way to keep that separate from the egg laying hens. Ideally, a started pullet could go right onto the layer rations that the other girls are eating.

    So I'm curious to hear from those who have small back yard flocks. How did you add just one bird to your flock and which way did you go about it?
     
  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No one has an opinion on this? [​IMG]
     
  3. CrazyCatNChickenLady

    CrazyCatNChickenLady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Either way I wouldnt go with just 1. Started birds you would have to [SHOULD] quarentine for at least a month to make sure they have no diseases. One long lonely month for a single bird. plus if you put them in with the other ones they would have a friend to be 'at the bottom' with. You can feed your broody/layers flock raiser while the babies are young if you go the chick route. Just have to supplement calcium. I wouldn't just buy 1 chick either..
     
  4. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    How old are your 3 chicks now?
    I would try to find some that were around the same age, personally, and I too would not get just one. No matter what the age, she will be beat upon to no end.
     
  5. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My girls are almost 7 months old. I wasn't going to add another chicken until this fall.

    I'm not sure I can squeeze in two more girls into my hen house. Maybe I need to rethink what variety I want and go with a smaller chicken.

    Hmmm, more to think about.
     
  6. Celtic Chick

    Celtic Chick Overrun With Chickens

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    I wouldn't go with a smaller chicken. She would for sure get picked on a lot.
    Maybe try adding one that is a little bigger than your girls? She'd stand a better chance against three.
    Just be sure to quarantine it from yours for a month, and then keep her fenced off from yours but in sight of them so they can get used to each other. If you have an exceptionally gentle one of your 3, or one that shows little interest in the new one, you could try putting her in with the new one so you'd have 2 & 2.
    Just an idea. [​IMG]
     
  7. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I can't go bigger. My Alpha hen is a Jersey Giant.

    All three are as sweet as apple pie. I don't see any pecking or chasing. But I know that would change if I introduced another hen.

    I guess I have to give this more thought before I make a change.
     
  8. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Started pullets!
     
  9. Sphinx

    Sphinx Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't most started pullets that you get from hatcheries come with clipped beaks? Or are you thinking of buying one from someone local?

    I have no idea if all hatcheries do this, but it seems like I read somewhere that clipped beaks were the norm with hatchery started pullets.

    That may be something to factor into your decision.
     

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