Baby Chicks or Older?

Mar 23, 2018
42
50
59
Worthington, MA
Hello Everyone!

I have been overwhelmed by the amount of wonderful information I have found in this forum. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge! It has been incredibly helpful.

My question is: being it is my first time raising chickens (for eggs), would it be better for me to get them as chicks or as pullet (did I use the term correctly?). To be completely honest I'm terrified of raising the chicks right now but I've been told it's better to get them as babies. I'm also unsure of where I would put the brooder at the moment. If I got older birds in a few weeks, I could easily put them in the coop.

I guess my concern (aside from the brooder placement and the $ to set it up) is that I won't have a "bond" with them if I get them older instead of chicks. I'm trying to get all sides to hopefully make an easier decision. I want to do this correctly.

Thank you for your help!
 

LindseyC

Songster
Mar 23, 2018
113
171
126
Shawnee, Ok
Great question! I'm totally in the same boat as you and am curious to know this as well. I've got a place for a brooder, but I don't want to be overwhelmed and kill them all because I'm so new to all of this. :(
 

AlleysChicks

Enabler
Oct 10, 2016
15,206
38,619
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Southern Ohio
People do both. But if you want to bond with them I’d get chicks. I’ve always had chicks and they’ve been great! I bought some “started chicks”a few months back, they were a couple months old. Not super friendly and I’ve been with them everyday, several times a day since I brought them home.
 
Mar 23, 2018
42
50
59
Worthington, MA
People do both. But if you want to bond with them I’d get chicks. I’ve always had chicks and they’ve been great! I bought some “started chicks”a few months back, they were a couple months old. Not super friendly and I’ve been with them everyday, several times a day since I brought them home.
Ok, define what a "friendly" chicken would be. One that comes up to you, etc? One that doesn't attack you? :p
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,218
491
Long Beach, WA
Most people start with very young chicks, simply because it's what is most widely available. Typically, older birds are harder to come by and cost more. I like to sell my extra chicks at 4 to 6 weeks old, once they are off heat and I can sex them reliably. They are still young enough that customers get the fun of having chicks, without the worry and work. Maybe put an add up on craigslist or your local facebook buy/sell/trade page.
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,059
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
Most people start with very young chicks, simply because it's what is most widely available. Typically, older birds are harder to come by and cost more. I like to sell my extra chicks at 4 to 6 weeks old, once they are off heat and I can sex them reliably. They are still young enough that customers get the fun of having chicks, without the worry and work. Maybe put an add up on craigslist or your local facebook buy/sell/trade page.
X2.
 
Mar 23, 2018
42
50
59
Worthington, MA
Most people start with very young chicks, simply because it's what is most widely available. Typically, older birds are harder to come by and cost more. I like to sell my extra chicks at 4 to 6 weeks old, once they are off heat and I can sex them reliably. They are still young enough that customers get the fun of having chicks, without the worry and work. Maybe put an add up on craigslist or your local facebook buy/sell/trade page.
I did find a place about an hour and half from me that sells started pullets - which is what got me thinking in the first place about getting older chickens.
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
Yes, you did use the term 'pullet' correctly, except for using the singular instead of the plural.

Personally, I like to get chicks. They're a little delicate, but they're far cheaper and easier to ship than pullets are, and they're much cuter. Assemble a just-in-case first aid kit before they arrive, no matter what you choose. It'll make you feel better. In addition to the recommended items in the link, vitamin B complex tablets are very useful, especially for leg problems. Many vitamin supplements seem to be a little low on the B's, especially on riboflavin. I suggest ignoring the electrolyte suggestion--you can make your own with very little trouble.

If you do get chicks, research cheap brooders. I use a huge rubber-maid tub with two grates on top of it (we have cats). Others use banana boxes (the huge type that stores get) or refrigerator boxes, or even old grain boxes (my Dad's brooder of choice.) You can make a temporary brooder very cheaply and simply discard it when done.

The heating element isn't very expensive either. I personally find heat lamps more flexible and useful to me, but Mama heating pads come highly recommended for getting the chicks on a day/night schedule, thus preventing insomnia, and also wean chicks onto not needing heat much faster.
 

AlleysChicks

Enabler
Oct 10, 2016
15,206
38,619
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Southern Ohio
Ok, define what a "friendly" chicken would be. One that comes up to you, etc? One that doesn't attack you? :p
mine are like dogs. Follow me around begging for treats and digging holes in the yard. They like to be rubbed on too.

Chickens that attack are dangerous and don’t stay long.

These started birds run from me still which makes it hard to put them up or really do anything with them. (Going on 5 months with them)
 

Kruchti

Songster
Mar 4, 2018
124
143
108
Galena, Alaska
I would get baby chicks, I would also get one of the new style brooder so I would not have to use a heat lamp. I enjoyed spending time with the little chicks. I’ve had many chickens that had names and would come when called.

I never got older chicks, so can’t say if they would bond with you. I like the idea of getting eggs sooner.
 

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