Baby Chicks VS Older Pullets

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MrsBrooke, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    271
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    First time chicken mama, here...

    My husband and I are planning on getting some chickens in the next two weeks or so to go along with our coop... You can find that journey in the Coop forum. ^_^

    We have the opportunity to purchase some 4- to 6-week old pullets or order baby chicks from a hatchery. Factor out money... We would get 4 or 5 pullets from a breeder or 20 hatchery chicks,

    I'm curious if anyone has insight on which would be the better route to go. As all chickens mentioned in this thread would EVENTUALLY start laying eggs, I'm not too concerned with the "Well, the older ones would lay sooner" logic. We can wait a few more weeks for eggs.

    Would it be a good idea to start with the pullets and order chicks to add later?

    Should we just order chicks and do the brooder thing?

    Should we just get pullets and track down a roo to make more baby chicks?

    Either way. we will be having a rooster (or two) with the flock for future chicks. They are allowed in our neck of the woods, and our neighbors all have them... Part of the area's charm!

    As this is our first rodeo with chickens, I was hoping for some insight from those who have gone before. :)

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    273
    8
    71
    Jul 17, 2014
    It depends what YOU really want. I personally would start with the chicks. I really enjoyed the whole experience from the very beginning of their lives. It was very fun to raise them in the house (had an incident when I woke up though, and one of the chicks, Beakers, had flown out of the brooder and was walking around my livingroom!). For your first chickens, I would reccomend getting them as chicks (as long as you know how to raise them), and then later you can get a rooster and have more chicks.

    :)
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,323
    456
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I'd start with pullets. First off it's cheaper. They are feathered out and ready to go outside so you don't need a brooder and heat lamp. Less chance of losing any. The weaker ones have already died and you are left with the stronger ones. You should have a better idea that you are only getting pullets and not 10% roosters which is the standard incorrectly sexed from hatcheries. The breeder should also have higher quality birds. He should also be raising birds that are best suited for your area. The only drawback I see is if the breeder does not have the breeds you want. But let's be honest. You will go back to the well over and over and there is all the time in the world to get everything you want. Roosters are a dime a dozen so you can always find one from either this breeder or CL and most of the time they are free.

    Simply the process and start with pullets. You say you can wait another month for eggs but no matter how many chicks you raise, it's still torture waiting for that first one to show up.
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    271
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Percheron chick, you have backed up everything DH thought. I am on the fence about it... probably because I want the fluffy little babies and that "fulfilling" experience!

    I've often heard hatchery chicks have a lesser chance of going broody. If we want babies, that's no good. I'd rather break a broody hen than her never go broody.

    We're going to start a flock of Australorps. They are by far one of the best birds for our purposes.

    I'm currently trying to find out if this lady is a true breeder, or if she raises hatchery chicks and sells them after they grow a little.

    We shall see! Thanks for the input. More is welcome!
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,323
    456
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Well the last thing I wanted to do was give your DH more ammunition!

    Broodiness has more to do with breed. I have hatchery birds that go broody 2-3 times a year. I have let 2 of them raise chicks and keets and they were both excellent mothers.
     
  6. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,975
    174
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    KNowing what I know noww about hatchery birds, if I started over I would go with the breeder hands down. I love my hatchery birds, but all in all I think you get much better quaility, nicer, birds, and healthier birds with a true breeder. You also have the risk of getting roos with chicks, with 20 you WILL get at LEAST one if you are lucky, probably 2 or 3.
     
  7. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    271
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Well, ultimately it depends on whether this "breeder" actually BREEDS them or buys them from a hatchery and gets them past the chick stage for people to buy. For a 4-week pullet, she's asking $12. I'm too new at this to determine if that's a breeder price or raised-hatchery bird.

    I've heard black Aussies make good mamas... and we do want a roo or two for fertilized eggs.

    If our breeder gets her chicks from a hatchery, I don't want to pay a premium for something we could do ourselves.

    On a semi-related note: Is it possible to start a breeding program with hatchery birds??
     
  8. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,975
    174
    198
    Jul 13, 2013
    SW Kansas
    Certainly, that may be what this lady has done. Some hatcheries have better quality than others, it also varies with the breed. I received some lovely Buff Brahmas through Meyer that I will be breeding.
     
  9. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,323
    456
    221
    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I've raised about 150 pullets to POL and sold them all on CL. Mine were all hatchery birds from Privett. Nothing wrong with the quality and laying ability. $12 is a bit much for a 4 week old unless it is a rarer breed (BAs are not) or of better quality. Go to the BA club website and see if she's on there. Ask where her stock originated. You can start a breeding program from hatchery stock but it will require more heavy culling, raising larger #s to get what you are looking for, generations to step up in quality which will all cost you more $$ than just buying the best you can find to start with. Some breeders only sell their culls so keep that in the back of your mind too.
     
  10. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    271
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas

    EXCELLENT info!! Thank you! She hasn't replied to me yet. We found several ads on CL (including hers) that are selling laying BAs that are 6.5 months old for $20.

    We're coming to find there are several options... but we've had yet to find anyone with a spare roo!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by