Buying day old chicks vs. hatching for friendly chickens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MaryZoe, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. MaryZoe

    MaryZoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Naples, FL
    Hello Fellow Chicken Friends,

    I'm relatively new at raising chickens, but I have both hatched eggs and bought day old chicks during this past year. I noticed that the four chickens that came from the eggs I hatched are more friendly and comfortable around me than the four chickens that I ordered as day old chicks. Is this typical behavior, or is this an anomaly? I would like a couple more blue and/or green layers (since neither of the olive eggers I ordered are laying olive eggs--just brown and pinkish brown). I know that buying day old chicks is easier and more convenient in many ways, but I really like the chickens that like me and that fly onto my shoulder at any possible chance, which, in my case, were the chicks I hatched. Is this just a coincidence? I'm open to both options: buying eggs and hatching, or buying the day old chicks.

    Thoughts are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    MaryZoe
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Coincidence. Of my five friendliest birds (of about 200 birds total), only one I hatched myself. The other four I got not at a day old, but several weeks of age - one as late as ten weeks.

    It's all dependent on the individual's personalities and how much you handle them.
     
  3. MaryZoe

    MaryZoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. This is helpful. It's simpler to buy the day old chicks. While you're here, and since you have Olive Eggers, is my experience of them not laying olive eggs also coincidental? I bought them day old from a hatchery with a good reputation. All the chicks they sent me are not healthy adult birds, but the blue copper marans' eggs are not very dark,and neither of the two OEs lay olive eggs. A little disappointing. I'm thinking of going for a Blue Isbar next. Or is this the wrong thread for such a question? :\

    Thanks again for your thoughts.
     
  4. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    You never see commercial eggs in any colors than white and light brown, not because it would be hard to make a commercial flock of blue egg layers, but because they lack consistency from eggs to egg, something the buyers for the supermarket chains prize very highly. There will always be a lot of variation in both blue and dark brown eggs. Combining those traits to get greens (olive or lighter) only exascerbates the issue, so there is some chance of getting less than optimal colors from your pullets. That is the main reason that I sell very few olive egger chicks, but the demand is there and so this year I am setting up more pullets to produce olive eggers that are sexable as chicks.

    My best suggestion is to get to know a local breeder that understands the basic genetics of olive eggs. If you are near Philly, I could hook you up, but where ever you are, there are sure to be some breeders in your area, though they can be tough to find. I'd suggest Craigslist and this site as the best starting places.

    BTW, my 2017 olive egger chicks will be autosexing like a Cream Legbar because their mom is a Legbar and their dad is a Welbar (autosexing Welsummer).
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Many hatchery stock birds do not meet breed standards (and thus keeper expectations) in many ways - this is due to the fact that hatcheries breed for quantity, not quality. Most hatchery OEs are made using hatchery Marans or other "dark" layers. Because these hatchery birds are not very good quality in the first place, neither are the crosses thereof. Truthfully, hatchery OEs are scarcely more than expensive Easter Eggers.

    A local breeder who has multigenerational OEs (bred back to Marans for several generations - these days you see some as well developed as 8-10 generations) or who is using good breeder stock in their first gen OEs should give you a more satisfactory egg color.
     
  6. MaryZoe

    MaryZoe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you again for this response. It makes sense. I live in southwest Florida, so I've been looking around for a more local, careful breeder. I think I found someone in Tampa who carries the chickens I've decided to try (Crested Cream Legbar and actual Ameraucana). I could also order from Greenfire Farms in north Florida, but goodness, they're expensive! Happy chickening! MZ
     
  7. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    On the original question about hatched chicks vs. buying day olds, I noticed a difference too. The ones I hatched from the incubator are much more trusting and considerably calmer... maybe something to do with not having been part of a mass hatch and then being sorted, tucked into a box and into the mail. The other difference could be I've since had a couple broodies hatch and care for their babies, so I've learned so much more about what they want (instinct wise) versus that first mail-order batch. They all turn out ok in the end, but it's so nice not to get the 'run for your life' treatment. The incubator chicks are are more like, oh boy, pick us up, what adventure do we get today!?!
     

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