Buying new chicks every year

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by chickie fam, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. chickie fam

    chickie fam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Erwin, NC
    Why is it that people buy new chicks every year? I don't mean to offend anyone but I was just wondering why.
     
  2. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    I like to buy 2-3 new females yearly in the spring so I don't go through a winter without fresh eggs. I had an eggless winter a few years ago and I'll tell you I hated those store bought eggs!

    Some people replace their entire flocks yearly but I don't have the land or the desire to do that. Depending on the breed many hens will lay pretty good for the first two years and then slowly their production decreases. My oldest hen is 9 years old (from my original flock) in May and she still gives me an egg a week (except during the winter months which she takes off [​IMG]).
     
  3. chickie fam

    chickie fam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Erwin, NC
    That makes sense. Do you ever hatch your own eggs instead of buying?
     
  4. sianara

    sianara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Central MA
    Quote:I have let a few of my bantam hens hatch chicks out on occasion but only a few eggs because I don't want the hassle of having to get rid of lots of roosters (I'm only keeping one rooster and he's a bantam [​IMG]) I've only kept one of the hatched hens and gave all the others away to new chicken people with small kids.

    I do enjoy watching a good broody hen take care of chicks, it's one of the joys of having chickens. One of my favorite big hens adopted a partially hatched chick whose silky mother was trying desperately to kill the poor thing. I loved the look of the silkies but after two of my silky hens killed 3 of their hatching chicks I got rid of them. My friend said those two silky hens did end up being good moms but I didn't have the patience for them (they didn't have the sense to walk up a ramp into their coop at night which was a huge hassle during the winter months!).

    I like to get new breeds every year so my flock is very colorful and so are their eggs!
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  5. 20123001

    20123001 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Delavan, Wi
    i have to order new ones every year becasue i show in 4-H and the birds have to be under a year when you show them! i still keep some of the ones from the previous year to try to get babys from them!
     
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I think the biggest reason is because most people live in cities, so the most they can do is get a few hens every year or two from the hatcheries or feedstore.

    The next reason is because most people don't quite realize that hatchery/feedstore hens have short production spans, so once the 2-3 year marker hits, and they bottom out on production, the natural response, especially with the hatchery helping by dropping by another catalog, is to order from them again. It's all the point of the hatchery and how they make money . . . Breed some chickens to lay as much as they can, so production shortens to about 3 very good years, then the customers keep coming back for more.

    Luckily I got out of that factory line cycle before my first hens even reached that age, and now all my chickens are hatched a new from my own current flock. I occasionally buy hatching eggs for new strains to be added or improvement or even a new breed/color to work on, but otherwise, I don't waste a bunch of money on new chicks every single year or two. If anything, I hatch out some of my own chicks and sell or eat the excess. [​IMG] If I hatch out someone else's chicks, I'm likely to keep what I want and sell or eat the others, too.


    And of course, one thing a lot of people don't realize is, that sure, some "show quality" strains are less productive when it comes to eggs per week, but in the long run, their productive lives are a LOT longer. [​IMG] Also, I've yet to see my hatchery girls actually beat my Ameraucanas, Araucanas, and Marans with production. All three of those breeds lay just as good.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    My plan all along has been to get a few new chicks every year and cull the older hens after their second laying season, in order to maximize eggs/cost. I didn't want to end up paying to feed a lot of hens in retirement when we aren't getting that many eggs from them since that would defeat the purpose of getting them in the first place. By getting a few new chicks each spring, I always have older hens in their second season, pullets in their first year of laying, and spring chicks growing up.
     
  8. chickie fam

    chickie fam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I can see the sense in that. I didn't know the production years of the hatchery chicks would be decreased so much. Where do you get the new strain from so the hens keep producing longer? Do you know if the Delawares are good layers?
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:More eggs in two years, or less eggs over 4 years. Frankly, it comes out about the same. There is some science that indicates that hens, like most other animals, has virtually a fixed number of eggs.

    So, if feed costs is a concern, it is cheaper to feed a high producer for only two years, than to feed a hen for 4 years to get the same number of eggs. Makes sense for the producer. Doesn't likely matter to the pet oriented owner.
     
  10. Steve_of_sandspoultry

    Steve_of_sandspoultry Overrun With Chickens

    I always wondered that myself, we live in a rural area and we sell thousands of chicks every spring. You would think there would be a chicken in every yard in every county around us but there isn't. I hear alot of "the dog got them" hawks, foxes, owls got them. People just turn them out and wonder why one by one the go away.

    Steve
     

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