chicks vs older pullets

Terrie Mac

In the Brooder
8 Years
May 17, 2011
Hope this is the right forum - and hope someone is still awake.
We were rigged and gigged to raise day old chicks (1st time-never had chickens ). Although we were set to pick my babies tomorrow, we’re wondering if we should go with some older pullets instead. I wanted to go with the young chicks because I’ve never had chickens before and thought we could grow together, but reading about the sickness and such vulnerability – well, the pros of the older pullet outweighs the biddy babies. But what do I know? That’s why I’m here. Advice? And if we do go with older pullets…where do we get them? We live in the East Bay, San Francisco bay area. I’ve been waiting for years to have chickens, guess I can wait a little longer to make it right.
IF you buy older chicks PLEASE do not buy from a place that debeak their chicks! Most places that sell older pullets chop off the first half of the day old chicks beaks, leaving them with a life of nerve pain.......Google pics of it, not pretty....
This year was my first time raising chickens too! They have been SOOOOO much fun, we did the heat lamp by feel and were 100% newbies when it came to everything! Every chick that we bought are still alive, healthy and happy! We were thinking of getting older chicks, to get eggs sooner but when I saw the babies, I couldn't resist! Even my husband fell in love and had to make sure every chick ate and drank before he went to bed! The relationship you develop with them and vice versa is priceless! I loved watching them grow and change and develop personalities! I worried about getting chickens from other people that may have been carrying mites or any number of other things! You just never know! I talked to a lady yesterday who called to purchase my little OEGB roo, she said she went to get a silkie for the cage that came with her and when she went to get the chicken, the place was so covered in mites she knew she couldn't bring it home and infect the others... I still wish my chickens were laying now!!! I am 2-4 weeks away from my first eggs from myoldest chicks! Yahoo!!! But I will get babies every time! Good luck!!!
LOL! Thought a few pics would help!! And trust me, it's NOT that hard to raise chicks, don't let the bad stories worry you too much!!! We changed brooders 3 times and had ALL different ages of chicks, they were all just fine!
Second brooder, 2 box condo with food and water in other box, not shown!


Third brooder...NEVER had any problem with slayed leg with news paper or uncovered pine shavings!

This little guy me had to force feed and drink for a day before he learned on his own! We LOVED Dot!

And some before and after pics!!






Oh yeah, 1st brooder! Dogs LOVE our chicks!
Pullets are certainly easier from my point of view, but we are raising a 3 week old right now and it really is a different and enjoyable experience. We are very fond of our youngster and she is so tame and almost part of the family!
Baby chicks are the absolute best part!! Don't miss out on that
(Although be warned, baby chicks can be very addicting). I started with babies and they did great. You will learn everything you need to know and more on this forum, and you will do just fine!!!
Never ever no never would I buy from a place like that - but I would want to "pocket" it away.
What to do, what to do. Can one develop as good a relationship with a teen as with a baby? Oh, and I have dogs. Thought maybe a gradual introduction with the young ones might be better. Going to sleep on it I guess. Babies or teens? Humanly speaking I've had my share of rebellious teens. If chickens are the same I'll go with the babies.
One thing to consider is the cost of the food, time, and extra utilities you'll spend on raising day-olds to egg laying age and the possibility that you'll end up up with a rooster. It might be better to buy a 20 week old pullet who is ready to lay eggs.

I've got four 8 week old chicks. At least one has turned out to be male and will need to be re-homed. It's a bummer.

As far as places to buy chicks, I went to Western Farm Center last week & picked up a couple of Barred Rock day-old chicks. They had a whole section of pullets. I liked them a lot more than Half Moon Bay Feed & Fuel, where I bought the first 4. I've heard good things about Concord Feed , too.

Hope that helps,

Much thanks to all of you who responded. Your pics and passion encourages me. Gotta love bitty babies. My husband is pulling for the teens ‘cause he knows I’ll be sleeping in the hallway if I get the newly hatched- being they’ll be in the spare bathroom. Tomorrows the last day I can get the chicks that I want, so I’ll decide in the morning. Grateful to you.
Just wanted to give you one more incentive to get chicks ( I have 6 right now, a week old tomorrow). Last fall we bought 7 pullets from what was supposed to be a reputable chicken person (I live in the north bay). Long story short, they ended up having roundworms and 2 forms of Mycoplasma. This was all discovered when we had had them less than a month. I will NEVER buy pullets again. I will only raise my own chicks that come from reputable hatcherys/feed stores. Also, so far the chicks have been a joy! Sure they are messy, but they are so cute, and they really don't need too much. Just warmth, food and clean water/bedding. Hope that helps!
Thanks greenkjb, good to know about the older pullets. It's late, I'm about ready to go to bed... and tell my husband I'll be sleeping in the hallway come tomorrow.

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