Chicks vs Pullets

Fleetwood77

Chirping
Dec 10, 2015
61
3
61
Boise, Idaho
Hello,

I am a new member, living in Boise, Idaho. I'm planning on getting some chickens beginning of next year and we're already in the process of building a coop. I think the breeds I want are an Australorp, Rhode Island Red, Barred Plymouth Rock, and Easter Egger.

I'm not completely sure yet if I want to get chicks or pullets. I'm leaning towards chicks, but obviously I want to be sure that I can get females. At what age can they usually tell for sure? Or is it better to just go with pullets?

Thanks!
 

FarmerMac

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 28, 2014
423
37
91
Virginia
Have you decided where are you getting the chicks from? If you buy from a hatchery, you can choose females as the hatchery can sex them. if you buy older pulleys, you don't have to worry about heat as they would most likely be all feathered. The older pullets you could get from a local farmer.
 

Fleetwood77

Chirping
Dec 10, 2015
61
3
61
Boise, Idaho
There is a local hatchery (Dunlap) not far from me. That is where I was going to go. Their website says that you can buy "straight run" or pullets. I thought straight run means that they don't sex them, so I wasn't sure if they will (be able to) do that or not.
 

csaiz100

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 22, 2014
67
3
41
New Mexico
I will be in my"off" year this coming year. When I am ready for more Hens I will have to carefully figure out the cost of running heatlamps versus buying feathered out youngsters. This spring my electric bill went through the roof, I had 2 heatlamps going for 5 weeks, be forwarned
barnie.gif
 

Fleetwood77

Chirping
Dec 10, 2015
61
3
61
Boise, Idaho
Good to know. I didn't even think about electric cost. But yesterday after posting I kind of figured it would probably be more expensive to start with chicks just with materials needed, like the brooder, heat lamps, etc. The hatchery I am looking at sells chicks for $2.00 and pullets for $2.55, so pullets will cost me a whopping $2.20 more. Definitely much more economical. Plus it should be easier. I guess that settles that.
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Bridebeliever

Songster
Sep 12, 2015
2,005
272
191
Revelation 21:9 Washington
With such a slight increase in price I wonder what they mean by Pullet? Maybe they will only be 8 or 9 weeks old? But that is still feathered enough that if they are off the heat lamp where they are coming from you won't need to provide it. I would go for the older ones. I did chicks in September and had them off the heat lamp by 6 weeks old.
 

csaiz100

In the Brooder
5 Years
May 22, 2014
67
3
41
New Mexico
This is sort of tricky to figure. If you are only doing 5 chicks under the heatlamp for 6 -7 weeks your cost per chick will be high.
If you are doing say 20 chicks under the heatlamp you cost per chick would be lower.
Once you know the cost per chick under heat you can then figure out if its cheaper to get older birds that do not need a heatlamp

High math in chicken keeping
lau.gif
 

Fleetwood77

Chirping
Dec 10, 2015
61
3
61
Boise, Idaho
I'm not sure, but I plan to go in and ask them some questions before I buy anyways. Plus they have a store with supplies I want to check out anyways. Even if they are still younger, it would mean less time under a heat lamp and maybe a little easier in general to take care of.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
4,650
3,141
391
Hudson, Colorado
Good to know. I didn't even think about electric cost. But yesterday after posting I kind of figured it would probably be more expensive to start with chicks just with materials needed, like the brooder, heat lamps, etc. The hatchery I am looking at sells chicks for $2.00 and pullets for $2.55, so pullets will cost me a whopping $2.20 more. Definitely much more economical. Plus it should be easier. I guess that settles that. :)
They are simply referring to pullet (female) chicks. They will still be day old chicks. To buy a 8-10 week old pullet that is off of heat, expect to pay $8-15 each.
 

Fleetwood77

Chirping
Dec 10, 2015
61
3
61
Boise, Idaho
This is sort of tricky to figure. If you are only doing 5 chicks under the heatlamp for 6 -7 weeks your cost per chick will be high.
If you are doing say 20 chicks under the heatlamp you cost per chick would be lower.
Once you know the cost per chick under heat you can then figure out if its cheaper to get older birds that do not need a heatlamp

High math in chicken keeping
lau.gif

I'm getting 4. So fairly high cost in comparison.
 

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