Do I want chicks or full-grown hens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Stormy, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. Stormy

    Stormy Chirping

    Jun 7, 2008
    South Carolina
    This is my first real venture into raising chickens. I plan on having about 12-15 hens with a possibly a rooster.

    My purpose in having the chickens is for the eggs as well as the fun of having them.

    Wouldn't it be better to buy the hens that are already laying from a local person? I wouldn't have to wait 5 months or more for eggs.....

    Or is getting the chicks better - so they will bond with me and know who I am.....

    Are their pro's and con's of either one that I need to know about?


  2. wynedot55

    wynedot55 Songster

    Mar 28, 2007
    alot depends on the price of point of lay pullets in your how much your willing to spend for them.for pol hens your looning at $100 to $150 maybe more for 10 to 15 you can order 25 pullet chicks for $55.thats 1/3 of the pol hens.the choice is really up to you.
  3. 65browneyes

    65browneyes Songster

    Mar 2, 2007
    My first chickens were laying hens. Having NO experience with chickens, I think this was the best way to start for me. The second year, I adopted a hen and her chicks from a neighbor. This year, I got hatchery chicks from the feed store and brooded them myself. Next year, I hope to have fertile eggs under a broody hen.

    Worked for me, but it was what I was comfortable with. You'll have to 'go with your gut' on this one.
  4. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    I vote chicks from a disease free source(NPIP certified), then you can tame them down. You can always buy eggs for a while longer from a free range source. Adult hens may not become that tame, depending on how they were raised. And chicks are so cute, but like puppies they are some more work then adults.
  5. My thought is, what if you buy laying hens from someone and they are towards the end of their egg-laying cycle. i understand that two years is about the tops of their cycle. Then you just have a pet chicken.

    i personally love raising baby chicks. Yes it's a lot of work, dust, and smell. But nothing beats hearing those adorable peeping sounds. i wish i had a cd of those sounds to play in the house all the time.

    Then it's so much fun watching them grow up, giving them their first taste of yogurt, and then watching them go wild over mealworms. Then waiting for that first egg is so exciting. i don't know, i guess i just like the full experience.
  6. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Songster

    Dec 27, 2007
    Here's a possible problem with getting grown chickens. Back in Oct. '07 I decided to get some chickens. I was given the phone number of an older gentleman who wanted to downsize his flock so I gave him a call and my dad and I went to get a few. I picked out 4. The old man had probably 75-100 chickens. He told me that the ones I picked were from the summer before so they were not very old. He had so many chickens and they were not banded so how he knew which ones were how old is beyond me but at the time, I was so excited to finally be getting chickens I didn't think anything of it. They all looked and seemed healthy to me.

    When I got them home I discovered they had diarrhea for what seemed like months. They were always sick it seemed with some sort of ailment.

    Five months later, my barred rock died for unknown reasons. Yesterday, my absolute favorite(red sex link) died, again, unknown reasons. My rhode island red stopped laying months and months ago.

    You don't really know what you're getting when you get grown chickens. You cannot be absolutely sure they were taken care of or how old they are.

    I recently got 6 day old chicks. I know I they ate medicated chick starter and were kept in the most absolute clean conditions.

    Sorry this is such a long answer, but I wanted to try to give you my full experience.
  7. Stormy

    Stormy Chirping

    Jun 7, 2008
    South Carolina
    Thank you, all of you for you kind and insightful answers.

    I am going with the baby chicks...probably from MCmurry hatchery since that is the magazine I have laying here.

  8. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Songster

    May 9, 2008
    I got my first set of chicks from Murray McMurray. I still have 12 left of that orginal order and they are a little over 8 yrs old now. They don't really lay eggs anymore but they are more like pets to me. They earn their keep by the pleasure I get from watching them scratching around in the back yard.

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