First Post From a Chicken Virgin.Full Grown Egg Laying Hens vs Chicks?

thart13

Hatching
8 Years
Mar 7, 2011
7
0
7
First off, this site and forum are a huge help and I am sure I will be using it for a long time. Thanks for all your content!

This is my first post and I do not even own chickens nor have I started my coop yet. All in due time!
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Here is the quick background in case you can offer me any advice. I would really appreciate any help.

I live in SW Florida and want to own chickens to lay eggs. Am still working out which breed to go with.

I have a 2 year old son and a 3 year old son and I want them to enjoy the chickens. I also want my wife to enjoy them but I have a feeling it will take her a longer time to warm up to them. God love her for even being on board with the chickens.

I would rather buy 4-5 laying hens once my coop is built so that we can start collecting eggs right away.

My wife thinks that the boys will be much more into the chickens if they help raise them and see them grow. Makes sense to me.

What are the pros and cons between buying the full grown hens compared to chicks?

What breeds will start laying eggs the fastest if I do get them as chicks?

Once again I have never owned or raised a chicken which is why I am leery of buying chicks.

Thanks for all your help!
 

sunnyvera

Songster
Sep 4, 2010
171
10
143
NE Ohio
Just a thought - I got some chickens that were already 6 months old. They were very wild, they free-ranged all day with almost no human interaction. They were a handful. Then I started getting peeps a few days old. Wonderful experience. We tame them, pick them up daily and watch them grow. They are calmer and seem heppier. I wish I would have had the peeps when my kids were younger. They would have enjoyed them and not been afraid.
 

Mark & Nique

Chirping
9 Years
Jun 20, 2010
235
0
99
South Carolina
Howdy -- and welcome!

Personally, our family has found that watching the chickens grow from peeps to pullets to laying hens has been as much fun as eating fresh eggs! (So I vote for buying peeps.
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)

We live in South Carolina, not as hot as Florida. There are a lot of breeds better suited to hot weather than others, here's a few (there will be lots more added by other BYC members!) that we've found to be good layers:

Plymouth Barred Rock
Easter Egger
Speckled Sussex

We got our peeps in June, and they started laying in JAN. Currently, we're getting 15 eggs a week (about 5 eggs per chicken each week).

I hope you enjoy your chickens as much as we enjoy ours!
- Mark
 

woody1

Songster
9 Years
Dec 8, 2010
124
18
151
Just North of the PRK
IMO, go with the yeepers and peepers! Good for the kids and mayhaps even your wife will fall in love with 'em. Also IMO, do NOT go with necessarily the fastest and the mostest. Get any variety of a laid back breed, get pullets only and enjoy. In the past I've recommended RI Reds but New Hampshires, Black Astralorps, Barred Rocks are all pretty calm in my experience. There are lots of others. Regards, Woody
 

happychickengirls

In the Brooder
9 Years
Mar 21, 2010
95
1
41
Connecticut
Well I have to say since you have kids you should start off with baby chicks. When I first got
my chicks my children loved playing with them and it was definitely a learning experience for all of us.
Watching them grow and all their funny quirks were very entertaining!
Chickens usually start laying around 6 months or so - so its not that long to wait. Plus you will know your
chicks are healthy and freindly because of all the care you will take with them!!! When the time comes
that they do start laying and you finally get your first egg you will be so happy!!
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Anyway they do have
a whole list of chickens on this site that you can browse through , that has all kinds of info on each one-
which can help you make a decision. Hope that helps and good luck with your chicks when the time comes.
 

hokankai

Songster
10 Years
May 18, 2010
2,735
92
246
SW WA
I had the same dilemma a year ago and decided to go with the chicks. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER! They are all like little puppies and will run over to me and follow me around the yard. I'm big on socialization so they are very friendly with everyone and everything.

Edit: Forgot to mention I loved it so much I'm doing it again this spring
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, so excited!
 
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gryeyes

Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
15,506
432
358
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
Oh, start with chicks! Great for the kids, and I doubt ant gal could resist the little fuzz butts as they grow up!

Barred Rocks
Black Australorps
Delawares
Buff Orpingtons

And, of course, Easter Eggers! Nothing like finding those green or blue eggs in the nests.....
 

dadsdeercamp

Say goodnight gracie
9 Years
Sep 24, 2010
1,058
2
151
Mora MN.
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chicks are the way to go you get to imprint on them they get to know you and your kids. older birds will take time to become femiliar with you and might never get as tame and friendly as the chicks. good luck and have fun.
 

mommyofthreewithchicks

Songster
10 Years
Jun 25, 2010
742
3
169
Minnesota
I also vote chicks. Although it is hard to wait for the first egg it is worth it for the joy and excitement that the kids and I had (still have). Kids and I also played with the chicks and I can tell you they are a lot tamer than the chickens I bought who were about 5 weeks old- plus they were a TON cuter. I will bet your wife will fall in love with chicks as well.

Plus it has been a great learning experience for the kids as well as DH and I. I have learned a ton throughout this year and so have the kids. Which was one of my biggest reasons for getting the chickens to begin with. Good luck!
 

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