Hatching eggs vs day old chicks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by epona4, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. epona4

    epona4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I'm debating on whether to go with day old chicks or buy an incubator and order fertilized eggs.

    What are your reasons for doing one over the other?

    Also, why are the eggs more expensive than the day old chicks? This really confuses me, but I'm sure there is a good reason.

  2. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Chicks are more cost effective, for sure. But I go with eggs because it's the easiest way for me to get the breeds and the bloodlines that I want. While there are some small breeders who ship day-old chicks, for me I can't get the quality I want in my breeding program by getting chicks from hatcheries. It's also less stressful for me to think about eggs, rather than baby chicks, going through the mail. Though anybody who's seen the way I package my eggs when I ship them might think otherwise! [​IMG] I think I might single-handedly keep the bubble wrap manufacturers in business. [​IMG]

    Oh, and incubation is just plain fun. And addictive--though if you've spent any time here at BYC, you've probably figured that out!
  3. erthymom2

    erthymom2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    day-olds shipped to you leaves out the 21 day incubating worries & joys: will they all make it alive? you have to have a brooder ready, you'll need to be ready to cull those who don't/can't make it,

    Incubating requires montoring temp & humid daily, turning and checking, candling and you'll fall in love with the wee ones when they pip & zip. then all of the other stuff above.

    IMO there is greater certainty with ording the day-olds, but wouldn't give up totally on hatching your own. Maybe borrow someone's bator and give it a try before you invest.
  4. baldie

    baldie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 25, 2008
    Douglas, MA
    I like hatchng my own eggs. I feel bad for the chicks being shipped it causes some stress. I ordered my first chicks from McMurray. Now I only hatch. I feel closer to the chicks when I hatch them myself. [​IMG]
  5. allaboutdemchicks

    allaboutdemchicks Chapel Farms

    Sep 13, 2008
    Jemison, AL
    Here's my two cents.... if you are only going to need chicks once a year I would order some. Also you have the advantage of ordering sexed chicks too (keep in mind they are not 100% on this though.)Oh, and the cost...the shipping and the min. orders will make up the difference between day olds and hatching eggs.

    If you plan on investing in someone's line of bird....you will need to hatch, or find someone gracious enough to hatch for you. Incubation is also a learned art of choosing and getting to know your incubator. You have to do your homework when it comes to incubation...my first batch is due this week! Also, you can save alot of money by getting a good used unit.

    Ultimately, I think it depends on your longterm plans.
    Hope this helps.
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I enjoy hatching. It's been the only way to get some of the breeds and colors that I wanted. Some of the eggs are more expensive because they're a hard to find breed and next to impossible to find chicks.

    I enjoy the incubating and hatching process over just buying chicks.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Or, you could do both [​IMG]

    Also, why are the eggs more expensive than the day old chicks? This really confuses me, but I'm sure there is a good reason.

    Eggs from *where*.

    Eggs from serious breeders, they're more expensive because you're getting much nicer (more consistant, closer to the Standard) birds than from some hatchery. It takes a whole lot of work/time/expense for the breeder to get things to that point, so it seems reasonable to expect them to get some compensation [​IMG]

    Eggs from, like, McMurray, I think they are mainly priced to discourage you from ordering eggs while still providing it as an option for, say, teachers who want to hatch eggs in class but don't know of a local source. Also because the hatching eggs sold by a big outfit like taht are produced by subcontractors it is a nuisance to deal with unexpected time-sensitive small shipments, you know? which may factor in to the price too.

    OTOH, it is not uncommon for people on BYC to offer hatching eggs for just the cost of packing and shipping. You will not likely get rare or show-winning lines that way, but frankly for most of us that doesn't matter [​IMG] so it is something to consider if you just want chickens.

    Have fun,

    Pat, building an incubator this spring, but for my own hens' eggs, not planning on buying any. Uh, for the moment, anyhow <g>​
  8. ebonykawai

    ebonykawai Chillin' With My Peeps

    I personally wouldn't hatch again unless I had no other way to get the chicks I wanted. I have heritage RIRs and hatched them all. The eggs were from a variety of excellent breeders. If I could have gotten sexed chicks by these same breeders, I would have done it. Hatching was too stressful for me, and also very expensive. The electricity alone was way more than I bargained for!
  9. epona4

    epona4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 14, 2008
    Central Indiana
    The eggs I looked at this morning were from the Meyer catalog.

    What I am looking for is a good home flock of Buckeyes, Delawares and Sussex. I'd like to be able to have them raise their own chicks.

    From some of the posts I've been reading, it sounds like you don't get "real" Delawares from hatcheries. Is that the case with the other breeds as well?

    I'm not at all interested in showing. I just want a good, healthy flock of calm, dual purpose birds. And I'd really like them to be on the ALBC list. (why I've picked Bucks, Dels and Sussex)

    And here I thought this decision was going to be so much easier!
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Many Delawares from hatcheries have Columbian Rock bred in and are not good breed examples. I have had both types and the breeder ones are far superior, IMO.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by