Hatching Eggs Vs. Day Old Chicks

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dbjay417, Dec 29, 2007.

  1. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    I'm curious to know why some people prefer hatching eggs to raising day old chicks. Any input would be appreciated.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    In order to get breeds or varieties of breeds that the hatcheries often dont have, we hatch chicks. Some breeds, you just need to find a breeder. Also, to get better stock than hatcheries sometimes sell. Or to get them in the hatchery's off season. If you just want egg layers and the breed standards are not a priority, then just getting some chicks from the feedstore in the common breeds is fine. I started that way. Then, there is the thrill of the process and being involved all along the way. That's why many of us hatch most of our birds rather than just buy them. I also don't want to be on a hatchery's mailing list, LOL.
  3. hypnofrogstevie

    hypnofrogstevie chick magnet

    Jul 12, 2007
    Newton NJ
    Lets say you order the 25 bird minimum from the hatchery right. but you did not want those 25 birds. If yo where to order 12 eggs. you only get about 50% hatch rate and if you get 100% hatch rate you only have 12 birds not 25. Also if you hatch your own you get to watch them come out of the egg which is my favorite part. Plus the responsibility of taking care of the egg during incubation.

    EDITED TO ADD: Its also much cheaper shipping eggs than shipping chicks
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2007
  4. jab91864

    jab91864 Songster

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I've done both. Typically you can get better stock by hatching eggs than by buying from a hatchery..not always though.

    Shipping day old chicks is rough. You worry constantly about are they going to survive the trip, will they be lost in shipping, will they be warm enough. I have yet to buy an order of chicks that some/one atleast did not arrive dead or die shortly after arriving. It's rough. Some ppl don't have the good fortune to be close or even in the same state as the hatchery they wish to buy from... hence longer ordeal for both you and the chicks.

    Buying eggs is stressful too. Shipping can be rough and sometimes there are breaks or damaged air pockets etc which can cause issues. Sometimes you buy eggs and none of them hatch in the end...typically you didn't invest as much $$ as you would in buying day old chicks so it's not as hard financially. But it's disappointing just the same.

    Hatching is a challenge a lot of folks are not up to, it can be fraught with disappointment and heartache. It can also be filled with excitement and wonder.

    Julie (many of us are just addicted and have the need to get our poultry any way we can so we do both...lol)
  5. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    If you want a 'guarantee' of a certain number of girls vs boys, or are not concerned with show conformation, etc then hatchery chicks are the way to go if you are just looking at cost.

    Although they cost more initially, in the long run they are the easier and cheaper investment when you factor in the purchase or building of an incubator and the uncertanty of hatching eggs, especially shipped ones, and having to find homes for your unwanted hatched chicks (ie too many roosters, etc)

    On the other hand, hatching eggs is just a lot of fun!
  6. fdnick

    fdnick Master Chicken Hoarder

    Aug 22, 2007
    Spokane, Wa.
    hatching eggs is like christmas, you never know how many you will get and it makes you feel so good when you have a good hatch [​IMG]
    AND it allows you to get TOP quality birds you normally could not find [​IMG] (and I would be lost if I did not have a bator to check on 10 times a day) HAHAHA
  7. Windy Ridge

    Windy Ridge Songster

    Oct 3, 2007
    Chicks from eggs you've hatched yourself often grow faster, too, because they can start eating almost as soon as they've dried off. I'm almost amazed at the amount of food the little guys will eat in the first three days--food they wouldn't have had access to if they were shipped. They can survive without it, but they grow faster with it.

    Also, when you hatch eggs, the chicks are more likely to imprint on you as mommy or daddy. Shipped chicks have already gone through that stage by the time they get to you, for the most part.

    Lastly, there is nothing more adorable than a BRAND NEW chicken baby.

  8. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    thanks for the responses.

    So the most practical purpose for hatching, is because thats the way breed specific breeders most frequently distribute their poultry. Correct?

    Second in my book is, an unhatched egg is easier to throw away than an unfortunate chick that died travelling USPS.

    The third is, you can order fewer chicks in egg form than in day old chicks, and its cheaper.

    The emotional stuff is also appreciated, but secondary.

    So my egg layers and meat birds I can just order in chick form from a hatchery, but my show birds should be aquired from a breeder in egg form.

    Please correct me if my understanding is askew.
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    That's about right. Often I hatch chicks from my own birds too because it costs less and is exciting to see them hatch! As for throwing away eggs though... the hard part is those who make it half way and die because you helped or didn't help. So that is also hard. Hatching eggs after shipping is often a disappointment too because of the rough handling the eggs can get.
  10. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Every one is different.
    I never did day olds only because I can't get what I want from hatcheries.
    I had to order eggs because I did not want to buy adults I wanted to raise my fluffs from day one.

    I bought 11 birds and dozens of eggs.

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