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How many chicks should I buy?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Uncle Marc, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. Uncle Marc

    Uncle Marc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2011
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    When the time comes, I will want to have about 20 hens. I know that all of my chicks will not survive and not all will become pullets. So in the beginning, how many chicks should I buy? And with that in mind, how big should my brooder be for them?
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would buy 25 chicks--sexed pullets from a reputable hatchery as close to your home state as possible. That way if you lose any over 6 months, you would have most remaining, and maybe 1 or 2 might be roosters since there is only a 90 % accuracy in sexing them. It is not fun to go to a farm store and buy a bunch of chicks that may turn out to be roos, then having to find homes for them later.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you want hens, buy sexed chicks. If you buy straight run chicks, you'll very, very likely end up with 60% roos. If you want roos for meat birds, that's fine, but you will not be able to judge well the number of hens you are going to get.
     
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We got 7 the first time around thinking we'd lose up to 3. We lost the first one 18 months into it! So plan for however many you want to have ultimately, but maybe go for that number or fewer.

    Once you get started, it's really really difficult to just leave it at the chickens you have. They call it "chicken math" and it's a force to be reckoned with. Nobody is safe from that plague.

    So if you're willing to throw a freezer party, order a straight run of 25 and cross your fingers... else order a straight run of 25 and be ready to give some up. 25 is a good number because you can order from the large hatcheries.

    Good luck!
     

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