Need some support


11 Years
Jun 3, 2008
Bolton, CT
I have waited and worked toward starting my own flock for over nine months now, not to mention the money I spent preparing for them. I have read and studied up on chickens for months and months now and really thought I could do this.

Unfortunately, last Sunday I happily brought home my first pullets (five) who I began to notice that first day were sick. Coughing (progressing to bloody mucas), lethargic, bad stuff, etc. In any case, I am bringing all the birds back tonight because I didn't want this to be my first experience with chickens.

My thing is this....I am so discouraged and upset and hurt that this is what my families first experience is that I wonder if I should even bother getting more. Despite dealing with the sick hens, the few that seemed healthy were quite a blast to be with and we grew attached in a short amount of time. I want to have chickens so badly but now I am discouraged.

I am taking the hens back tonight and am thoroghly disinfecting the coop...a couple times... But now I need to decide if chickens are worth it? And if I do decide to try again should I start with chicks or pullets again?

Please help. My spirits are so low right now.
they are definitely worth it. you just got chickens from a poor source.

if you can start with chickens that are healthy, you'll be in a good spot.

find a good source.
How old are the pullets you brought home? I'd be sure the folks you bought from know their pullets are sick, bring them back, and start again.

First time around, maybe you should get some hatchery chicks, or day olds from a feed store? Then you'll know they come from healthy stock and won't have bad luck from the get-go.

Don't get caught up in emotions, don't get discouraged-- just start again. They're quite fun to have and you'll enjoy them once you get a good bunch!

Thats a bummer
I'm sorry this happened. Dont give sure to clean everything up and be ready to start again. Do you not want to get baby chicks? That might be a better way to go so you dont get someone else's problems. I hope you try again
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I REALLY want to get chickens.

I appreciate the support. I agree that raising chicks is probably 100% the best way to do and I think that is what I will do.

The farm I got these five month old pullets from knew that had sick hens from their own flock but didn't think it had gotten to the pullets they had separated.

Do you or anyone else have a hatchery they'd like to refer me to? How hard is it to raise chicks?
Warmth, cleanliness, food, water. That's how hard it is to raise chicks!!

I got my first ones from the local feed store, and although two of my "pullets" turned out to be roosters, they have been beautiful, healthy egg-laying machines. They didn't stop laying all winter. They are friendly, sociable, curious, and except for the time I was ducking under their perch and one pooped on my jacket, they've been a blast! I guess I should be glad it didn't land in my hair.

Chickens aren't very high on the intelligence scale, but they are amazing creatures in other ways. My DH doesn't know it yet, but once we get the bigger coop built this spring, I have PLANS... I need more eggs like a hole in the head; I gave away three dozen yesterday, am saving eighteen for someone else to hatch, and I STILL have six dozen in the fridge. Some are so big that I can't close the egg cartons!

Take heart, clean your coop, and get yourself some fuzzy-butts!
Why don't you look under the "Breeders and Hatcheries" section--there are a couple of listings of breeders by location & breed stickied at the top which may be of help to you.
chicks are so easy and so much get to see their little personalities develop and watch the awkward phase of the feathers coming in and hearing the sounds move from "cheep cheep" to "bawk bawk bawk"

I am so glad I got chickens and I started off with chicks
The stress of moving hens to a new home brings out the hidden uglies that make them sick. Look at this experience as a huge learning curve. This is why most breeders and reputable raisers of chickens close their flocks to outside sources of birds and start with well tended and freshly hatched chicks.

Have you considered hatching your own flock? If you were to hatch eggs now you will have eggs by fall in most cases. You could also find someone local with great stock who would hatch eggs for you and you pick up the chicks 1 day after hatch.

Then you will have a full and well rounded experience with chicks and chickens and next pring you may even have a broody that will replenish your flock as needed. Hatching does leave you most often with extra roosters that need a home but most people are able to rehome them easily enough.
There's a Tractor Supply in Enfield that should be having Chick Days soon. There are also a few Agways near you that you can call and see if they're having chicks this spring. I started with Agway chicks and only lost one of the original 12, so they were pretty healthy.

You'll need to keep your chicks really warm in the beginning, don't forget. There's great advice on this website for chicks care, starting with the brochure that was just posted on the main page.

Also keep in mind that you won't see an egg until the fall if you get the little ones now.

Don't be discouraged. You got a bum deal. Just start over and call it a learning experience.

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