newbie ? - Better to start with chicks or ready to lay pullets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gaitedgrl, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. gaitedgrl

    gaitedgrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Hi-
    My husband and I have decided that we would like to jump head first and get some chickens. We moved out in the country and have just over 7 acres. My biggest question that I have right now is that I don't know if it would be better to purchase chicks and raise them with us or to purchase ready to lay pullets from a guy about 40 minutes away. My husband and I have never had chickens before...

    I am ready to learn and would like to hear your opinions-
    My husband is in the process of building a chicken tractor. We purchased our first materials this past Saturday. Ideally, I would like the chickens to be able to free range during the day and then close them in the coop at night. So I need the chickens to be friendly and willing to go into the coop each and every night so they are safe. Would older pullets be okay for this or best to start with chicks?
     
  2. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I think in the long run pullets will cost you less, but with chicks they get to know you and are easier to handle therefore. If you want to have laying hens then pullets are the way to go, because they are usually almost ready to lay when you get them. It may be a good idea to get pullets first learn about chickens and then raise some chicks later. Either way the folks on her can help you alot.
     
  3. IlovemyPeep&mypeeps

    IlovemyPeep&mypeeps Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 17, 2011
    My husband and I started with laying hens. I'm glad we did. We didn't have to raise them or wait for them to start laying. There was never a question as to whether they knew where "home" was. They have always went right on into the coop at night. We've had them for a month or two and they are getting very used to us. We can even pet one of them. I say go with pullets or laying hens!
     
  4. gaitedgrl

    gaitedgrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Thanks for your quick replies- wow, was that quick!

    The gentleman that has the ready to lay pullets for sale has been feeding organic food and stuff that is important to us and part of the reason that we are getting laying hens in the first place.

    My other question is - I really like the wyandottes. The guy that has the ready to lay, doesn't have any of those. If I would like to get some...so my question is are you able to introduce younger birds into the flock eventually? Like if we got the ready to lay pullets and then bought a few chicks also and started the chicks in our basement until they are old enough can you introduce them with the other chickens or are you asking for problems?
     
  5. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    It has been done on my farm, it can be tricky but if you just have a few it should go pretty well.
     
  6. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
  7. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    When I started I got pullets I was to scared to try chicks first it was great I left them locked in their pen/coop for a week then let them out to free range they went into their pen/coop at night by themselves if I needed to pen them up earlier I just used a treat bucked and they learned to follow me when I have the bucket so I could put them in the pen anytime with the treats I used scratch mostly.
    If you get pullets just keep them locked in the tractor for a week that they learn where home is and then when you let them out when you see them start to go to the coop at night take the treat bucket out and start giving them treats in the coop they will learn that the bucket means good food and will follow to the coop for it. If you decide to get some chicks you can introduce them at the right age. It is better to have a place where the new chicks at about 5-6 months can be seen by the flock but the flock can not get to them then let the chicks out to free range with the flock but keep separated at night until the chicks are about the same size as the flock then let them start cooping with the flock you will have to show them the flocks coop even putting them into the coop for the 1st week then they should be good to go there will be some chasing and pecking as they straighten out the pecking order. Good luck and have fun with your new addiction called chicken math.
     
  8. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Do both. Seriously. Get a starter flock of pullets, as many as you wish eggs per day. 8 pullets will give you 1/2 dozen eggs a day, and often more. That's 4 dozen a week average.

    A batch of upcoming chicks, as their addition or replacement is a good way to plan for the future. Design your coop(s) to hold two small flocks. Your management will be so much easier than dealing with age differentials, different feeding programs, and the inevitable chicken political squabbles. A step at a time.
     
  9. gaitedgrl

    gaitedgrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Thanks! I read the article and that all seems to make sense. We do a similar thing when we get a new horse.
     
  10. gaitedgrl

    gaitedgrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2011
    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....all this is starting to make sense and making me feel like I have lots or answers at my finger tips - the thought of getting chickens isn't sounding so scary! My family thinks we are nuts!

    If our chicken tractor has a door on each side, could we split it in half with chicken wire in the middle to divide it in half to introduce the chickens to one another? That way all would be safe, still would have access to half of the nesting boxes and half of everything....hmmm this is sounding more do-able by the minute![​IMG]
     

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