Opinions needed: should I get 3 wk old chicks or hatching eggs?!?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Sep 15, 2014
Half of my flock was wiped out in a predator attack this weekend and all of my favorite birds were lost. Since my birthday is in a little over a week, my husband decided he was going to buy me some Orpingtons to replace my lost birds. Apparently he was going to surprise me, but last night he told me about his plan and wanted to know whether I wanted a variety of Orpington hatching eggs, or if I wanted chicks that were already a couple of weeks old.

I'm not sure what to do. One of my concerns is that we also have turkeys and our current chickens are free of Histomoniasis and I'm worried about introducing it with new chickens and killing our turkeys... Another point which I'm debating is whether or not I would have success with hatching eggs-I have never hatched before and feel like a lot more could go wrong. I do have an incubator which someone gave me when they had to get rid of their chickens.

Opinions? What do you prefer/what are the pros and cons that some of you experienced chicken owners have found!
Have you corrected the issue that caused the predator attack? If not, you'll just be setting yourself up for the same thing to happen.

That said - hatching eggs is rewarding & so very enjoyable! Of course, things can go wrong, too. I'd suggest checking out some of the threads that folks discuss hatching in - that will give you a better idea of what to expect, and perhaps will help you make your final decision. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do!
Sorry about the loss of your flock :hugs X2 on be sure you have the predator problem fixed.
Would you be betting them locally or having them shipped? The nice thing about buying chicks is, well, you have chicks.
If you can select them yourself, depending on the age you might be able to do some selecting and hopefully get more in the way of pullets, and some colors you can pick out (nothing like trying to hatch blues and keep getting blacks and splash etc). Also you can avoid any chicks that seem to have problems.
Like you said, with hatching eggs, it can be iffy. They are usually quite a bit cheaper (usually about half the price of day old chicks) but if you have a bad hatch you could have nothing. Shipped eggs are particularly iffy. What sort of incubator do you have, have you tried to run it and see how it holds temperature etc? I like to hatch because I consider it fun and usually it goes well, but sometimes you do just have a bad hatch. Other things to consider might be weather where you live, you are looking at chicks being a good 6 weeks old before they can be outside without heat in the winter... hatching eggs will put you pretty far out.
You might want to ask on the Turkey forum about the histomoniasis and if there is any way to make sure chicks don't carry it, so far as I know it can't be carried via chicken eggs so they would maybe the safe bet in regards to that.

If the chicks are sexed, I'd go that route. Incubating can be pretty stressful, and in my case it's simply netted me a bunch of cockerels.

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