Order pullets or straight run chicks?

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
96
215
106
West Central Idaho
We have just hatched 5 Australorpe chicks. Not a brilliant plan to hatch in winter, but we have them. They'll stay indoors in a brooder until they're fully feathered and then we'll see how the weather is. Average low temp for this part of Idaho in March is said to be about 23F. We have a new coop that we can put heat in if we need too.

I want to place an order for some more chickens. Of course. :clapI have never ordered pullets but thought I would order 6 pullets and 1 rooster - Sagittas and Amber Whites. I figured if I wanted to get them in mid-April the temps would be okay. (A neighbor is going to give me some Buff Orpington and maybe Auracauna eggs to hatch this spring.) I'm already starting to worry about integrating all different ages.

Are there any reasons I should order chicks instead of pullets? As I said, I've never ordered pullets. The hatchery is driving distance away.

As a side note, we are very lucky to have had 5 of 8 hatch. From candling we had pulled several that looked empty to us. And I had never been able to discern any blood vessels at all in any of them. Just for the heck of it, we did a floating egg test and based on that put them back in the incubator. Glad we did. But it sure undermines my confidence in what I'm doing. :idunno

Let me add that I am so glad I found BYC. The advice and information is soooo valuable. Thanks everyone!:bow
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
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I'm a little confused by your phrasing,

Are you talking about ordering pullet chicks -- that is, day-old sexed females -- or started pullets who are old enough to not need a brooder?

I *personally* am planning on adding a rooster to my flock this year so I'm ordering some straight run and some pullets only of the breeds I'm interested in in hope of getting several cockerels to evaluate so I can choose the best one or two (this, rather than ordering just a couple males and the rest pullets, because of Welp's 5-per-breed minimums and extra charge to just order 1 or 2 males).

There's no guarantee that straight-run chicks will be 50-50 in the sexes. They could be all male, all female, or any combo in between. So if getting the 1 correct rooster is important to you then you should order him specifically.

I know nothing about ordering started pullets, except that the shipping costs are very high.
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
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It could mean that, but that it also what some hatcheries call day old chicks sexed as females. That is what I am confused about.

Any female chicken less than a year old is a pullet. :)

Most hatcheries sell day-old chicks, either sexed as female and male (pullets and cockerels), or straight run as hatched.

Some few hatcheries also sell started pullets who are old enough to not need a brooder for a premium priced with extra shipping charges. Day-old chicks actually travel through the male better than older birds. :)
 

nolotus

Songster
Nov 13, 2020
96
215
106
West Central Idaho
Well, huh. I thought pullets referred to "older" chicks. Sorry for the confusion. I've sent an email to the hatchery to see what THEY mean by pullets. If they're sexed chicks maybe I'll order chicks for pickup in February so they'll be closer in age to the ones I hatched?

I'd like to be able to control how many females and roosters I order because I have no idea what I've just hatched.
I may be too old for all this indecision and potential incompetence! :th
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
4,302
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North Carolina Sandhills
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Well, huh. I thought pullets referred to "older" chicks. Sorry for the confusion. I've sent an email to the hatchery to see what THEY mean by pullets. If they're sexed chicks maybe I'll order chicks for pickup in February so they'll be closer in age to the ones I hatched?

I'd like to be able to control how many females and roosters I order because I have no idea what I've just hatched.
I may be too old for all this indecision and potential incompetence! :th

Being able to choose how many of which sex you get is a great blessing. If I didn't like these Welp Blue Australorps that I have so much as to want a matching rooster .... :D
 

HappyDuckie

Please no, thank you 🙂
Premium Feather Member
Sep 30, 2020
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Any female chicken less than a year old is a pullet. :)

Most hatcheries sell day-old chicks, either sexed as female and male (pullets and cockerels), or straight run as hatched.

Some few hatcheries also sell started pullets who are old enough to not need a brooder for a premium priced with extra shipping charges. Day-old chicks actually travel through the male better than older birds. :)
Yep, I know. I mean that I'm confused as to which (a few week old pullets, or day old sexed female chicks) the OP means.
 

Onyxflock

Songster
Jan 25, 2020
193
326
133
We have just hatched 5 Australorpe chicks. Not a brilliant plan to hatch in winter, but we have them. They'll stay indoors in a brooder until they're fully feathered and then we'll see how the weather is. Average low temp for this part of Idaho in March is said to be about 23F. We have a new coop that we can put heat in if we need too.

I want to place an order for some more chickens. Of course. :clapI have never ordered pullets but thought I would order 6 pullets and 1 rooster - Sagittas and Amber Whites. I figured if I wanted to get them in mid-April the temps would be okay. (A neighbor is going to give me some Buff Orpington and maybe Auracauna eggs to hatch this spring.) I'm already starting to worry about integrating all different ages.

Are there any reasons I should order chicks instead of pullets? As I said, I've never ordered pullets. The hatchery is driving distance away.

As a side note, we are very lucky to have had 5 of 8 hatch. From candling we had pulled several that looked empty to us. And I had never been able to discern any blood vessels at all in any of them. Just for the heck of it, we did a floating egg test and based on that put them back in the incubator. Glad we did. But it sure undermines my confidence in what I'm doing. :idunno

Let me add that I am so glad I found BYC. The advice and information is soooo valuable. Thanks everyone!:bow
I think buying the older birds is a plus - and if they are 5-8 months they may be young enough to assimilate easier than older birds would be. You can drive to the hatchery and choose those that have a temperment and look that you like.
I bought a pullet in June - from the older chick stock at the feed store. They said she was ready to lay. She laid in the box on the way home!! She's a sturdy little thing and minds her own business most of the time - R.I.R and Leghorn cross.
I added her to 2 adult hens and 2 8 week old chicks. She got attacked regularly by the hens and she pecked at the chicks over food - but didn't attack them. This makes me think pullets are a good way to add if you already have young birds, like your new hatchlings. Before they mature and start to get territorial.
 

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