Ordering - a question of numbers

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kiri, Feb 13, 2008.

  1. Kiri

    Kiri In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2008
    I hope this is the right forum to post this in (and apologize if it is not).

    When ordering from one of the big hatcheries (McMurray, etc), how many 'extras' to you tack on to your order to be sure you get what you want?

    For example, if when ordering a box of mixed chicks I want to ensure I get at least two surviving females from each breed... taking in to consideration that there is some sexing error, and the long travel time (shipping to the border, plus a long drive), how many of each breed would you order? Three? Five? If you wanted a roo in that breed would you then order a couple of males as well, just to be sure?

    I know there are no guarantees, but those of you with experience must have some general guidelines to go by.

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    If you wanted at least 2 girls and one boy per breed, I personally would get 6 if not 8 or so straight run and pick out the best, figuring a 50/50 ratio of boys to girls. I would also pick the closest hatchery to you and keep a VERY close eye on the weather, to make sure you have picked a ship date that is going to not be too cold. Up till I think like 3 days of delivery, hatcheries have no problem in delaying your order to the next available time if weather is bad. If the hatcher is close, weather is good, you should get very few losses in chicks.
  3. Kiri

    Kiri In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2008
    Thank you silkie,

    And if I just wanted to end up with two girls and no boys? Should I still order straight run, or sexed? How many?

    I appreciate the help.
  4. MS9325

    MS9325 Songster

    Oct 20, 2007
    Order Pullets, there usually 95% accurate.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2008
  5. Kiri, where you from, and are you close to a local feed store? This may be cheaper than ordering from a hatchery. If you plan to order then go with the pullets and if you want a male then order one.
  6. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Originally I wanted JUST 5 hens [​IMG] Ordered 7 pullets fully expecting at least one or two either to die in transit, or succum to my newbie mistakes.

    Meyer sent 8 (extra was a pullet same as one of the breeds I ordered) All were healthy and happy and were sexed correctly. I got 8 big girls out there right now laying eggs up a storm for me!

    SOOO, if you are ordering a small order, ie you don't have space or inclination for more than a certain number of chickens, then I wouldn't go too overboard on ordering extras...

    On the other hand, if you don't mind if ALL the extras make it, order away [​IMG]

    I quickly learned that 8 hens was absolutely NOT enough...!!!
  7. Kiri

    Kiri In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2008
    Hello chickenranchwife,

    This is actually a difficult question to answer. I'll be relocating in a little over a year, but I don't know where yet (what fun!).

    At this point I'm just learning as much as possible about keeping chickens. However, seeing as I haven't found anywhere in Canada that sells the breeds I'm looking for, I'm looking into what is required when ordering from a 'big name' hatchery.

    When the time comes I will definitely look into feed stores, and local hatcheries before I consider shipping chicks. Thank you for the advice.
  8. Kiri,
    So you are in Canada, and you do have to order from a hatchery. is this correct? There are a few Canadians here that you might have a chance of getting birds from if you could do it that way.
    Good luck into your search, and good luck for when you decide to get chickens. I hope you have a big enough place for them when you get to where you're going.

    Not a problem, anytime I can help just come my way!

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