Ordering chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bmasters, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. bmasters

    bmasters Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 19, 2010
    I've never raised chickens before but I'm in the process of building a coop and have a question about ordering chicks from a hatchery. I'm thinking of ordering 15 chicks, a combination of several breeds. I've read on this site that sexing is not an exact science, other than sex-linked chicks. I am ordering some red star chicks as one of the breeds and was thinking about selecting 1 red star male as I would like to have a rooster. My question is if that's really necessary since besides the red stars, there will be 11 other chicks that will "supposedly" be female? Does paying a little extra per chick (for females) really pay off, or am I likely to get a male out of this bunch as well?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The whole reason behind "sex link" chicks is the hatchery can sex them by color. It's obvious. Females are brown and the males are white.

    You are not likely to get a rooster unless you order one. I'd NOT order one. They aren't needed. They are HUGE and oft time rather on the aggressive side. Since you are just starting out, I see no upside to ordering a rooster.

    One doesn't continue to breed red sex links anyhow. The next generation will be fine enough birds, but they don't sex link, or hatch males and females in red and white so neatly. They tend to be reversed, but a mixture making it almost impossible to determine their sex.
  3. kitchwitch

    kitchwitch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2009
    Greensburg, Pa
    My first batch of chicks I ordered 25 all females and I got 26 all female. Generally speaking hatcheries know what they're doing. I also wouldn't order a roo right off the bat. If it's something you'd like to do in the future then I recommend trying to obtain a small batch of babies (4 or so) with a roo so you can have one on one time with him and possibly help him to become better mannered. My rooster is very sweet, eats straight from my hand and loves to follow me around the yard. I got him with his 3 sisters this past fall.
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Of the 11, chances are very good there will be a roo. If it were me I'd order all 15 in breeds like BA or BO where there is, historically, a 10% chance of getting a roo. That way if you decide to hatch out purebreds you don't have a crossbreed laying eggs.
  5. bmasters

    bmasters Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 19, 2010
    I probably should have explained myself a little better. I do understand from reading on this site the sex link/color relationship. While I have never "owned" any chickens before, I was around them quite alot as a youngster when I would spend time on my relatives farms in central Tennessee. I am aware that roosters can be aggressive, and have "straightened out" a few myself. I have no small children or grandchildren to worry about coming in contact with a rooster, and I don't consider chickens as pets. I am not concerned about breeding purebreds (at least for now), so if I ended up with mutts, that would be O.K. I want a rooster because now I'm living in an area on several acres with farms nearby, so the noise won't be a problem, and I just like to hear them crow. My real question was whether I would have to specifically order a roo to be assured I will have one out of 11 chicks.
  6. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    if you want to make sure you get a roosters of a certain breed by all means order one...

    myself....if I just wanted a rooster around because I like their crowing (which I do!) I would order all females...if i get a male then great and if I don't...well...I bet you will be able to find one...just put a sign up at your local feed store and I am sure folks will have a roo available! I know I usually end up with extra roos! well....I am supposed tohave extras...but i like them so much!
  7. bmasters

    bmasters Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 19, 2010
    I think I'll take your advice and just take a chance on getting at least one roo out of a dozen chicks that are supposed to be female. I didn't even consider the local feed store route. Thanks again.
  8. jarodw45

    jarodw45 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 6, 2010
    Last time I ordered from ideal i ordered several breeds and orederd all hens except 1 i ordered roo... They got it exact! If you want to be sure to get a roo order at least one for there are always chances some may die in transit and or from other shipping related stress... Good luck! And yes the feed stores should start carying chicks here in my part of texas in march! Good luck!
  9. Livinwright Farm

    Livinwright Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    Carroll County
    Murray McMurray Hatchery offers an Ornamental Layer Bargain(25 pullets) which guarantees that you will recieve at least 8 different breeds of hens for only $68.25 if ordered no later than February 14. Shipping for up to 26 chicks varies, for NH it is only $14.70. Oh, and with any baby chicken order they give you a suprise free rare exotic chick! [​IMG]
  10. Mak

    Mak Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Londonderry, NH
    Let's see, last year, I ordered 10 female chicks, 4 of which were Red Stars, so they were the easy ones. That left 6. 4 Dominiques, all hens. 2 WC Polish, one hen, one rooster. So hatchery sexing is not, as they all tell you, completely guaranteed. They usually say 90% accuracy. If you are ordering a reasonable number of chicks, there is a fair chance there may be a rooster among them. If you really, really want a rooster, order one. If you might like to have one, and won't be upset if there is one in the mix, I'd order hens and see what arrives.

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