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Picking out baby chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by capebird, May 22, 2011.

  1. capebird

    capebird Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    I'm picking up my 5 chicks tomorrow from a local feed and grain retailer.
    They get their chicks from McMurry. Are their any things I should think about
    when choosing which chicks to acquire? Things I should look for... or warning signs
    of which chicks not to choose... ??

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Don't get cornish rocks unless you plan on eating them. They're not fun. They just sit and eat.
    Easter eggers/ameracaunas are nice and ley pretty eggs.
    They usually carry golden comets which are a sex linked hybrid egg layer.
    If you get Rhode Island Reds, I wouldn't mix them with any other breeds since they tend to be bullies in a mixed flock.
  3. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Songster

    Apr 16, 2011
    Johnstown Pa
    First make sure it's a chick, then make site it's alive... That would probally help. [​IMG]
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    I assume you want pullets. If you knew the specific breeds in the bin, we might be able to give you some hints that might help, but what would help on one breed would be the exact wrong information for another. For example, if the chicks were Barred Rocks or Dominique, you should get the darker of the chicks and the ones with the smaller spot on the head. But if black sex links are in the mix, I've just described a black sex link male.

    In general, try to get a healthy active chick. Avoid the ones that are standing by themselves sort of hunched up. Also try to avoid the ones that have poop on their butt.

    For pullets, try to avoid the ones that have a tall proud upright posture. Those might be young roosters.

    If broilers, Cornish X or whatever they call the meat birds are in the mix, I'd stay away from the yellow ones. You might be passing up a nice white leghorn that way, but I would not take the chance.

    It depends on how they have the chicks split up too. If they have a pullet bin, most are probably pullets, but there is still a decent chance that you can get a rooster. The hatcheries only guarantee sex being accurate 90% of the time, and that is only on full sized fowl. They don't even try on bantams.
    Last edited: May 22, 2011
  5. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Don't pick from straight run unless u don't mind roosters. U would think 50/50 chance but it's really 75/50 because when they sex the birds males go intothee straight run binhey only pull the females out.
  6. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    I'm going on Wed. to pick up my babies. Can't wait, I'm sooooo excited.
    They are getting a batch of red sussex which are sex links.
    I totally don't want roosters so I go for sex links.
    I really really really want some more EE hens for the green/blue eggs
    and they are such pretty birds but I'll have to find older birds so I don't get any @%$#^@# roosters.
    I don't like roosters. Can you tell? LOL
  7. ragerkid2

    ragerkid2 Songster

    Apr 16, 2011
    Johnstown Pa
    Older hens are risky tho. You take the chance of getting a three year old hen when they lie and say it's 1 yr. Go with a breeder if you get decide to get older ones.

  8. capebird

    capebird Songster

    Apr 13, 2011
    Cape Cod
    thanks for the replies.

    I'm getting 5 barred rocks. No rooster (hopefully).
  9. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Songster

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    Quote:Pick the ones with dark front to their legs & a small dot on their head! [​IMG] GOod luck!
  10. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I picked my first twelve on April 15, and they just moved out to their new coop. All are healthy and active, so I guess I did okay. When choosing them, I selected ones that were active and even a bit bossy, pushing their way to get to the feed or the water. I checked for clear eyes and well-formed feet, no missing toes.

    Good luck!

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