Picking out baby chicks


12 Years
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... ??
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.
First make sure it's a chick, then make site it's alive... That would probally help.
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.
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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.
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
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.
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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