Picking out chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Bruins, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Bruins

    Bruins In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Frederick Co, MD
    I am planning on picking out my chicks next month from the local feed and supply store . I want to get some buff , light & dark brahma ,

    Is there anything particular that I should be looking for when looking at the chicks?

    I guess at a few days old there will be no way to know the sex of the chicks . I only want 5 adults in the end and the store requires a minimum purchase of 5 , once you buy five you can pick up any number at a later date ( different colors come in on different days ) .

    They said it is a 90% chance of getting pullets , so realistically how many should I buy? I was thinking of 3 light and 2 buff then going back for 2 dark . Or should I just get 3 of each color just to be on the safe side .

    I know I will have to re-home any roosters so I don't want to buy a large quantity just to give them away .

    I am trying to think of everything and plan so I will be prepared .
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    Those are all beautiful birds. Why not go with 2 of each? You might end up with 1 rooster so that would still leave you with each color.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Since you have to buy five the first day, your plan will work. Sounds like the buff and light are there the first day and the dark come later.

    The 90% means they are vent sexed at the hatchery. Hatcheries give you a 90% guarantee of them being right but that is on each individual chick. How well they actually do depends on the person doing the vent sexing but they usually do better than 90%. Odds are odds but with seven chicks I’d expect you to get 6 or 7 pullets. You’d have to be pretty unlucky to get more males than that.

    What should you look for? Mainly a healthy chick. Avoid any that are standing around hunched up like they are feeling cold and avoid any with any type of discharge. Pick chicks with clean butts. Don’t get them if they have a poopy butt. A sick chick will usually stand around hunched up and acting lethargic.

    Some people are pretty good at picking out some males but a lot of that comes with practice. At that age it is really hard to tell them apart and you usually can’t. Since you want pullets try to avoid the ones that stand tall and erect with the head held high. Also try to avoid the ones with long or stout legs. Erect posture and heavy legs are signs that they are probably male. Even at that age males often show a lot of curiosity. The males often win your heart with their personality. Try to pick the healthy looking ones that sort of hang back and bend over more than stand erect. If one is winning your heart with their personality, say no. You are not for me.

    What normally happens with me is that there are a very, very few that I can say right after hatch that they are male. I’m usually right with those. There are none that I can tell by looking that are female. And I cannot tell by looking that most of the males are actually male.
  4. Bruins

    Bruins In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2015
    Frederick Co, MD
    The light and buff arrive the same day , so I have to get any combo of 5 . The dark arrive a week later.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Pick out healthy looking birds. Don't fall for "Oh, poor thing is all by itself and looks sick and I can save it"....just don't go there. You want chicks that look and act just like all the others. At this age, you don't necessarily want a chick that doesn't move away from your hand when you put it in the brooder. Folks think birds like that are friendly, in reality it's quite an assertive behavior and is usually related to a male. Don't get one that looks different from the others in color, it could easily be a different breed or in some breeds a male. Alert, active chicks that move in a flock away from a hand placed in the brooder are what you want.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: