Point of Lay Versus Raising Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mad Old Bird, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Mad Old Bird

    Mad Old Bird Hatching

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    Hi everyone. First post for me on this site!

    I have had chickens before and absolutely loved having them. My life is about to change (for the better I must say!) and I am toying with the idea of getting eggs, and then incubating them until they hatch, OR, getting tiny chicks and rearing them, or just doing what I did the first time, which was buying point of lay hens. If anyone could advise me that would be much appreciated. I do have heat lamps and heaters and was thinking of doing the incubating in an outside shed., but would like to know the pros and cons. Thank you in advance
     
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  2. AlleysChicks

    AlleysChicks Enabler

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    Honestly I love incubating and having chicks. But the down side to that is lots of boys.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    It would help to know where you live and what your climate is.

    Right off the top of my aging brain, I'd say your options are pretty much wide open since you have no adult flock yet to cope with.
     
  4. Mad Old Bird

    Mad Old Bird Hatching

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    Hi, I live in the South East of England. thanks
     
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  5. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    :confused:I think baby chicks are less expensive to buy up front but you do have the rearing expenses. The upside I think they are more bonded to you than when you get started pullets. Hatching eggs may be fun but most places only guarantee a 50% hatch rate to determine success so your buying something you know may not work out. Some have higher hatch rates and some have lower. The upside to baby chicks is they have a higher survival rate above a hatch rate. Money better spent on a more sure thing.

    Started pullets if you can get inexpensively is the best option if you don’t want to wait for eggs and do not want the cost of rearing babies. Sometimes you can get them inexpensively which is more economical than the feed bill for raising chicks. I wanted to get started pullets this time around and wound up with baby chicks because the started pullets were sold out by the time I bought. I did love the chicken experience of raising mine from chicks. That said if have to do it again will be looking at started pullets and if can’t get them at a reasonable cost then getting baby chicks. Depends on the deal! Happy Hunting!:):caf
     
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  6. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    I think too you need to decide how many you want. Wants economical for you and do you want chance of roosters. ? If do not want roosters would not hatch eggs and would order only females at a place that would provide a guarantee if you accidentally got a Rooster. That way you are not out anything. :):thumbsup
    Welcome and let us know how it goes.
     
  7. Mad Old Bird

    Mad Old Bird Hatching

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    thank you for the tips. I'm intending to get 8. Feel very excited about baby chicks, and have already decided that that is the way that I will probably go. will look into the guarantee part. thanks again
     
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  8. Melky

    Melky Crowing

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    No problem! :highfive::jumpy
     
  9. Geranium

    Geranium Songster

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    I have my first chickens right now, and got them as baby chicks. I haven't done it a different way so I don't have anything to compare it to, but raising chicks has been a blast. They're so cute and funny, and they know me as their mama and come running to the fence when I go out to see them. I'll definitely raise from day old chicks again in the future!
     
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  10. L1sa

    L1sa Songster

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    I've done all 3 ways, point of lay, chicks and hatched eggs. To be honest I've enjoyed raising them all 3 ways.

    My first ones were P-O-L, that was easy, no other birds to contend with as they were my first, they all came from the same flock, so already knew each other and where they sat in the pecking order, and they just got on with it. A couple of weeks later they were laying eggs for me. They were friendly, never been skittish and all knew me pretty quickly as chief food bringer so always came running when I went out.

    One of those went broody, so I allowed her to sit on some fertile eggs, she only hatched one (which of course was a roo!) and she raised him in the flock. He was picked on a fair bit by the others while he was little, but pretty much just pecking order thing, but boy did he get his own back!! Once he had matured he had his wicked way with them to the point that they were bald! Poor things. Although he was never aggressive with me and was actually quite sweet with me. Unfortunately we decided he was too much for my ladies and he had to go. I was pretty sad, but that's what happens to the boys in chicken farming! :thAnd peace was restored to my coop.

    Next lot were 3 week old female chicks, slightly harder to deal with as there was no broody to look out for them so had to be kept seperate. Every time I tried to integrate them they were hen pecked! They were quite skittish and scared of everything including me. So it was a case of trial and error, but eventually managed to merge the 2 flocks, they still get bullied a bit by the original girls even now, but not all the time, so they're okay! And they eventually got used to me and then also came running when I went out there.

    Latest addition, one of those went broody, so I allowed her to sit on some fertile eggs. That was stressful, we had a few issues along the way and this broody only managed to hatch 1 so we bought her some day old chicks. Snuck them under her and away she went. It's wonderful watching her raising them, They really are so cute, but they are only 3 weeks old, so we're yet to find out if they are male or female. Hoping we get one roo, as I'd like the chance to hatch some of my own hybrids next time we have a broody.

    Each way has its own merits, I think hatching is probably the most stressful and the least guaranteed, may get a poor hatch rate and they could be all males! Buying chicks is slightly more guaranteed, but again, can't always tell if they are male or female in some breeds, and some chicks don't make it either. Point of lay pullets are probably the easiest and most guaranteed as a start point and you start getting those all important eggs almost straight away.

    Sorry, longer post than I thought it was gong to be! Anyway, best of luck with your flock, however you decide to go about it. :thumbsup
     
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