Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Annasg, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. Annasg

    Annasg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    I read online that pullets are female but lay a much smaller egg. I called Tractor Supply and when I told them that I wanted laying hen chicks, they told me they had pullets and did not encourage me to buy them. Anyone care to weigh in here and tell me if this is true?
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    Um pullets are female birds that have not been laying very long or not laying they are called a hen after they have been laying for approx. 2-3 mo., they will eventually lay bigger eggs it can just take a few weeks to a few months, pullets are what you want if you buy hens they will already have been laying a while and that means less eggs for you, laying hen chicks are pullets and that is what you buy and in approx. 20 weeks you will have eggs.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  3. Anira

    Anira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2013
    Fossil, OR
    Pullet refers to age. A female under 1 year old is called a pullet. Once they are over a year old, they are called hens. Has nothing to do with egg size.

    When a pullet starts laying, the eggs will be smaller, because she's just starting out. The eggs will get larger as she gets older.
  4. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2016
    Saint Louis, MO
    Pullets are female chickens under a year old.
    Cockerels are male chickrns under a year old.

    Pullet eggs are a laying chickens first eggs and can be smaller, have defects, etc. since their egg-laying "equipment" is still maturing. Given good health and nutrition, this will correct itself as the chicken ages. Ultimate egg size is determined by genetics, some breeds tending toward larger eggs than others.
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Yet another feed store employee that is clueless.......
    2 people like this.
  6. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    A pullet is a young hen, less than a year old. I don't know what TSC was talking about. Why (and how?) did they encourage you not to buy? Makes no sense. Pullets do lay smaller eggs when they first get started, but as they continue laying the eggs get bigger and soon you can't tell a pullet egg from the egg of an older bird.

    Before they are year old, males are usually referred to as "cockerels." Proper terminology out of the way, to me a girl is a hen and a boy is a rooster regardless of the age, but it does help if you are asking a question to specify so that someone answering your question has some idea of the age of the birds in question.

    The issue with most feed stores is that regardless of what they tell you, you always run the chance of getting a rooster or two. They usually try to specify by separating their Straight Run chicks (chicks that are unsexed and shipped together) from the Pullet bin, but they aren't usually very successful. Same reason that you go in for, let's say for example, Buff Orpingtons, and end up with something entirely different. And they usually call their Easter Eggers "Ameracaunas", which causes no end of confusion.

    So I'd just go on down there, choose what you want, and enjoy them. If you are really set on having all pullets, you can go to one of the hatcheries and specify that you want all girls, all boys, or a mix. Good luck.
  7. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    wow I can't believe he said that!! Just WOW. as everyone has said another word for YOUNG FEMALE CHICKEN IS PULLET. The chicken is considered a Pullet UNTIL SHE LAYS HER FIRST EGG. Then she is considered a HEN. A pullet depending on the chickens BREED can lay small,medium, large, or extra large eggs!! The EGG SIZE DEPENDS ON THE BREED OF CHICKEN. now that that is cleared up, when ANY BREED of female chicken (pullet) begins to lay her eggs are smaller to start but soon grow to size as she is fully matured. so if you want eggs you would WANT TO BUY A PULLET. Because she will grow into the hen who will lay eggs for you. THE TERM PULLET SIMPLY MEANS FEMALE, IT IS NOT A BREED OF CHICKEN. if you want large eggs you would get a breed that lays large eggs.Example would be like I personally want large brown eggs, so I need a breed that lays them. I would buy for example, a Barred Rock pullet. meaning a female chick and the breed Barred Rock lays larger brown eggs. so know what breed your looking for. To help see what breed does what you can look online at Meyer hatchery and they show many breeds. they tell the characters of each breed and type of eggs they lay. this will REALLY HELP YOU find a breed you want. Things to Remember are STRAIGHT RUN ARE NOT SEXED BIRDS AND WILL INCLUDE MALES. PULLETS ARE SEXED FEMALES. COCKERAL IS A MALE CHICK. hope this helps you out. best wishes.Please do go to the Meyer hatchery Web site because that website has a better example of each breed, the characters of each breed and reviews of each breed and types of eggs they lay the example Meyers shows is better than most and will help you learn about each breed easily.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  8. mekidsmom

    mekidsmom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 1, 2016
    :( I'm not sure what's going on with TSC these days. They told me that they had switched hatcheries last year (the TSC near me in rural upstate NY). They have no clue what they'll get in their next shipment or when it will arrive. Once they open the delivery, they'll know. I already have some chicks, but decided to stop in yesterday just to see what they had. As I walked up, a man was having a hushed conversation with the woman working, it appeared he was trying to educate her on something while pointing at one of the brooders. He walked away as I walked up.

    There were no signs, so I asked and was told that they had "Rhode Island Reds mixed with a brown feathered egg layer". WHAT? I asked if she meant they were like a Sex Link? She looked at me like I said naughty words! LOL! I started to attempt to explain to her what a Sex Link was, and then gave up. Half the chicks had icky looking bums, yup, the brooder where the man was pointing. Poor little babies.

    If you can find a FAMILY owned Agway, you may be far better off getting chicks. At least most of the people in my local store have a clue what they're talking about, they know what breed is coming in, and what breed they have, as well as having a better selection of desirable breeds. I see why some people only buy from locals, or even directly from hatcheries.

    When shopping for chicks - Pullets are females (but it's tricky to sex chicks so you could still end up with a male). Straight run means no one figured out if they're males or females so you "should" get half and half. Do your research, have an idea of what breeds you would like as realsis said. Sorry you had that experience.
  9. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I live super close to tractor supply and a few years ago decided it would be easier to get some spring chicks there instead of a breeder or hatchery so I went in and asked when the shipments were coming. They didn't know..so I asked if I paid up front could I put a order in for a breed I wanted,.. They said no. So I asked if it was possible to pay to reserve a couple so I would have them,...They said no...first come first serve. but how could I be first when they couldn't tell me when the chicks were coming??They couldn't tell me what breeds were coming either. I felt completely defeated I ordered from a breeder. it ended up easier to have them shipped. at least then I knew when they were coming, what breed they were and what sex. The chicks they get always look soo cute and I really wanted some but no one knew ANYTHING AT ALL. it was really frustrating..
  10. Anira

    Anira Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2013
    Fossil, OR
    A lot of feed stores won't know what they're getting or when because it all depends on what hatches and when they hatch. Some hatcheries ship on Mondays, some on Wednesdays. Chicks could arrive in one to two or even three days. Depends on shipping, so they won't know exactly what day. They can have an idea of what breeds they might be getting if they specifically ordered certain breeds, but what they get in the shipment depends on what the hatchery managed to hatch out and how many chicks hatched.

    That being said, they SHOULD have a general idea of what they're getting and when. But no one can know for sure.

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