Raising chicks vs. purchasing hens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by partysummer07, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. partysummer07

    partysummer07 In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Hi, my girlfriend and I are new to chickens and we would like to start getting eggs as soon as possible, so originally we planned to buy some hens that were already laying, but we have also thought about raising chicks. What are the benefits of raising the chicks as opposed to buying hens? Will the chickens like us more and be more friendly if we raise them? Would it be safe to get a hen or two now and then raise two chicks to join them later?

  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Songster

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Most are friendlier when hand raised. If you get a couple hens now you would need to keep chicks separated until they are half-grown. Around 3 months. There is always a pecking order and the bigger the young are when you mix them the better. At $12 for a young hen I make $2 profit. Started pullets are reasonable; the shipping for them is not! http://www.meyerhatchery.com/get_list_17.htm
  3. digginchicks

    digginchicks Songster

    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I would get day old chicks because they are cheaper and are a lot more friendly towards you
  4. mom2fourbebes

    mom2fourbebes In the Brooder

    Oct 5, 2008
    Hi, I'm a newbie to chickens...just been about a year....Chickens raised from chick-hood turn out very sweet and personable due to the extra loving time spent caring for them...just my personal experience from raising our barred rock and ameracauna...
  5. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing

    Oct 16, 2008
    you willl wait at least 6 months for your chicks to lay eggs.

    now consider the cost of feeding them for 6 months and all the while add in the cost of buying your egg, also..

    you can buy laying hens very cheaply if you watch your local craigs list and check out the bullitin board at the feed mills..

    you can tame down even a wild chicken if you have the patience.
  6. luvmychicknkids

    luvmychicknkids Canning Squirrel

    Mar 6, 2008
    Floresville, Texas
    Raising baby chicks is so much fun....afraid that is the main reason I do it. [​IMG] If I were you, I would go ahead and get a few adults to lay eggs now and raise some babies to mix in later. Getting them integrated isn't usually all that difficult. Good luck and have fun!!!

    Almost forgot to add a big huge [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  7. Renee

    Renee Songster

    May 7, 2008
    Hi there, and welcome to BYC!
    These are great questions.

    Pros of buying chicks:

    Chicks are cute.
    It gives you time to build a chicken coop.
    Greater variety of breeds available.
    It's less likely you will import chicken diseases.

    Cons of buying chicks:
    You need a brooder, and they have to be raised indoors or somewhere warm.
    Most breeders have a minimum order of chicks.
    No eggs for 16-24 weeks.
    Chicks require more care and babysitting.

    Laying hens are not as readily available, nor can you get them in as many breeds, as chicks. However, in my county, you can regularly get them at the animal shelter for only 2.00 apiece: these are hens past their laying prime. It's hard to tell how old a chicken is once they are grown.

    Introducing new chickens is often quite a chore. the older chickens peck the younger ones.

    Most chickens will like you as soon as they figure out where the treats come from, but it's probably safer to raise your own chicks if you are looking for cuddly pets.

    My baby chicks hated to be held and did not like me at all, but once they grew a bit and were out of the brooder they got more friendly. Some breeds are friendlier than others: Buff Orpingtons and Silkies are often recommended as pets, but Silkies don't lay well.

    Have you decided on what breeds you want?

  8. partysummer07

    partysummer07 In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks for replying everyone.

    Like you mentioned Renee, since there are less breeds to choose from with hens I figured I'm going to end up taking whatever breed becomes available first. It would be nice if they were friendly, and I'd prefer regular sized eggs so Banties are out, but other than that I'm not particular.
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I found raising chicks to be smelly, dirty and just a little bit of a hassle, in the house. Not that I wouldn't do it again, but only if I had a strong motivator.
    I had no problem finding breeders that had a great variety of pullets and hens. Pullets were $10-$15. The americauna(sp) Hen was $25. I also don't really care about breed, but choose for color. I found them listed on craigslist, several actually. Good Luck.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2009
  10. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    well, chicks are cheaper, cuter, and more fun to raise, but they have lower survilal rate then adults and take awile to reach laying condition.

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