Read before choosing EE chicks at feed store (Updated posts 8 and 15)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Zenbirder, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    My question is for those who get chicks from a feed store intermediary (hatchery : feed store : you):

    This year do you have a larger or smaller percent of cockerels in the pullets that you paid for?

    My very small sample of locals says the percent of cockerels has jumped by a huge number (tripled or more)! I am worried, and concerned, that the bad economic times might have some hatchery operations looking at the bottom $ rather than their integrity. The more cockerels they throw in to the pullet mix, the larger their profit. Selling to a feed store first gets their reputation one step removed from directly selling to the customer, and feed stores do not always tell customers which hatchery the chicks come from, nor would the average customer think to ask.

    Am I paranoid? How was your percentage, granted the season is very young...
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  2. ()relics

    ()relics horse/dog shrink

    Jan 4, 2009
    from my feed store experience...I think the majority of the birds there are cockerels every year...remember hatcheries are in business because they sell the chicks that they hatch...pullets are easier to sell than they ship more of the cocks to the feed store and sell the pullets themselves...Coincidence...hardly....they are professional vent sexers...and most people that buy chicks from the feed store buy one or two...hardly enough to base an opinion about sex on....buyer beware...for just that reason I tried to learn how to vent sex at a rate of better than 50%.....I am still trying to get my percent correct over 75%
  3. lorieMN

    lorieMN Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2008
    my feed store only has pullets in egg laying breeds..the rest ar SR
  4. kees

    kees Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2008
    At my feed store, there's an option to get cockerels or hens.


  5. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    Last fall, we bought sexed chicks from our local feed store (AZ). We bought 5 different breeds at 3 different times (2 different stores). All 15 chicks (BR, EE, WLH, Barnies, BSL, PR) we purchased turned out to be pullets.
  6. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Interesting you bring that up.

    I had two shipments from a hatchery as part of a large group. The first shipment, none of the pullets appear to be cockerels so far at 8 weeks. However, they reshipped to replace the ones DOA in shipping. Out of the 6 of from the group (I have one, the neighbor has 5) I can see, 3 are starting to look like they could be cockerels. They are only 6 weeks so the verdict is still out. That could be 50% pullets when it should be 90%.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  7. 2ManyCritters

    2ManyCritters New Egg

    Apr 12, 2009
    Queen Creek, Az
    The 6 chicks I got 4 months ago were guaranteed pullets. Two of those pullets started crowing yesterday. The only 2 Barred Rocks I got and they had to be roosters. Beautiful roosters though. One of them is sight impaired.

  8. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I brought the topic up to the feed store and they said they would try to get any feedback from customers... But it is very early in the season. My chicks were from the first batch they got in this year.

    I am also wondering if I accidentally selected for EE cockerels. I chose 10 EE chicks, specifically looking for the largest color variation in them. The lightest and darkest chicks are the two that are cockerels. I have been reading some of the other threads that suggest that EE cockerels are more solid colored in general than the pullets, and my whole batch fits this pattern. The boys are mostly black and mostly white, the girls are patterned shades brown with different head coloration.

    My suggestion to those choosing EE pullet chicks is: choose the most common patterns to potentially avoid choosing cockerels!
  9. melissastraka

    melissastraka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hoquiam, WA
    my favorite EE pullet is black and silver. My fav roo is black and gold....
  10. amartinlb

    amartinlb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2009
    Jersey Shore
    The feed stores by me have no shame in telling us which hatcheries they get theirs from (they seem to prefer telling us since obviously we the customer are concerned on the quality of the chicks) and sometimes they even give us the shipping boxes they arrived in when we purchase them.

    Anyway, of the 23 chicks I am raising so far only one is definitely a cockerel (ameraucana that took a very long time to start developing feathers, has different color legs than the females, a larger comb, more active, etc), I'm pretty sure the rest are pullets as we bought them. The hatcheries mine all (ameraucana mutts (EEs), RIR, cuckoo maran, buff orp, barred rock, delaware, silver and gold laced wyandottes) came from are Mt Healthy Hatchery, Ideal Hatchery, and Murrary McMurray Hatchery.

    I too am curious about this though if some hatcheries are sneaking in an extra few males. I do know some hatcheries though if they run short or if the box isn't full enough to do add random chicks usually cockerels to the box for extra warmth for the chicks. Perhaps that's where all the extra males are coming from, since here in NJ it's been between 30-50 the past month and only a few days were 60F or above so far.


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