Should a newbie start with sexed chicks or pullets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by SouthernAlberta, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want no more than four hens in my suburban yard. My main purpose is eggs, but I know I'll enjoy the girls as pets, too. I had assumed I should get teenagers, but now I'm seeing that I can get sexed, week-old chicks of breeds that interest me. What are the pros and cons a newbie should consider? I do not have a brooder or an incubator.
     
  2. Panth

    Panth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would go for chicks for sure...you can not beat watching them grow up from itty bitty balls of fluff. And if you only want 4, you probably won't get that chance again for a while.


    Positives to getting chicks:

    Building a brooder is super super easy and very cheap. I use a large cardboard box, all you will need to buy would be a something to put the food and water in and a heat lamp. You can find other ideas, information, and designs in the other forums.

    When you raise them yourself, not only do you get the chance to watch them grow and learn about them little by little, but you become familiar with their characters so they will be better "members of the family".

    When you handle them from day one, they are SO much tamer.

    I would pick different breeds, so you can tell them apart easily and enjoy different characteristics of them, or different egg colors. They make better eye-candy this way.

    It is much cheaper to buy chicks than grown pullets.


    Negatives to gettting chicks:

    It can be expensive or difficult to only get 4 from any place. Expensive to order online, and most stores will make you buy at least 6.

    There is always a chance that one of your sexed "pullets" might turn out to be a rooster.

    You will have to spend more money on food and wood chips and other supplies before you will actually get any eggs from them.
     
  3. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chicks are much more fun but you won't get any eggs for 4-6 months. You could split a chick order with a friend if you ordered chicks to help keep shipping cost down or post on craigslist and you may find a local farmer willing to sell you some pullets. Chicks grow quick so better start making? your coop.
     
  4. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    A lot of feed stores are selling chicks right now and you can often buy just four already sexed. Tractor Supply often has them too.
     
  5. Phyrst

    Phyrst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an ad up on Craigslist and have called every mail-order hatchery mentioned here on BYC for sexed chicks. I've tried everything to get 5 or 6 female chicks but have lost hope for this spring. If you are thinking of buying a few chicks from some place like MPC, you're going to pay alot. Read all the forums to see if you live near a hatchery or a farmer where you could pick up the chicks. That would help lower your cost. There are a lot of friendly people here that would help you get started. Be open to mistakes! Chances are you might get a rooster so be prepared for that. Don't get a larger # of chicks than you want. There are so many pretty colors, breeds, sizes of chickens that tempt you to get more than you have room for. What predators frequent your area? There's a nice survey on the forum about the worst predators so you will be well-informed. How much time do you have to spend on your flock? Think all these questions out so you will make a good choice. Everyone has a different opinion whether to start with incubating eggs, buying baby chicks or buying older stock. And generally speaking, chickens do not always make good pets. Sounds to me like you know what you want. You just need to do some reading! Hope all goes well in your endeavor.
     
  6. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a word of caution, I was prepared to buy pullets àt point of lay,but they would have been debeaked..not for me since I free range. chicks from feedstores are typically hybreds, I have several and they are great hens that don't go broody and lay thro the wintr.You will pay more for purebred birds and older ready to lay?
    just starting I would advice you to experience the chick raising as it's too much fun and they are practically fool proof. dont pass on that
     
  7. stephensc7146

    stephensc7146 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This spring is my first time owning chickens. My babies are 3 weeks old. I would recommend chicks to ANYONE! Mine come up to me and jump on my hand and arm when I'm trying to feed, when I walk into the room they run to the front of the feeder to see if I am coming to play with them. They are soo sweet! My biggest red sex link jumps over all the rest to get to me first. They grow to love you, and it doesn't take long at all!
    My advice is find a hatchery, buy the pullets you want, if you have to buy a couple more to fill your order, go ahead and do it. The thing about chicks is, people LOVE them. Sell your extras, give them away, put a sign in your yard, etc. I bet you could get rid of the extras fast! But you should definitely go with raising chicks. You will have a must better experience and bond. You'll know & love your chickens, and they will know & love you too!
     
  8. SouthernAlberta

    SouthernAlberta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmmm... so no one here thinks that getting ready-to-lay hens is a bad thing. Good to know. I have found several people in my area willing to part with just a few of the extra chicks they ordered or hatched. I think I'll get a variety, one of each of four breeds, and see what happens. Thanks for your ideas.
     
  9. lindsay297

    lindsay297 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have 12 hens that we got from a farm that was downsizing. They were 9 months when we got them and we have no regrets. They were a bit timid when we got them and have had them for a month and they are very friendly now. I was at that time a first timer and do not regret getting the benifit right away. A friend of mine went the way of chicks and does not think that they would do chicks again. A bit of egg jealousy I think. I have never done chicks so cant say either way but, I will do the pullets when this crew gets to retire!!
     

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