should i buy started pullets or get day-olds from a hatchery?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by The Lisser, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    I ended up having 7 cockerels and 2 pullets out of my little batch of chicks. They are about 13 weeks old now, and it's time to separate the little pullets from all the chasing cockerels. I have decided to build a chicken tractor for my favorite silkie mix cockerel and the two pullets, and I will try to keep the 6 other roos as the free-range barnyard guard, pending their behavior. I want to add more pullets (and am building the tractor accordingly) . . . I know that if I buy some "started" pullets they will possibly have parasites so I would have to quarantine them, and I'm wondering if I should just buy chicks from a hatchery instead. Can day-old chicks have parasites?

    I really don't have a place to quarantine started pullets unless I use the chicken tractor, and wait on separating the pullets and silkie. On the other hand I know it would take a lot longer to be able to introduce the new chicks as it would take at least 10 weeks for them to get big enough.

    Any suggestions? I like the fact that I can buy more variety of breeds from a hatchery, as locally there are only a few breeds available this time of year. Also my 5 year old and I really enjoyed raising the chicks and I think they are more friendly as a result of us spending time with them.

    Please will the more experienced chickaholics advise? Thank you!!!

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:It is not really parasites you have to worry about so much as *diseases* -- parasites are all fairly-readily curable, but a number of diseases are not.

    Day-old chicks from a hatchery will not have parasites, and are very unlikely to have any diseases -- 'day-olds' from a feedstore are a bit less guaranteed in that regard but still likely to be a lot 'cleaner' than started birds of any description from any source.

    Personally I'd go with getting day-olds from a hatchery. Yeah, it will be 3 months or more before you can add them to the others, but that's not very long in the grand scheme of things, and it prevents you from having to learn any mroe about chicken healthy any faster than can be avoided [​IMG]

    JMHO, good luck, have fun,

  3. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Awesome advice. Thank you!

  4. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    So, if you get pullets they should be quantine for a month.

    If you get chicks, they have to be kept separate for about 3 - 4 months.

    I have done both and in general we bond more when we get them as chicks.

    If space is an issue - - - only get 4 or 5 chicks. They will be able to stay in a very small area for most of that 4 month period.

    We have 4 now that I special ordered through our local feed store. They stay in the house for the first 3 weeks in a large dog carrier.
    Then they spent the next month in an outside bitty cage. Now, we sectioned off a small area of the regular run and put them in it. They will spend the next 2 months there. The mature girls can see the new comers but can't harm them.

    I did this a few months ago with a different set of 4 chicks. We just completed the transition to the main flock and it was a piece of cake. No fighting, No Stress.
  5. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    I got two 1 day olds from the feed store, and raised them since then. They are both WONDERFULLY sweet and tame birds.

    I just got four 8 week old wyandottes last week. They have been handled since birth but they bonded with their owner, not me. And yes they CAN tell the difference. I have to work hard at socializing and getting them used to me so that I can catch them outside if I ever need to. They aren't TOO scared of me, but are scared enough to run away when I try to hold one.

    All in all, I would go with day olds if you can. I love these girls and it was better for my personal situation to get older ready to go outside pullets rather then day olds. BUT If you are on the fence, here.. ::shoves toward day olds side::

    lol! [​IMG]
  6. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    I was having the same debate with myself... I choose day olds because the started pullets have their beaks trimmed @ 6 weeks at our locak hatchery... and i personally dont like that
  7. JimWWhite

    JimWWhite Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've bought all of our 30 layers from Shook Poultry in Claremont, NC near Hickory. We bought them in lots of 6, 6, 7, and 11. All were 18-week old Gold Comets and we have never had a problem with any chickens we've gotten from them. All have been healthy and all were laying within a month to six weeks after we got them. We did quarantine them in an old run and coop for a week each time we added new ones. We just added 11 to bring our flock up to 30 layers back in Mid-May. We've been getting at least 6 to 8 eggs a day now from the new ones for the past 3 or 4 weeks. We can tell because they're the ones laying small bantam-sized eggs one day and enormously large eggs the next. Our other Gals all lay nice extra large brown eggs. We were getting great egg production even in the deep of winter from our 19 layers at the time with 16-18 eggs each and every day from Nov. 1st until May 1st. Now we have the original 6 hens going thru molt and they have been laying but not every day. The second 6 will probably start their molt in the next month or so. Yesterday we got a record high of 25 eggs from our 30 hens and pullets. Great layers. And they're also very people friendly too.

    All in all we are very happy with Shooks. I was hoping this year to add some black sex links but they've changed their business and only sell 18-week old Gold Comets. Overall I think they are the best layers you can get. They were $6.35 each when we got them last year and I think they were $6.50 this year. You can go to their web site at:

    Here's a pic of one of them on the nest:

    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
  9. The Lisser

    The Lisser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for all the advice!

    [​IMG] Melissa

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by