Should I get chicks or ready to lay?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MsBehaven, Feb 5, 2017.

  1. MsBehaven

    MsBehaven New Egg

    Feb 25, 2015
    I need some advice to make my final decision on this. I love my girls and I have 16. I've had chickens for the last 3 years now and I have culled once. I usually get the red sex link and have them as layers and get them at 19 weeks. I have been thinking about getting chicks this year but I am not sure. If I do I would cull the ones I have and get the new girls. I've had very had very bad expierences with mixing lots and I won't do it again. I've been getting mixed opinions regarding it. I am able to raise chicks ( I did it when I was younger ) but some are saying don't it's not worth it and some are saying it's best to raise them yourself. Should I start with chicks or just continue with the ready-to-lay girls?
  2. SammyLee

    SammyLee Just Hatched

    Jun 19, 2016
    Keeseville, NY
    I'm quite the opposite! I've had great success with raising my own chicks and rather bad luck with buying mature birds. So, from my experience I highly recommend chicks. It's a lot of fun, too. If you're concerned with mixing breeds, just get chicks of one breed or purposefully find breeds that compliment each other. For example, Easter Eggers get along well with the Welsummer and Sussex breeds.
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Welcome! I always raise chicks, either my own with broody hens, or hatchery day-olds. I also don't have sex-links, finding them pushy and feather pecking in my mixed flock. As SammyLee says, having birds who are likely to be compatible is best. The most economical production model is using high producing birds and replacing them at least every other year. In the right environment raising chicks works great, but you need the housing space to gradually mix the age groups safely. Mary
  4. azygous

    azygous Flock Master

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    You know what? I recommend you continue with the flock management plan you had. Why? Because it appears your chicken keeping philosophy more closely resembles a commercial operation, though not in size, than a backyard flock which are both pets and food.

    Backyard flocks are best started with baby chicks because they are much easier to groom as pets than older birds. Also, with backyard flocks, there usually isn't any urgency to get new stock to point of lay. Since you cull regularly and seem to place a high value on high productivity, this would indicate replacing your culled stock with point-of-lay stock would be the better choice for you.
    1 person likes this.

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