start with chicks or hens?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by gcanchicks, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. Hi! I am totally new to this. I have just convinced my hubby that we should have chickens, with the idea that we would be starting with ready-to-lay hens. Now I am thinking that starting with chicks might be the better way to go. I have two children, 8 & 3. I also am a dance instructor and am fairly busy. Am I crazy to try to deal with babies that are going to need my attention? Or, are babies going to be better in the long run when I have small children? Our local feed store does "chick days" very soon. What are some things to look for and ask when picking chicks? I really don't want any roosters (although I understand that is a risk you take with chicks). I have read about brooders on BYC. I'm pretty sure I have that part figured out, if we end up with chicks. I would appreciate any and all advise! I live in southern MO (not far from the Arkansas border). I would love to find some "locals" who can answer some questions :)
    Thank you!

  2. red horse ranch

    red horse ranch Crowing

    Jan 24, 2014
    Buffalo Wyoming
    Since I'm from Wyoming I'm not a local for you but I'll try to answer some of your questions. A lot of the feed stores will have 'straight run' chicks which will be male and female. These are the cheapest but you may end up with roosters. Most will also have females that are sexed at the hatchery. These cost a little more but are most likely to actually be females.

    Raising chicks can be an educational experience for children but you do have to be more careful that the kids don't accidently injure or kill the chicks. They are very delicate in the beginning and must be handled with care. If you have a cat or dog in the house the chicks will need to be securely protected.

    I think a better option would be for you to buy started females. These are usually 2 to 4 months old, fully feathered and able to go directly into your chicken coop. They usually cost $10 to $15 each. They are still young enough to be tamed and you don't have to fool with brooders and heat lamps.

    If you buy laying hens it''s anybody's guess on how old they are. A hens best laying is in the first 2 years and some unscrupulous sellers will not be truthful about their age.

    Hope this answers some of your questions.[​IMG]
  3. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Songster

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I would go with chicks they don't require a lot of attention just make sure they have food and water a d their heat is right and they. An easily be left alone. Just don't let the kids handle them without supervision until the chicks get bigger and keep dogs and cats away. Starting with chicks is fun, kids will probably enjoy the chicks
  4. Thank you both! Looks like we've got some pros & cons to weigh...Time to do some more reading! ;)
  5. mortie

    mortie Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    The Frozen Tundra
    I could have written your post, it's exactly the same thing as what happened over here.

    I found it difficult to find laying hens that were from a place I could trust not to just sell me their old hens who are not laying regularly anymore.

    So I completely swung the other way and I have eggs incubating now [​IMG]. Talk about a 180! If this fails I am going back to plan A, in a way. I found a nice semi local place where I can get started pullets , as mentioned here. Hopefully my eggs hatch...
  6. Good luck with your eggs!! After another talk with the hubby, we will be getting hens/young birds. Thankfully I have a wonderful neighbor who is very trustworthy, and she is going to help me find some good birds :)

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