Started pullets?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by andreanar, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

    May 16, 2014
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Anyone ever get started pullets,16 week olds, instead of baby chicks? Have you found them to be less friendly or more people shy? I don't want to raise babies again, but I want friendly chickens.
  2. cityfarmer12

    cityfarmer12 Songster

    Oct 18, 2014
    depends on who raised them, how they were raised etc. Some are quite friendly, but some a people shy. Are you getting them locally?? meet them first to see how you like there temperament.
  3. giantsndottes

    giantsndottes In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2014
    Try and get chicks from an npip person and try the more docile breeds. Wyandottes, giants, comets, and barred rocks ate some to consider.
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    A feed bucket and a little time works pretty darn good, unless it is a flighty breed. Mrs K
    2 people like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Consider the bio-hazard and integration issues with bringing in started birds....
    ..but medical quarantine time would be an excellent opportunity to spend time observing and hand feeding towards taming them down if needed.

    Here's some notes I've taken on integration that I found to be very helpful.
    See if any of them, or the links provided, might offer some tips that will assist you in your situation:

    Integration of new chickens to flock.

    Consider medical quarantine:
    BYC Medical Quarantine Article
    Poultry Biosecurity
    BYC 'medical quarantine' search

    Confine new birds within sight but physically segregated from older/existing birds for several weeks, so they can see and get used to each other but not physically interact. Integrating new birds of equal size works best.

    For smaller chicks I used a large wire dog crate right in the coop for the smallers. I removed the crate door and put up a piece of wire fencing over the opening and bent up one corner just enough for the smallers to fit thru but the biggers could not. Feed and water inside the crate for the smallers. Make sure the smallers know how to get in and out of the crate opening before exposing them to the olders. this worked out great for me, by the time the crate was too small for the them to roost in there(about 3 weeks), they had pretty much integrated themselves to the olders.

    If you have too many smallers to fit in a crate you can partition off part of the coop with a wire wall and make the same openings for smallers escape.

    The more space, the better. Birds will peck to establish dominance, the pecked bird needs space to get away. As long as there's no blood drawn and/or new bird is not trapped/pinned down, let them work it out. Every time you interfere or remove new birds, they'll have to start the pecking order thing all over again.

    Multiple feed/water stations. Dominance issues are most often carried out over sustenance, more stations lessens the frequency of that issue.

    Places for the new birds to hide out of line of sight and/or up and away from any bully birds.

    Read up on integration..... BYC advanced search>titles only>integration
    This is good place to start reading:
    1 person likes this.
  6. jennianne

    jennianne Chirping

    Jun 16, 2014
    NY, Saratoga Springs

    I so decided I wanted more chickens, and I so definitely did not want to start from day 1, so I ordered me some started pullets...Did I do the very smart thing you did here and post something on BYC? NOooooooo, nope. I did not.

    I put them straight in with my girls. I got lucky and nothing bad happened, but I now realize how risky that was and I would not do it again. Take some time and look over the great info available on here about this.

    I am pretty new to raising chickens, but for what it is worth, with my experience with started red star pullets, they warmed up to me pretty easily. I do think that it would depend on their breed and how they were raised up to the point when you got them, though.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    This. IME pretty much any animal is motivated by food and will tame down easily with some time.
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 - just as with any animal that comes to you at a point later in their life that needs socialization and work.
  9. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

    May 16, 2014
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Thanks for everyone's opinions. I guess I have a bit to think about. I would prob have to get the older pullets from hatchery cause I want a couple LF Cochin and can't find any near me in upstate NY.
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Do hatcheries have started Cochins? I've only seen them offer production-based birds like the Leghorns and red stars, breeds like that.

    Looking for more of a specialty breed, you may have to wait for spring and keep an eye out for a local breeder. We have state threads here you might post on, and there may be a Cochin thread in the Breeds section. A wanted ad on CL can unearth things you had no idea were around, also.

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