starting with chicks versus pullets?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Curlita, May 23, 2008.

  1. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have been waffling about chickens this year versus next year for a while and have finally committed to chickens NOW. It will be 2-3 weeks before my coop and run are complete and I'm trying to track down a place to get my gals from, etc. while also making decisions on construction.

    I'm looking for help on the pros and cons of chick versus pullet.... here they are so far, let me know if there are others, or if I've gotten any of these wrong in your estimation.

    I've got my heart set on two Australorps and two either Wyandottes or Faverroles, depending on what I can find.

    Pros of Pullets
    -easier to find later in the year, as opposed to chicks who might be hard to locate in a few weeks -- which means I don't need to feel rushed to get everything ready (I have poor decision making skills when rushed... and spend too much money [​IMG] )
    -already sexed
    -can go right into the coop

    Pros of Chicks
    -cute and fluffy
    -can get a variety and not worry about whether or not they will get along

    Additional thoughts, oh chicken gurus?

    And... if I do get chicks, should I get a spare in case one gets a flat (turns out to be a roo, dies, etc.)? I want to end up with 4 chickens.
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:First thought would be, you may get some funny looks from certain people (not me) phrasing it that way, as female chicks *are* in fact technically pullets [​IMG] The question as I understand it is, day-olds vs started (perhaps even ready-to-lay). NOT nitpicking, just warning you that there are some people out there with their nomenclatural head stuck up their butt [​IMG]

    Anyhow: unless you know a breeder near you, you may have a difficult time finding ready to lay Wyandotte pullets, and a *heck* of a time for Faverolles. Even Australorps I could not offhand name a source for.

    Until I read your breed list I was all set to say "if you get ready-to-lay pullets from a hatchery or feed store, they are almost guaranteed to come debeaked, and you should really think about whether you want to support that" - but since I think only a private breeder would have your breeds, and they would be extremely unlikely to debeak, it is probalby not an issue in this particular case. Part-grown birds are more likely to come with 'surprise' hidden diseases or parasites, if that matters to you.

    But I think it comes down to the practical issue of, can you even FIND a source for part-grown birds of the breeds you want.

    And... if I do get chicks, should I get a spare in case one gets a flat (turns out to be a roo, dies, etc.)? I want to end up with 4 chickens.

    If you would be ordering from a hatchery rather than getting chicks from a private breeder (and not all that many private breeders do ship chicks), you will want to factor in the difficulties of shipping small numbers of chicks and the very real possibility of losses in transit. If you mail-order, I would suggest ordering extras and hoping to be able to find homes for any that turn out to be in excess of your needs.

    One thing you might consider is to rethink your breed selection the other way 'round. Find out what good private breeders are around you. Talk to them, see who you might want to buy birds from. Then, get whatever breed(s) they have, and learn to appreciate them <vbg>

    Just a thought, anyhow [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat​
     
  3. Curlita

    Curlita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    Okay, yes, started versus day-old. Chicks versus more mature gals. Thanks for the nomenclatural note!

    There seems to be a source in my area for both Australorps and Faverroles, of a variety of ages, although I don't really know what they will have when I'm ready to go. I've got an inquiry in about that. My breed allegiance is easily swayed at this point, although I definitely want strong layers who are kid-friendly.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    ok, so, chicks are fun but older pullets will get you eggs faster [​IMG] If the older birds you're contemplating are really really skitty and people-shy then chicks would give yo a chance to try to raise them tamer. OTOH I have feed-store ready-to-lays that were a bit spooky to start but tamed down quite well with only a little work.

    And chicks are more ooooo cute appealing to little kids, but also a bit more hazardous around 'em (mostly hazardous to the chicks [​IMG])

    Still not sure? See what you can get. Both are equally available? Flip a coin ;P

    GOod luck and welcome to chickens,

    Pat
     

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