Straight run vs. sexed chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sphillips, Feb 19, 2013.

  1. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm trying to figure out where I should get my first chicks from, and I've heard that Tractor Supply sells 'straight run' chicks. Does that mean they are not sexed, and it's a gamble as to how many hens or roosters you end up with? I have heard there are some breeds that can be identified immediately as to what sex they are, and I'd like Rhode Island Reds or Leghorns. In the past I just purchased chicks, which were 'straight run' (if that means not sexed), and was pretty lucky to end up with mostly hens. Lots of questions!
     
  2. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to start with only a certain number of pullets & not have to deal with more cockerels than you need, sexed chicks would be the better way to go.

    Sex links are about the only ones TSC will get that can be sexed by color. TSC does have pullet bins for some chicks.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There should be a hatchery in your State or near by state that you can place your order with. We have a Tractor Supply close by but they get their chicks through the mail from Mt. Healthy Hatchery in Ohio (I'm in Indiana). You can order what sex and breed that you want at Tractor Supply and they will call you when they arrive (the Hatchery mails them to TSC). If you buy the chicks from in the tub at the store then they most likely are straight-run (yes that means you may end up with roosters). You also run the risk of kids handling and playing with the tub chicks (seen it many times). You might as well order direct from the Hatchery and select exactly what you want and pick them up at the post office. The only problem is that Hatcheries usually have a minimum order of 25. I have ordered from TSC and split the order. I have some Rhode Island Reds and they are good layers.

    I just saw Katie's post. I did not realize that some TSC stores have pullet bins.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  4. hopefulpeeps

    hopefulpeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our TSC has some straight run bins and some pullet bins.... They also have the area fenced in so you can't touch the chicks just peek over the railing at them.
     
  5. KatieBugg

    KatieBugg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is the way our local TSC is set up as well and only employees can handle the chicks.....Orscheln has gone to little locked bins and again only employees can handle chicks.
     
  6. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our TSC has a 'fence' around the chicks, so that children can't get in there. I still haven't decided what to do, I'm going to check into a hatchery here close by, and if there isn't one, I will get my chicks from TSC and take my chances. I'll be ready for the chicks this weekend! So excited!
     
  7. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got 6 chicks ,last night from our TSC. They had sexed australorpes and sexed RIR so I got 2 each of those breeds. Then I saw straight run Golden Laced Wyandottes and of course I wanted them! So I asked the TSC employee if I could feather sex them and pick out 2...she said no. I noticed that some were "loud" colored and some were very dull so I asked if they could be sexed by color. She said " some breeds can" I asked if the Golden Laced Wyandottes could be color sexed..." she said "maybe I can't tell you that or how". So I told her I want 2 of the dull colored chickens. Don't know if I made the right choice for sure. I do think she may have grabbed one of the brighter colored ones. I wish I would have insisted that she get certain ones. But lesson learned...I think I will order from the hatchery from now on.
     
  8. happybooker1

    happybooker1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have gone to my local TSC and looked @ their set-up. They're expecting chicks/pullets today. I'm going to look but I dont' like the fact the chicks are behind fencing. I can see keeping kids from touching them or picking them up and the fencing is necessary because a majority of parents don't control their kiddos.

    However, I would like to be able to pick mine out by picking them up -- maybe talking to the employee responsible for the chicks would help? And explaining you already have chickens and are familiar with them? Would love to go & pick out some Silkies or Frizzles. But I also don't want 6 chicks. Oh what to do???

    The pullet bin -- do they ever have Bantam pullets? My flock is all Banties so I won't be looking for 'big' chicks!! LOL.
     
  9. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Overrun With Chickens

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    We got ducks from TSC once. They claimed they had three breeds of ducks, and they only had two. Pekin's and Mallard's. We got two mallards, and two of the other breed (or so we thought) and two pekin ducks. We ended up with 4 very wild mallards and two Pekin's. The Pekins were a Male and Female, so we scored pretty good with them. We ended up with one Female mallard and 3 males. It was awful! We had to put down one Mallard who was being starved and bullied by the others, and our other two males flew away and only one came back. I ended up re-homing all of my ducks in February of 2012. Lesson learned, I won't buy from TSC again. I always get bad luck and end up with the wrong breed, and too many boys. If I ever decide to get ducks again, I will probably order them from Meyer Hatchery so I know what I'm getting.

    My dad had a similar experience with chicks from TSC. He got 12 chicks, and 6 of them were males. If you raise roosters for meat, or you know someone who wants roosters, it's one thing to get straight run. If you are like us, and don't know of anyone who wants roosters, and you don't raise animals for meat, I would just order from a hatchery near you. That's the only way we will get chickens from now one. Unless one of our hens hatch's chicks,
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  10. sphillips

    sphillips Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You all have good points. I for one would like to handle the chicks before I buy them, and I don't think that the employees at the store really know much about chickens, unless I happen to get help from someone who happens to know. Kind of like the people in the automotive department at Walmart. Nothing against anyone, of course, I just don't know how knowledgeable they are. I'm also not very familiar with many of the breeds, and would be wary of getting some really cool chickens that I end up killing. I think I need to start with hardy breeds like the RIR. I know that I won't be able to handle chicks I order through the mail, but think I would feel ok with that because I am buying from someone who knows what they are doing. I don't want roosters, one or two would be okay, I'm not sure that I'd want to butcher them, and there aren't many people around here who would be willing to take them. I think I'm leaning towards ordering my chicks, but have to see what we have closer to us here.
     

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