Stupid question?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Hottchick, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Hottchick

    Hottchick Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    Hello everyone. I am investigating the possibilty of raising some backyard chickens for eggs. I'm trying to get as much information as I can before I committ to keeping them. I want to be informed before I start working on my husband! This may be a stupid question, as I am new to all of this. I have looked into the animal ordinance in my town and chickens would be permitted (contained animals that do not bother the neighbors are allowed) but I don't think I can keep roosters because of the noise. Can you buy just hens? Can they be identified by sex as chicks? I would hate to get a rooster and have to get rid of it. Please forgive my ignorance, I'm trying to learn as much as possible. Thanks!
  2. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    Hey - you should definitely get a few hens! There are breeds called sex links that can be distinguished as male or female at birth (different markings).

    Other breeds are vent sexed, if you get them from a hatchery. You might have to order a minimum of 25, though. Check craigslist for chicks in your area- but remember that straight run means that the sex is unknown. You could always purchase aldult hens.

    They really are rather low maintenance, and there is nothing like fresh eggs.

    There is so much info on this site - I was the same as you a year ago - knew nothing. This site has really helped.

  3. Catstar68

    Catstar68 Songster

    Sep 7, 2009
    Franklinton, NC
    Excellent advice, ascorbic.
    Remember, even if you order pullets, unless they are sex linked there is only a 90% accuracy rate in the vent sexing.
    Full grown hens are safe but you never *really* know the age and after a few years the laying efficiency drops. And, you miss out on the glorious fuzzy butt phase. [​IMG]
    My red sex links are the sweetest chicks!
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    Or go to a swapmeet near you, livestock auctions, newspaper, BYC, whatever, & purchase older birds that are hens. Careful though, they're ADDICTING!! [​IMG]

    There is no stupid question if something is learned from it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2010
  5. sodbuster

    sodbuster In the Brooder

    Jul 20, 2010
    [​IMG] and [​IMG] from louisiana
  6. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    The only stupid question is the one you don't ask. All of us started somewhere and I for one am glad we've all got a place like BYC to ask questions & get answers from nice knowledgeable people who share our love of poultry. I've been raising chickens all my life and I learn more all the time.
    Yes you can order just females but I agree with the other posts that unless you buy sex link chicks there is only at best a 90% guarantee on sex with most sellers. Several hatcheries will sell as few as 3 - 5 chicks, but cost MUCH more than ordering at least 25.
    If you buy started birds from a reputable breeder you can buy just pullets (Young hens under a year old) and get some nice stock to boot. Also you would be able to skip the baby chick stage when lots of people seem to have most of the problems while learning.
    Might check the auction listings for a breeder near you.
    oh, and BTW.. Welcome to the flock.
  7. Keens2050

    Keens2050 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Narvon, PA
    Hottchick - good advice you've gottten so far. I am new at chicken business too - 5 months total. Our story so far: We started with 10 "peeps" we got at livestock auction back in early March - turns out they were Cornish and we had to butcher them a month ago (LESSON: Know the breed when you buy peeps). Now we have 8 silver-laced wyandottes from an online order that we split with my sister-in-law. She had to order a minimum batch of 16 day-old peeps...supposed to be all two roosters (LESSON: Make sure you get & are guaranteed HENS if that's ONLY what you want). We live in country so rooster not an issue, but would be for you. For breeds, I suggest looking on website (that's where we got our "hens") but they give bios on all breeds. Silver-laced wyandottes are known to be gentle and prolific egg-layers (brown) that's why we went with them. So far we have been pleased. Stilll waiting on that first egg - probably another 2-3 weeks. You can start with a very inexpensive coop/run. Don't invest hundreds of dollars into this hobby until you really know you're gonna love it. We have spent a total of maybe $100 which includes dog kennel fencing, used coop, and hand-me-down waterer and feeder dish. We got lucky cause family members had some supplies but I still would not have put much money into this. Eggs aren't worth that much unless they're golden! Good luck and keep us posted - maybe with photos?
  8. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I'm new to chicks too. Researched and REALLY had to talk hubby into it, now he's as crazy as me about them. I bought 5 day-old chicks from My Pet Chicken and used cardboard box for brooder,pimento cheese container cut & glued together for feed and jar lid for water.I used Blue disposable hospital pads under them as that is what I had access to. I piece of plastic shoe stand supported the light from top of the box. My first bag of feed I got from MPC too. It may have been a little more expensive but they determined sex(mine were 100% correct) and they were already vaccinated. I felt much more comfortable with just a few chicks than a whole big flock. I could also pick as many different breeds as I wanted. Good luck , have fun and [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  9. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] from Tucson, AZ! Good for you Hotchick, doing the research first will head off many potential problems and you've definitely come to the right place here. You can buy pullets (females), older or just a day old. If you end up getting a rooster, it seems easy to find someone to take him, either here or on Craig'slist. Also find and check out the BYC thread for your local region (state) for any specialized issues you might have and connect with other local chicken keepers. Also, check out the BYC section on coops for ideas; you'll find yours can be as elaborate or cheap as you want. You are definitely off on the right foot.
  10. OrloffTom

    OrloffTom Chirping

    Jul 27, 2010
    Welcome to BYC! A college professor of mine said this "There are no stupid questions, only stupid answers". I've always remembered that and have taken it to heart. While it may seem silly or stupid to you, it's not your fault that you just don't know and there is nothing stupid about asking a question. Good luck in your ventures and I'd do it if you could!

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