To hatch, or to buy layers???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tororider, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I haven't decided what to do yet, if I can even find layers I want, so I figured I would ask the experts. I have two young children, 3.5 and almost one, so I thought it would be fun for them to see the little ones. I would also like eggs, but I could wait. I have also heard that it is better to raise them from chicks as they imprint on you.

    So my question is, for those of you who have done both, or not really, give me your opinions and upside/downside of either way.

    Thanks
     
  2. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    Can you have Roosters? If you don't mind getting some Roosters, then Hatch is fun. If you don't want Roosters, then you can order pullet chicks from a Hatchery. But the kids love the peeps.
     
  3. eggzettera

    eggzettera Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you buy layers they will probably come debeaked, (you can to a search and find lots of threads on this)so get chicks - they are sooooo cute.
     
  4. tororider

    tororider Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 6, 2008
    Southeast MI
    I could have a rooster, but I live in the burbs and want eggs, so for now, no roo.
     
  5. Cocky

    Cocky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 15, 2007
    Georgetown, SC
    My wife and I ordered some chickens just for a hobby for ourselves. We wanted a pet and the idea of fresh eggs made chickens appealing to us. We ordered a variety of breeds from Ideal and have really enjoyed them. Buying day old chicks has been a very fun experience for us and now we are getting 7-9 eggs a day out of 9 hens.
     
  6. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Washburn, MO
    Instead of eggs or adult birds, why not get chicks? That way you can raise them and they will be more like pets that birds that have been raised in a large flock or caged. Unless you can find someone who has hand raised them that will sell you some hens. Getting the babies and watching them grow is fun. Incubators can be a hassle if you haven't done it before. If you just want the kids to see what it's about, McMurray's catalog has some small incubators and kits that hatch 2 or 3 eggs.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Yeah, get chicks. Deal with the complications of incubating eggs some other time; and don't encourage debeaking, which is what you will get if you buy ready to lay pullets (unless you find some local person to buy them from privately and they don't debeak).

    Have fun [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  8. theOEGBman

    theOEGBman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2007
    Central California
    I agree with purchasing chicks, IF you are ready for that many. Some hatcheries do small orders, but by the time they add the extra money for not purchasing 25, you might as well buy 25! Maybe a nearby feedstore has chicks, or someone close to you would split a hatchery order. Its fun to hatch, yeah, but its also fun to get a box of chicks in the mail,lol. And like mentioned, if you dont want a rooster, its best to ordered sexed pullets from a hatchery. With incubating, if you dont want roos, odds are 9 out of the 10 chicks will be cockerals. [​IMG]
     
  9. Moselle

    Moselle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 17, 2008
    I decided to go with chicks. I didn't want the expense and other factors involved in hatching eggs - non-hatching eggs, and finding new homes for the roos. I thought that would be a bit too tough on my kids (I have 5 kids aged 12yo down to 18mo.)

    We decided to get chicks so the kids would have the fun and experience of raising them and learning the responsibility of caring for animals. I think they'll also be more likely to child/family friendly since we raise them from the beginning. A grown hen might not be as gentle or friendly, although that's not necessarily the case.

    Meyer Hatchery and MyPetChicken.com will both sell small numbers of chicks (as few as 3). It cost me about $44 for 6 female chicks from Meyer Hatchery (less than $18 for the chicks themselves, and the rest for packaging/shipping) Like you, we live in a suburban neighborhood, and much more than that would be impractical, as much as I'd love to get more!
     
  10. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 29, 2008
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    Get the day old chicks.Pick out a good assortment(maybe easter eggers) of different colors.The kids will love them.With hatching there could be some disappointments.If you don't care about eggs,try some bantums. Will
     

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