What is best age to get chickens?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by NZJanet, May 19, 2017.

  1. NZJanet

    NZJanet Just Hatched

    May 19, 2017
    I want to get young chickens that will be young enough so that I can get them used to being held (so they are friendly when my grandson comes to visit). But I know they need to be old enough so I can be sure I am getting females. Any other suggestions about which age and breed makes the friendliest pets?
    Thanks for any advice!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC. From my experience, some chickens like to be held and others will run a mile if you go anywhere near them - regardless of whether one has them from day old chicks or not. In fact, some of my friendliest birds I've bought way after they had begun laying.

    Spending time in their presence, and feeding treats (e.g. mealworms etc) is a good way to get chicks used to being handled.

    I'm sure other members will be along to advise on friendly breeds - where I live getting actual breeds is very difficult, so I'm not best placed to give that advice.

    Best wishes
    AlleysChicks likes this.
  3. NZJanet

    NZJanet Just Hatched

    May 19, 2017
    Thanks CT!
    sunflour likes this.
  4. SueT

    SueT Chicken Obsessed

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    You could get sex link chicks ....males and females are different colors so can be positively identified at hatching...
    My daughter got 3 of them for that reason, 2 reds and a black. My granddaughter, now 4, carries the black around, it's that friendly. Plus they get 3 eggs every day....

    There are bantam breeds such as silkies, that are especially friendly...
    Good luck, let us know what you get!!!
    Last edited: May 19, 2017
    sunflour and AlleysChicks like this.
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    :welcome so glad you have joined us.

    IMO raising from baby chicks is a wonderful experience - fun for you and your family. But it does give one some nervousness about luck of the draw on gender unless you opt for sex-linked breeds as SueT said.

    I've had luck with obtaining mine from an independent store that orders theirs professionally sexed from a hatchery. If you have a local breeder - you may be able to get them still young but old enough to be sure they are pullets. Stay away from TSC, straight runs or feed/seed places where the employees can mix the bins or have no experience with baby chicks.

    I would suggest you search thru the breed informations and charts to help you select what meets your expectations and how you plan to tend your flock. But it is surprising that every bird will have it's own unique personality and characteristics and not always fit into those described in the resources. Explore the breeds reviews and ratings on BYC - and you'll find that not everyone agrees on the friendliest.

    I have experience only with BO's and BR's but love them both. The BO's usually are top rated for children - but they go broody often and turn into "little witches"- definitely not friendly when that happens. The BR's rarely go broody, are sweet and fun. I currently have 4 Welsummer pullets in my brooder - they are supposed to be sweet and friendly and mine (now a little over 3 weeks old) are very easy to handle and love.

    For my purposes, I needed breeds that do well in confinement which limits the selection. If you will be able to free range, that gives you more choices.

    And the age of your grandson will also make a difference in how the flock responds. Even the sweetest chicken will peck your clothes, shoes, pull on your jeans for attention:) Even the tamest chicken would run if chased or approached too quickly.

    Have fun with your planning, pick the breeds you are thinking about and then revisit the question to help with the decision.
    drumstick diva and SueT like this.
  6. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Queen of the Coop

    Mar 3, 2015
    Welcome to BYC! Other members have given you great advice!
  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Silkies are generally very docile and kids love them. However they are extremely difficult to sex before 4-5 mos. of age and sometimes not till they crow or lay eggs.

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