1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Where should I get my first chickens from?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Desirai, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Desirai

    Desirai Songster

    Oct 12, 2011
    I'm finally starting on the construction of my coop.

    I can only have 10 or less chickens.

    Anyway.. the problem is, if I buy from a hatchery, I have to order a large number of chicks.

    If I order eggs, I have to hatch them myself and I may end up with all roosters or eggs that don't hatch.

    Are roosters territorial and aggressive? How many hens per rooster do I need?

    I want cochins! And orpingtons, but mostly cochins.

    how do I get the chickens I want? there are a few breeders of cochins in my state (Alabama) but they're so far away.. I don't want to make a 6 hour drive just for chickens..I mean okay, I'd LOVE TO!!!!! But... realistically... gas prices.

  2. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Crowing

    Jan 12, 2012
    A good place to buy non breeder birds would be feed stores. Choose the chicks on the top of the huge brooder, it's more likely they won't get sick. I hope you find some Cochins! [​IMG]
  3. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Congratulations! Yes, some Roos are territorial and/or can be aggressive towards hens and/or people. I had a beautiful EE Roo I really wanted to keep but, he was so mean to the girls - he had to go. My RIR is a gentleman - now that we've come to a understanding. He can protect his girls but, he must be respectful of people.
    Just keep in mind where ever you get chicks from - If you buy chicks/pullets that are not Sex Links - you may end up getting roos, you didn't plan for, even from a Hatchery. Research the breeds you are interested in. Good Luck
  4. 27strong

    27strong In the Brooder

    Dec 17, 2011
    I am going to educate you on roosters from my own experience.

    You should read law on having roosters in your area. Otherwise...stupid neighbors will send you a county letter saying Noise Complaint get rid or get fined. Ok onto the roosters. I bought 22 hens and 2 roosters. Roosters are aggressive and territorial. Yes they are, don't you tell me otherwise. They immediately establish dominance. Try to only have 1 rooster. Because they will fight each other over the hens. I had 22 hens and 2 roosters still went at each other if the dominant caught the lesser one mating. Other than that the lesser rooster stayed away. Since you are going to have 10. Only have 1 rooster. I will tell you another fact...if you don't keep him separate from the laying boxes and hens in general...he will constantly **** in the laying boxes and he will rape your hens all day. Its what they do. Also yes they are very mean to the hens. Once again it is nature. They will attack them if rooster fells hens is not in order. But hens usually run away. If you get more than 2 roosters the most dominant will yell. Ku-ka-re-ku! The lesser roosters are not allow to voice themselves...so if you are wondering why they are silent its because there is a dominant rooster. When free ranging hens rallied around my rooster a lot. Yes he did try to attack me all the time. The way they attack is by side stepping toward you. I had 2. One pushed his head in and formed a disk out of his tail and head feathers like peacock's do he formed a feather halo around himself.... another one stretched out and puffed his chest out to look extra tall. Roosters do help with the hens when they are free ranging. His screams seemed to keep the predator birds and cats away. Dominant rooster is extra aggressive. When I had him he would always stare at me and rarely graze. He attacked my dogs to the point that they avoided him. Bu then again my dogs are all right in the head and they are Australian Sheppard's. Roosters yell alot. More than we though.
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012

    I see that Cackle Hatchery will allow a person to order 15 chicks.


    You could order 10 Cochins and 5 Buff Orpingtons as straight run (both pullets and cockerels), and you would have to cull, sell, or give away all the roosters you didn't want. The price with shipping is $62.35. Hopefully you would end up with seven hens and a rooster if everything worked out according to the average.

    Or you could order 10 pullets and order 5 chickens as straight run. 10 Buff Orpington pullets and 5 Cochin straight run (don't seem to be able to order just pullets on Cochins) is $60.50. Pick out the 10 you want and cull, sell, or give away 5 of the chickens.

    I think 7 to 9 hens to a rooster is a good ratio. I suppose you have found out if you can have a rooster.

    Cackle Hatchery has nine varieties of Cochins listed under rare breeds. And of course they have Buff Orpingtons.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    For small orders of hatchery chicks, it is really hard to beat a local TSC/Atwoods/Blaines/Rural King type of rural store or feed store.
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    My Pet Chicken also allows small orders. You might check locally and see if someone wants to go in with you on an order from a hatchery that has a higher limit. And it sounds like you would do better with pullets only instead of strait run.

  8. slabcrappy

    slabcrappy Songster

    Mar 19, 2011
    Orchard Park, NY
    I ordered 9 birds from Meyer Hatchery. the shipping was $35, but they are one of the only hatcheries that will ship less than 25 birds. they were excellent, healthy peepers. they are a year old next week and lay very well. I would highly recommend them. Oh, I have 3 New Hampshire Reds and 3 Golden Buffs. The other 3 were Dark Cornish which we ate when they were about 12 weeks old. :)

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  9. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Songster

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    +1. It's less hassle and (in my area, at least) less expensive -- AND DOA chicks are their problem!
  10. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    I just ordered 15 chicks from Meyer to get cheaper shipping of $20.00. Looking forward to their arrival [​IMG]and will be picking up some SL from TSC too.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by