Which way should I go?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by porkchop48, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. porkchop48

    porkchop48 Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Malta, OH
    I am still trying to get my first chickens....

    Which way should I go? SHould just order what I want and wait for them to grow up or continue to look online and hope to find some older ones ( that I dont have to drive 4 hours for)?

    I don;t really like the idea of waiting 6 months or so for eggs, but then again I think that may be the better way to get my floack started with the exact kind of brids I want.....

  2. for me personally.. I would order chicks.. a lot of time when you buy older birds (not ALL the time.. just a lot of the time) you are getting someone elses problem birds.. hens that are past their prime or have health issues.. which is why i personally never bring an adult bird into my flock..
    with chicks.. sure you have to wait for them to grow up.. but you can get the breeds you want, and when they start laying you get them at the very beginning of their laying .. not some bird who may be three years old who only lays one egg a week and who you will have to retire at some point..
    if you can have unlimited birds and have the money and space for retired birds and don't really care how much longer they will lay then you CAN do both.. have your eggs now and then get chicks for future layers... but I am a nut about biosecurity so I won't risk an older bird (which is my choice.. alot of people get adult hens and have 0 issues..)
  3. arcatamarcia

    arcatamarcia Songster

    Sep 24, 2009
    Personally I just kept watching Craig's list until I found someone local with pullets for sale. I live in the suburbs so can't have roos and didn't want to deal with having to re-home or butcher cockerels my first season. But if that isn't a concern for you, either way would work.
  4. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Songster

    You have 74 posts and don't have any chickens? LOL! What have you been talking about?

    "I don;t really like the idea of waiting 6 months or so for eggs, but then again I think that may be the better way to get my floack started with the exact kind of brids I want....."

    That is the problem with craigslist and wanting full grown, you might get lucky and find someone selling the kind that you want but while you're waiting you could've already had baby chix growing, which is part of the fun of having chickens IMO

  5. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Songster

    Ideal hatchery -- Great selection and only have to spend a min of $25
    Murry McMurry hatchery -- Great selection, but have to buy 25 chix min, however only $8 for s/h
    chickensforbackyards.com -- decent selection and no minimums, but expensive chix and $40 for s/h
  6. ddmiddle7

    ddmiddle7 Songster

    Mar 8, 2011
    Indianapolis, IN
    I had the opportunity to get already laying pullets and decided against it. My girls are almost 15 weeks and it has been a long wait for me to get eggs....hopefully in the next few weeks [​IMG]
    I am glad I ordered the chicks though. I got to chose which kind I wanted and didn't have to settle for what was available. Plus I got to know the chicks and they are really friendly since I handled them a lot when they were younger. I got two older pullets and they are not nearly as friendly. Some people don't care about the friendliness, they just want eggs....in the end it's up to you...
    Plus baby chicks are so darn cute...LOL [​IMG]
  7. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Songster

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Why not do both? I was worried about getting day olds and ending up with a rooster. As soon as TSC had their first shipment of chicks I went and got some Isa Brown pullets. Since they are sex-links I knew I'd be safe. Now I am scouting out the breed I really wanted on Craigslist and here on BYC. This is the perfect time of year to find point of lay pullets or retired laying hens. Many commercial operations replace their flocks every year to maximize profits. Lots of people around here order tons of chicks from hatcheries to get a great deal and sell the excess birds. It was fun to have day olds but I could live without doing it again.

  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    There are several people in my area who sell point of lay hens. Young hens, just getting ready to start laying. They sell good breeds.

    So I suggest that you watch Criagslist until you find a few nice young hens ready to lay.

    Then, right now, order the breed of chicks that you want for your permanent breed. You'll have eggs from your young hens to hold you until your ordered chicks finally start laying.

    The point of lay hens seem to cost about $25 per bird, but if you buy chicks, you'll have $25 into each one by the time they are old enough to lay. So I don't consider the young hens to be expensive.

    Also, if you watch the ads on Craigslist, there are sometimes ads for day old chicks of good breeds. Even occasionally, for rare breeds.

    Also, don't forget to check the for sale ads at the bottom of the page on BYC
  9. Niss

    Niss Songster

    Apr 29, 2011
    I did both this spring to get started, and am happy.

    We purchaced day olds at TSC--actually some were more like week olds and came at a great price [​IMG]
    All those gals will be laying soon and for a long time to come.

    Additionally, a nieghbor gave us his flock that were 2, possibly 3 years old. Production had slowed and he was done with that experiment. The cool part (besides the fact they were FREE [​IMG] ) was that he had started with a 50 bird mixed bag, so I was able to see several breeds up close--and I have learned sooo much. For instance, when we decided to get chickens my top pick was the silver spangled hamburg--and I got 3 free! [​IMG] However, they are so skiddish and I had once killed befor I finally trained the other 2 to sleep inside instead of in the tree. I doubt I would get more even though they are thrifty and ever so pretty. On the other side my favorite hen, Big Red, also came in that bunch. She's a RSL--I would NEVER have ordered one...they are so plain and ordinary--not to mention we prefer white eggs. But she has spunk and "helps" with every project around the house..especially ones that involve the tractor! I also have a broody cochin on eggs--I disliked he when I got her, but she's been a trooper with the eggs in the heat and if she succeeds I will always keep her.
    After a dog attack I picked up 6 two month olds from a guy who hatches bar rocks and red sex links as a compliment to his real buisness of builing minibarns, storage sheds, and chicken coops. They were as close to point-of-lay I could find and the BRs have turned out to be the friendliest birds we own! They are the only ones willing to be carried around by my 5 year old son.
    I also purchaced two roos and a hen from a BYCer after placing an online ad...we had lost some and he hubby wanted more grown chickens. Because I wanted adult birds and needed them locally I wound up with an OEGB roo. Again he's not what I thought I wanted, but I like him!

    I may order 25 chicks in late summer 2012--esp. if this broody thing doesn't work out--but my order will be very different because of experiance with the breeds that were avalible to me locally.

    So I guess the moral of the story is that you may not know what you really want from reading poultry catalogs or wiki breed discriptions and, for me, intigrating the two ages was not an issue.

  10. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    You could also chk your state thread, I have given many chicks and chickens away that way, and you can also chk the feed store posting board.

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