Which would be more practical for a new chicken keeper.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by PaulaSB12, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am planning on keeping chickens on my allotment after february (that is when the rent is due and when the chance of getting more land would happen (allotments are like chickens very addictive). I am wavering between going to the Melton Mowbray feather and fur market and buying point of lay pullets, and getting day old chicks and raising them. Which is the more practical and am I overthinking this all (its speed choice though considering it took me 3 years on buying a new car)
     
  2. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would get the day old chicks. The feed store chicks havent been handled and are nervous. They will come around as they get older and figure out who brings the treats. Besides that cute fuzzy fur is worth it the first time.
     
  3. maizey

    maizey Chillin' With My Peeps

    I vote for day olds too... the chances of getting sick birds is smaller (for someone unpracticed in bird health id ) and you will have the say so in how your chicks have been raised, fed and handled. Then the cute factor of course [​IMG]
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all, where do you live? Second, what are your facilities? Chicks in Feb. can be tricky if you live in a cold area that is subject to power outages and don't have proper housing for them. They can be tricky for a beginner however, even the best of us lose a few and it can be traumatic if you're not used or prepared for it. Also it will be 4 to 6 months before you'll see eggs. Also, unless you get sex-link birds, the sexes can be a crap shoot depending on who is sexing the hatchlings. All that being said, if I had my druthers, I'd go with chicks since they will be less likely to bring in disease and parasites and you'll have a better handle on their age.
     
  5. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I built my coop first. Then I bought 13 week old & 9 week old pullets. I bought mine from a breeder. You pay more for older pullets. But you get eggs quicker.I'm going to hatch my own birds from now on though. I'm glad I did it the way I did it I've learned alot & since have built another coop & I ordered a bator. I want some more chickens & like the egg production from my pullets . So, I got a cockeral that looks just like the girls so I'll be hatching soon. I did hatch 4 chicks already I borrowed a bator from a friend.
     
  6. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would first do waaay too much research [​IMG] Making sure that you have more than adequate facilities from day old chicks to processing fowl... That being said; for a no-hassle start; I would take a well versed chickernaut with you for the purchase of 12+ week old hens. If you plan to free range, I would also recommend a 40+ week old cock as well (one with spurs developed). Once you have attached your head a month or two later, pick up some chicks. I personally recommend not purchasing less than dozen chicks at a time (for many reasons), even if that means you eventually need to give half of them away later on...
     
  7. DianeS

    DianeS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I bought my chickens as point of lay pullets and haven't regretted it a single bit.

    No separate brooder to set up and maintain.
    No heat lamps to mess with.
    No deaths from stupid things like getting squashed under other chicks or drowning in the water bowl.
    No wondering and worrying if they're feathered out enough for the heat to start being reduced.
    No wondering and worrying about when is the right time to move them into the regular coop.
    No changing of food types as they grow.
    Etc.

    I just bought all mine from the same place - chickens that already knew each other. That way if they're sick, I'm not infecting any healthy chickens from another flock. Also, no pecking order issues since they already have that sorted out.

    Yes, I did introduce leg mites into my coop, since one of the chickens had them and I didn't recognize it when I bought them. But it wasn't a bother to get that sorted out.

    A lot might depend on how much baby chicks + 20 weeks of food cost in your area vs how much POL pullets cost. There might be a serious cost difference to consider. For me, I found pullets that were cheaper than the cost of the food they'd consumed. You also might want to consider how much of a "pet" you want these to be - I chose pullets because I didn't want to raise and become attached to the cute balls of fluff they are as chicks.

    Just some things to consider. Hope you find it helpful!
     
  8. PaulaSB12

    PaulaSB12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I live in Rothwell in the UK now we don't tend to get power outs and my house is being kept more warm than usual because my mother is feeling the cold. Last time I went to the market I saw two black orpingtons go for £11 for the pair of pullets.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  9. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Howdy [​IMG]
    I would have already swiped them up! Orps are good start birds. Sounds like you are on the right track with your research. If you know someone that is exp with poultry take them along when you get your first pullets.
    Make sure to research good reputable breeders in the UK. It would be worth the extra trouble to get heathly quality stock.
    You can always get chicks down the road when you decide to increase the size of your flock.
    When you get all setup you should post pics. Everyone loves pics! [​IMG]
     
  10. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Would you be brooding chicks where you live and moving them to the allotment when they no longer need heat? Or would you have to rig up a brooder light at the allotment? How far away is your allotment?

    If you can't brood then at home, then I would get point of lay. I would hate to have something go wrong with chicks at a different location than where you live. You could do it if you have power there. I would just worry, if it was me.

    If you can brood them at home, then I think you can do it either way and have it work out fine. Chicks can be really fun. They're a little more work and you have to wait longer for eggs, though.
     

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