As a soon-to-be chicken mama, I found myself in a dilemma: should I start with chicks or go for pullets? I had never raised chickens before, so I wanted to make sure I was making the right decision. After doing some research and talking to other chicken owners, I came up with some insights that might help other beginners like me.
Pros and Cons of Starting with Pullets
When we first started our chicken journey, we decided to go for pullets. We got five of them, all 3.5 months old. Unfortunately, two of them died soon after we brought them home. It was heartbreaking, and it made us realize that older chickens might have already developed health issues that we were not aware of.
After that experience, we decided to start with just-hatched chicks. We got a heat lamp and set up a secure box for them. We had zero deaths, and it was a joy to watch them grow and develop.
Based on our experience, I prefer getting chicks over older chickens. Chicks are generally healthier, and you get to watch them grow from day one. You also have the opportunity to bond with them, which can make them more domesticated and friendly.
Pros and Cons of Starting with Chicks
On the other hand, starting with chicks can be a lot of work. They require a lot of attention, and you need to make sure they have a constant heat source until their feathers come in. You also need to watch out for any signs of sickness, as chicks can be more susceptible to diseases.
Chicks are also messy, noisy, and stinky. You need to clean their brooder regularly to avoid any health issues. Additionally, you need to make sure they are eating and drinking properly, as they can be picky eaters and drinkers.
Overall, starting with chicks requires a lot of dedication and patience. However, it can also be a rewarding experience if you are willing to put in the work.
What We Did as Beginners
As brand-new chicken owners, we decided to go for 32 straight-run chicks. We knew that not all of them would end up being hens, so we planned to get rid of the roosters once they were identified.
We found that straight-run chicks were super easy for beginners like us. We were able to find all the information we needed online, from building coops to feeding and caring for the chicks. We were also able to connect with other chicken owners online, who gave us valuable advice and support.
In the end, whether to start with chicks or pullets depends on your personal preference and circumstances. If you have the time, dedication, and patience to care for chicks, then they can be a rewarding choice. On the other hand, if you want to start with chickens that are already a few months old, then pullets might be the way to go.
Either way, make sure you do your research and talk to other chicken owners before making a decision. With the right information and support, you can become a successful chicken mama (or papa) and enjoy the benefits of fresh eggs and a unique pet.