My Pet Chicken, the best hobby site I could find for chicks, posted their 2011 chicks for pre-order. It's decision time folks. When we started this venture, I was sure I wanted started pullets. Now i'm not so sure.
"Started Pullets", or hens that are about set to start laying, were my initial preference for a number of reasons. Mostly because chicks seem so frail and we're new at this. Also, I can buy exactly as many hens as i'd like and, barring dog attacks or the like, thats how many I should continue to have. Unfortunately, when I started looking into things I found no poultry farms in the area (at least that advertise well). This leaves my only local source for hens as craigslist, but who knows what my selection will look like and if they'll be authentic? I have a few breeds in mind, but I know that (aside from an easter egger or two) I want heritage breeds.
The chicks at agway in the spring are probably cheaper than started pullets, but for healthy chicks of a specific breed, one must order them online and shipping is costly. Because we live so far from the city, we have to order a few more than we actually need. On one hand, they all may well not make it (but we pay for them regardless!) but what if they all do? and chicks need a lot of attention. On the upside though, we can choose our breeds and know we're getting what we pay for and we know from birth how they've been handled and fed.
What would you do? I'd love to hear your feedback,