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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I have not been here in a couple of weeks....May just seemed so far off, my finances were looking pretty grim and a few other issues have been beating me up the past few weeks. But, May is just around the corner, and that means chickens will be added to my life very soon!

My original plan was to get the coop and pen, tractor style, and get pullets old enough to go outside. I want a couple of silkies, and a couple of egg layers. In my town no roos allowed so they have to be all pullets.

Anyway, I talked to someone last weekend who has had chickens for most of her life. She told me that if I raised the chicks in my house, they would be much better pets, and much friendlier and if I got the silkies and egglayers together and raised them there would be no introduction issues. Plus for me i already have just about everything I need for a brooder, a tall plastic tub, a red light that I can have a dimmer put on, and aspen that I use for other pets. All I would need is a proper feeder and waterer and a thermometer.

My problem really is, I want 2 silkies and 3 egg layers, most probably buff orpingtons, black australorps, or Araucanas but I can't do straight run. How do I know I am getting pullets?
 

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If your getting them as day olds, you can feather sex some breeds. Otherwise you might have to wait for the comb & saddle feahters. As for the silkies, well you have to wait for an egg or a crow. they develop really late. Mine didnt lay her first egg till around 8 months old. The roos crowed probubly around 4 month old if not older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If your getting them as day olds, you can feather sex some breeds. Otherwise you might have to wait for the comb & saddle feahters. As for the silkies, well you have to wait for an egg or a crow. they develop really late. Mine didnt lay her first egg till around 8 months old. The roos crowed probubly around 4 month old if not older.
If I ended up with a pair of young silkie hens, would they take to the chicks ok or kill them?
And if I wanted one of the breeds on my list how old are they before you know whether you have girls or boys? I don't want sex links or production birds.
 

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I went the Tractor supply route. They have a few breeds of pullets that should be female. Order them online from a place like Murry Mcmurry that has a good reputation with the chicken owners in my town. They have just about everything you could want and they are sexed. I didnt order because they had too large a min order for my zip code.
 

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If I ended up with a pair of young silkie hens, would they take to the chicks ok or kill them?
And if I wanted one of the breeds on my list how old are they before you know whether you have girls or boys? I don't want sex links or production birds.
Since you want specific breeds and sexes , and you prefer to have them laying. I would go ahead and buy the started pullets of the breeds you want. You'll just have to introduce them to each other slowly, but you would have to do that anyway if you bought the older silkies and chicks. Also I learned a while back from a guy who has had chickens all his life ( he is in hiw 70's now) that it makes no difference if you raise chicks from 1 day old or purchase older hens. Temperment is mostly in the breed. Just give them treats and talk to them and they'll warm up to you.

As for age to tell sex, it really depends on the breed. Different breed mature at different speeds.
 

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If I ended up with a pair of young silkie hens, would they take to the chicks ok or kill them?
And if I wanted one of the breeds on my list how old are they before you know whether you have girls or boys? I don't want sex links or production birds.
I went with red sex links because I wanted to be sure I got layers and not roos. Tractor supply also had RIR, speckled sussex and new hamp. reds sexed as pullets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I went the Tractor supply route. They have a few breeds of pullets that should be female. Order them online from a place like Murry Mcmurry that has a good reputation with the chicken owners in my town. They have just about everything you could want and they are sexed. I didnt order because they had too large a min order for my zip code.
I wish I could do that, but my town only allows 12 chickens, which is the min they would sell to me as a min of 12 chicks is state law, but would be about 7 more chickens than I want for my first time! A private breeder could sell fewer chicks and no one would know. The state does not want chicks purchased as easter egg toys for kids, and I agree with it, but personally I don't need quite that many myself! After these girls stop laying they would be pets, and I would have room to add new chicks without breaking the law. It is just my husband and me and if 3 egglayers give us 2 eggs a day that would be plenty for us!

Since you want specific breeds and sexes , and you prefer to have them laying. I would go ahead and buy the started pullets of the breeds you want. You'll just have to introduce them to each other slowly, but you would have to do that anyway if you bought the older silkies and chicks. Also I learned a while back from a guy who has had chickens all his life ( he is in hiw 70's now) that it makes no difference if you raise chicks from 1 day old or purchase older hens. Temperment is mostly in the breed. Just give them treats and talk to them and they'll warm up to you.

As for age to tell sex, it really depends on the breed. Different breed mature at different speeds.
Thank you so much for this! There is a poultry show on the 19th and I want to see what is for sale. My ideal would be well started pullets from breeders who have both silkies and egglayers who raise them together.

Dumb, I know, but I think I even have one of my future silkies named. Seuss, because they look like something from Dr Seuss!
 

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Thank you so much for this! There is a poultry show on the 19th and I want to see what is for sale. My ideal would be well started pullets from breeders who have both silkies and egglayers who raise them together.

Dumb, I know, but I think I even have one of my future silkies named. Seuss, because they look like something from Dr Seuss!
Not dumb at all , the name fits lol. My kids named our silkies Rosetta , Tinker Bell, Prince Charming, and Black Beauity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I just went to My Pet Chicken, and they can ship as few as 4 large fowl, 6 banties, or 5 mixed to my location. And they are sexed.
But the silkies are pretty much sold out until August.
 

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I heard some unhappy stories from people dealing with my pet chicken. Might want to try mc Murray's or Meyers hatchery or even ideal hatchery. .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I heard some unhappy stories from people dealing with my pet chicken. Might want to try mc Murray's or Meyers hatchery or even ideal hatchery. .
My first choice is to go to a local poultry show and make a few friends who are passionate about birds. See what is available here that doesn't have to be shipped and support the local scene.

I have found many times that if someone is passionate about a certain species, or a certain breed of something, the animals are well cared for and healthy. My biggest hurdle will be to find someone who breeds both silkies and a good egg laying breed who can sell me pullets.
 

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Going to the shows is great idea ! You can see a variety of breeds and for sure they will have a selection of birds for sale! The people there love their birds so if you don't find the bird you want, someone there will surely help you find the person that can! Good luck!
 

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I have only gotten birds from local folks. It was important to me living in Alaska, I wanted to make sure I was getting cold hearty birds. I also want to support local farmers as much as possible. People up here do order from hatcheries as well, I just have not. Now that I know I have a hen that is prone to go broody, I probably never will :)
 
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