Buying our started pullets is one of the quickest ways to get a flock that will be laying soon. It’s also an excellent way to start raising chickens, particularly if this is your first flock, because the more challenging work of raising young chicks has already been done for you.
Our pullets are female chickens that have been raised to one of four ages:
- 4-7 weeks old (least expensive to ship)
- 8-11 weeks old
- 12-18 weeks old
- 22+ weeks old (most expensive to ship)
Pullets typically start to lay at 22 to 28 weeks, so you can look forward to eggs much sooner from our pullets than if you were to start with baby chicks. (Please note that because so many different factors affect when a particular pullet will start to lay, we cannot make a guarantee as to when your pullets will begin laying.)
We offer a number of different breeds, all of which are good layers. Our normal heritage breeds, which usually start to lay at around 26-28 weeks of age, include: Black Australorps, Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, Easter Eggers, Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes, Light Brahmas, Cuckoo Marans and Speckled Sussex. These breeds are proven favorites with our customers.
For an earlier layer, we also offer several hybrids, each of which was developed to be excellent egg layers. These include White Leghorns (a white egg layer), and two types of brown egg layers: ISA Browns (also known as Red Stars or Red Comets) and Black Stars. These usually start to lay a few weeks earlier than the heritage breeds, beginning to produce eggs at around 22 weeks. They tend to be very consistent layers.
All of our pullets first arrive at our farm as baby chicks ordered from well-known Murray McMurray or Hoover’s hatcheries. We raise them in our brooders, which supply the warm, draft free environment needed by the young chicks. Then we move them outdoors at 6-8 weeks of age.
All have been vaccinated against Mareks. To build an immunity against Coccidiosis, we feed them a high-quality medicated starter/grower feed for the first 8 weeks. After 8 weeks the chicks have developed the immunity, and the medicated feed is no longer needed, so we transition to a non-medicated grower feed.
We guarantee a 99% accuracy in sexing – that is, in identifying which chickens are females – and will replace or refund your pullet if “she” turns out to be a male. See below for more information on sexing of Easter Eggers.
What breeds do you have?
Here is a list of the breeds we generally have available:
- Black Stars
- Black Australorps
- Barred Rocks
- Buff Orpingtons
- Cuckoo Marans
- Easter Eggers
- Golden Laced Wyandottes
- ISA-Browns (also known as Red Stars or Red Comets)
- Light Brahmas
- Rhode Island Reds
- Silver Laced Wyandottes
- White Leghorns
- Breeder’s Choice Combination – If you don’t care which breeds you get, save a few dollars on your order by letting us choose the breeds based on what we have available at the time of your order.
At various times during the year, we may have additional breeds. I update the website each morning after doing chores, so the website is the most reliable list of what we have or don’t have, (It’s is more accurate than calling me, 🙂 ). To find out if a breed is available, select and add it to your shopping cart. If we don’t have enough to fill your order, it will display a message to that effect.
What is your minimum order?
Whether you’re picking up your order locally at our farm or having them shipped to you, our minimum order for started pullets is 2 birds. This is a distinct advantage of buying started pullets of chicks for some people, since many hatcheries have a minimum order size for chicks of 15 or 25.
With shipped orders, we require a minimum of 2 birds per order because our shipping cost is calculated per bird, and it takes two birds to fill a box and make the shipping come out right. We also require a minimum of 2 birds for local pickup because – believe it or not – local pickup costs us more, in terms of the time involved, than shipping the order. So we need to sell at least 2 birds in each order to make it worth our while.
When I come to pick up an order, should I bring some type of carrier to take the birds home in?
Yes, we encourage you to bring a transport crate. A pet or dog carrier works great for this purpose. If you don’t have something to transport the birds in, we can supply you with a shipping box, but we will need to charge you extra to cover the cost of the box.
What are the advantages of buying started pullets rather than chicks?
While day old chicks are a viable option for many people, for others, buying older chickens – ones that are closer to laying age – has some distinct advantages. Here’s a list of advantages, most of which we’ve discussed previously, above:
- No Brooding hassle. While we’ve successfully brought over 50,000 chicks from day old to past the brooder stage, brooding day old chicks can be a bit of a hassle, and it takes some experience to get right. The heat lamp has to be right – not too hot or too cold for the chicks – and the requirements change almost daily. In the first several weeks, some weak chicks expire, so there is the infant mortality to deal with. Day old chicks need to be given water by hand quickly when they first arrive because they may have been without food and water for more than 72 hours. (Watering them by hand on arrival teaches them where to find water.) Brooding requires a heat source, so if electricity is not an option or is limited, brooding will be difficult.
- Shorter wait before you get eggs. Normal heritage breeds take 26-28 weeks before they start to lay eggs. White Leghorns, Black Stars and ISA Browns (aka Red Stars or Red Comets) are ready to start laying at about 22 weeks. If you start with chicks, you’re looking at 5 to 7 months before seeing eggs from your flock. But if you buy an almost ready-to-lay hen from us at 18 or 22 weeks, you’ll get eggs much sooner.
- Reduced Sexing errors. Most hatcheries can only guarantee 90% accuracy in determining the sex, or gender, of baby chicks. So if you buy 25 chicks from them, you can expect 2-3 males on average. With started chickens, by 12 weeks, we can guarantee 99% accuracy, and we will replace or refund your chicken if we have made a mistake. If, on the other hand, you receive a male chick in your order from a hatchery, they will refund you the price of the chick but not the 12 weeks of care and feed that you put into raising them before it became obvious that it was a male.
- Less equipment needed. Because started chickens are much larger, they can be out in the adult world much sooner. They can live independently, at least much more independently than chicks, directly upon arrival.
- Past youthful diseases. Coccidiosis is a disease that most birds are past by 8 weeks old. While Mareks can show up in older birds, our started pullets and point of lay chickens are vaccinated against Mareks.
- Smaller requirement for minimum orders. We ship as few as 2 birds. Many hatcheries have a 15 or 25 chick minimum order.
- Started Pullets are more durable. If you have young children, a started pullet is less likely to be affectionately injured than a day-old chick.
- Determine the age you want.
- Select the breed.
- Enter your desired quantity.
- Click “ADD TO CART”.
- And if it fails – please send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the age-range, breeds and quantities you are interested in. If I’m going to ship them, include a physical address. Then I’ll email you back an invoice with a link that you can click on to pay.
- The minimum order size is 2 pullets.
- The “ADD TO CART” button will display “OUT OF STOCK” if you select a breed that is not currently available.
How do you raise them?
Our started pullets are raised first in our brooders. In this environment, we feed them a high quality medicated starter/grower feed for the first 8 weeks. After 8 weeks, they’ve developed an immunity to Coccidiosis, and so the medicated feed is no longer needed, and we switch to a non-medicated grower.
At around 6-8 weeks of age we move them outdoors, out of the brooders. There, we raise some breeds in stationary pens and others in mobile coops. The breeds in stationary pens are let out to free range as they get older. If a breed is not allowed to free range, we give them alfalfa hay and compost as a substitute for their access to grass. All our birds are given grit. To increase the overall health of our flock, we cull weak or sick birds. The size of our average flock during grow out is around 50 birds.
Do you ever have cockerels (males) available?
Yes. I do have some cockerels available, though not as many as the pullets. If you want a cockerel of a particular breed, please send me an email (email@example.com) and ask if I have one.
What is your shipping policy?
We ship on Tuesdays, with some exceptions. If we don’t ship on a particular Tuesday, then we shipped on either Monday or Wednesday. I will email you a tracking number once we ship. While we ship Priority Express to all areas outside of Texas, we DO NOT guarantee overnight delivery. We do guarantee live arrival and that you will be satisfied with your birds. We pack the birds with Gro-gel and cucumbers for hydration. We pack enough to handle the occasional postal delay.
If you have issues with the birds when they arrive, please take a picture and email it to me. Or if we made a mistake in filling your order, please send me a picture. That helps me and my staff avoid making the same type of mistake in the future.
How accurate is your sexing of Easter Eggers?
Easter Eggers are the hardest to sex, and they have the largest sexing error from the hatcheries. I can explain why if you are interested. Even at 12 weeks, I can still make mistakes, but if I do, I’ll make it right. It doesn’t help either of us if I ship you a cockerel when you were wanting a pullet, so please be patient and we’ll get it right.