Recently I decided to go out and buy some chickens rather than waiting on the incubator to hatch me more. During the really hot times in December and January the girls tend to slow down in the laying department, and the strike rate for fertility is reduced during this period, so sometimes it is better or more production wise to buy a few chickens in. Admittedly there are a lot of pros and cons for doing this.
Q. Am I going to get what I pay for?
Ans. We purchased 30 day old chickens. As we are still not right up on the sexing of chickens yet, we asked for hens only. We bought 20 Rhode Island Reds, 5 New Hampshire and 5 Austrolps. As we are trying to re-stock our laying girls, we thought our choice was a sound one. We are now 4 weeks into our purchase of the chickens and the 90% guaranteed hen supply was way off the mark. So far I have counted and I am now fairly certain of this count, 18 roosters and only 12 hens. Now to the defense of the company which supplied my chickens, they have guaranteed that they will replace the roosters with hens, but of course they will be baby chickens again.
Lesson learned: Try and do your homework. See if you can learn a little about sexing your chickens. I read a very interesting article on the internet about the difference between roosters and hens going by the feathers.So now I have the pleasure of really studying my little babies and having an advance understanding of the rooster and the hen. So this time when I do go back to have my chickens replaced with hens, I can actually have double check under my own eyes….
This is really an interesting video on sexing chickens….
Now was this an expensive exercise or have I come out in front? There are many questions and answer that are all correct. As really each situation is different. Yes we did end up with too many roosters and yes this can sometimes be very costly, but this time, due to the fact that the hatchery that I dealt with would like to keep a good reputation. The only thing I have lost in this is a bit of time, a bit of feed and another trip to the hatchery, which just happened to be over an hour away by car. Now I can also look at this as a real valuable lesson, as now I have a fair idea on how to sex my chickens. Though looking at the video and learning about sexing my chickens I think I will definitely only use the feather method…. I think you will all agree….