It’s time for raising “day-old” chicks again this year, and it always reminds me of the time we ordered “pullets” from the feed store in Amish territory and expected to pick up young hens – instead we picked up day-old peeps! The definition for a pullet from the dictionary is: a young hen; specifically : a hen of the domestic chicken less than a year old. So I guess that leaves it pretty much wide open.
When we think of a pullet, we think of a female chicken that’s just old enough to start laying eggs. But that’s not what the definition is in Amish territory in Ohio – there it’s a day-old female laying chicken – as opposed to a day-old female broiling chicken, for example. It just never occurred to me that a pullet and day-old chick could be the same thing.
We’re getting 25 peeps (they’re Golden Comets) to raise again this spring. The good thing about that is it’s really pretty easy to raise peeps in the springtime as temperatures are warming up. It wasn’t that long ago that we were raising Buckeye chicks, and we still have all the equipment so it isn’t very hard handling the new additions. I’ll take a trip to Amish territory again and we’ll start with 25 on May 3rd..
Last weekend we cleaned out the “little” chicken coop (see the photo to the left) in preparation for the new chicks. It’s a cute little thing – perfect for raising peeps or separating out broody hens, etc. It’s the same design as the large coop, just more compact and colorful. Just right for new “pullets”!
Total newbie question… I know most people start out with chicks but I was considering beginning with pullets, actual pullets as you describe. I keep seeing that pullets in MD and PA are listed as 8+ weeks old. If they’re the minimum of 8 weeks do they still need any acclimating in an indoor brooder or can they go straight into a coop? And they would technically still be on chick starter until 16+ weeks, right?
Hi Aubrey, I think starting with pullets is a great way to get started with chickens! That’s what we did first time around. I wrote a blog post on caring for young birds that might help answer your questions: https://www.betterhensandgardens.com/young-chick-care/
Thanks so much! I’m brand new to your blog. I appreciate the direction.
Basically when you order chicks they can be pullets , cocks or straight run, and all be chicks too. If they are older it is usually said ready to lay pullets.
Heather Cook says
I’m so glad you posted this! I’m in PA but only about five miles from the Ohio/WV tri state area so we go the “Holmes” all the time. I was looking at some Silky ‘pullets’ out there, there was a sign. I’m not set up yet for day old chicks. 🙂