Jump Start with Started Pullets
When you first catch the “chicken bug” and start looking around the internet for chicken information, one of the more confusing terms you will inevitably run across is the term “started pullet.”
A pullet is basically a feathered-out juvenile female chicken that isn’t yet old enough to lay. A “started” pullet is a bird you acquire at this age. Being started refers to the fact that the bird is old enough not to really need any special care as baby chicks will. It was raised up to the juvenile stage by someone else, thus “started” already!
If you are building a flock and you don’t have (or don’t want to have) a separate brooding space in which to raise baby chicks, beginning your flock with started pullets can give you a real head-start on your egg-laying wait time.
You can generally feed a started pullet the same feed you feed the rest of your flock. She can probably stay outside in a coop because she’s fully, or very nearly fully feathered. If you have an existing flock, you can introduce a started pullet as soon as she is clear of quarantine and has reached a similar size to the other birds – normally a couple of weeks instead of a couple of months as with baby chicks.
One of the main advantages to beginning your flock with started pullets is that they are usually past the point of requiring much special care. They have started exploring, pecking, scratching, and digging, and are well on the way toward having their own unique coloring and personalities, which makes telling them apart from each other much easier. It also makes naming them a lot more simple!
At Valley Hatchery, we raise our started pullets up to the age of 15-20 weeks, eliminating all the hassle of brooding youngsters. They’re all vaccinated against Marek’s when they’re hatched, and they are raised on high quality starter, and grower feed. In addition, we interact with them on a daily basis, feeding and handling them in small flocks so that each individual bird receives the attention and care needed to ensure a great start. Our time spent with them ensures that they are accustomed to human interaction, improving on the time it takes for your birds to grow accustomed to you handling them. We use our own eyes for observation, our noses to monitor air quality; we listen to the birds and watch them in order to assess any need for extra care or attention. All of this ultimately means the birds you receive are healthy and happy, which is a great way to begin a new flock!
Specifics for our Started Pullets
• Usually 15-20 weeks of age
• 100% accuracy in sexing older birds
• Already vaccinated against Marek’s
• Fed high quality starter/grower feed
• No order minimums!