Pullets vs. Straight Run Chicks: What should I order?

If you are purchasing chicks to have a fridge full of eggs in the future, you might have some questions. Should I order pullets (females only) or a straight run (male/female mix)? What is the difference between the two? We’re here to answer your questions so you receive exactly what you are looking for!

Chicks hatching

Pullets are female chicks. Determining the sex of chicks is very difficult, especially at 1 day old, which is the age they leave the hatchery. We hope for 100% accuracy when determining the sex of your chicks, but we guarantee that 90% of the chicks you receive in a pullet order will be female.  If you want to have mostly female, but don’t mind one or two roosters, ordering pullets is your best chance at getting just that.

When you order a straight run of chicks, you are ordering a mix of females and males. The ratio of male to female chicks you will receive is unknown, however the odds of receiving all male or all female chicks is very low.

Hatching chicks

Let us explain why determining the sex of chicks is so difficult.  The most accurate way to determine the sex of a young chick is by observing the chick’s vent. It is not a simple task and requires skill and the ability to hold the chick without harming it. The experts at the hatchery will hold the chick and squeeze the vent area until you can see the inner parts. Once the parts are visible, a small bulb will be visible if the chick is a male. If you don’t see a small bulb, the chick is a female. While this sounds easy, the bulb is very small and can be easily missed.

Sexing a chick

We hope this informative article clears up any confusion about straight runs and pullets, so you receive exactly what you are looking for. If you are determining the sex of your own chicks at home, keep in mind that the process gets easier as your chicks get older. When they are sexed at the hatchery, they are only 1 day old making the process a bit more difficult.