Last year we could not keep up with demand for our eggs. To meet the increased requests, we ordered chicks as early as possible this spring. Usually Ken sets up broody hens to sit on eggs for three weeks and hatch out replacement chicks, but this does not dramatically increase the size of the flock.
We ordered straight run chicks. We always do this. When people order pullets, chicks are sexed at birth, and the males are destroyed. We believe in growing out all the chicks, and once males reach size and start to fight, we make decisions on who gets to stay and who heads for the freezer. We look for a strong, protective rooster who will keep his flock together and safe. We have seen roosters face off a chicken hawk - these are the guys we want! And it is an important decision as the rooster accounts for half of the gene pool of the next generation that hatches.