Q: What does "straight run" mean?
A: Straight run chicks are an "as hatched" mix of male and female chicks.
Over large numbers (hundreds or thousands), the hatching ratio of straight run orders averages out to be a 50-50 mix, but with small orders the ratio can vary considerably. For instance, if you were to order eight straight run chicks, you will get between zero and eight roosters and between zero and eight hens--there is no way to tell. Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst! So keep in mind that it's possible to order 8 straight run chicks and end up with 8 males. You should only order straight run chicks if you don't care how many roosters or hens you end up with!
For my laying flock, should I buy fertile eggs to hatch, or should I start with baby chicks?
If I order straight run bantams, will I get a 50-50 mix, or do you use your extra cockerels as straight run?
If I order straight run birds, how many of each sex am I guaranteed to get?
There are so many different terms for chickens--juvenile, cockerel, pullet, chick, hen, rooster, peep, biddy, started pullet, point-of-lay pullet, broody, brood, flock---what do they all mean?
How do I tell male from female ducks and geese?