Most all of us here on BYC have chickens and those that don't are planning and learning to get some. But I will say this, and I only wish it had came to me before I started my flock years ago! Chickens are often something people see around Easter and think, "Oh, my son would love a cute little chick!" They buy the chick and it is all but to soon when it begins to grow, they no longer want it. The same things happens to old he's who have many years hopefully left, but just do not lay eggs anymore. Another scenario is when roosters get to high in numbers in the pen or backyard. These poor birds end up dumped on the roadside and left for predators.
Luckily, there are good people who take in these chickens. In larger cities animal shelters often take in both chickens and ducks. So i urge you before you help hatcheries get rich, make sure there are no chickens that need a good home for little or no money at all. You can still do this even if you have an established flock though.
While often shelters do not have chickens right at the moment you may want them, call and talk to the director and sign up to be alerted when poultry is brought in! I would love any tips from people who have done this!