best place for chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Chick-a-dow-dee, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. Chick-a-dow-dee

    Chick-a-dow-dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2014
    This has probably been discussed somewhere before but where's a good place to buy chicks? Should I avoid online sellers?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It depends. Where I live, I usually buy them at the local feed store, which has two or three shipments in the spring each year. Up side is, they have passed the shipping stress stage. Down side is, the choice of breeds is limited. There is nothing wrong with online sellers, really. The vast majority of shipped chicks do fine. Of course, occasionally the Post Office messes up and you lose them, or a lot of them -- but the major hatcheries will usually replace them. Chicks can live off the yolk they absorbed before hatching for their firrst 3 days. If you happen to live near a good breeder, that is probably the best option -- better birds, and no shipping -- though of course the choice of breeds will be limited. The only good one near me who sells many birds only has bantams and I prefer large fowl. You ight want to start posting on your state's thread and maybe learn who is a good candidate in your area.
  3. Chick-a-dow-dee

    Chick-a-dow-dee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 10, 2014
    Thank you for the good info.
  4. annav410

    annav410 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2013
    Broomfield, Colorado
    Here are my thoughts:

    Local Breeder: Normally better quality chicks and often do better in the climate/area you live. Most breeders in my area only sell straight run which is tricky for me since I can only have hens. Although, some mention they will allow you to bring roosters back but not all. You also tend to have limited choice in breeds and trying to get birds the same age from different local breeders might be difficult. Breeders will tend to know a lot about their chickens and tend to be knowledgeable and able to share information.

    Craigs List: Use with caution. You might find some good breeders and reputable sellers but generally this would be tricky to navigate without a lot of expertise about birds, age, etc.

    Feed Store: Not a bad place to get chicks. The ones around my area (ACE, JAX, and Murdochs) have a lot of variety in the Spring. They tend to order chicks that do well in our climate/area and offer a 90% pullet success (as long as you don’t buy straight run). They even offer bantams but these tend to be only sold as straight run. It is easier to get chicks the same age so integrating different ages is not as much of an issue. Some of my stores will also let you special order breeds but I have yet to do this so not exactly how this works and I think it will come with minimums. I have found that most of the stores have a “chicken expert” that is able to answer questions and offer advice but not always. Sometimes, they are frankly clueless. Finally, you are able to pick out healthy chicks since the store absorbs the shipping loss.

    Online Hatchery: The greatest choice of breeds and some even offer sexed bantams. The quality is likely to be similar to Feed Store unless you are buying from a small or specialty hatchery. There is a risk of shipping loss, managing shipping dates with different breeds, and minimum amounts that need to be ordered. If you order early in the season, many hatcheries will include “shipping peanuts” which are male chicks for warmth. For me, this would pose a challenge on what to do with the extras. This might not be an issue for everyone but something to consider.

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
    1 person likes this.

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