Buying chicks from craigslist or my pet chicken?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Mel281, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Mel281

    Mel281 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2014
    Minneapolis-ish, MN
    We are going to start raising chickens this year and trying to decided where to buy. I looked at My Pet Chicken, but shipping was $44 so I looked at craigislist and found this ad:
    Quote: I called and she said they don't sell the chicks for about 2 weeks to make sure they are eating and drinking. Does this sound like it would interfere with the socialization of the chicks with our family (young kids)? I was expecting 1-4 day old hatchlings.

    I asked about sexing (no roosters allowed here) and she said that she had birds several months old that she can usually tell, but is "getting better" at sexing young chicks, "some are easier to sex than others..." Yikes- this does not give me a lot of confidence! Thoughts?

    She also suggested I get a couple of extra because sometimes they just die, even when you do everything right. True or a red flag?

  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2013
    My pet chicken is not a hatchery, they are a middle man. So for that I say not the best option. Failure to thrive shows symptoms within the first week, usually in the first 2 days. After a week old there should be no deaths in chicks that didn't show signs of failure to thrive before. Illness can take a chick after that time and that is what I would be concerned about. I would not trust that craigslist person, but that's just me. Most hatchers sell as soon as they are dried off and charge more as they get older (costs for feed/care). If I were you I would look into something local. Feed stores and NPIP certified people are great places. If you go with a hatchery the closer they are to you the better it will be. Have you checked out They have free shipping and low costs.
  3. Mel281

    Mel281 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2014
    Minneapolis-ish, MN
    Thanks. I did see efowl, but I only want 4 birds, and they have larger minimums, from what I can tell. 5 of each breed.
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I think the CL seller is being completely honest in their responses. Less than 1% of the people on this forum could correctly sex day old chicks. It takes most of us one month or more to get it right. Hatcheries can correctly identify sex in hatchlings about 90% of the time and they are doing 1000s at a time. Until the chicks start developing identifiable differences between the sexes, you are just relying on your gut and that's not 100% accurate even after raising 1000s of chicks. This person is taking the risk of getting roos out of the equation by growing them out a bit and eliminating the obvious boys. Chickens do die for no apparent reason and nothing you did or could have done differently was going to change that. Most chicks that are going to die do so in the first week to two weeks. If you are buying them after 3-4 weeks they are more vigorous and less apt to have problems. Any developmental problem has also been identified and culled so you don't have to do that part. It is part of owning chickens but can be traumatic to children.

    This individual has a very nice selection of chicks. I would suspect that there are from a hatchery just because no one individual could raise and maintain that many breeding pens.

    I buy and raise about 100 hatchery pullet chicks a year and sell them at 3-4 months of age. I have a great market for pullets that are close to laying and who have had most of the risk of raising them removed. Most of my buyers live in towns that have a rooster ban and to date I have had 6% roosters. I do choose breeds that are more family friendly and can be tamed with little work. I had many repeat buyers and referrals. I would have no problem checking out this seller. If they have a problem with you coming over and walking through the pens, that is NOT a problem. They are protecting their birds.

    buying from feedstores has it's risks as well. Most of the employees are uneducated about chickens. You could easily end up with different breeds than you through you were buying and the stores typically will not guarantee their chicks as pullets. If you get a roo, it's your problem.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Secretlyspotted

    Secretlyspotted Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 22, 2013
    Carrollton GA
    I ordered from My Pet Chicken. I have had a fabulous experience. My chicks are 5 weeks old now and have had no problems. And, so far, all appear to be pullets. I wanted as good a shot as possible at avoiding roos, so I went with something that would have a professional "chicken sexer." Like the PP said, it is not a hatchery, but a middle man. But they have fabulous customer service and they cater towards small backyard farmers. They only ship on Mondays so your babies have less of a chance of being lost in the mail. All that said, I wasn't super concerned about costs since this is a once a year thing for us.
    I have also bought pullets off Craigslist. I've had decent experiences there too and been able to meet some local people into chickens.
  6. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2012
    Barryville NY
    I got chicks through craigslist before and my experience was very good. I got from people who breed small scale from their personal backyard. I got mine before the fist week of life as I have kids and they like the day olds. it does sound like the chicks that are referenced in the add are hatchery chicks. that would be your best bet to get the variety you want with hopefully no boys. the younger the chicks the higher the chances that one or more could die for whatever reason. it is usually recommended to get a few extra just in case. it is not unusual that all could live and you end up with more then you want. you could always list your extras back on craigslist. usually anything listed on craigslisg for free goes. you could also put an add on craigslist that lets other know where you might want to get some chicks from but you don't Wang ss many as the minimum required to ship. once me and 2 others who found each other through craigslisg did an order from a breeder who had a 20 chick minimum. the person who origionaly wanted to use that breeder laid the shipping and the rest of us bought the chicks at cost the day they arrived. it worked out well. hope that helps
  7. tsiecz

    tsiecz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2011
    I got my chicks from I would highly recommend them and will buy more from them. Free shipping ( ordered 24/25 shipped) Very heathy , all survived and I got them in October. You have to watch on CL as some chickens are older then listed. I wouldn't recommend that route unless you really know chickens .
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    I think your CL poster sounds very reasonable. I would be far more concerned if she said she COULD sex the chicks, as that's not possible for most of us backyard folks without specialized training and hundreds of hours of practice.

    I've bought birds from CL with good results (chicks, adult birds and started pullets) and I routinely sell birds on CL. It's not a bad way to go, IMO.

    As far as socialization, that's your big downside. By two weeks old, those babies will be quite wild. You can tame them back down again, but it will take some work.
  9. Ashdoes

    Ashdoes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2012
    Peyton, CO
    I don't see anything wrong with the Craigslist people. You might be able to ask her if you could have the chicks sooner.
    We ordered our first chicks from my pet chicken, and it went well. The biggest downside is that huge shipping charge
  10. athalia17

    athalia17 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2015
    Farmington, mn
    Just in case anyone ever reads this forum... Do Not buy chickens from her. I did, they had lice, the rooster has bumblefoot, and a bad cough. I didn't realize he was so sick because I'm new. Her place was atrocious, pens every where. I'm calling the Wisconsin board of health today to report neglect.

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