1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

chick ordering dilema

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by yomama, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. I'm thinking I just need some fellow chicken people to bounce ideas off of. Come next early summer (yes I know that is a long ways away, but I like to plan ahead,plus I can plan all winter what breeds I want [​IMG]), I will be ordering some more chicks. My dilema is, I really only want, and have space, for 5 more chickens. However, according to the hatchery I order from, where I am located, I "should" order a minimum of eight chicks. I faced this problem this spring, and decided to go with the advice of ordering 8 chicks and selling the other three. They all arrived alive, only one was a little weak the first couple of days. All are still doing beautifully (except one, that I sold to a family friend, got hit by a car [​IMG]. )It was March then too, so it was much cooler out. I know that when ordering chicks, there is the chance that one or more could die, or that I could get a rooster( which happened last time [​IMG] ),but I get soooo attached! I don't really want to sell any this time. The criteria from the hatchery I am ordering from (MPC) is that you can order a minimum of 3 chicks if you live in a major city, 5 chicks if you live within 30 min of a major city, or 8 if you live over an hour away from a major city. I live just under an hour away from a major city. I understand that the reason they do this is to insure the chicks stay warm, even though they put a heat pack in with them too, and that the longer they have to travel, the riskier it can be for them. I don't really have any one that lives near a major city that I could have pick the chicks up for me either. Has anyone ordered under the recommended limit and been ok with it? I will be ordering in June or July, so the weather will be warm. I definately don't want to put the chicks lives in jeopardy, so I won't order less than 8 if I shouldn't. I'm just wondering if it is really that much difference in 25mins?
    Thanks for any input!!

  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    You were fortunate that all the chicks you ordered arrived alive & continued to thrive. This is not always the case, even under the best of conditions. Mother Nature designed chickens with a wide margin for error. Hens will lay more eggs than they need to have hatch, more chicks hatch than are needed to grow. Sometimes a chick will look fine at the hatchery but the stress of shipping is too much for it.

    Whenever I can I order more chicks than I plan to keep, just to insure against unplanned losses. I am able to steel myself against growing attatched to each one of them, and just keep in mind that some of them will not be staying here. This way I can pick out the best chicks/chickens to keep and sell the others to help offset their costs.

    The other thing you could do is try to find other folks in your area who wish to split the order with you. Check the Where Am I? section to find other local BYCers, or put up a notice in your local feed store.
  3. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Get bantam breeds. Mwaaahahahahhahahahahah. They need less space - you can keep 'em all!


    Okay, seriously now, you may not have the choice when you actually place your order. I know of at least one BYCer who ordered from MPC and received a notice that the minimum for that location was 8, not 3 or 5.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  4. Davian

    Davian Chirping

    Sep 8, 2010
    Vermont, USA
    The other thing you could do is try to find other folks in your area who wish to split the order with you. Check the Where Am I? section to find other local BYCers, or put up a notice in your local feed store.

    I would second this advice. A notice in your feed store or even on Craigslist would probably get plenty of responses. I was surprised at just how many people keep chickens these days...an entire secret society it seems like.​
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Songster

    Mar 25, 2009
    Remember when you're talking postal service that the difference isn't really just 25 minutes. There's a lot of somewhat extraneous movement. They may switch trucks in there a couple times, or sit on a loading dock for a few hours.

    If you really and truly just want a couple chicks, find yourself a feedstore that gets them in -- they may even be willing to order you something special, depending on how big the store is/whether you can talk direct to the owner. They order by the 100s, so everybody stays warm, you come in the day they're due and pick out some healthy little ones to take home with you [​IMG]

    The feedstore near me actually drives up to pick up their chicks (from the exact same place I order from, as I found out by accident!), so they end up having only an hour and a half trip, rather than the overnight they'd have if they were shipped, and you may luck into finding a place like that.
  6. imusa76

    imusa76 Chirping

    Jun 16, 2010
    Rhode Island
    For just a few chicks, I would look at either a local feed store, or a local breader.
    if you check CL in the spring, alot of people are selling chicks for $2-$3 each, with No shipping (becouse you pick them up.
    and most of the time you can see the parents, to see what you will endup with.

    Just my 2 cents [​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2010
  7. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Songster

    Aug 30, 2010
    Western Mass
    I have chicks that are a week old. I ordered them from Welp Hatchery. I placed an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone would be interested in going in on an order with me. I actually got a few replies and our order was for 47 chicks. The two other people paid me and I placed the order. When the chicks arrived I kept them here for a few hours until their new owners got out of work. This way our chicks were warm together and I didn't get attached. I highly recommend Welp. All the chicks were/are healthy and so far we haven't had a single loss (knock on wood).

  8. Quote:I'm sorry, I should of stated why I was going with a hatchery for so few chicks. I would love to be able to just get some locally, but I need to have chicks that are vaccinated against Marek's disease. I lost a hen to Marek's last year, and not only is it common in my area, it's been on my property. I have recently got the bug for a few Silkies, but having a hard time finding any that are sexed and vaccinated [​IMG] MPC will sex them, but they only have bantam Silkies and don't offer them with vaccinations. Too much risk involved when vaccinating bantams. Not sure what I am going to do there. Probably not get any Silkies [​IMG] I sometimes think I might take the risk, but then I think that it's not fair to knowingly expose an unvaccinated chick to Marek's.
  9. Broodica

    Broodica Chirping

    Aug 20, 2010
    Cascade Foothills, WA
    We are 45 minutes outside Seattle so we had a minimum of 8 chicks from MPC. We only wanted 5. Fortunately we have friends who live about 15 mins outside the city and we had the chicks shipped to us care of them. Post office just asked to see the original order to prove that we were us. Actually, they said it was highly unlikely that someone else would come in to claim live chicks except the person who ordered them....They came the NEXT day safe and sound and we picked them up at the post office that morning. Any chance of any friends who live closer to a major postal center?
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I agree with other posters that if you only want a few and can't find someone to split the order with, wait until you can find a breeder who vaccinates, and is close enough for you to pick them up yourself. I bought silkie chicks from Reese Poultry, and they shipped out one afternoon, and were at my P.O. by 10:30 the next morning. You probably will end up with a roo if ordering from them, but they did a great job shiping the chicks, and the chicks were all very active and healthy.

    (I thought all silkies were bantams......)
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by