In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
MA/NH border
Hi, I currently have 4 hens and have decided to add a few more. We raised these hens from chicks purchased at a local egg farm. When we went to the farm, we didn't have much choice in the type of chicks (nor did we really know enough to care). When I was younger, we raised 20 birds, also purchased at a local farm. This time around, I'd really like to select the breeds and hopefully choose if they are hens and not roos (of the first 6 chicks we got...4 were male!) I've seen many posts of people waiting for the PO to call with their chick orders and I just can't even imagine this. They send them in a box in the mail?? Is that really okay for them? They don't get tossed around and hurt? Can anyone share their experiences with this process to reassure me if this is something I want to do? I'd really appreciate it.

Really !! I just ordered 16 from Cackle hatchery in August. They ship them in a box, with airholes , on a straw mat. I'm sure they are handled as fragile
They usually include extra in case you have any that don't make it. I received 1 extra chick. Mine took 2 days in transit. All were healthy and still are at almost 5 weeks, I lost none. They were eating and drinking straight out of the box. Many hatcheries require you order a minimum number or will charge you for extra devices they put in the box to keep a smaller number of chicks warm in transit. I was very happy with my mail order chickies, RIRs, buff orps and australorps. The post office will call you when they arrive to come pick them up. Check out the hatcheries thread to find one near you.
I just ordered AGAIN, the only problem with ordering now is that some hatcheries have a more limited supply now as compared to what they will have in 2009, most still have some available, but you will find quite a few listed as Sold out till 2009.

Edited to add, the rarer breeds often sell out early, along with turkeys/guineas etc, because some of those only seasonally.
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I ordered Chicks years ago from the mail 2 times and both times everything went great.

Mid summer we order some from the Mill and they were shipped to the mill

I just ordered more a month ago from Welp it took 1 1/2 days for them to get to me, we order 20 meat and 8 eggs, they all did great and still have all 28.

some places have a minimum and some have a extra fee for small orders.

check out the Chickens for sale page, you might find someone close to you.
i ordered from last year. You can order as few as three and pick the sex. i did end up with one roo, but they threw in an extra chick so that made up for it. The Post Office is pretty reliable at shipping baby chicks. All mine made it fine with no casualties. i would do it again if i needed just a few chicks and couldn't find them locally.
I will agree with what the above posters have said. I got mine mail order this spring and they came through the mail just fine. I will do it again when I need more someday. There is a link at the top of this section Gran somebody's hatchery links. It has links to many online hatcheries, and is a good place to start shopping for mail order chicks.

Have fun!
Yes they really send them in the mail.

The yolk is absorbed into the chick before it hatches and that acts as a source of nutrition for the first three days. Which is why they can be shipped without food or water. Nature has built it in.

Chick shipping boxes are designed to minimize the tossing around. some are shaped like diamonds so they can only be stacked on way and nothing can be put on top of them. They also have plenty of ventilation holes so the chicks can breath.

Birds are shipped every day, all day, from all parts of the nation. The USPS actually has a whole list of shipping charges and rules for shipping live birds. Breeders ship them to other breeders, hatcheries send them to customers, and the like.
I ordered my first chick order through the mail from Ideal. I was worried because I have read some sad stories of people getting their chicks and they were DOA or didn't live long. I am in Pa and I ordered from Ideal in Texas so I really worried about them . Ideal shipped them out on Wednesday and I got my call from the post office 7:30 am Thursday morning. We went to get them and all 20 were fine. They also sent 1 extra. They arrived peeping and ate and drank right away. They are doing great and are 3 weeks old now. I think when hatcheries ship thousands of chicks , every so often things go wrong. It is not always the hatcheries fault. It could be rough handling or a delay during transit. I also got some 4-6 week old silkies through the mail from a breeder and they arrived fine.
I would definitely order again .
Don't be afraid to give it a try! I have EEs, Ameraucanas, Buff Orps, Light Brahmas, D'uccles, Silkies, Cochins, and Black Jersey Giants.
I would love some splash or blue Orpingtons , Cochins and Jersey Giants. You can still get roos in a pullet order , but they say they are like 80-90% correct in sexing them.
If they're being shipped like that, I imagine the ship time must be important. Is it better to try to find the closest hatchery to you? I am on the MA/NH border, and the closest one I've seen is MyPetChicken in CT.

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