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healthier chicks.. local farm, hatchery or feed store?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by chickensducks&agoose, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. I don't want to introduce ANY diseases to my healthy flock, am I better off getting chicks from someone local of craigslist, or ordering from a hatchery (i've been reading all these horrible hatchery stories), or counting on the feed store taking out all the sick looking chicks from THEIR hatchery order?

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    DON'T count on the feed store removing unhealthy chicks. I made that mistake once.

    Perhaps a local farm where you've been able to look them over.

    There are even growers who don't monitor their flock closely enough.

    I hear Cackle has healthy chicks... as well as Ideal, but I've never used them... but I have 6 birds that came from Cackle.
  3. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    chickensducks&agoose :

    I don't want to introduce ANY diseases to my healthy flock, am I better off getting chicks from someone local of craigslist, or ordering from a hatchery (i've been reading all these horrible hatchery stories), or counting on the feed store taking out all the sick looking chicks from THEIR hatchery order?

    Well, I would NOT rely on the feed store to cull ill chicks. However, they probably do order from the sources they have had the greatest luck with. They order from hatcheries, just like you can. I would say craigslist would be okay for young birds-- I would quarantine for about 3-4 weeks, though before introducing them into your flock... And as to hatcheries... I have had good luck, healthy happy chicks that I ordered.
    You could always hatch your own eggs and then you know what you are dealing with?
    Good luck
  4. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    Feed stores are NOT places to get healthy chicks. Even if they arrive healthy they are generally out where the public can handle them and they are far more stressed than a chick that goes straight from a shipping box into a home brooder. Plus the generally aren't good about keepign types seperate so you don't know for sure what you are getting.

    My neighbor came home last year with two turkey poults mixed into the box of 20 chicks he picked up at the feedstore. A bonus but not one he was expecting.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It depends on where your feedstore gets them and how they are housed while at the store. My own feedstore gets theirs from Ideal and NO one is allowed to handle them, period. They are in stack brooders and glass brooders with tops on them. I'd be careful of getting chicks or birds from just anyone. Too much heartache comes when you bring home birds who are found to be diseased.
  6. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    I have had horrible luck with hatchery birds health wise, I am now only getting eggs from breeders and hatching them here under a good ole broody. My flock has always been healthy. I went to a feed store once to see what they had for chicks and i was soooo disgusted with how they kept them i called an animal humane investigator on them! The chicks were crammed in horse trofts with no food and water running around in their own filth eating dead chicks that had been trampled. They were kept not even a foot away from deadly fertalizers and chemicals not to mention kittens that could stick their paws thru the cage and scoop up a baby chick. After visiting that place i burned my clothes and took a shower before even thinking about handling my own flock. It was truely a nightmare. They also had started chicks who were just as bad as the babies, they charged a small fortune for those too. I believe they got their chicks from ideal not that it was ideals fault i think it was the owner of the feed place who was at fault for not taking care of these chicks none had heat lamps on them either. The sad part of that story is i never heard back from the investigator and i believe they are still buying and selling chicks.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2009
  7. lorieMN

    lorieMN Songster

    Apr 19, 2008
    the thing about buying from a stranger off an add is you wont know what may have died last week or last month and from what..all you will see will be the healthy ones and they wont tell you any different..I would say order from a hatchery they should be healthier as most hatcheries are pretty tight on bio-security,after all it is how they pay the bills..now after they get to a store its out of their hands..

  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Songster

    May 19, 2008
    East Bethel MN
    When buying any new additions to the flock all should be quarentined for at least 3 weeks to make sure none have any illnesses. Both hatcheries i ordered from i recieved sick chicks so i guess i have a different opinion than some others. Its a chance you take, some have good luck others not so good. Me personally am tired of getting burned.
  9. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Visit the farm and get to know the farmer and his and her practices with his/her flocks and all the animals. You will know if they are well treated and properly cared for by the way they are housed and taken care of.

    We are a 2 person, small farm, full time farmers and we take great care of our animals and give them much love and attention. I often say we have one "natural" born child and 400+ others. The 400+ eat better and more often than we do with our farm schedule. I do advertise on Craigslist and am a member here obviously but am a fulltime farmer.

    If the farmer doesn't want to show you his/her farm, I'd drive off and NOT buy. I have bought off craigslist from a NON farm and will never do that again. The chickens were ill and all died within 4 days of purchase and I spent $60 for 6 hens and a rooster and lost all of that but moreover was so saddened and suffered alongside the hens and rooster and spent many long hours trying to save them - to no avail. Luckily they were in isolation which I do with all my new additions. When I contacted the original owners, they wouldn't even answer my calls! I guess they didn't care. I wrote an e mail explaining I just wanted them to be alert to possible problems with their flock. Again no answer.....A real lack of caring there.

    I also like to share with the buyer how to care for the chicks. It's part of my connection to the little babies and I do care for them.

    I have bought from hatcheries to have the heartach of opening boxes of half dead chickens and waiting for additional chickens that were sent a month later. This was shipping error but still so sad to see. Hope this was helpful to your thought process. Come by and buy some chicks. We currently have white leghorns and rirs and are round the clock hatching as we just love our christmas present - a used wooden cabinet incubator!
  10. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Songster

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    To be honest when I do sell my chicks I keep the pick of the litter. I think most people do. My feed store takes VERY good care of their chicks but then yes they do buy from hatcheries or individuals like me. I have only dealt with Ideal so far and they have never let me down, so no reason to go anywhere else.

    The only problem with ideal is they don't do gamefowl or even OEG Standard. Cackle does but as I stated before they don't answer their phone, ideal does.

    Though after looking again at Ideal's site I did see they sell what used to be German/Dutch gamefowl (Kraienkoppes). They have the look of OEG Standard without the attitude. I don't show and definitely not into sport so they would have been fine. Not to mention that they have a walnut comb so there is not the frostbite issues. I have to many gamefowl chicks from hatching now to switch, darnitttt.

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