Local breeders vs. Feed Store vs. My Pet Chicken vs. Chicken show


9 Years
Mar 6, 2011

I am brand new and so excited about getting chicks. I live in a suburban neighborhood where I can have 5 hens. I am hoping to get 4 or 5 different kinds of chickens. I am thinking 3 standard size and 2 bantams. Anyway, what is the difference between getting my chicks from someone on Craigslist, the feed store (the two near me get their chicks from Ideal poultry) and from getting from My Pet Chicken? Also, there is a chicken show coming up near where I live and I am wondering if I can buy chick there.

Are there benefits and drawbacks to each one? Is there anything I should know or look out for if I get them from Craigslist?

What I am thinking....

My Pet Chicken pros - I like the idea of My Pet Chicken because I can get all of five that I want, even the bantams, which I can't find sexed anywhere else.
My Pet Chicken cons - Very expensive! Shipping alone is over $30! It makes me nervous to get my chicks in the mail. If any are boys, I don't know how I'll get rid of them and if they die on the way I still need to get replacements at the feed store or breeder to get my 5. From what I've read here, I am under the impression that it isn't safe to mix chicks from different places.

Feed Store pros - I like the idea of the feed store because I feel like I will have support if I need help and if I end up with a rooster by mistake (I can't have it here) maybe they will just take it back.
Feed Store cons - There isn't a lot of choice on the kinds of chickens. I will have to compromise on what I want.

Breeder pros - I like the idea of a breeder because it is a lot less expensive and the ones near me happen to have the chicks I'd like, except for the bantams, which I can't find anywhere except My Pet Chicken.
Breeder cons - Again, limited availability of exactly what I want. Also, not sure if there is anything I should be aware of in getting them from "just anybody" selling on Craigslist.

Chicken show pros and cons - I don't know. I have never been to a chicken show. I don't even know if they sell chickens but it seems like maybe they do and if so, maybe I can get exactly the chicks I want. I also wonder, again, if they do sell chicks if it is safe to mix them if I find the different ones from different people at the show.

Thank you so very much!

I have purchased from My Pet Chicken and my local feed store. One plus about My Pet Chicken is that they are able to sex bantam chicks. This is pretty unique and you have a much greater chance of getting a female bantam this way. Good luck in your journey and
For purchasing bantams I know of no other hatchery that offers the variety that you can obtain from Cackle Hatchery in Missour. Really nice folks to deal with and they have exceptional birds.

Birds from feed stores can be an excellent source of birds and often you are able to buy just pullets. However, just because they are marked pullets doesn't insure that they all will be. Far to often I have watched little kids take chicks from one bin and when their parents tell them to put them back they often put them in the wrong bin. The closer to the date they arrived lessens the chances of getting a misplaced bird. I wouldn't expect to plan on get much correct information as most of their employees are just barely able to tell the difference between a chick and a duckling. Nor will they be willing to take back a unwanted cockerel. As callous as it may sound sometimes the best solution for unwanted cockerels is to cull them as soon as you are certain of their sex.
Congratulations on your new hobby!! I'm excited for you! We started out with full grown hens which was great for immediate gratification of instant eggs. Then we visited a local chicken farm where I purchased a RIR pullet. After that we purchased 3 chicks from a local feed store. That was kind of fun because we got to play with them first. My favorite way of getting chickens so far was our latest experience just 2 days ago. We drove out to a breeder and got to pick out our own silkies. It was nice to see where they were really from and how she had her various chickens set up. I almost ordered chicks through the mail, but then I backed out because I felt bad for the whole shipping ordeal.

In no way am I ripping feed stores, but my experience is not to expect very much "support" from them in establishing your flock. I feel like I'd get a lot more support from the breeder we just visited. She's on here, too: Freckle Face Farm.

Whatever you decide, good luck!! You may find yourself wanting to move so you can have more than 5. Warning: Chickens are addicting! :eek:)

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