New Girl Here... How to Get Around Minimum Orders

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SheGoneCountry, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. SheGoneCountry

    SheGoneCountry New Egg

    Jan 27, 2013
    Hi there! First post, and I'm as green as they get, so I'm praying you can advise.

    I've been doing my research...ok, I've been almost obsessively researching, but one thing I can't figure out is how to get the variety in my flock that I'm looking for and to get around the minimum order quantities of the commercial hatcheries which have the variety that I am looking for.

    Basically, I'd like a few silkies, a few Buff Orpingtons, and a few Americaunas/EEs for a max of 8. However, most commercial hatcheries require a minimum of 25. So the way I figure it, I can

    A) hope to find some Chicagoland folks with some extra chicks of each breed (Not at all easy, given that there are very few municipalities that allow chicken keeping), or

    B) order a $25 minimum from Ideal, which seems to have a questionable reputation (from what I've read)', or

    C) order a crap ton of birds and hope that I can which case i'll have a husband who won't speak to me!

    Maybe it's a pipe dream to expect to have such variety in such a small flock, and if so, call me out on that.

    Any other ideas? I appreciate all the advice I can get.

  2. Impress

    Impress Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    Your best bet is to try to find someone to split an order with. Try Craigslist or search for people in the Where are you? Where am I? Thread.
  3. AmandaCastle

    AmandaCastle New Egg

    Jan 6, 2013
    Central Arkansas
    I am in the same boat! New, obsessed, wanting variety (in a flock of 6-10) and with a husband who is not quite as enthusiastic about the idea as me! I've run into the same issue with minimum orders. The smallest I've found is 15, and that is after April 1. Even our local Tractor Supply Co has a minimum purchase of 10.
  4. Bellatrixed

    Bellatrixed Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2013
    I don't think Ideal has a questionable reputation more than any other hatchery. I have ordered from them in the past with great success and plan to order from them again this year, and there seem to be a lot of positive reviews from them on this forum.

    But realize that if you get the $25 value from Ideal that you'll still wind up with 25 chicks! They'll just be roosters tossed in free of charge.

    I'm in the same boat pretty much. I wanted a variety of breeds but only 5-10 or so. I'm biting the bullet and ordering 25 from Ideal. I figure I can easily find a new home for any extras I decide I don't want. That might be your best bet, to try to sell/give away all but your favorites. :)
  5. JML72

    JML72 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2012
    Try or Meyer Hatchery (MPC actually uses Meyer as a drop shipper...). They have a minimum of 3-5 depending on your zip code.

    I ordered from mypetchicken last spring as a novice soon-to-be-chicken-owner. The chicks arrived from Ohio to MA the next day, alive and thriving, with properly sexed large fowl and bantams (including a silkie, like you want). They all thrived from the get-go.

    You pay something like $35 for the shipping, but in the end, you get what you want in the numbers you want, without any extras thrown in for you to figure out how to manage.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Chick Daze at a local store. TSC, et al.

    These are the same hatchery chicks and it is far cheaper to just pick up what you need. Ask the manager for the selection choices and dates of arrival. Most such stores will bring in a dozen or more different kinds over the period of promotional chicks. At least you can get started for very, very little money. $3 a chick or less. Coming very soon to a rural store near you.

    You likely need chick starter and other supplies anyhow, so make the drive to nearest store. (when the time comes)
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I trust part of your research has been to find out what is legal where you are. Different cities, towns, Home Owners Associations, whatever have different rules. It would be real disappointing to build stuff and get chicks to just have to get rid of them.

    Three hatcheries I’d consider have been mentioned, Meyer, Ideal, and MYPetChicken (MPC). I think Cackle may offer some minimum order too but it’s been a while since I looked. As someone said, MPC does not really hatch the eggs themselves but gets them from other hatcheries. All four of those have different minimums and rules. MPC advertises a minimum of 3, but that depends on where you live. For a lot of people, that minimum is really 8.

    Meyer, Cackle, and Ideal are likely to include Packing Peanuts with their order unless you call them and specifically request that they do not add any. MPC does not do that though it never hurts to talk to them either. MPC adds some type of warmer to the shipping and they charge you for it. Packing peanuts are extra chicks thrown in free of charge so there are enough to keep them warm during shipping. These are practically always male since that is generally what the hatcheries have extra.

    You need to put your order together online to see what the costs are. Some have things that can add up. If I remember right, Ideal will ship small numbers of different breeds, but they have an additional charge for having different breeds. Look for things like that.

    This is a link to the sticky in the Breeders and Hatchery section of this forum. You will find some positive reviews and some negative reviews on each and every hatchery. Each hatchery is run by different people so there will be some differences, but some of those negative reviews come from things not in the hatchery’s control. Either something the post office did during shipping or the person receiving the chicks was not really prepared. Some of these hatcheries ship 80,000 to 100,000 chicks a week, so they will occasionally mess something up. The post office usually does a good job too, but occasionally they mess something up. You are dealing with living human beings. Sometimes we all make mistakes. I would not be concerned about ordering from any one of these four.

    There are different ways for you to try to get a variety instead of ordering from a hatchery. There are some potential problems with some of these, like if you get chicks you might get some roosters which I’m sure you don’t want.

    You can look up the Illinois state thread in the “Where am I? Where are you!” section of this forum. It’s quite possible you can find someone local that can help you out either with baby chicks or maybe started pullets. Started pullets may be one way to avoid roosters. This might be a good way to find someone local to split an order.

    Check out your feed stores. Many of them will be having “Chick Days” before too long. Orscheln’s, Tractor Supply, or maybe some type of Co-op are some of the possibilities. Talk to the person ordering the chicks to see what options they offer. Each one is different. Some people think because their Tractor Supply offers chicks a certain way each one in the country does it exactly the same. That is an incorrect assumption. The feed store may let you place a specific order and just add that to theirs so you can get around the minimum that way. My local one does not offer this. Some will have special pullet bins where most of the chicks in that bin are pullets. Some just have bins where they are mixed by sex. Feed stores generally get their chicks form hatcheries. Hatcheries guarantee a 90% rate on sexing the chicks, though most hatcheries will not sex bantams. So it’s real possible to get roosters from pullet bins. A lot of that depends on how good the Feed Store is about keeping them separate. Anyway, talk to different feed stores and see what they offer. There is a chance you can find one that will help.

    You can order a bunch and try to sell the extras on Craigslist. You may or may not get your money back.

    There are probably some chicken swaps or such in your area. Again, your State thread may help you find these.

    You can call your county extension agent, in the phone book under county government, and explain what you are looking for. Some extension agents are better than others and some have better contacts than others, but there is a reasonable chance they can help. It costs you a phone call and a bit of time to maybe find out.

    Good luck with it and again, :frow
  8. SheGoneCountry

    SheGoneCountry New Egg

    Jan 27, 2013
    Thank you all so much for the feedback! It's ridiculous how excited I am to begin this...I've got my brooder box and supplies ready to go, and I'm armed to the teeth with knowledge, thanks to you folks.

    As a few have suggested, I did check Craigslist, and to my surprise, there was a brand new post offering some Americaunas being hatched tomorrow a few towns over - yay! So I might start with a few of those.

    Also, as luck would have it, I stopped by to visit the one and only other person I know who raises chickens. Honestly, I thought she was set with her flock...and then she asked if I wanted to split an order with her. It sounds like I'll get my chickens and eat (their eggs) too!

    I am very grateful for all of your help, and look forward to being a part of this community.
  9. Sweetly Silkies

    Sweetly Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2012
    My Coop
    i have had friends who split their orders with others. you team up, you want 10, (s)he wants 15. or 13, 12. you can put an ad here on BYC or craigslist looking for someone to team up with around you.
  10. Sweetly Silkies

    Sweetly Silkies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2012
    My Coop
    [​IMG] glad things worked out

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