Order from a hatchery or buy from feed store?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Meeshmom, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. Meeshmom

    Meeshmom In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2014
    Hi all! Putting finishing touches on the coop to prepare for the chicks. Central Tx here, so no need for a brooder, I was told.

    Question is: do I order or do my son and I go pick them out from the feed store? Does it really matter? We've already gone and looked at them. They have the kind we want. I just see so many people mentioning orders...

    Excited! Nervous too. Little nervous about being able to recognize potential issues and nervous about wing clipping (when it gets to that!)...
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Feed store birds come from a hatchery. From a hatchery you get a bigger selection. This time of year shipping is a problem due to the heat. Getting from the feed store, they've already been shipped so if there are any to die in transit, it has already happened. I've seen some poorly cared for birds at feed stores. i.e. no food, no water, etc..

    If they have the breed/s you want, I'd probably do the feed store thing.

    You may not have to wing clip but cross that bridge when it comes to that.

    Lively vigorous birds with clear eyes are what you want.
  3. jeepguy982001

    jeepguy982001 Songster

    Oct 4, 2011
    athens, wv
    [​IMG] i've done both.But i think from now on i'm going to stick to just getting them at the feed store. Mainly so i don't have to deal with the post office. When i ordered them i ended up having to drive to a post office a lil under a hr away to pick them up. Instead of them coming to the post office thats about 2 miles down the road from me.
  4. Peeps61

    Peeps61 Songster

    Apr 19, 2014
    NW Florida
    I've always gotten mine from one of the various feedstores in my area. They tend to order the same breeds, so I get a pretty good selection if I visit all of them. Of course, this is a true test of willpower as we all know that "chicken math" can strike at any time!
  5. I always get mine from the feed store. I have had really good luck with very healthy birds.

    Just make sure they have heat to go under, at least 90 degrees, even at night, the first week and go down 5 degrees a week until about 6 weeks.
    good luck and have fun with your chicks....
  6. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Ditto what 16paws said about temps. What do your night time temps get down to? Unless you plan to have a heat lamp in the coop the first few weeks? New chicks need a place where they can warm up to about 95 the first week, decreasing after that as mentioned.
  7. Meeshmom

    Meeshmom In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2014
    It's about 88 out right now. Hottest it's been most of the summer... Usually we're low to mid 90s summer evenings. Do I still need a heat source of some sort for the evenings?
  8. IFCC

    IFCC In the Brooder

    Aug 5, 2014
    I was taking to one of the men from my local coop this past spring and he will pretty much order you what you want during the spring when everyone is selling chicks. So if one can wait till then you could get what you needed without having to buy 12 or 15 chicks from the hatchery.
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    I'd still have a low-wattage bulb out there for night time. I'm not as warm as you, but my 2 week old broody-raised chicks still sleep under momma at night for the warmth. You don't need a huge bulb, and give them lots of space to get away from the heat if it's too much. Or invest in something like a heat plate from Brinsea or Premier.

    My answer would mirror Canoe's. If the feed store has the breed you want, get them there. They've already survived the shipping and are usually a few days old so the chicks that are just weak/bummers have already died, for the most part. I only order from a hatchery anymore if I want a breed not carried by my local Grange. Getting a minimum number is sometimes a pain, too.
  10. chickenhound

    chickenhound Chirping

    Jul 2, 2014
    Hi Meeshmom. Welcome to BYC [​IMG]. One thing to consider when buying your chicks is whether or not to have them vaccinated against Mareks disease. All of our birds are vaccinated, just seemed that for the money it was a good choice. Most hatcheries will vaccinate them for usually for less than 25 cents a bird. If you buy from the feed store, I would ask them if they have been vaccinated. Good luck with your flock.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: