very small numbers


10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
Well, the dream of a small farm - or even an acre - is gone out the window so now I am going to try raising some meat chickens, in VERY SMALL numbers, in the back yard, after we get moved.

Do any of you know of a hatchery that will ship 5 or 6 chicks? I think I can hide that many from the neighbors but certainly not any more than that.

Any links to hatcheries will be greatly appreciated
If you are raising Cornish X's, you would be surprised at how many you can keep in a limited area. I don't know of anyplace that sells that few, but you might be able to either find someone to split an order or get a farm supply store near you to pick some up when they do their chick orders. I think TSC will oreder them as well. Where are you located? Best of luck. and are the ones advertising that they ship small orders.... (3-5)
Ideal has a minimum order of $25 (not incl S&H) , does not matter how many is the link:

One of the forum members pm'd me that their minimum is 15 chicks to ship:
You can also check the BYC section for BST chickens and also post there or check Craigslist under the Livestock section
One thing, before you move check and see if there's a poultry limit at the new house. Many cities including the one I'm in limits you to 4 or 5 hens.

If you're stuck that way (we are too), look into corturnix, here there's no rules on quail, so I can grow as many as I want.

If you're good to start, the feedstore will most likely be ordering meaties (ours orders BR, RIR & cornish x as thier options), and if not, ask if they can add some meaties onto thier order for you. Or put up a note on thier bulitien board asking if anyone wants to split an order with you.
I bought 40 CornishxRock chicks from a local 4-H club fundraiser and have been pasture-raising them in an effective area about 8 by 12-15 feet, and recently removed all the cockerels to an 8 by 10 foot converted garden shed for finishing. We've had no picking of cannibalism at all, which means we either gave them enough space ot got really lucky.

40, honestly, is a lot of birds to pasture, and commercial CornishX grow devilishly fast. My husband and I talked about our experiences and concluded that 20-25 birds in the same space would be about right for future runs, just because of the manual work required to move the birds to pasture during the day, and then back to the coop at night.

Remember than you're only going to keep these birds for 6-8 weeks, so their housing and containment can be something that is disassembled and cleaned up after the birds are slaughtered. After we clean up, we start setting coops up for winter housing for the layers.

Edit: Murray McMurray had pretty decent prices on CornishX, and you get a better price for cockerels than pullets or straight run.
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