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Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by kwon, Nov 21, 2016.
do you know which hatchery is for ordering chicken
Assuming you are in the US or Canada, you might want to look through these threads, especially the hatchery reviews.
Which one is “best” for you will depend on a lot of different things. What is the shipping route from the hatchery to you? It’s normally better to order from a hatchery near you so the shipping is minimized. If you can pick them up in person, so much the better.
Which breeds do you want? Different hatcheries offer different breeds or may not offer them when you want them. Some get sold out. So which hatchery has the chicks you want when you want them could be important.
How many do you want? Some will ship just a few, often with supplemental heat to keep them warm if you order a small number of chicks. Others have minimum limits based on the time of year you order. Your zip code could affect your minimum order as that could affect shipping times. Some have minimum numbers per breed or sex while others allow you to order one specific chick of a certain breed and mix those with others to get the minimum shipping number.
Different hatcheries have different pricing structures. It’s not just the cost per chick or shipping costs. Some charge extra if you don’t order all the same breed and sex. There are sometimes different handling fees depending on how you split your order. Even though the price per chick may be pretty similar the actual check-out price could vary quite a bit between hatcheries depending on your order.
Do you want your chicks vaccinated? Different hatcheries offer different vaccinations, often with different pricing structures.
Do you want the chicks sexed? Most major hatcheries offer sexed chicks (often with a 90% accuracy guarantee), but most of these only apply to full-sized chicken breeds. Very few offer sexed bantams.
Do you plan to show your chickens? There are not any major hatcheries that sell show-quality chickens, though I think Sand Hill probably comes closest. If you want to show chickens (other than 4-H) you need to be looking for individual breeders that show the breed of chicken you want. You will not be happy with hatchery stock.
What’s “best” for me might be different than what’s “best” for you. You need to know what you want before you can come up with “best”. I’ve ordered from three different major hatcheries in the US (Cackle, Meyer, and Ideal) and I’ve been quite happy with all three. Most of the hatcheries we deal with are small family-owned businesses that have been in business for decades. They stay in business by providing a good product at competitive prices. Each of us are unique in what we want but I would not hesitate to order from any of the major hatcheries as long as they have what I want when I want it and the costs for that individual order is competitive.
I ment best