What is so "bad" about buying feed store chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by SobbaChickens, Apr 25, 2013.

  1. SobbaChickens

    SobbaChickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2013
    Hello everyone :) I've been reading a ton of posts today and have seen many comments about buying chicks from a feed store. Can someone explain to me why is matters? [​IMG] A family friend of mine orders hers and their come via mail. When I bought my chicks she made a comment about she never buys from the feed store because you have no clue what you'll actually get. But my feed store did have the chicks labeled as "pullet" s/r" or "cockerel" but I understand that it's not 100%. If you get chicks via mail are you guaranteed a certain gender? I picked all pullets because I want nothing to do with roosters.

    Thanks for any input!
  2. MsChickenMomma

    MsChickenMomma Crowing

    Dec 2, 2012
    I've been wondering the same thing. The feed store orders their chicks via mail too, so I don't see what the problem is :/
  3. wayne hulgan

    wayne hulgan Chirping

    Jul 24, 2011
    By feed store, do you mean like TSC? If so we got all our girls there. We got 4 red stars and 2 golden comets the first time, then we got 2 white leghorns and this last March 2 more white leghorns. All turned out to be hens, good layers and easy to handle. even the white leghorns are not too flity. So? whats wrong with feed store chickens?
  4. ak rain

    ak rain Chirping

    Apr 15, 2013
    For me it was the choice of chicks. Only leghorns and black sex link.

    I ordered

    Easter Egger Female
    Barred Rock Female
    Buff Orpington Female
    Silver Laced Wyandotte Female
    Buff Orpington Male

    Ak rain
  5. TSC and other rural and ranch type stores order their chicks from hatcheries just like people do.

    Some folks have had some bad experiences with chicks from feed/rural stores. Fact is? Chicks get switched and mislabeled. Sometimes the staff is simply not up to speed on chickens, as they didn't hire on because of any particular poultry expertise.
    Sometimes customers switch chicks from one bin to another, accidentally or carelessly. Sometimes chicks arrive and the help puts them into wrong bins. In other words, things happen.

    When you buy from a reputable breeder, you can get birds of very high quality. You have someone to actually talk to about the birds. When you order from a hatchery, mistakes can happen too. Humans make mistakes. Not a new story.
  6. SobbaChickens

    SobbaChickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2013
    I should have said farm store maybe? instead of feed store. [​IMG] I've never even seen a Tractor Supply store so I don't have a clue what all they have. And are you asking me or just repeating my question? I'm glad you have had a good experience buying from a farm store, I hope mine is a good one too :)
  7. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

    Jun 29, 2012
    In my experience, the problem with buying from farm supply and feed stores is that you don't always know what you're actually getting--not just in gender, but breed as well. Chicks at our local farm supply store are sometimes mislabeled--i.e. Easter Eggers being labeled as Ameraucanas--and I suspect that some of my "Rhode Island Reds" may have been of mixed heritage. This was not really a concern for us, though, since we were focused on having chickens that are good layers and healthy. We wanted a variety of egg colors--which we got--and hens, which we mostly got.

    Employees at farm and feed stores may not be well-acquainted with chickens. They may be misinformed about the breeds or genders of their stock, or may not be able to answer your questions about your chickens when you have them. You don't really know where the chicks are coming from, and do play a bit of chicken-roulette with your purchase as far as what breeds and gender you might actually end up with, but if you're not looking for pedigree stock and are willing to chance an occasional "surprise" rooster, they're just fine.
  8. SobbaChickens

    SobbaChickens Songster

    Apr 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Thank you! Everything you said makes perfect sense. All of the chicks I got I'm 100% of breed and they were only selling pullets of the kinds I got too so I guess I shouldn't worry about people accidental switching cages. I've talked to three different sales people, #1 was alright, #2 HORRIBLE, and #3 perfect lol I didn't want to let him help anyone else. He said that he raises chickens himself and has been doing so for a very long time.
  9. KayleighW

    KayleighW Chirping

    Apr 14, 2013
    I bought all my chicks from the feed/farm store (Orschelns). They get new chicks in every week and usually have a pretty good selection. I bought all pullets (except 1, straight run chick). I can't tell yet if any are roosters, but I think 1 might be. They will also order chicks for you, if they don't have what you want in the store. We ordered 30 chickens one year, and got 31. 1 was a rooster. I think there is only 1 employee there that knows much about the different chicks, but so far I haven't seen a problem with mislabeling, and all the chicks are healthy. That said, I would recommend feed store chicks to anybody. They may not be show birds, but they are perfectly fine for "backyard chickens", in my opinion.
  10. bj taylor

    bj taylor Songster

    Oct 28, 2011
    North Central Texas
    I was specifically looking for certain breeds & our local small feedstore "had them". I bought 12 chicks. the breeds were not a sure thing. the four buff orpington turned out to be red sex link. the extra thrown in was the only true buff orpington. the four silver laced Wyandotte turned out to be one that didn't survive the day & one is either mixed breed or another breed altogether. the four Delaware I bought were the same size as all the others & now, three weeks later are much bigger than everyone else. not sure what that's all about.

    I think as long as you're willing to accept it's a mixed bag kind of thing, a feed store is fine.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: