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Where is the best place to buy my first chicks?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DreamsInPink, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. bbrierly

    bbrierly Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2016
    Judsonia, Arkansas
    I'm new at the chicken thing also. Wasn't quite sure where to start. My Aunt highly recommend Murray McMurray hatchery, so that's who I went with. I ordered Tuesday online from them and they still had availability shipping for April 11th ( that's when you can order 15 chicks instead of the 25). I wasn't sure what chickens I wanted so I went with well I guess you could say a variety pack :) im excited that there is going to be so many different types of chickens. The package deal is sexed at all pullets but then you can opt in a get a free specialty chicken ( which most people get roos) . it was $55.95 for 15+1 chickens... After taxes and fees and adding vaccines for all of them and vitamins to put in their water it came out to be 83.58. Pictured below is the one I chose :)[​IMG]
     
  2. 11hens

    11hens Out Of The Brooder

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    This is year 2 with chickens for us. We ordered with friends from a hatchery last year, and this year we got pullets from TSC. I'm interested to see how the new ones do. As far as picking breeds, you will want to look for a few things. 1: Do you want just eggs? 2: Do you want white, brown, or colored eggs? 3: Does you weather get really cold in the winter? You need to check (if you get a mixed flock) if they are cold hardy if you have cold winters. we are in KY, so our temps go as high as 90-95 in the summer, and teens in the winter. Also, even though you buy pullets, keep an eye out for roosters. We ended up with 2 last year. They are great guards for the girls, but our RIR got very mean. Good luck! Hope that helps!
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    hi I ordered in January for my Meyer hatchery female chicks hatch/ship date April 11th. In. April you can ship as little as 3 from Meyer. I got 7 Barred Rock females plus one free "suprise" breed layer. they call it a "meal maker" because you give the eggs to help the hungry. it's the hatcheries way of helping you help others. pretty cool I thought! you CAN choose sex of the free bird for either meat or eggs. Since I ordered layers it will be a layer. Also since I paid .50 cents per bird for the Mareks vaccine they vaccinate the free bird as well at NO charge!Pretty cool I thought! Meyers answered all my questions and emails in a timely manner. They have excellent customer service! if you order now and donot mind a quick ship date you could still get some females. when your on there site press shop then chicks, then brown or white egg layers then pick a breed click on it then scroll down to breed availability, it will tell you if any females are available on that date. you can see available, limited availability, meaning 50 females left or very limited availability meaning under 50 females left for that date or male only no females left for that date. The calendar goes all the way to November I believe and you can see what dates the females of your choosing breed are available through the years hatch dates. Shipping might cost a bit more because this hatchery uses heating pads to ship with while most other hatchery's dont. still it wasn't too bad at all. I live in California and it's express shipping the 8 females all vaccinated and vitamins, and growgel for total of about 80 dollars. Shipping more because I'm so far.I was very pleased at there selections of chicks!! They have so MANY breeds available and tell you the characteristics of each breed plus actual customers reviews of the breed to help with your decision of that breed. Check out Meyer online. I think you will be amazed at all the breeds! I'd order soon though because females do sell fast! I really hope this helps you out.also best wishes !
     
  4. linbee

    linbee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    I order from Ideal Poultry because they are in Texas (where I live), as does my local farm store. I like having a variety - I have all hens, and pre-ordered them in December. They will be here next month (Yeah!) I look for good layers, okay in our South Texas heat and temperament. I have looked at several websites and they all seem to have a good description of their products. I have 12 now and have 25 coming. I usually order 3 of each breed I want. I have been very happy with all although I wouldn't ordered the Brown Leghorns again - good layers but very shy/skittish personalities. I love the Buff Orpingtons but soooo broody. 2x a year I spend all day taking her off the nest box - in August, it's 120 degrees inside the coop, loses weight and this goes on for weeks. It's so much fun, they are all so entertaining and give you great eggs!
     
  5. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2016
    With my vast chicken keeping experience (I think I'm on day 4? day 5?) I loved the experience of ordering from a small local farm and being able to pick up my chicks and drive them home the minute they were ready. Just google chicken breeders and your area and something will come up.
    No, I didn't get my first pick of breed but the lady was very helpful in answering all my questions (there were many) and my chicks are in perfect health. I wouldn't trust Canada Post with a box of socks!
     
  6. linbee

    linbee Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 11, 2010
    I would love to go to a small farm, but no selection to speak of - our local farmers think that chickens are for eggs and eating so what does it matter what kind you have? I am trying to change their opinion but no luck so far. Are you Canadian winters a problem? Our South Texas is my worry - have shade structure and little wading pool for the girls - something was said about margaritas, but you have to draw the line somewhere!
     
  7. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    OMGosh, thank you all so very much!!

    That is a lot of wonderful information! I have lots of research to do!! I better get busy!!!
     
  8. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Jan 17, 2013
    California
    I went to a hatchery this year. it's MUCH more affordable than private breeders. also you can order sexed and vaccinated birds. I ordered 7 Barred Rock females got a free female only paid .50 cents for vaccines and the 8 female vaccinated birds came just under 30 dollars a great deal( that won't include shipping. )that very where you live at. I ordered from Meyers. they have excellent customer service. I picked my ship and hatch date and they offer a HUGE selection of breeds! it's best to pre order in December or January to ensure females in early spring. I ordered in January for April. If you order quickly you can still get females now. please check out the variety of breeds. I think you will like them. There shipping is a tad more than other hatchery's but I think it's because they add a long lasting heat pack for the chicks where other hatchery's dont. also you can order as little as 3 chicks and mix breeds! see what you think of them. The chicks hatch/ship the same day.They ship express or priority depending how far away you live.so on your ship time have your brooder ready for your chicks when they arrive. where ever you decide to get your chicks enjoy them! it's a wonderful experience!!
     
  9. DreamsInPink

    DreamsInPink Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you RealSis

    I don't think Meyer was one I looked at initially... I looked at McMurray, Cackle and I think one more. Of those, 1 of them was much more user friendly in my opinion.. as far as being able to see what was available and having pictures and descriptions of different breeds. I didn't care for McMurray, only due to the fact that they don't have pictures of real birds in their descriptions, they are drawings. Nice drawings, but still... I'd rather see real pictures of real birds. I bookmarked a TON of different breeds that I was interested in... lol I want good layers, but I also want pretty birds. And a variety.

    Also, can someone please answer this for me... when it says they are cold hardy... HOW cold? I live in SEOhio... so it doesn't get much below the low teens for very long.. sometimes in the single digits, but not typically for long periods, ever. Unless you count the wind chill factor, but I don't think they are talking about that, are they? I guess my question is, do I NEED cold hardy birds? Thank you so much!
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sep 13, 2011
    Hi again! I've ordered multiple times from MMcM, with god experiences, and also once each from Cackle and Meyers. They are all fine, IMO. The photos of birds in the catalogs are of show birds, not at all what the hatchery birds will grow up to totally resemble. That's fine, especially starting out, unless you are planning to show your birds immediately. I have had chickens for over twenty years, and have no plans to show. Marek's vaccine is cheap insurance to protect your birds from the nasty tumors that afflict infected unvaccinated chickens. Being paranoid about biosecurity pays off, for many reasons, and I'm VERY careful in choosing sources for my chicks. Some diseases (like Marek's) are forever, not a good thing. Our local farm stores (southern Michigan) all order from Townline, not Cackle, and often the 'pullets' turn out to be cockrels instead. A group of mixed breeds is fun, or order some of several breeds. Some that I thought I'd love, not, and some that weren't on my radar turned out to be loved. Mary
     

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