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Where Should I Order My Chicks From?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by AnimalLover46, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. AnimalLover46

    AnimalLover46 New Egg

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    Okay, so I finally convinced my parents that I can keep chickens.[​IMG] Now, the question is where to get them from. I've looked especially at Meyer Hatchery and have found many breeds I've loved there. The only problem is that their shipping cost is really steep. I could do it, but I'm already pretty poor from buying horse tack, so I'm looking for ways to save money. The other place I looked at was Greenfire Farms, but I didn't see much information as far as costs. None of the local hatcheries (and we don't have very many) have chicks right now, so online is my only option. I suppose I should tell you what I'm looking for[​IMG] Since I can't keep a whole lot of chickens (I can only have 3-4 as of now, but will hopefully get more in the spring/summer), I am really specific about what I want. I can ONLY have hens- my neighborhood doesn't allow roosters. I love the Swedish Flower Hen, the Lavender Orpington, the Easter Egger, and the Blue Splash Maran. I have to have a hardy breed- it has to be okay for the heat and cold (I live in Idaho). So, yeah, any help is appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    It really depends on what you want the birds for. Is it solely for eggs and pets? Is correct appearance (color and body shape) really important to you? Do you want to show them?

    You can only have 3-4 birds, but nearly all hatcheries have a minimum order of 15 chicks, if not 25. Do you have someone to split an order with?

    I can't really speak to Meyers birds, as I've never ordered them. As for other hatcheries; McMurray has very healthy chicks, but they have poor type; few show the color or body shape they should. More like approximations of the breed. Privett and Ideal are similar, although avoid their Speckled Sussex and Barnivelders; terrible health issues. Cackle supposedly sells more correct birds, I know that some people have gotten breeder quality birds from them. Places such as My Pet Chicken and Strombergs are a real mixed bag, since they are middlemen and their birds come from lots of different places.

    Greenfire Farms is an example of a breeder; I'm not sure where you were looking, but most pages on their website show the price of the breed page. They are not cheap, but they are very high quality birds. The chicks from GF average $30-$100 a piece.

    Remember that when you are ordering from a hatchery, the chances are good what you see is not what you get. Hatchery birds are bred for production, and a general resemblance to the breed. They are not bred with strict standards. Birds who have complex patterns are great for showcasing this. Here are some photos of Silver Laced Wyandottes, one hatchery quality and one breeder/show quality. Guess which is which. (Not my photos).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is why it's important to really look at what you want. Are these pets who you are keeping mainly for their personality and beauty, and who will be egg producers on the side? Or do you want a generally pretty bird, but don't care so much about type, and mainly want something that will lay 5-6 eggs per week?
     
  3. HTChick

    HTChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I buy mine from McMurray because I just need healthy birds. I am not showing or breeding. I have never had trouble selling the extras out of a 25 chick order. When my daughter wanted Silkies possibly to show, I found a breeder to buy from....lots more work and $$! But worth it if you want to show or breed.
     
  4. AnimalLover46

    AnimalLover46 New Egg

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    Thank you for the quick reply. I am only looking for a friendly, pretty pet. It would be nice to have some eggs as well, but the main thing I'm looking for is a good, tame personality. Like I said, I like the looks of the breed I mentioned above, but it's not like I need show quality[​IMG] I just like patterns and "different-looking" (I would prefer something different than the original, plain-looking chicken).
     
  5. AnimalLover46

    AnimalLover46 New Egg

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  6. AnimalLover46

    AnimalLover46 New Egg

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    Oct 19, 2015
    Haha sorry, I'm having some technical difficulties- hence the multiple posts before hand that don't make much sense[​IMG] I was looking at Meyer's, and they currently have a 3 chick minimum. I am sharing the chickens with my neighbor, which means sharing the cost. So that does give me some wiggle-room.
     
  7. new user

    new user Out Of The Brooder

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  8. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    Where are you located? Perhaps a local breeder will see this and help you out?
     
  9. AnimalLover46

    AnimalLover46 New Egg

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    Unfortunately, I can no longer get chicks. I was going to keep them with the neighbors (They already have chickens) but that didn't end up working out. We are building a greenhouse, so we might build a coop attached to that in the spring/summer. So, hopefully I will have figured out something by then *crosses fingers* Here's hoping I can still get chicks.
     
  10. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most hatcheries are sold out for the year but if i get more im getting it from cackle hatchery suprise box. Lol
     

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