Where to get a few chickens?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chickvet, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. Chickvet

    Chickvet Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    So I have ordered my first ever chicken coop (delivery in 6 weeks). I now have to figure out how to get a couple of chickens (6ish). I want good layers, that look different from each other and the kids want a few funny lookin ones. Someone told me to go to the flea market to buy them....but....after years of seeing stressed/unheathy puppies and kittens brought to my veterinary practice that have been purchased at "the flea market", I am uncomfortable with that option. I am concerned that the chickens won't be healthy or will be stressed. I am completely ignorant on how to aquire chickens! Buying bulk and selling the extras on Craig's list is not an undertaking I am willing to take on. Anyone have any insights on aquiring chickens in Asheville, NC? I am not in the market for another 6 weeks or so.
  2. CityClucks

    CityClucks The Center of a 50 Mile Radius

    Jan 31, 2009
    Tulsa, OK
    Welcome to BYC Chickvet! If you have a feedstore near you, they may have baby chicks, and should have them until May. If you by from the feedstore the chicks have already been through the stress of the shipping process and are a few days old - look for the ones that seem to be thriving - active, eating, drinking, eliminating, etc.

    BYC is a fantastic site for all kinds of opinions and information about different egg laying breeds. There are great breeds that are very friendly, different colors, and good egg layers as well. My personal favorites are Barred Rocks, Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds.

    Good luck and welcome!
  3. Chickvet

    Chickvet Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Thanks for the reply. How will I know if they are male or female when they are chicks? I can't get a rooster. [​IMG]
  4. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Most feed stores purchase chicks that are already sexed. Yes, some errors do occur, but the odds are 95% in your favor.

    They will need to be kept under heat lamps until they can go outside into their coop so you can likely get your chicks shortly before your coop arrives. My girls went to their outside coop at about 6 weeks of age.
  5. Chickvet

    Chickvet Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 24, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Will the feed store have different varieties?
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My Pet Chicken is the only place I can think of that might ship as few as 6. Depending on conditions and distance they will ship between 3 and 8. They will also sex them for you. There are probably others that do this.

    Certain chicks can be sexed easily as the female and male are different colors or have distinct markings. You might be able to get these at a local feed store. These chickens are mixed breed, usually a Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire Red crossed with a Delaware, Barred Rock, White Rock, Silver Laced Wyandotte (I think), and there are others.

    Henderson's Breed Chart is helpful in describing the different breeds of chickens and could help you decide which to get if you go pure breed.

    Another thought is to go to the section on this site Buy, Sell, Trade and post what you want. A BYC member may be able to help you out, especially if you will take pullets old enough to tell the sex.

    Good luck and welcome.
  7. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Almost all feed stores in my area have several breeds. However, some keep the breeds separated and some just have a horse trough in the middle of the store with all the chicks mixed together.

    It might help to call your local feed store and ask some questions. I'm really new at this chicken thing, have called with a million questions, ask a million more when I stop in to buy feed for the existing chickens and other animals here, and always apologize for taking up so much of their time (a bag of homemade cookies never hurts either!). They told me that I should fire away as it shows I care about what I'm doing.

    You may also want to look into a few books. I think everyone suggests the Gail Damerow ones. I finally bought a copy of that to keep on hand. But there were lots of other good books at the library, especially ones on keeping jsut a few chickens in your backyard.
  8. Backyard Buddies

    Backyard Buddies Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Orange County, CA
    Most feed stores will carry a variety of the more popular breeds - Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Barred Plymouth Rock, Leghorn, Australorp, and Easter Eggers (which they may label as Americauna or Aracauna). Some feed stores will allow you to attach a special order on with their weekly order if you're looking for something special or different than what they normally carry.

    I'll second a couple of the previous suggestions -
    The Henderson chart is wonderful:

    The Damerow books are great. I don't know how old your kids are, but if they're of reading age, they may enjoy Damerow's book written specifically for kids.
  9. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    [​IMG] from TN
  10. pw_quiltworks

    pw_quiltworks One Handy Chick

    Jan 7, 2009
    From Old Town, Maine

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