Which is better? Picking your own Chicks or ordering them from a hatchery?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by ForeverAvian, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. ForeverAvian

    ForeverAvian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm new to the site and don't have any chickens yet, but I do plan on getting some in the near future. I've been wondering: Is it better to pick the baby chicks yourself from a feed store (so you can see if they are healthy or not), or ordering them through a hatchery?

    I know there are pros and cons to both. I'm only planning on having a max of 4 hens for egg purposes. I'd love to hear everyone's opinions and experiences. If you know of any hatcheries, that will allow me to pick 4 chicks of my choosing/gender, please let me know.

    Thank you so much!

    Also, I live in San Diego, so if you know of any good,reliable feed/supply stores that have baby chicks, please list them. My boyfriend and I are going to check some out on Thursday. ;)
     
  2. TrystInn

    TrystInn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    Honestly, its better to get them from a local breeder who has birds acclimated to your climate and environment. Have you attempted to find breeders in your area, yet?
     
  3. ForeverAvian

    ForeverAvian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Actually, no I haven't. That hasn't even crossed my mind... lol. I'll search for a few.

    Thanks. :)
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    For just four chicks...just for eggs, pick them out for 2-3 maybe 4 bucks each. Shipping 4-8 chicks will cost you near the same as ordering 25.
     
  5. ForeverAvian

    ForeverAvian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    So far, I haven't been able to find any breeders in the San Diego country area. I know that the closest hatchery to me is up in Fresno (The Belt Hatchery). Would they allow me to drive up there and buy chicks from them in person? That's what I was thinking of doing if I can't find anything else.
     
  6. Nikkipar

    Nikkipar Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm not a "breeder", but I have Buff Brahmas (full sized not Bantam). I am in the process of starting another batch of hatching eggs. My last batch hatched the Friday before last. I ordered my first as day old chicks from A hatchery, but depending on the number of chicks you are looking for I might have some extras. I'm in Oceanside CA, about 40 mins from San Diego.
     
  7. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    I would not recommend getting them from a feed store. After ordering from Meyer hatchery (minimum 3 chicks) twice, I went to Tractor Supply this year and regret it. I got a "straight run" of barred rock chicks that I am now pretty convinced are black sex link males. It is a business for the feed store, and places like TSC make deals with the hatcheries to take discards for super cheap. Thus advertising black sex link males as barred rocks and not batting an eye for all the people who end up with a minimum of 6 roosters. I will eat them, but most people wouldn't dream of it.

    I really like the fact that sexing is guaranteed from a hatchery, they have lots of breeds options and you get to be the first person your chicks really see so they imprint on you better. None of my feed store chicks have done so and at 4-5 weeks old, are still pretty afraid of people from being chased around the feed store.

    In my experience from breeder chicks, I drove several hours to a well-reputed breeder who was vouched for on BYC and half of my chicks died for no apparent reason. As close I could figure, their parents may have had a vitamin B deficiency. There is no liability in dealing with an individual, and there are clauses in the purchase agreement from large chain feed stores like TSC that release them from responsibility. Hatcheries make all kinds of promises to you and frequently re-ship or refund your money if your chicks die within 48 hours or are incorrectly sexed.

    I am very very happy with my Meyer hatchery birds and will go back to them in a heartbeat or maybe try another hatchery next time for some different breeds. I'm not a breeder and never mean to be, so I will stick with my happy, healthy hatchery chicks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  8. ForeverAvian

    ForeverAvian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    Thank you, for your offer nikkipar! But..at the moment I can't own chickens. Hopefully I'll be able to soon. All I can do at the moment is gather information for the near future. Info on good hatcheries, coops, breeders... Etc.

    Thank you again! Your so sweet! ^^
     
  9. ForeverAvian

    ForeverAvian Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 31, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    BlazeJester, Thank you so much for you input! I really want my hens to think of me as "mommy" so, I will most likely order them from a reputable hatchery now, and pray they arrive safe and sound. Has anyone ordered chicks from My pet chicken? They have many breeds, many that I'm looking into. I always seem to come back to them.. XD
     
  10. Nikkipar

    Nikkipar Chillin' With My Peeps

    My first order was from McMurray..... and all arrived safe and sound. Only oneof them died due to some eye disease that I was told was congenital. The odds of 20 healthy, and one sick chick seem pretty decent to me. I haven't ordered from MyPetChicken, but my sister did and she was happy with them. Hope that helps :)
     

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