I bought my chicks from the local farm store in late July, and MAY have eggs by Christmas. I was able to brood them outside after a couple weeks, with a warming pad in a box for chilly nights (here in the Pacific NW). My first go with chix. The feed store strongly discourages order by mail/online. I agree. I had ordered 10, and 6 needed up dead. The company refunded for them. Explanation: they used to be sent overnight, now they use 2nd day. For those newly hatched babies to go without food or water for that long is cruel, IMHO.This last year was total craziness for folks trying to find chicks and chickens. I'm wondering if there will be another big rush, or if I can postpone an order for later in the Spring. What are your predictions?