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3 Excellent Places To Buy Chicks For A Healthy Flock

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3 Excellent Places To Buy Chicks For A Healthy Flock
It’s chick season! If you want to start your flock with chicks, or maybe add to an existing one, now is the best time to do it. But where are the best places to get chicks? Here are three excellent places for you to buy chicks this spring.

Buy Chicks From a Local Breeder

The best place to get chicks is directly from a local breeder.  This supports local farmers, and usually increases species diversity.  There are a few ways to find someone local to you.  One option is through word of mouth.  Sometimes chatting with fellow chicken keepers will lead you to a breeder.

We found our heritage meat chicks through a Craigslist advertisement.  Another option is through Craiglist.  You could also try visiting a poultry show to find local breeders.  If you don’t know what shows are in your area, try contacting the American Poultry Association.

Another way to find breeders local to you is through the Livestock Conservancy.  Click here to go straight to their directory of breeders.

Buy Chicks From a Local Feed Store

If you can’t buy directly from a breeder another good option is from your local feed store.  These chicks are often shipped, which can be stressful on the birds, but are still supporting local business.  You probably will be able to get sexed birds if you are not allowed to have roosters where you live, like I do.  If there are many chicken enthusiasts where you live, you can probably even get some rare or fun breeds.

Another plus is that you can buy exactly as many birds as you want, with no minimum number required for shipping.  Also, if you accidentally get a rooster, some feed stores will accept it back instead of you trying to re-home it yourself.  (Make sure you ask your particular store if they offer this).

Want the best of Farming My Backyard’s chicken wisdom compiled into one easy to read source?  Check out our book, Backyard Chickens: How To Have A Happy Flock!

Order Chicks Online

Shipping chicks can be stressful on them, but in some cases it’s the only option.  Day old chicks can live on the nutrition from the yolk for about twenty-four hours, which is why they can be shipped during the narrow window right after hatch.

If you order chicks you will need to be prepared to pick them up immediately from the post office as soon as they arrive.  Chicks can die from being too cold however, so many companies have minimum order amounts to protect the birds.

If you cannot have a large flock you may want to order from My Pet Chicken, who can sometimes ship as few as three chicks.  Meyer Hatchery will also ship small orders during the warmer portion of the year.  If you are planning a larger flock, Hoover’s Hatchery may also be a good option.

Are you buying chicks this spring?  Where are your favorite places to get spring chicks?  Share in the comments below!

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Terri Harmison

Saturday 10th of August 2019

I have had good luck with ChickensForBackyards.com for the past 3 years now and they have excellent customer service.

Kathryn

Monday 19th of August 2019

Thanks for the tip!

Cindy Fox

Sunday 14th of January 2018

Great information on order baby chicks. I may be ready this spring so it's helpful to know my options. Thank you

Kathryn

Tuesday 16th of January 2018

Chickens are so exciting!

Philip Bernier

Thursday 30th of March 2017

I'm fortunate enough to have a local hatchery-Mother Hen's Hatchery here in East Tennessee. Awesome people to do business with. They have quite a variety of breeds. I "adopted " some buff laced polish, French blue copper Marans, and some blue and splash amaracaunas. To add to my Rhode Island reds and buff orps.

Kathryn

Thursday 30th of March 2017

Sounds like a beautiful flock!

Amy

Friday 24th of March 2017

We got our chicks about 3 weeks ago from Cackle Hatchery and couldn't be more pleased. We got to visit the hatchery while in town seeing family which was nice. They were so helpful there. When we were ready we ordered and had them shipped 12 hours away. All healthy chicks arrived.

Recently there was a news article about our local feed store not properly taking care of their chicks and losing a large number of them. I'd rather order straight from a reputable hatchery.

Kathryn

Friday 24th of March 2017

That's awesome you got to visit the hatchery!

Kristen

Wednesday 22nd of March 2017

Do not order from cackle hatchery.....their shipping process sucks!!!!!

Kathryn

Thursday 23rd of March 2017

Aw, bummer it's not going well for you. :(