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).
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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!
Thinking About Getting Chickens?
Get ready with the free email course, Intro to Backyard Chickens. The course also includes a free, printable checklist to walk you through step by step!