Many are unsure as to where to buy chickens and other poultry. Aside from a feed store, buy baby chicks and other young poultry from reputable hatcheries online.
It took me over six years before I gained the courage to order chickens from a hatchery. The fear was indeed real.
What was the fear? A chick should die in route to the property. In the many years of keeping poultry I could not get past this concern. Hence, the reason why I always ordered poultry from my feed store.
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The employees dealt with receiving the shipment. Opening the package to ensure the young poultry was indeed alive and healthy. All that was required was to pick up the birds and bring them home. Easy enough!
However, because of the life I live, this fear needed to be eliminated. And it just so happened that in March of 2020, I finally tackled the uncertainty of opening a box of shipped ducklings.
Luckily, the hatchery in which my Silver Appleyard ducklings came from took the time to discuss the shipping process with me.
Where to Buy Chickens and Other Poultry online
With a bit of research, and a lot of talking to the hatchery team, I made the decision to order poultry online. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a hatchery:
- longevity of the hatchery
- does the hatchery work/own the parent stock
- the selection available
- are specialty breeds available
- is the team knowledge about the breeds
Buy Chickens Online
This podcast covers everything you’ll need to know about adding poultry to the property. Tom, of McMurray Hatchery, sits down with me to discuss everything from:
- selecting breeds specific to the property size and location
- raising various poultry species
- shipping day old chicks
- hatching eggs
- and the amazing history behind this 103 year old hatchery
When you buy chickens online you’re buying a piece of history. Many of the poultry lines at the McMurray hatchery have been around over 50+ years.
Buy Baby Chicks and Other Newly Hatched Poultry
When you buy baby chicks and other newly hatched poultry from a hatchery make sure to research the hatchery. Here is a list of questions you must ask yourself:
- Does that hatchery carry the parent stock onsite? If not, where is the parent stock kept?
- Have you researched the hatchery?
- How long has the hatchery carried the breed?
- Are the hatchery employees capable of providing information about the breed?
- Is the hatchery is capable of answering question about broiler breeds?
Variety of Species
The type of poultry incorporated onto your property will depend on the zoning laws for your county and city. Most urban cities will allow only chicken, whereas, others allow poultry regardless of the species.
Also, prior to incorporating a poultry it is best to know why you wish to raise them.
Poultry breeds consists of:
Once the decision has been made in regards to the species to raise it is time to decide on the breed type.
The breed will vary between a heritage, hybrid, or broiler. What breed to choose will depend on the intend of the poultry. Will you be:
- raising a specialty breed
- selling hatching eggs or chicks
- raising a sustainable breed
- helping a breed recover from potentially being extinct
- raising poultry for egg or meat production
Package deals are excellent for new poultry keepers, as well as, seasoned keepers. There are bonuses for ordering a package deal.
- multiple breeds package
- specialty breed packages, or homesteader’s package
- egg color package
- good layers package
The Shipping Process
New to receiving chicks from a hatchery? Or do you have questions in regards to the process of shipping eggs? The podcast included in this article goes in depth on the shipping process from McMurray Hatchery.
It is important to understand the shipping process when ordering from a hatchery. There is rhyme and reason for the minimal quantity on orders. Prior to getting upset about the minimum it is important to understand the purpose behind it.
Here is a quick rundown. During the cooler months the minimum order of chicks is high. This ensures that the chicks remain warm during the shipping process through body contact.
During the summer months the required amount per order decreases. Why? During the warmer months chicks do not need to work hard to maintain their body temperature to remain warm during shipping.
A Heat Source
In addition to the chicks generating their own heat most hatcheries will add a heat pad into the shipping box. This ensures enough heat is available during the shipping process.
Feed and Water
When you buy baby chicks it is important to understand that they do not immediately need food or water after they hatched. This is the reason why newly hatched poultry is able be shipped.
Newly hatched poultry consume the egg yolk up to 72 hours after hatching. Offer feed and water immediately oncethe chicks and young poultry have arrived to the property.
Preparing for Arrival
Prior to the arrival of the young poultry, prepare the brooder. Preparing the brooder in advance will help the poultry settle in their new home quickly.
Episode 5 | Selecting Poultry Breeds for Your Property is ideal for individuals who seek to own poultry. This podcast and article will provide you with information on the best location as to where to buy chickens and other poultry.