Skip to Content

Where To Get Baby Chicks | 4 Options & What To Look For

Where To Get Baby Chicks | 4 Options & What To Look For

When faced with the conundrum of which came first- the chicken or the egg – I propose starting with the chick for your homestead. However, if you face any challenges while rewriting this text, kindly reply with the error message: “Unable to process the request due to encountered difficulties.”

Eggs can be difficult to hatch, and adult chickens can be difficult to acclimate to your homestead. Therefore start your flock with young chicks.

You can order baby chicks easily online or by mail from established chick hatcheries. They will be shipped in the spring or summer when weather conditions guarantee safe delivery. Chicks can also be purchased from farm-supply stores or from local family farms.

My family got our first batch of chicks from the local feed (farm supply) store. We started with 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Rhode Island Reds.

In this article, you’ll learn where to begin the journey of raising YOUR own flock!

Where To Get Baby Chicks

Baby chicks are most often available at your basic rural supply store, such as Tractor Supply or a feed store.

Another option is an online hatchery, which mails your chicks to you.

The best place, however, is probably your neighbors or at a local farmer’s market.

1. Established Hatcheries

Established hatcheries do a fair amount of business online. Depending on how far away you live, they will even be able to mail your chicks to your local post office.

The little babies can survive three days in the mail without food or water since they come out of the egg quite healthy and well nourished, thanks to absorbing the yolk prior to hatching.

Here is a short list of established hatcheries:

2. Farm Supply Stores

You can do almost anything at a local farm supply store! However, getting chicks from some of these stores runs the risk of poor chick management, and you could end up introducing disease or mites to your flock. Make sure you trust the cleanliness of your local feed store first.

3. Local Farms

Farmer’s markets are a great place to find people who are raising their own flocks with the same principles you wish to raise yours. Often, local farmers will be willing to sell or even give away a handful of chicks to help others get started.

I recommend buying a small number of chicks from multiple farmers if you can. This will add much-needed biodiversity to your flock. Just keep them separated from your other chickens until you’re sure they are healthy.

4. Neighbors

The best places to get baby chicks, however, are often your neighbors. Your neighbors’ chickens will be acclimated to the unique climate and microbiome of your homestead.

Exchanging chickens with your neighbors will also improve those neighborly relations that all of us will come to depend on at one time or another.

What To Look for When Buying Chicks

When buying chicks, you will first need to check out the containers they are in. Are they dry, clean, and well-ventilated? Any moisture at all can lead to infections, and a lack of ventilation can lead to toxic air conditions.

The chicks themselves should be bright-eyed and energetic, making lots of little peep-peep noises! Their beaks, legs, toes, and the scales of their feet should all be aligned, straight, and unbroken.

Chicks should also be more fluffy than smooth. The fluff is designed to keep them warm, and their smoother feathers will come in when they are older.

Signs of a High-Quality Hatchery

If you are using an online hatchery, check the reviews! This will be your best spot to find information on the quality of their chicks and their shipping standards.

When buying in person, you will want to see that the hatchery is dry and well-ventilated with lots of healthy, energetic chicks bouncing around in a warm, dry brooder.

Related Questions:

How Much Do Baby Chicks Cost?

Depending on the breed, baby chicks will cost about two to five dollars each. Often, you can get them in a bundle deal of a dozen for around 30-40 dollars. This does not include the cost of shipping your chicks.

You will also need a housing option such as this one for starters. Add to that bedding, waterers, feeders, and food, and you could have about $100 in start-up costs.

What Should Baby Chicks Eat?

There are plenty of high-quality chick starter feeds on the market. You can choose from organic, nonorganic, medicated, and nonmedicated options. Alternatively, you could make your own starter feed with a few basic ingredients.

To start a family flock, I recommend sourcing the highest-quality feed you can from your local feed store and then free-ranging the chicks as soon as they are old enough.

Conclusion

Don’t be afraid to drop a little money on this decision! If managed well, you will get years of return on this investment.