Ok folks, spring is getting a little closer. Some of you already live in a milder climate but it’s still too early for even local feed stores to be offering baby chicks. I know in our area, typically around April is when the little fluffy peeps start showing up.
No matter what time of year it is though, you can always order chicks online. One difference between ordering in spring/summer vs. winter is that the minimum requirements for shipping chicks is at least eight standard and fifteen Bantams during the colder months.
It doesn’t matter if you’re adding to your flock or starting out with chickens for the very first time. Ordering online has its’ perks for sure. Just as easy as placing an Amazon order, you can pick your little birdies and have them delivered to you safely.
Did you know that as early as 1892 the postal service shipped its’ first order of newly hatched chicks from Pine Tree Hatchery in Stockton, New Jersey to a man in East Orange, New Jersey…now I find this kinda neat since I am originally a Jersey girl! Of course at the time this shipment went via railway express 😯but the chicks all arrived as quoted, “The chicks arrived healthy, safe, and clamoring to be fed,” according to Keith Strunk, author of Prallsville Mills and Stockton. Nowadays the chicks are sent via airplanes and reach their new home quite quickly. If you live rurally and don’t receive mail direct to your home, they’re shipped to your local post office and it’s kinda cute to have the post office call you with “a peeping box just arrived for you”. Each time I’ve gone to pick up my babies, as soon as I walk in, I can hear the chirping and it just brings smiles to the faces of anyone in there. In my area this is a regular thing for our post office and something they enjoy.
I’ve been asked this many times when I’ve told people I order my chicks online and the answer is that is is both safe and humane.
Prior to hatching, a baby chick absorbs the yolk in the egg it’s hatching out of. This yolk contains all of the energy and nutrition that the baby chick needs for the first 48-72 hours of life. Quite cool “system” nature has provided, this way when a chick is hatched the mama can continue to sit on the unhatched eggs as her littles are hatching and she doesn’t have to worry about leaving the nest to find food for them. Yep, God is Awesome! Usually by about the third day (there’s that 72 hours) all the chicks should have hatched that are going to and at that point, mama leads them from the nest to find food and drink🥰
Typically hatcheries have their eggs set in incubators so that the eggs all hatch on the same day, and usually it’s a Monday. As their hatched, the orders are filled and they are shipped out the same day they’re hatched. Depending on the time of year, a heat pack may be included. Although, I have to say that I’ve ordered in the summer and a heat pack has been provided.
Good question! First, your local feed store in most likely ordering their chicks mail order also. I always support local business whenever possible, especially when you live in more rural areas, but don’t worry, you’re not taking business away from your local feed store by not purchasing your chicks there. You’re still going in to purchase all the feed, supplies etc and hey, I may do mail order chicks, but on several occasions I’ve been in my local feed store and can’t resist those loud peeping tubs of fuzzy baby chicks and honestly say I always give in and purchase a few more..hey it’s chicken math anyway right?
Selection and sex. Hatcheries have an amazing selection of all the different breeds and they also guarantee a 90% accuracy rate when choosing which sex you want. So if keeping a rooster out of the flock is very important to you, mail order is more accurate for sure! Sometimes you want to bring a different/particular breed into the flock or if you’re like me, you like that colorful “Easter basket” of eggs. I’m a fan of blue and green shades along with copper brown to chocolate colors mixed with my light brown to cream color and even “pink” eggs.😊
There are hatchery websites that provide all the information you need on what chickens to go with. You can browse all the different breeds as well as learn the breed characteristics, if they’re cold -hardy or heat-tolerant, color, size and production of eggs as well as temperament. Whichever hatchery you do go with, most important is one that’s reputable with good online reviews and also is NPIP certified. Meyer Hatchery is one I’ve used for a couple of years now and one I trust and have gotten most of my (healthy) chicks from.
I really like how I can get a lot of information on various breeds because well, all baby chicks are cute, just remember what’s cute and cuddly now grows up so please be sure prior to purchasing. Once you’ve made your selection, it’s super easy to order and the other good thing is that you can choose when you want to receive your your chick shipment which is quite convenient. I know several times I knew we’d be away or the timing wasn’t quite right and I could schedule the hatch/ship dates to ensure I’m home and can calculate when they’ll be going outside.
What you’ll want to do is to subscribe to the hatchery mailing list. This way you get notification as soon as new breeds are available, when spring ordering starts, or any type of “sale” (sometimes a special on free shipping with certain chick quantity or breed).
So Happy Chickening to all and if you want to let me know about your mail order chicks, I’d love to hear and see about them. As I write this, my order has been in for a delivery in a couple weeks of little baby peepers! Yey baby chicks….again🥰🐣🐥🐤So stay tuned!
Thanks for reading my blog, I invite your comments and I personally will read and answer each one. Pass these on to others who may enjoy them and follow me on Instagram and Facebook Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you’re up to:) …Cindy