One of the first questions you’ll ask yourself when you decide to raise chickens is “Where can I buy chickens?”
It’s a good question, and one that doesn’t have an easy answer when you’re just starting out. Buying chickens is not the same as getting a cat or a goldfish, where you can just wander into any pet store or animal shelter and walk away with your new critter.
Finding out where to buy chickens takes a little effort, but lucky for you, we’ve done all that work for you!
Where to Buy Chickens
When it comes to buying chickens, online hatcheries are an easy choice. Most online hatcheries offer an abundance of breeds, they sell chicks for most of the year, and they’ll deliver right to your local post office.
If you need a specific breed of chickens or want to buy chicks in a large quantity, online hatcheries are the way to go.
The downside to online hatcheries is that most require of minimum of 20 or more birds to place an order. This isn’t because they’re greedy, it’s because the chicks need some friends shipped with them to help them stay warm in transit.
Buying chickens from a website couldn’t be easier, just like any online shopping experience, you pick out what you want, add them to your basket, and check out using a credit card or Paypal. The ease of use of these hatcheries can even be dangerous for the crazy chicken lady who just can’t help but add to her flock every few months!
When buying chickens from a hatchery, be sure to do your research and try to find one that is located in the same general region as you. The less time those baby chicks have to spend in transit, the better it will be for them, and for you.
Well-Known Online Hatcheries:
- Cackle Hatchery
- Hoover’s Hatchery
- Ideal Poultry
- Meyer Hatchery
- Murray McMurray Hatchery
- My Pet Chicken
If you’re lucky enough to live near a local hatchery, this is an ideal place to get chicks. You get all the positives of the online hatchery with none of the risks. Getting your chicks locally means you don’t need to have them shipped, which causes stress for the birds and added expense for you. Local hatcheries are hard to come by for most people, so if you have one nearby, take advantage of that!
Fellow Chicken Keepers
Developing a community and network of fellow chicken keepers is a big plus when it comes to raising chickens. You’ll need the support of fellow chicken keepers along the way, so the sooner you can connect with them, the better. Facebook and Instagram are great tools to reach out locally to find nearby chicken keepers. These people might have adult birds or chicks to sell, or at the very least could help you out by splitting an order from an online hatchery.
Join our growing community of chicken keepers and become a member of the Backyard Chicken Project Facebook group!
If you can’t connect with nearby chicken keepers using social media, give Craigslist a try. You should be able to find plenty of chickens for sale or even for free on Craigslist. Most of the time these are from chicken keepers who need to pare down their flock or need to get rid of their chickens due to a change in their situation. Either way, it’s an easy place to find local animals.
Do be careful when buying animals from Craigslist, as it can’t always be trusted. Always follow our tips for how to buy chickens so you know you’re getting healthy birds from a reputable chicken keeper.
Farm Supply Stores
Shopping for chicks at farm supply stores such as Tractor Supply and Country Max are an easy and simple way to add to your flock. These stores do tend to have a minimum number of chicks that you need to buy which varies by state, but it’s much lower than the minimum to order from online hatcheries.
Local farms are an excellent place to buy chickens. Now, we’re not suggesting you pull into the first farm you see demanding chickens, but a quick Google search can pull up local farms that sell chickens to the public. This is how we got started raising chickens and it was so nice to be able to chat with the chicken farmer while we picked out our birds. He calmed our fears about being first time chicken keepers, and we went back to him year after year for more chickens to add to our flock.
If you’ve gotten all the way through this post and you’re still wondering “where can I buy chickens?” you might want to check out our Facebook group! We can help connect you with chicken keepers in your region so you can get some advice about finding chickens to buy near you.
For the love of chickens,