If you are thinking of raising chicken in your backyard to make a fantastic chicken coop, then there are so many reasons that you should go for an online hatchery than your local feed store.
Considering an online hatchery will not only give you a wide range of chicken breeds, but you will also love the services provided by the online incubators like home delivery of chickens at your door at your convenience.
Besides chickens, online hatcheries also offer turkeys, geese, guinea, ducks, and many more. Make sure you read the select print, some of the prices look attractive but require a minimum order of a larger quantity than some other companies. Some offer free shipping, while others only ship several times a year.
12 Best Hatcheries to Buy Chickens Online
So now you must be thinking about where to look. Don’t worry! Here are some of the best places to buy baby chicks and Buy chickens online.
1. J&M Hatchery
J&M Hatchery has its headquarter in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It is a family-owned business employing several generations of the Martin family. They began raising their speciality of French Guinea fowl keets in the 1980s and opened the hatchery in the late 1990s. You can find other less common species here, too, like French Guinea Fowl Keets and White Muscovy Ducks.
However, you have to order at least 25 birds per shipment.
2. Cackle Hatchery
Cackle hatchery is one of the leading online hatcheries selling baby chicks. They are located in Missouri. It is a family-owned and operated hatchery offering over 202 varieties of poultry shipped directly from their facility. They have types of chicken, including egg layers, meat birds, bantams, turkeys, ducks, geese, game fowl, rare breeds, Standard Old English, guineas, peafowl, and more. There is a variety of purchasing options available for you – usually, the minimum is anywhere between 15 and 25 birds.
You can purchase a “city/town” package, which consists of a shipment of five to ten birds as these get priced higher per bird since shipping costs more.
3. Meyer Hatchery
Meyer hatchery got started in 1985, Meyer Hatchery, located in Polk, Ohio. It is another substantial online hatchery offering you a wide range of chick breeds along with hatching eggs, supplies, coops, books, and even pullets. It has 160 kinds of poultry including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, peafowl, and game birds, plus a full line of feed and supplies.
It is an attractive option for you if you are thinking of raising chicks in a limited space. You need to order three birds when you order with Meyer Hatchery, and they deliver within 48 hours with live-and-well, and 100% gender accuracy guarantee.
4. Stromberg’s Chicks and Game Birds Unlimited
Several generations of the Stromberg Chicks family have been running this hatchery and is the oldest and well-known online hatchery. Not only do they sell baby chicks, but it also sells adult birds, doves, pigeons, and more. They have their Headquarter in Minnesota. They have opened their company in five other locations in Florida, California, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Kentucky. They also sell birdhouses, building systems for coops, books, equipment, and supplies for breeding and parenting poultry. If you order from them, then you have to pay for shipping fees under $100.
5. Murray McMurray Hatchery
Murray McMurray Hatchery is in chicken business since 1917. They have a wide range of many types of poultry, supplies, and equipment. Their bird collection includes many varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, pheasant, quail, guineas, partridge, and peafowl.
They have they are headquartered in Iowa. They deliver within a 48-hour live delivery guarantee.
6. Freedom Ranger Hatchery
Freedom Ranger Hatchery is a small, family-owned and operated hatchery in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They specialize in sales of slow-growing broiler chickens for small farms as well as organic, free-range, and pastured poultry operations.
This online hatchery is home to the Freedom Ranger, chicken breed, which get produced from genetic stock in France. The brooder praises its use of sustainable and environmentally-friendly farming methods. Their chickens are hatched every week, year-round.
7. My Pet Chicken
If you are looking for that online hatchery that teaches you how to raise chickens, then My Pet Chicken is the best place for you. They specialize in small orders, so if you’re raising chicks in an urban or suburban environment, you won’t find a better company for your needs than My Pet Chicken.
They even sell chicken diapers, saddles, and no-crow rooster collars. My Pet Chicken, as the name implies, also sells a ton of equipment for people who view their chicks more like family than farm animals. You can order as few as three chicks, without any requirements for the breed as if you want you can mix breeds also.
8. Townline Hatchery
Townline Hatchery is doing well in the business of chicken from over 100 years. They offer a wide range of premium, standard and rare breeds along with assortments and packages deal. Their bests sellers are Jumbo Cornish Rock Cross, Isa Browns, Freedom Ranger broiler, and Broad Breasted White Turkey.
If you’re new to buying chicks through the mail, Townline Hatchery might be one of your best bets. They have excellent customer service that can answer any questions you might have.
Chicks are sold in minimum batches of 15, with a discount of more than $2 pet bird when you buy more than 100 chicks.
9. Welp Hatchery
Welp hatchery got established in 1929, and they are located in Bancroft, Iowa. They not only sell chicks from common egg-laying breeds, like White Leghorns, but also sells meat birds, rare breeds, and bantams. The hatchery specializes in Cornish rock broiler chickens.
The company ships from shipping points in Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, depending on the poultry type. They sell supplies and equipment, too. You will need to purchase at least 25 chicks with a minimum of five per breed or sex.
10. Ideal Poultry
Ideal poultry is a family-owned hatchery located in Cameron, Texas, and they are in chicken business since 1937. They are one of the largest suppliers of baby chicks in the United States. They sell rare white and brown egg layers and broilers, as well as bantams, ducks, geese, turkey, pheasant, and guineas.
There is no minimum number of chicks that you have to order, as long as your minimum total order of poultry comes to $30 or more, not counting shipping and handling. The shipment includes males and females together; the males keep the females warm. You may purchase heat packs or extra straw if you specify that you do not want to have males included in your order. They guarantee 100& live delivery.
11. Privett Hatchery
Privett Hatchery got established in 1960 and located in Portales, New Mexico. Privett offers a wide variety of chicks as well as bantams, ducklings, goslings, Guinea keets, and turkey poults.
If you live out west and looking to order birds, then this can be your best suitable option. They require a minimum order of 25 chicks; otherwise, there is an additional shipping service fee.
12. Sunnyside Hatchery
Sunnyside Hatchery is located in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin and is one of the famous chicken selling hatcheries. They are one of the few commercial hatcheries left in the state of Wisconsin. You can order fewer than ten chicks, too, and they even offer speciality services like beak trimming before shipment.
And if you don’t correctly care what breed you get, you can purchase the “hobby farm assorted” package, which comes with a variety of races at only $1.03 per chick.
Advantages of Buying Chickens Online
You can purchase chickens from your local feed poultry farm if you have one in your area where you live.
However, if you go for an online hatchery for purchasing chickens, then it offers a lot of benefits to you.
Here is a list of benefits that online hatchery offers you.
1. Saves Money
If you are planning to have a backyard flock in a budget-friendly way, then you should go for the online hatchery to purchase the chickens as it saves a lot of money. You can buy chicks for as little as a few cents apiece, with costs decreasing, even more, when you buy in bulk or purchase unsexed chickens.
2. Rare Breeds
If you are planning to raise a rare breed like a Silkie or a bantam breed, then you will face difficulty in finding them in a local poultry farm. Buying your chicks or chickens from an online hatchery gives you more options in the types of birds you order as you can build your creative backyard flock quickly with rare breeds.
3. Can Buy From Anywhere
Live in the remote tundra of northern Canada? The rural bayous of Louisiana? Don’t worry! With an online hatchery, it doesn’t matter how far away you are from civilization as the chicks will come to you.
If you are looking to raise a more exotic breed that is not available locally, then this is the best feature an online hatchery offers you.
4. Start at Any Time
If you’re interested in ordering baby chicks or chickens, you can start researching your purchase at any time. While you get to choose your ship date, it’s best to purchase baby chicks during a time of the year when the weather is mild.
You can put your order in now and set the ship date for later, saving you time then on when your schedule starts to fill up this is the best thing that you can enjoy while purchasing online. Most of the best online hatcheries also have physical print catalogues, so if you prefer to research in that manner, you can go online and get more information about the company’s breeds, shipping policies, and more.
5. Insurance Policies
Most of the online hatcheries have a 90% policy so that if you purchase pullets and end up with cockerels, for example, the incubator will refund anything exceeding 10% of the order.
If you order ten pullets and one is a cockerel, you won’t get refunded – but if two are cockerels, they will refund one of them.
So you don’t have to worry about sexing a chicken.
What Factors You Should Consider When You Are Buying Chickens Online
You must consider the following factors before purchasing a chicken from an online hatchery to make sure that you get the birds you were expecting.
Here are some of them:
1. Facility Reputation
Not only do you need to make sure that the birds were well-cared for, but it’s also essential to know whether the facilities were clean. You should never buy chicks or chickens from a facility that is unsafe or filthy in any way. If you’re buying online, you, unfortunately, don’t have that luxury of seeing if any sick animals or animals are sporting untreated wounds. However, it’s essential to check the reputation of the breeder or hatchery. Do your research correctly.
2. Check for Healthy Characteristics
Once your chickens or baby chicks make it safely to you, it’s essential to conduct a thorough inspection to make sure everybody is in good health.
While chickens will vary a bit from bird to bird, there are some general things you should keep an eye out for such as chickens eyes, feet and legs, feathers, nostrils, beak and behaviour.
If you want all female chicks, order pullets. Male chicks will be cockerels. If you purchase a straight-run batch of chicks, you will receive unsexed birds. If you want a specific gender count, like half males and half females, don’t order straight-run, as there’s a chance that you will get all males or all females.
When you’re purchasing baby chicks, try to schedule your purchase during times when the weather is mild. Most hatcheries ship their most substantial batches of chicks in the spring, which is when the weather is best for transporting poultry.
Try not to order during cold or hot weather.
There are some other ways you can gash costs when buying poultry. Younger birds are cheaper than adults, and they’re often vaccinated, too. Unsexed or straight run birds will also be less expensive. Buying in bulk will save your money, as will purchase common, less exotic breeds of chickens.
Should I Buy Baby Chicks or Adult Birds?
The vital thing you should consider when you are going to purchase birds for your backyard flock is whether you should buy a chick or chickens.
You should carefully think about the goals that you have in mind for your birds.
While hens already lying are significantly more expensive than buying baby chicks, but with buying laying hens, you can forego some of the other expenses involved with raising baby chicks.
You won’t need to feed them for four to six months, nor will you need to worry about setting up and maintaining a brooder.
However, there are benefits to starting with baby chicks.
Baby chicks don’t eat nearly as much as adults, so the expense of feeding a baby chick until it’s ready to lay won’t be almost as high as sustaining an adult chicken later on.
Plus, raising a baby chick from the beginning of its days will help you form a closer bond with your bird. Some breeds can be quite friendly, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of cuddling a day-old chick!
Plus, raising baby chicks is a great experience for children in your family, too.
How Many Chicks Should I Order?
Before you place an order, make sure you have a good idea about how many birds exactly you require for your backyard flock according to the size of the congregation and budget.
Most hatcheries have minimum orders of at least 25 birds. Be aware of the administration laws in your area. Some towns and cities do not allow people to keep more than five or six chickens, and most do not allow roosters.
If you have your heart set on an online hatchery but can’t raise 25 or more birds, for whatever reason, consider splitting an order with some friends. Plus, the more chicks you order, the cheaper the whole purchase ends when you break it down by a bird.
Keep in mind some other factors, too, like how many eggs you want and expect to receive. Depending on the breed, age, and time of year, a hen will lay between three and six eggs per week.
Also, think about how much space you have. Never purchase more chicks than the area in your run and coop, this can cause a whole host of health problems. And remember, this may sound obvious, but many people often forget it, adult chickens are going to take up a lot more space than baby chicks! A general rule of thumb is about 10 square feet per chicken in the run.
Finally, remember that baby chicks are shipped amazingly young, and as a result, not all will live through the journey. There may be some deaths during shipment, so you should order a few extra to accommodate those losses.
Just remember that chickens are social animals and should be kept in a group. Please do not get any fewer than three chickens, as they will not grow in groups smaller than that.