It is the beginning of March and if you’ve visited your local farm and feed store you have probably started hearing the familiar chirp chirp chirp of recently arrived baby chicks from the hatchery for Chick Days.
If you currently have chickens, the cute, adorable chicks bring back memories of your chickens when they were younger and the exciting and fulfilling time of raising them into the wonder egg laying girls they are today. And if this is your first foray into raising backyard poultry, you are in for a great experience and journey! Speaking of journey, check out Scratch and Peck Feeds Flock Journey, from Chick to Hen, for valuable nutritional solutions and organic feed discounts.
Your local farm and feed store, like one of the many listed on our store locator, is a great place to start. You witness and learn firsthand about the different breeds available, their temperament, the average quantity and color of the eggs they lay, and all the equipment and supplies you will need.
For more education, popular chicken keepers like The Chicken Chick® have some great blogs and books on the subject. You can find raising baby chick topics here. For some captivating, educational, and definitely entertaining information on raising chickens, check out Welcome to Chickenlandia. Dalia will blow your mind!
Another great source are the hatcheries, who not only provide chicks to the stores, but also have a wide range of other breeds your farm store may not carry. They can often ship chicks directly to you through the United States Post Office (the USPS is one of the only carriers who will ship and deliver live chicks throughout the country.)
We’ve compiled a short list of popular hatcheries for your convenience, and certainly doesn’t represent all your options, but is a good starting point. We highlight many breeds from these hatcheries in our weekly “My Favorite Chicken Breed Spotlight” on Facebook and Instagram.
Cackle Hatchery – Cackle Hatchery® has provided the Highest Quality Chicken, Poultry & Rare Breed Egg Hatchery Services since 1936 – Browse over 193 available varieties! In addition to poultry, they also have a nice selection of water fowl, game birds, turkey, and guinea.
Hoover’s Hatchery – Industry leaders providing excellence and ingenuity in hatching chicks for the enjoyment of backyard poultry. They provide a vast majority of the chicks to large store chains, such as Tractor Supply, and have created some of their own great breeds, like the Sapphire Gem™.
Meyer Hatchery – America’s Premier Poultry Source! They pride themselves on selection, quality, and customer service. They are happy to accommodate any size order and allow you to mix and match multiple breeds of the same poultry type to meet their minimum order requirements for safe shipping. They have a wonderful new informational podcast called The Coop. Check it out!
Greenfire Farms – Greenfire Farms raises the world’s rarest and most beautiful chickens. If you count yourself among the chicken-obsessed then this is your home! They have painstakingly imported into the U.S. many rare, exotic breeds from around the world, such as the Ayam Cemani, the “Lambourghini of Chickens.” Our Bielefelder hen Goldie was actually a chick we acquired from Greenfire Farms.
Stromberg’s – Since 1921, delivering over 200 varieties of quality chickens, game birds, and waterfowl as eggs, baby birds, and adults. In addition to their wide variety of chicks, they also sell equipment and processing supplies if you are interested in raising broilers (aka meat birds).
Murray McMurray – At Murray McMurray Hatchery, they provide the highest quality poultry and auxiliary products to their customers, and have been a trusted, knowledgeable industry resource for over 100 years. Whether you are an experienced or novice enthusiast, they are sure you will enjoy their wide selection of breeds and supplies to assist you with raising your flock. If raising chicks is not your “thing” they have a small selection of started pullets to choose from.
If you have a favorite hatchery not mentioned here, please feel free to leave a comment below and drop their name!!!