We bought a new house this year. We had chickens before we moved to another state. We sold our girls to close friends with everything they would need to stay happy. We moved into the new house at the end of March and the house needed a ton of work. Needless to say, I wasn’t sure we would have chickens this year. I was expressing my sadness that we weren’t going to be able to get chickens after next week. My wife surprised me and ordered us a coop that we had been researching. So now we are on the hunt for a small flock to put in the coop. I need to find chickens for sale near me.
Chickens are typically available from local breeders from March to May. If you get your chicks after that, you may or may not get eggs this year. Chickens change their laying patterns based on the amount of sunlight and temperature , to some degree. Most chickens will lay less if any at all in the winter. In nature, baby chicks wouldn’t survive if hatched in the winter, so hens don’t lay. Makes sense, right?
Large Feed Stores
So we are getting a coop. Now I need to find chickens for sale near me. I started with the usual suspects, larger supply stores. I called around for a little bit and found that Tractor Supply and TrueValue had none left. I called a couple of local co-ops and they had no baby chickens for sale either. I’m starting to feel a little panicky. We are getting the coop of my dreams, but no chicks to put in it.
I consider ordering some of the online chickens that will be delivered to me. They will usually have the hatchlings available through June or July. You can get away with this if you are in a warmer place. Here in Washington state, you want your chicks early if you can possibly get them. I also had concerns about the death rate in shipping, which is relatively low. It is an expected risk when you order live animals that arrive in the mail. If my wife could handle knowing that 1 chick died in transport, I might have gone this direction. We also prefer to buy locally from small farms that we can work with over a long time.
If you aren’t in an area where you have access to multiple chicken sources online can be a life saver. Online suppliers offer you access to a variety of chickens you would never have access to otherwise. I also would have bought them online if I was unable to find the chicken breeds I wanted for sale near me. Some of the breeders you can order started pullets from include Meyerhatchery.com and chickensforbackyards.com because they have a 3 minimum chickens for shipping. Mcmurrayhatchery.com is another option, but requires 25 chicks to ship. You can also order eggs to hatch yourself online. You’ll need a broody hen or an incubator to hatch them.
You can find chicks local pretty easily in the early spring to early summer. One good place to look is craigslist. Many home flocks grow beyond what people want to keep. You can find a variety of birds available in many areas. You may end up with a cross or a heritage breed. It is fun to watch the birds grow up and see how they turn out.
You can also search for farm supply on Google. In my area there were about a dozen to choose from. I may be lucky being near a larger city. If you are not near a large city, you may have better luck finding a large farm that can spare some chickens. Making friends with local farmers can also provide you with advice and friends for years to come. You may also find farmers on a site like local hens.
In any case, you’ll want to either buy chicks that have been vaccinated for Marek’s or get them vaccinated once you get them.