Buying chickens online is one of the most nerve-wracking things new owners can go through. You might feel like it is hard to choose a trusted website. And that’s not even including the anxiety of waiting for your first shipment. Today we are going to tell you how to order chickens online. With the best tips and hatcheries right here for you, there is nothing to fear.
Why You Should Order Chickens Online
You might be wondering why ordering online is any better than a feed store. It will surprise you to know that there are plenty of reasons why you should order chickens online.
Pro #1: Variety
When you buy online, you have more options than your local feed store. Between breed, sex, and age, there is no end to the possibilities. And having more variety means that you can have the flock of your dreams without compromises.
Pro #2: Bulk Prices
Most online hatcheries give huge discounts for ordering in bulk. So if you want a large flock, ordering from an online store is in your best interest. But that doesn’t always mean that you have to buy in bulk.
Pro #3: Gender Guarantee
Sometimes when you buy from a feed store, they aren’t the most accurate at sexing their chicks. Even if they divide their males and females into different containers, they quickly get mixed up. But when you buy online, most stores have a 90% gender guarantee.
Are There Cons To Buying Online?
But we don’t want you to think that there are no risks to ordering online. There are a few risks that everyone should know about ordering from an online hatchery.
Con #1: Weather Matters
When you order your chicks matters more than almost anything else. Most chicks arrive within 1-3 days. So you always want to order when the weather is not too hot or too cold. That means you don’t have too long when ordering baby chicks is a good idea.
Con #2: Illness/Death
And, of course, any chicks you get could be sick. Respiratory infections are common in certain areas. And the stress can also kill a few chicks, but a reputable breeder will have a guarantee in these cases.
Before Ordering Your Chicks
For the best success, there are a few things you should do. These tips will prepare you for your arrival and to choose the best breeder for your needs.
What Do You Want Your Chicks For?
Before getting too far, you should decide what you want to use your flock for. If you’re keeping chickens for eggs, broilers or pets will determine what breeds are best. Once you have an idea of your flock’s purpose, you can start preparing for the chicks.
Set Everything Up
When you order chickens online, make sure to set everything up before they arrive. At the very least, you should have the brooder set up with bedding, heat lamp, water, and feed. And you might also want the coop set up because, before long, they will outgrow their brooder.
How To Order Chickens Online
And now, for the moment, you’ve all been waiting for. We are going to tell you the best tips on how to order chickens online. If you follow these tips, you will have no fear of online hatcheries.
If you live in California, you don’t want to buy from a hatchery in New York. Searching hatchery near me will give you hundreds of hatcheries. Ideally, you want a hatchery that can deliver your chicks within two days. Though day-old chicks can live off their yolks for up to three days, more distance poses more risk.
Good ratings are always important when you buy online. And we aren’t just talking about the glowing ratings that they leave on their home page. You will need to do a little digging here. Look at their reviews in other forums, Facebook groups, and Google. And remember to pay special attention to any negative reviews.
The next thing you should look for in chicken hatcheries is that they align with your ethics. Some hatcheries have been under fire lately for what they do with chick surpluses. If these ethics mean a lot to you, you might want to check their policies on sick, injured, and extra chicks.
Another thing to look for is that your hatchery has a gender guarantee. Most hatcheries have a few choices on how you buy your chicks. You can get a mixed flock or choose all females. But even selecting all females doesn’t guarantee that’s what you’ll get. A good hatchery will refund you if more than one female turns out to be male. Just remember that unless you get a sex-link chicken, males are always a possibility.
You would think that buying chicks online means that they will send them perfectly packed. But with bad companies, shipping is a little spotty. You should look for a hatchery with transparent delivery details. These boxes are glamorous, but they should have a few things like air holes and bedding.
You should also look for baby chickens online no minimum if you plan on ordering under 15. Some of the biggest hatcheries only ship in larger quantities, which can help save you some time and money.
Refund policies are crucial when looking at online stores. I’m sure we have all been burned by a poor refund policy when buying online. And buying from a hatchery is no different. Your chosen hatchery should have a refund policy on sick, dead, or misgendered chicks.
Choose Your Delivery Date
Now that you have the perfect hatchery, the only thing left is to choose a delivery date. Be sure that your delivery date is during mild weather and when you are home. You wouldn’t want to miss your chick delivery.
What Should You Do When You Get Your Chicks
Once you get your chicks, you might be wondering how to help your babies adjust. But you don’t have to worry too much. Getting your chicks settled is easy since you have your brooder set up.
First, you should inspect all your chicks. Eyes should be clear and open. Vents should be clean, dry, and free of feces. And your chicks should walk and talk with ease. If you spot any illnesses, you will need to isolate and nurse them back to health.
Now that you have inspected your chicks, they need warms. Place them all gently in the brooder and show them where the water is. The best way to do this is to dip their beaks into the water dish gently. Doing this will help your chicks see and remember where the water is.
After you do this, it’s time to let them relax. They have had a long journey and need time to recoup. Keep them in a calm environment but don’t forget to do regular health checks. After a day or two, your chicks will be up and moving around without a problem.
Best Place To Order Chickens Online
So now that you know what to expect let’s talk about the best online stores. We have done the hard work for you and chose some of the best online hatcheries. This list is filled with only tried and true hatcheries across America.
One of the most well-known hatcheries is Meyer. This hatchery does all kinds of poultry in Ohio. Not only can you order as few as three chicks. But they also have baby chickens for sale free shipping on orders over 25. And with glowing reviews, this hatchery knows how to do it right.
For our midwest folk, you can’t get any better than Stromberg’s. This hatchery has a wide variety of hens for all of your needs. And they have excellent customer service and refund policies.
If you are looking for the largest hatchery in the south, Ideal Poultry is probably it. This company has made it’s way to the top with its low prices, wide variety, and excellent policies. Any chicks that you get from this Texas farm will be more than satisfactory.
If you are looking for all things chicken, My Pet Chicken is your one-stop-shop. They carry not only hatchlings but also anything for the chicken obsessed. Getting on their website is like traveling down the farmyard hole that makes you want to buy everything. And this is not a bad thing in our opinion.
And finally, we come to California Hatchery. If you are looking for where to buy chickens locally on the west coast, this is it. This hatchery is fantastic for its rare breeds, low rates, and small shipping minimum. And when you combine this with their impeccable reviews and fast shipping. You can’t get anything better than this.
Are You Prepared?
Reading about how to order chickens online soothes any nerves you might have. As you can see, it’s not scary at all. And there are so many great options out there. You can even lookup “chicken hatcher near me” and find hundreds of other local online options in some areas. The possibilities are endless when you buy online.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!