You’ve decided to dive in and start your own backyard flock, but you’re not sure where to buy chickens from. Don’t worry, you’re not alone; it can seem a little overwhelming to try and narrow down the best place to buy chickens from, but I’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn where the best place to buy chickens and what you need to know about these places to get them from.
Buy Chickens From A Hatchery
One of the more obvious best place to buy chickens is from an establishment that’s been in existence for decades: the hatchery. These are the professionals.
In most cases, hatcheries take care to ensure biosecurity practices are in place, customer service is top-notch, and the variety of offerings is plentiful.
Hatcheries ship baby chicks to you via the US postal service, or if you happen to be in their neck of the woods, they may offer free “Will Call” pickup for your chicks.
Because hatcheries are businesses, their reputations are extremely important to them. So if you opt to order from a hatchery, you’re usually in pretty good hands.
Additionally, most hatcheries offer chicken sexing. This means you can order either males or females(or both)!
So if you’re most interested in laying hens, you can be sure you’re getting all females when you order from a hatchery that offers sexing.
It also helps to research various hatcheries before settling on your favorite. That way, you can ensure they have the breeds you’re interested in, fair pricing, and good biosecurity practices in place. (some even offer vaccinations for your chicks!)
Chicken Breeders Sell Chicks
You may decide to shop for chickens from local (or nationally known) breeders of a specific breed of bird. They can be the best place to buy chickens, when you want a certain breed.
If you’re’ interested in showing your chickens, for example, these are the people to get in touch with.
Often, breed-specific chicken breeders work hard to improve the quality of the breed they represent. That means they focus on genetics and select only the best of the best to breed.
Along with the hard work involved in breeding blue-ribbon birds comes a heftier price tag. If a breeder knows they’ve got a winner on their hands, you’ll be paying top dollar for the bird.
Again, if your goal is to win competitions or help develop the breed, the increased price tag probably won’t seem so scary. Breeders are fantastic sources of knowledge, and in many cases, you’ll find that they’re more than willing to chat about their favorite chicken breeds.
There’s a lot to learn!
Buying Chickens at Swap Meets
Every year, usually once or twice, locals organize swap meets where poultry (and sometimes other critters) are sold. A good local swap meet can be one of the best place to buy chickens. Usually, there’s a small entrance fee to buy and sell.
It’s an excellent opportunity to network with other chicken fanciers and see the chickens in person before buying them. Additionally, you can usually barter with the sellers, find poultry supplies, and interesting inventions for sale at a swap meet.
The only real downfall of the swap meet is the intermingling of animals, which can mean illness and diseases could be passed from animal-to-animal and eventually to your farm.
Farm Supply Stores Selling Chicks
If you’d like to simply hop on down to the local Tractor Supply Co. or feed store, you may be able to pick your chicks out of a glowing galvanized tank (i.e., a makeshift brooder).
Typically, stores that order chicks have them available in the early spring. But it’s also important to know that these stores often order from the hatcheries you can also directly order from. So be sure to watch pricing, and if you’d rather cut out the middle man, you might as well just order from the hatchery yourself.
Additionally, farm supply stores are known to sell straight run rather than separate the males from the females. So be cautious at this best place to buy chickens, about that when you’re staring longingly into a tank full of fluffy little peepers.
Buying Chickens from Your Neighbors
If your neighbor down the road breeds chickens regularly, you could always pop in and see if they’ll be incubating any chicks. Most chicken owners breed and incubate chicks in the spring, just when the weather starts warming up.
So, give ’em a call, pop on by to see what they’ve got going on in their chicken coop. You never know; they may even barter with you for something you’ve got to offer.
Finding Chickens for Sale on Social Media
Facebook is full of groups dedicated to raising chickens. Some are location-specific, some are breed-specific, and some are about caring for chickens. And while it’s against Facebook’s policies to sell animals on the platform, you can network and meet people that may sell chickens (or find someone who can direct you to a trustworthy breeder nearby.)
In short, it doesn’t hurt to join these groups to network and learn from other chicken owners.
Classified Chickens For Sale
Lastly, seeking out the classifieds for chickens for sale can be the best place to buy chickens and is always an easy way to find local sellers. Sometimes this is the best route to go when searching for someone selling chickens.
One of the most popular classified ad websites is Craigslist, and during the springtime, it is full of chickens for sale. Not to mention coops, supplies, and other used or recycled goodies to get on-the-cheap.
Final Thoughts on Searching for Chickens for Sale
When you’re on the hunt for your first flock, it’s always important to know where the chickens are coming from and the health history of the birds your buying.
There’s nothing worse than bringing home a sick chicken and watching all your chicken-rearing dreams go down the drain. So always start your flock off right with plenty of research and reading. And always make sure you trust the source of your first flock before any money is exchanged. If you cross your T’s and dot your I’s, you’ll be well on your way to a happy, healthy flock!
Read Next: Hatching Eggs – Everything You Need To Know