One of my biggest challenges in starting out as an urban chicken farmer was deciding on which breed to get and then actually finding that breed of chicks for sale. Sure, the big guys like McMurray Hatchery are happy to sell you whichever breed you want, but only with a minimum order of 25 chicks. So, the aspiring urban chicken farmer is left at the mercy of the staff at the local feed store who, in my experience, aren't too concerned about placing a bulk order of chicks to satisfy the particulars of such a low-margin item.
Thus, the opportunity that My Pet Chicken is helping with in selling small quantities of chickens via mail order:
Baby chicks can now be shipped in quantities as small as three, depending on location (see below). All baby chicks are shipping via USPS Express Mail on Mondays, but due to hatching availability they might not be shipped for one to four weeks. We will notify you by email so you know exactly when to expect them.
How to determine the best minimum for you:
Our smallest order size of 3 chicks applies to major cities only, such as Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland OR, etc., due to the speed with which they can be delivered. If you live within 30 minutes of a major city, the best minimum is 5 chicks. For any town or rural area that is more than 30 minutes from a major city, our minimum is 8 chicks. This is to protect the chicks due to increased time in transit. If you are ordering Bantams, we strongly recommend that you add two chicks to any of the above quantities. We love our babies too much to let anything happen to them!
While they're out of Barred Rocks for 2008, it looks as though they've got some White Leghorns, White Plymouth Rocks and Silver Spangled Hamburg available in the next few weeks for those who want to get started on their urban chicken farming right away. (fresh eggs in February!)
I wish I'd known of these folks back when I was getting started in Spring 2007, they've definitely got a one-stop-shop thing going that'll make it easier for new urban chicken fans to get going. Oh, and they've got a free handy guide to chicken care, to boot!
Has anyone else used the My Pet Chicken site? Good experiences? bad? let us know!
(DISCLAIMER: As with all reviews here on UrbanChickens.net, this review is simply my impression of their online store, not any kind of a paid endorsement. As of this writing, I don't know anyone at My Pet Chicken.)