Tuesday, October 14, 2008

where to buy baby chicks

Want to buy a specific breed of chick but the local Feed & Fuel store doesn't carry them? I found a promising online resource for purchasing small quantities (read: backyard-friendly quantities) of specific breeds of chicks: My Pet Chicken.

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.)


John Duncan said...

I ordered chicks from MPC last month and was completely satisfied with there service. The small order size is nice. I ordered 3 Silver Spangled Hamburg hens and received 4 chicks. Odds are that extra is a roo :)

Pics of said chicks and some Andalusians I got from Meyer's Hatchery are available on my chickem blog: http://ctchickencoop.blogspot.com/

The Three Little Bears said...

my husband laughed at me when I told him I wanted to start with only two chickens. lol. I am going to share this blog with him.

Whitney said...

These folks are great, and have a decent variety. Have been around forever. http://www.dunlaphatchery.net/

We got our chickens there (though we were able to drive there--they're a few towns away).

farmfresh said...

I would like to invite you and all your readers to visit our urban homesteading website. http://www.uBuilderPlans.com

We sell building plans for a low cost urban hen coop called the City Biddy Hen House and have a lot of poultry information including a list of where you can find a few good hens.

We city biddy fans need to stick together!

Anonymous said...

We ordered our chickens in the spring from Murray McMurray and your are right, you have to have at least 25 to ship.
Thanks for the link to My Pet Chicken.
If every thing goes well though, we will have our own baby chicks for sale next spring.
Just found your site and really enjoyed reading it.
Good luck on your urban chicken raising.

Mike said...

We got a 'mixed box' (my wording) of five from them in September and now have five big, happy, beautiful hens. We're waiting on eggs but I can highly recommend MPC!

Dale Pazdra said...

I ordered chicks from MPC last April, they all arrived safely, healthy and when promised. The staff at MPC was very helpful and informative. The little flock has grown quickly and some of the pullets started laying at fifteen weeks. They make awesome pets, I'd highly recommend MPC.

Unknown said...

I have baby chicks for sale here in Sammamish. They are Production Reds; great layers (>300 per year). I will sell as few as 1 for $5/each - guaranteed females. You can call me at 425.785.8812.


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