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Where do you get your chickens?

 
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We’re getting ready to get some more chickens and there’s hatcheries online, but not sure which one to use. We got chickens at tsc last year but they won’t have chicks for a while I don’t think.
 
steward
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I get my chickens from a broody hen.

Several nearby farm stores sell day old chicks in the spring, and sometimes fall.
 
steward
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Hi Amanda, that's a great question!  We almost had/have a Review Grid for hatcheries and other critter breeders set up.  Here's a thread on the idea and there are a number of hatcheries that are reviewed and linked in that thread.  So check that out for some ideas.  Is there interest in a review grid for hatcheries?

I get mine from a local homesteader that breeds for cold weather and dual purpose attributes.
 
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Amanda Pennington wrote:We’re getting ready to get some more chickens and there’s hatcheries online, but not sure which one to use. We got chickens at tsc last year but they won’t have chicks for a while I don’t think.



Check out Alchemist Farm

I have not ordered from them - yet - yet being the key word but I do plan on it! They are attempting to provide a more sustainable and ethical hatchery which is also pretty cool. You may or may not know that most hatcheries literally toss the roosters (of the egg layers) in the trash which is pretty sad! You can also order eggs to hatch yourself as well.

I have been getting birds from Hoovers Hatchery in Iowa as they get here the next day.
 
pioneer
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Joshua Fryc wrote:You may or may not know that most hatcheries literally toss the roosters (of the egg layers) in the trash which is pretty sad!  



How do you know this?
 
Mike Jay
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Joshua Fryc wrote: I have been getting birds from Hoovers Hatchery in Iowa as they get here the next day.


Hi Joshua, if you had enough of an experience to rate them, feel free to start a review for Hoovers.  Then it can be added to the review grid.  Eventually we'll have so many critter breeders reviewed we'll all be able to direct our money at the best businesses.  Here's an example of a review with the right format for the review grid software to work with:  McMurray Hatchery
 
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I'm pretty sure we got our hens from Purely Poultry.  Sexing rate was pretty decent.  They claim 90% accuracy.  We ordered 21 female chicks (3 each of 7 different breeds) and got 23.  All of those survived to maturity, and only 2 were roosters.  

We also got 9 chicks from the feed store.  My FIL wanted us to raise some Austrolorpes for him, so we got 5 of those and gave him 4 (we kept one just because he only wanted 4).  Then we also got 4 blue laced wynadotts.  One of those died in the brooder, and 2 of the remaining 3 were roosters.  They were sold as sexed chicks, and the feed store wouldn't refund us for the dead or male chicks, which was annoying.
 
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To those who hatch their own chicks - are there a set of guidelines one should follow?  I bought a black australorp rooster to start this venture but can't seem to get a hen to brood.  I know bantams make good brooders, which I don't have, but short of that what should I do?
 
Mike Jay
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I can't predict when my hens will go broody.  I just wait until one doesn't want to leave the nest box and then start saving eggs (on the counter, not the fridge).  When I have enough, stick them under her.  

If you haven't had a hen act broody before, I'm not sure if a rooster will change the equation. Maybe?
 
Larry Streeter
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Thanks Mike.  I thought I had a hen going broody and started leaving eggs under her but it seemed she eventually gave up and stopped sitting.  I composted the eggs under her cause I wasn't sure they would still be good.
 
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We’ve used Ideal and Strombergs. The post office left 135 chicks on the dock one long weekend then delivered them on a Tues. Strombergs took care of all of it and we received 150 birds the next week. Ideal sent us broilers that did really well outside on pasture. We grew some out to six months, they turned into turkeys!  No leg or breathing issues. I’ve bought broilers at tractor supply that came from Privett that did well also.
 
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