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Thread: Where do I get live chickens? Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
04-04-2010 10:11 AM
stant the amish sell them in this area
04-04-2010 08:48 AM
Kfdiesel I would start a little bigger than you want. Some might die but I found it a pain to introduce chicks to a flock. Have to watch them, a lot of competition. They sometimes kill them.
I started at the library. Find a book you don't like or doesn't really apply to you-take it back, get another. The video section is helpful too.
For baby chicks I have gotten them at TSC, a local feed store, and a mail order business. Murray McMurray is a good one. There are many others. The periodicals section at the library might also have a monthly publication.
You can also look up Backyardchickens online. It's also a forum style site for raising a small flock, coop design, care, etc.
04-03-2010 06:08 PM
DetroitMarauder This being Easter I have found them at my local Farmer's Market. Actually in a few weeks I could go on Craigslist and find them for free from the dumb parents that bought them for their children because they were "cute" and failed to realize they grow up fast and make a huge mess.
04-03-2010 04:07 PM
grandma Go to!!! All your questions about space, feeding, coops, etc are answered there...some of the info you are reading in this thread will start you off on the wrong foot, and in less than 6 months your "like 2 or 3" will be dead.
04-03-2010 03:56 PM
Sierra Dave
My little testimony

A friend and I ordered 50 chicks from McMurray's. Half Buff Orphingtons, half Aracaunas. Plus a few extras.

Go them Monday 6 days ago. This Saturday, all 28 are still alive. Now to be fair, there are one or two who seem to less energetic and may not make it, but I am pleased.

Chicken Rancher Sierra Dave
03-24-2010 02:04 PM
live chickens......

same place you get "hats for bats"
03-24-2010 01:09 AM
Originally Posted by LuniticFringeInc View Post
In my area the Feed Stores usually sell Cornish Rock Cross (big meat chicken) and Plymouth Barred Rock pullets (good egg laying hens) in the spring time. The rest of the year I have to oder them from a hatchery. I believe McMurry is who I have used the last few times I have bought chickens. The down side is the hatcherys usually sell them in lots of 25 chicks.

As for food. With chicks I would start off with the medicated crumbles as much as I hate that. The chicks do really well on it and put on some size quick. After they get some size you can use scratch which is really cheap and not all that great, but if supplemented with some scraps and free ranged is okay. With just scratch you wont see fast gains in weight or spectacular egg production, but it works. For egg laying chickens if you want good egg production there is a layer feed available but it cost more than the "Scratch" does.

I do about 4 batches of 25 Cornish Rocks a year and try to keep a good dozen or so laying hens on hand along with a seperately penned Rooster or two. The Cornish Rocks go in the freezer and any culls from the rest of the flock make soup or dumplings. It works out pretty good this way for me. The biggest issue I have had is keeping them safe from preaditors. A good strong chicken pen and roost go a long way to that end despite the number of preaditors in the area that will often attempt to get to them.
I love Murray McMurray
They are healthy chicks and their catalog is much fun to go through. You do need 25 minimum to order chicks so they can keep warm, but if you have excess chickens, you can sell them as a starter flock, maybe 5 hens and a rooster each starter flock. Their free catalog is very good about listing the characteristics of each type of chicken.
I like medium sized chickens that lay well but can also be used for meat. Barred rocks, Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds, etc. The light breeds are usually flighty and nervous and arn't as pleasant to raise, IMO. The heavier ones eat more feed for the number of eggs they produce, so they arn't that efficient for egg layers, but are the best meat birds.
I've had trouble picking out an order of 25 chicks from them because I always wanted to try them all! I usually ended up with more than 25 of different breeds, including rare breeds. You can order straight-run, which are unsexed, but I prefered ordering them already sexed so I know I'd get the right mix I want. If you want to hatch chicks later, you need a rooster or two.
All chickens will hatch out chicks, but some are more broody than others, so if you want hens who will be good mothers, you will want to pay attention to the write-up about them. My favorite mother hens were New Hampshire Reds. The broodiness has been bred out of many of the breeds on purpose because they don't lay when they go broody for three weeks. You can start your own chicks in an incubator but it is easier to just let the hens do it!
03-23-2010 09:23 PM
possenti Great to hear you're thinking about getting some chickens. Some great advice here, so all I can add is: DO IT!

I got my hens a year ago. Great hobby. Very rewarding. You won't be disappointed. Just do it!
03-23-2010 05:23 PM
Originally Posted by headhunter74 View Post
look at they have some intersting combos.... dont have to get all of the same kind....
I second mcmurry hachery i have found they have a great selection and there chicks have alwayse been exceedilgly healthy I would recomend them Im placing an order in a few months
o and if theres a tractor supply near you they usualy sell em too
03-23-2010 05:17 PM
ppalance You don't really have to go buy books or go to the library. There are plenty of chicken lovers sites on the net. for one, is great.

Your whole chicken housing deal should be taken care of and ready when your chicks arrive. Getting chickens from Craigslist or a farmer down the road can be risky. The chickens could have disease. Best to buy from a reputable hatchery such as They'll send a minimum of 25, but many won't make it. They do throw in extras to make up for it, however.

You should brood them indoors for the first couple of weeks and then you can transfer them to your outdoor coop. The coop needs to be draft free, have light, bedding, nesting boxes, feeder and waterer, and must be completely secure (including putting chicken wire under the bedding so no critters can dig up into your coop.

You'll need to keep your coop as immaculate as possible and that includes either removing droppings daily or covering them with bedding (wood shavings) until the shavings get high enough to shovel them out and start again.

Your chickens need to be able to free range and you'll have to make sure their yard is safe from predators (dogs, cats, fox, raccoons, possum, hawks, and more). You can build an outdoor run with netting over the top, if you like. We allow them out to free range for 7-8 hours per day and they love it. It's what they do, like pigs love to root in the dirt.

You don't need a rooster unless your hens are out free ranging and you want some protection for them (you should provide the majority of that protection, however) or unless you want your girls to hatch new chicks. Otherwise, they're not really necessary for happiness or egg production.

Read everything you can about raising chickens before you purchase your chicks. This will help you and help your chickens to have a great life and product great eggs. Chickens are fun pets, too. One little girl I read about calls them "pets with presents." I find this to be very true.

Best of luck to you.
03-23-2010 02:52 PM
Originally Posted by letsgetreal View Post
I had to dispatch some possums last week......buggers went for the chickens in broad daylight. AFA I'm concerned, they were rabid, 'cause no self respecting possum will come out during the day.

Hahaa Possums are ruthless,you cant trust those fools.
03-23-2010 01:43 PM
Pwillia Try a feed and seed store.
03-23-2010 01:38 PM
rncmomx2 I order from Central hatchery you can order any amount you like from them but orders under a 100 add $5.00. There hens are $1.00 a pc and straight run is about .75 cents each.

If you want to be able to reproduce your layers yes get a rooster, if you only want eggs and will buy new layers as needed then you don't need a rooster.

If you want more info than you'll ever need to know then please visit there are tons of people from Florida there and they have a sales page that you can buy locally.

Good luck!
03-23-2010 01:37 PM
Haffenreffer RI Reds lay 250-300 eggs a year

Wyandottes lay 200-240

Cornish are for mainly meat
03-23-2010 01:36 PM

There is another thread about raising fish in a barrel. You would come in handy when it come time to harvest.
03-23-2010 01:31 PM
Originally Posted by Haffenreffer View Post
Check local first

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers
So are Cornish and Wyandots and list of others.
03-23-2010 01:29 PM
Haffenreffer I guess the only bad thing is that you have to order 25 chicks

There's another place in Texas that is cheaper with smaller orders, I forget the name
03-23-2010 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by Haffenreffer View Post
Check local first

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers

That's a cool place. I have never ordered from them but I have look at their catalog before.
03-23-2010 01:20 PM
Haffenreffer Check local first

Rhode Island Reds for brown egg layers
03-23-2010 01:01 PM
crazy I second the feed store recommendation. Usually $1.25-1.75 each. My suggestion is that you forget about getting a rooster. They are a PITA and you don't need them to get eggs.

P.S. Barred Rocks were the friendliest of all the chickens that I had. Good thing to know if you have kids.
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