Red Bucket Farm is an urban farm on a quarter acre property in an average residential neighborhood. We are located in Wisconsin, USDA Zone 5. We focus on chickens, bees, orchard fruit, and raised garden beds for fruits and veggies. We hope to reduce our footprint on the planet by growing some of our food, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and gardening with sustainable practices. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Ordering Chicks: When & Where?

I'm so excited! I just placed an order for spring chicks. In spite of the continuing cold weather and another visit from the polar vortex, spring will come again and it's time to plan ahead. 

In past years, I've ordered day-old chicks from My Pet Chicken (www.mypetchicken.com). This is an excellent online resource for information, chicks and supplies. They ship chicks in boxes of as few as three birds, which is an important detail if your flock size is restricted by local ordinance. Buyers can choose from a very large selection of breeds, and you can choose your ship dates so that you are home to tend to the babies upon arrival. Be aware that online sources have become very popular, and you'll need to place an order well in advance of delivery to guarantee breed choice. There are several excellent online hatcheries: Murray McMurray, Cackle Hatchery, and Ideal Poultry are only a few of the choices. 

Another option is to order chicks from the local farm store. In my region, they are taking orders now for spring delivery. The disadvantage with this choice is that minimum orders apply (anywhere from 10 to 25 birds) and there is no guarantee of gender. For those of us who can't keep roosters or large flocks, this is a problem. 

This year I've ordered my day-old chicks from a local hatchery, Abendroth's Hatchery in Waterloo, Wisconsin. I pay a little extra to be sure that the chicks are all female. Since I'll pick them up at the hatchery in a couple weeks, the minimum shipping policy doesn't apply. Plus, I'm happy to support a local business. 

In tomorrow's post, I'll describe how to choose chicken breeds. Meanwhile, I'd like to thank my husband and son for handling all my farm chores last week while I was out of town. Well done! The girls look happy and egg production is way up. My husband rocks. That is all. 

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