How to Find Baby Chicks

I have acquired chicks many different ways throughout the years.  My favorite ways are to hatch your own or order chicks online.  Baby chicks are fragile.  If they don’t get proper care asap after hatching they may not survive. It’s also important for most backyard chicken keepers to get sexed chicks.  Meaning, all females. 

Acquiring Baby Chicks:

Feed store/Hardware store.  This is my least favorite way.  The chicks at feed stores are sometimes up to a week or two old when you buy them.  You have no idea how they have been treated or what they’ve eaten.  They are often mislabeled and you really don’t know at all what breed of chicken you’re getting.  I have also found that the employees at the feed store don’t know much about chickens.  (this is a generalization of course!)  The only plus is that you can often purchase sexed chicks if you only want females.

Local Farm.  If you are on a budget I suggest contacting a local farm and asking if they ever have an overabundance of chicks to please let you know.  This could be a great way to get free or inexpensive chicks.

Online.  My favorite website for ordering baby chicks is: I have ordered MANY batches of chicks from them.  The chicks arrive quickly all snuggled in straw with heat packs.  With this method you get the chicks quickly and can start taking care of them right away.  You can start them on the feed you choose and monitor them for issues very closely.  I have had extremely good success rate of chicks surviving using They also sell sexed chicks so you can always be sure you’re getting females.  This company has the best customer service!  Once I got a sexed chick that turned out to be a rooster.  They gave me a credit for my next order.  They are also very responsive to questions and will return emails within a day.  There is nothing more exciting than your post office calling to ask you to come pick up your peeping package!

Incubate and hatch your own.  I have done this a few times and it’s amazing!!  What a great activity for your kids to take part in also.  I have had 100% hatch rates with fertile eggs from and this little Brinsea Incubator.  I love getting to see the chicks hatch and caring for them immediately.  I can monitor their health and make sure they start drinking within 24 hours.  The major con with this method is you will end up with about half roosters.  Since most of us aren’t skilled at sexing baby chicks you won’t know what you have for 3-4 months.  And if you don’t want roosters it’s always a hassle to find homes for them.

Hatch under a broody hen. Once you have an established coop this is a fun way to get chicks.  Certain breeds just want and need to be Momma’s (just like humans!).  I have had good luck with getting fertile eggs from a friend’s farm and letting a broody momma hatch them.  It’s adorable to see the chicks interact with their mom and how fiercely she will protect them from the other hens.  With this method you are less hands on once the chicks are hatched.  The mom will take care of everything!  She will show them how to eat and drink and teach them how to be chickens.  It really is the cutest thing.

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Rebecca is a mom, wife, real estate broker, decorator, party planner, chicken keeper, and gardener

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