Where should I get my chickens?

17 Oct

Rhode Island Red HenI went into getting chickens pretty blindly. I had wanted them for a very long time but kept putting it off for one reason or another. Mostly because my hubby said “we don’t need no stinkin’ chickens!” But one day, I just decided to go for it. I didn’t have a coop or anything! Just a plastic box & a dream.

I had decided to order baby chicks through the mail. Getting chicks in the mail?! How awesome! But, a good friend of mine told me that it would be best to get them from someone local. That way, I would see where they came from & that they would be healthier & a stronger breed. Made sense to me.

So, where did I go? Trusty old Craigslist. Found a guy a couple of miles from my house even. An urban farmer! Just like I wanted to be! How great! So, I loaded my box, my dream &  my kids into the minivan & head on over to his house. Ughh. I was disappointed to find that my urban farmer turned out to be a stinky hippie that had just ordered a bunch of chicks from a hatchery & decided to sell them on Craigslist. I was trapped. I had brought the kids & they were so excited & the rescue lady in me wanted to take all these poor chicks from that stinky hippie who was keeping them in a dirty cardboard box with no warmth. So, I told the girls they could have 4, no wait, 5 , oh c’mon, yeah, we can get 6.

Turns out, I ended up with some Rhode Island Reds, 1 Dominique & a couple of black sex links (fancy name, huh?) And they were, and are, great. However, I found out as I have gone along, that it is, in fact, better to get them from someone local. And, by local, I don’t mean 2 miles away. I have driven as far as 100 miles to get a chicken I wanted. Also, hatcheries aren’t so bad. I would certainly go local 1st, but if you can’t find the breed you want, they are great. Also, check with your local “Poultry Meetup Group.” Just Google where you live, meetup & chicken. For example “Florida, meetup, chicken. You should be able to find one close. And they are a great resource. I go to my meetup group all the time for chicks & advice. But, I try to stay away from stinky hippies!Dominique Hen

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