Hatchery? Craigslist? Local Breeder? Where should I get my featherbabies?

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by starsevol, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    Hi! I am from Rhode Island and will be keeping chickens for the first time this year. Or ducks.....still not sure! Before I do anything I need to decide ducks or chickens and get all the supplies needed to keep them happy and healthy.
    But....where should I acquire them? I have many online friends from another pet forum who have kept chickens in the past and have highly reccommended a certain hatchery. And I read somewhere that quarantining new chickens is not always neccessary with hatchery stock. Plus they have Black Australorps, and I really like that breed.

    Then there is craigslist, which I can run the gamut between being really good and really awful.

    There is also a breeder less than 10 miles away from me. He raises Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes and Buckeyes.

    I just want a small 4-6 bird flock, for eggs and pets.

    Where have you gotten your birds from, and where will you go in the future?
     
  2. Jim

    Jim New Member

    1,492
    0
    0
    I have a mix, hatchery, CL, and local breeders. Most what I have decided, trust your source, see conditions, meet the breeder (if not hatchery). Trust your gut, start with chicks or eggs. Chicks will naturally be quarantined, as they will be in the brooder. Just my 2cents.
     

  3. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    I was hoping to start with pullets because of limited space to keep chicks indoors, and my town not allowing roos, and I know if one of those chicks is a roo I will have a hard time rehoming him.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

    1,492
    0
    0
    You can always re/home to the freezer.,,,,

    Our first, we did pulleys as well, they all came from the same place, didn't have to quarantine. But, new additions have all been day old chicks, and now starting to incubate.
     
  5. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0

    Rehoming to the freezer is not a bad idea.....except that it is against the law in my town and I wouldn't have the heart to do it. I could put a craiglist ad in and have someone else do it.....but I would prefer getting ready to go 100% girly girl layers right off the bat. Then I could get all attached to my pets and not worry about having to kill them! :)

    I would only want new additions as the older girls ceased egg production, and we are only allowed no more than 12 hens total.
    I plan on making a tractor so the lawn doesn't get completely destroyed.
     
  6. Mamachickof14

    Mamachickof14 New Member

    285
    0
    0
    Got all my girls as chicks from Tractor Supply in my home town. I got all RIR's... I didnt know I could mix them??? :rolleyes: They had 3 or 4 different kinds to choose from for only about $3.00 a piece. They were healthy and I never had a problem with them...I buy all my chicken supplies there and if you did have any problems they have alot of knowledge . They usurally get them in March sometime... Jen:)
     
  7. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    Hi I suggest you get them from a breeder who's flock is a NPIP flock. That's national poultry improvement plan. This way you know the flock is tested for disease. Also you will get a certificate with a NPIP flock bird and it shows what they are tested for and that the birds are free of those diseases. That's what I did. Although many have had excellent results from hatchery and other places the NPIP flock is just a little extra piece of mind. The birds might cost a bit more but in my opinion it's worth finding a NPIP breeder. That's what I did. But it's all up to you. If you want a liitle extra piece of mind, this is the way to go. Then you know there flock had been inspected, tested, and clean. I want to also say welcome to this site . You will find so many wonderful people here! Which ever you decide to purchase please post lots of pictures of your new babies! :) how exciting! When will you be ordering? Nothing better than picking up your new babies! I have two coming today! This means they will arrive early tomorrow morning at the post office! I can't hardly wait! One is a buff 2 1/2 month old silkie, the other is a 31/2 month old black silkie. At home I have two more partridge silkie chicks 5 weeks old! So I have a very small flock of four. All silkies. I will be posting pics when they arrive tomorrow! I wish you the best! You will just fall in love with your babies! It's so much fun! How many are you getting? Have you decided on the breed yet? Well, congratulations on getting your new babies! Keep us posted ok. Best wishes!
     
  8. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    Hi realsis!! Thank you so much for that great advice! I have nothing against Tractor Supply at all, and will probably be getting most of my feed and pen and coop supplies there. It's just that I am fairly active in another pet community and am a breeder of a different kind of animal and prefer buying my animals from other people who have a passion for that specific creature. And as far as I know, both private breeders and hatcheries have a passion for chickens, does this make sense?
    Do NPIP breeders ship and how do I find one? Looks like Google will be my friend today! :)
    I don't have the coop yet, or any supplies. I am temporarily out of work but that should change very soon. I still have to go to my town hall and find out the specifics of what I can and cannot do, as a year ago no poultry of any kind was allowed within the town limits. I guess I am still in the research and dreaming stage! I want to get my pullets in May or June, and my husband is thinking more like August or September. I am thinking of getting 4-6, just for eggs (and pets of course!). I really like the black australorps, but might end up with a slightly mixed flock so I can tell who is who.

    I LOVE silkies!! Congrats on your tiny little flock. Please post pictures when they come in, they are just the cutest little things!
     
  9. Diane

    Diane New Member

    41
    0
    0
    I am in CT, and I see ALOT of ads on craigslist, but mostly are straight run.. I don't think I'd buy my chicks from TSC, I know of alot of people who go there, want pullets and end up with roos..

    There is a feed store here in CT, (www.shagbark.com) that is having a "chick" day, you can pick your breeds/sexed for like 5$ a piece, Order form is on website.

    Also Meyer/ My Pet Chicken, come NPIP certified. You can make small orders as well. I got mine from them last year, and have beautiful healthy birds.

    Definitely check around, there are ALOT of breeders but the majority are going to sell straight run as they don't sex their babies.
     
  10. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0

    Thank you Diane. I will have to check them out! I would love to get girls all ready for coop life right away, chicks are so fragile and scary!
    Ok I just checked out the Meyer website. I like the fact that they sell small orders and pullets and are NPIP certified....but I don't like that they trim the beaks on their chicks.
    Something tells me finding the perfect place to order from might take awhile.
     
  11. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    I just had a thought...even though I want to get the birds in May, for my birthday, there is a county fair in the area in August. All breeds are shown and the major breeders in New England are there with young birds for sale. Don't birds have to be vaccinated and healthy to compete in the showring? And wouldn't pullets from show birds be really gorgeous? Maybe that is an option.
     
  12. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    Yes NPIP breeders ship out. I got mine from a NPIP breeder and they shipped. I would google and see where the closet NPIP breeder is to you. I'd recommend my breeder but they only breed silkies. So your best option is searching online. I'm Glad your choosing a NPIP breeder. This way you will have a extra piece of mind. Can't wait to see your babies! Keep us posted on what you do! Mine are in the mail as I type this! Oooh I'm excited! I'll post pics tomorrow! Best wishes to you!
     
  13. fuzziebutt

    fuzziebutt Flocker

    1,588
    0
    0
    I would suggest just going to your local Tractor Supply or you said there is a breeder within 10 miles, then going and getting just a few. Get them, and learn with them, and just have fun with them. When you get really good at it and feel ready, and know the breeds, then order what you want. :D
     
  14. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    It can be an option to buy the pullers from the fair show. Yes I believe they do have to be vaccinated to compete. Not positive but pretty sure on that . You will pay a little more for show quality birds but yes they will be lovely! I'm new at chickens myself and I went ahead and bought show quality birds. On average my young 2 to3 month old was 50.00 dollars. Then my shipping charge. My 1 month old chicks we're 20.00 so you will pay more. Also remember just because they come from show stock they won't necessarily become show quality themselves. But you can expect the breed to be more conformity correct than say a cross breed .I just happened to stumble on the show quality birds because I was searching for a NPIP breeder of silkies closest to where I live so my birds didn't have far to travel. This breeder was the one I found that fit that criteria. I doubt I'll ever show. I just wanted a good healthy conformity correct bird that I could love. I'm really happy with the breeder. They do special things like a hen guarantee. If the bird turns out male, they replace him free. As a matter of fact mine started crowing so they are shipping me another bird. Plus the new bird I bought and I shipped the cockerel back. So look into what the breeders have to offer. Some do DNA sex testing. I had my young ones DNA tested for a very reasonable fee. Just see what each breeder offers. Find the one your comfortable with. Talk to them, ask questions. That's what I did. I'm sure your birds will be beautiful which ever way you decide to go! Best of luck! :)
     
  15. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    I will definately be checking to make sure whomever I get my babies from is an NPIP breeder. If eggs and no roos were not a huge thing for me, I would be a silkie mom too!!! Maybe in the future I might get a silkie hen as a mascot for the feathered crew!

    I might do something like that, but I am only allowed 12 birds total where I live, and really only want 4-6 at first so I can get younger pullets at a later time after my first crew stops laying. I will be having a ton of fun with whatever I get though, I can promise you that!

    I probably will never show either, but if I go the fair route I can visually see any birds on display, and for sale and see all the available breeds up close and talk one on one to the breeders. And if they show and love their birds, there is a better chance that they are NPIP breeders and take alot of pride in their animals and know alot about their specific breeds. I fell head over heels in love with a little serama hen there last year. That was before the law changed here, or I probably would have found a way to take her home. Plus there would be no shipping charges and spending a little more on specific animals that catch your fancy seems well worth it to me.
     
  16. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    Yes I agree! That sounds like a good way to go! I stuck with silkies because when I was looking for breeds I saw them and fell head over heels for them! Plus they have great temperaments and make lovely pets! All I can have is four right now. I really wanted a white but they we're out of white so I got two partridge, one black, and one buff. I still have some work to do before they go to the outside run. I need a electric fence, and a water proof roof for my run then it's finished. The electric fence is for predators to keep them out. It's been really fun. I'm still trying to train them to get used of being held. Of course my two new birds will take longer. If you ever do want a silkie let me know and I'll give you the name of the breeder I used. I know they have chicks, 2-3 mouth olds and even hens. Right now they have a partridge hen for sale for 150.00. She is beautiful! They also ship everywhere! Later on if you decide to add a silkie let me know. Chicks are about 20.00, and the 2-3 months old are 50.00. That's her prices as of now. Not including shipping. That's extra. Also the hen guarantee is about 15 dollars but well worth getting!! So you think in may you will be getting your flock? Will you be building a house and run for them? Have you decided anything about that yet? May I suggest building your own coop? I bought mine and had to build another run, shingle the roof of the coop and add another nesting box. I should have just made the coop! I think it's too small and do want to build another in the future but I think it will do for now with the extra room I added to it. But making there coop is best but I didn't know that until after I bought it. Have you planned on any of that yet? Or will you be using a chicken tractor? What's your plans?
     
  17. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    Oh my goodness, I think I like you! You are almost as excited about this new chicken life as I am!!!
    If I wait til the fair, I won't be getting my flock until August. But if the RI Poultry Fanciers have a spring show (they are a tiny very hard to find on the internet organization), then I can at least talk to some people and maybe make a few friends and connections.
    I am pretty untalented when it comes to buidling things, but my husband is fantastic. He offered to build a coop for me, BUT he also says he wants to wait til next year to get them. He had to know that plans would be in motion the second he told me that he read in the newspaper that the poultry ban was lifted!!
    I will buy a coop and pen if I have to, but I am hoping he builds me one. Or my friend's son has skills, and maybe I can get him to build me one. I am hoping for a tractor style coop. I am not sure about predator protection yet, I do plan to skirt the pen with mesh so nothing can dig underneath. Not sure how electric fence would work and still be portable. If I want a silkie (providing I don't fall in love with one at the fair), I will definately let you know. They are amazing and wonderful....but one of the reasons I have the old man talked into this thing is the homegrown eggs. We grow most of our own veggies now, and eggs just go along with that. I did tell my husband that I would keep silkies and banties if he thought larger fowl would take up too much space, but I think he has his heart set on eggs. I kind of do too.....but silkies.....ohsosweet!!!!!!

    Can you post some pics of your coop for me, as well as your other silkie darlings? Do your girls roost? The one thing I love about silkies is that they take up less space than large birds. Do you think if I had 3 or 4 laying hens, that they would tolerate a silkie or a serama hen living with them (I did fall head over heels for a serama hen at last years fair. Not much to look at for beauty, but so calm and sweeter than pie!!).
     
  18. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    Here is my run and coop, the coop is framed into there run. And here are pictures of my babies. The chicks are partridge and 5 weeks old, the black is almost 4 months old, the buff is almost 3 months old. Hope you like the pics as much as I like showing them! Ha Ha. Well here they are.

    ForumRunner_20130206_174001.jpg



    ForumRunner_20130206_174049.jpg



    ForumRunner_20130206_174140.jpg



    ForumRunner_20130206_174329.jpg



    ForumRunner_20130206_174405.jpg



    ForumRunner_20130206_174544.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

  19. starsevol

    starsevol New Member

    81
    0
    0
    What a great set up!! Your babies are very lucky, they have no idea of the nice life ahead of them!!
    Thank you so much for the wonderful pics!
     
  20. realsis

    realsis New Member

    468
    0
    0
    Your welcome! Got some work to do yet on the run but it's close to being finished. Can you believe all my chickens are house chickens right now until I get that run finished! Can't put them out until it's safe from predators and covered so I wait.. of course the babies will stay in longer! Until they are feathered but the black is ready to go. Just need to finish my stuff! Right now I do it little by little because of money. So I figure with there electric fence it will be a couple more months. So far so good inside. I'm happy you liked the pictures! I love to show them! Keep us posted or pm me if you just want to talk. :) ok.