When looking to start a flock of chickens, there are a variety of options for purchasing eggs and chicks. One common option is purchasing from hatcheries. Hatcheries are often online or mail-order and offer “specials” or “packages” of certain groups or types of chicks. They are a reliable source for chicks or eggs, but they generally do not sell older chickens and may vaccinate for diseases before shipping. However, they may have a minimum order size that may be too big for the average hobby chicken farmer or small flock owner.
Another option is purchasing from auction sites such as Ebay, Ovabid, FeatherAuction, or Bidbird.com. It is important to ensure the seller has an excellent selling history and offers guarantees with excellent feedback.
Local feed stores also tend to be a popular choice for those looking for chicks. The chicks are often hatched locally and brought to the store by employees or neighbors. They tend to have smaller minimum purchase requirements and you can see the chicks and pick them out yourself. However, you may be limited to what they have available.
Classified ads and Craigslist are also options for purchasing chickens. Farmers in the business who are liquidating or quitting, or those who accidentally ended up with a rooster will often put ads in the local paper or on Craigslist. The chickens may be a little older than desired, but it is a way to provide a good home for them.