That is a legitimate concern that many people have but we take steps to prevent the spread of Avian flu. The hatcheries we ship from are part of the NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Program) which means they have to meet strict bio-security requirements. They also are in compliance with Pennsylvania state regulations and are subject to regular inspections to insure the industry protocols are being met. Hatcheries obviously have a lot to lose from Avian Influenza and take excessive and stringent steps to safeguard their operations. They meet all local and federal requirements and have an outstanding track record of health and safety. You can order our poultry with confidence.
This is an important question for some people because the closer the hatchery is to their homes, the quicker the chicks arrive. While this sounds good, we find that chicks will actually fly across the country quicker than trucks can drive across several states so in reality all of our deliveries take about the same amount of time to get to their destinations, no matter where you are located. Some post offices do have a harder time fulfilling orders on time than others. All kinds of things can affect your shipment. We find location isn’t the biggest factor when it comes to delivery promptness. It just depends what routes the birds get on and how well they are handled on each leg of the journey. That can vary from one shipment to another greatly. Where are we located? Our office in located in Goshen, Indiana. We do not sell chicks or ship chicks from from our office.
You can find the region the chicks are shipping from by clicking on the “Additional Information” tab on the product page. It’s right beside the “Reviews” tab under the big red “Add to Cart” button. We have three major regions we ship from: the Pacific Coast, the Midwest, and the Northeast.
Can I feed my chicks medicated starter feed if I got them vaccinated? Good question! In our helpful pamphlet that we usually send people before they receive their baby chicks, we state that if you got your chicks vaccinated you shouldn’t give them medicated chick starter since this will counteract the vaccines. This is true only if you give them vaccinations for coccidiosis since the medicated feed has Amprollium in it which is a treatment for coccidiosis. If you vaccinate them for cocci and then feed them medications for cocci, the two treatments will counteract each other and render each other useless. We don’t offer coccidiosis vaccines for chicks we sell since it is too hard on young baby chicks, especially since they experience some level of stress during shipping. The only vaccinations we offer are for Mareks disease. The Mareks vaccinations will be effective regardless of the type of chick starter you use – medicated or non-medicated – since medicated feed does not contain medication to treat Mareks.
So, in summary, if you only got your chicks vaccinated for Mareks, you can still feed them medicated feed with no issues at all. If you got them vaccinated for coccidiosis, do not feed them medicated feed.
If you have baby day old ducks, however, DO NOT feed them medicated feed. Ducks eat more per ounce of body weight than chicks do and so ducklings will overdose themselves with the medication in the feed. It is important that you do not feed medicated feed to ducklings.
Mareks Disease is a very common virus that is highly contagious and can be quite deadly to chickens. Mareks vaccinations are available for most chicken breeds on our website. Ducks do not need vaccinations (curious as to why? Click here). Mareks vaccinations help the chickens survive the virus but does not make them completely immune from it. If they are exposed to the virus they should be considered carriers of the virus even if they’ve been vaccinated. Getting your chicks vaccinated for Mareks does NOT make them carriers of the virus. Read more about this subject by clicking here.
Slowly is the key. There’s different ways to do it and chickens have different personalities so the methods can vary a little. One of the best methods is to integrate the new chickens slowly. Wait until your chicks are old enough to handle themselves. Then introduce them to your flock but keep a wire mesh fence between them. This will allow your flock to get used to the new chickens while giving your chickens a refuge from the pecking order. Do this everyday for a week or two. Then let them mingle but keep an eye on the new members just to make sure they don’t get picked on excessively. Some picking is normal as this is how chickens establish pecking orders in the flock. The new members must find their place.
Not really. The biggest problem I see is that sometimes a chicken that has unique markings (like a Barred Rock) might get pecked out of curiosity by other chickens that don’t have similar markings. Another thing to remember if you mix layers is that some breeds will lay many more eggs than others and therefore might require more calcium in their diet than others. To fix this, make crushed oyster shell available to the whole flock free choice in a separate feed container. The hens who need calcium will eat more voluntarily.
Also, if your flock free ranges together you will end up with “mutt” chickens. You bought four different breeds but your rooster is a Barred Rock (just for example). This means that all your hens are getting bred to a Barred Rock and so your chicks will be mixed with whatever the hen is with a Barred Rock. So you won’t have purebred chicks. That’s fine, there is nothing wrong or unhealthy about that. They will display some traits from both parents.
If you want purebred offspring, you need to buy a “heritage” breed that breeds “true.” In other words, the hen and rooster of the breed will produce offspring that is the same breed as the parents. If you buy Black Sex Links, for example, they won’t breed true because Black Sex Links are a hybrid, meaning they have already been mixed. Our Black Sex Links are a mix between a Rhode Island Red and a Barred Rock.
Yes. All female chickens lay eggs. They won’t be fertile without a rooster mating your hen, however. This means if you want your hens to hatch baby chicks, you need a rooster! If you just want eggs you don’t need a rooster because hens will lay eggs with or without a rooster in your flock. Some chickens lay more eggs than others. Check out our layer chickens for sale…
When your chicks are fully feathered (about six – eight weeks old) and the temperature is warm enough. Typically you set your brooder (the pen used to start your chicks) temperature at 95 degrees for the first week. After that you reduce it 5 degrees per week until the temperature inside your brooder or coop matches the temperature outside. Be careful with your family dog! They might see your chickens as a tasty snack instead of cute, fluffy pets.
What if it’s winter outside? Chickens are very cold hardy if allowed to acclimate to the cold. They develop fluffy down under their hard feathers when exposed to the cold. This helps them stay warm in even subzero temperatures. However, if the chickens aren’t exposed to cold weather slowly, they can’t take it well since they haven’t developed those extra feathers yet. Keeping this in mind, expose your fully feathered chicks to the cold gradually so they can start developing the extra under feathers needed to handle the cold. There is no definite guideline. Keep an eye on them when they are outside. If they are all huddled together in a pile, they are too cold.
It typically takes a hen at least 25 hours to make an egg. So no, they do not. The world record for egg laying belongs to a Black Australorp which laid 364 eggs in 365 days. Typically hens stop laying eggs, or decrease egg production, over winter months. You can maximize egg production by using artificial lighting in your coop. You can trick your hens into thinking the sun is still rising earlier and setting later than it actually is.
When you want farm fresh eggs it seems like your chickens are taking really long just to spite you. But remember, patience is a virtue. You can’t rush nature. Typically chickens begin laying anywhere from 18-25 weeks, it just depends on the size and breed of the chicken. There’s not much you can do except wait. A chicken will reach maximum productivity in their first year or so and slowly decrease egg production as they age.
This is a common question people ask. How come we offer Mareks Vaccinations for many of our chickens but none for our ducks? Good question! Here’s the deal: Ducks generally have hardier immune systems than chickens. They have a high body temperature of 107 degrees which makes it nearly impossible for common chicken diseases to survive in the duck’s body. It’s like when you get sick, your body heats up to fever pitch to try and kill diseases. Ducks simply don’t struggle with the same diseases that chickens do. Plus, ducks spend a large majority of their time in the water (if given access to it) and so this prevents lice and other parasites from taking up residence since the parasites will drown. This is the simple reason for not giving ducks vaccinations; they don’t need them!
- Males are slightly larger with heavier necks and heads. They also have a curly tail feather called a “drake feather.” They have a deep raspy voice.
- Females are typically smaller and have your traditional duck “quack” that everyone is familiar with.
Ducks typically live 7-10 years if they aren’t eaten by predators first.
Yes. Make sure they have a shelter they can go into if the weather becomes too harsh. They will spend most of their time outdoors anyway.
Yup. Sure can! If you let them swim in your pool however, be prepared to have them poop in it!
It depends on several factors such as the food sources and weather in your area. If you have severe winters, make sure to supplement their foraging diet with additional feed. Also make sure they have a shelter they can go into if the weather becomes too harsh. If you don’t have severe winters, they should be fine if there is aquatic life in the pond and if the pond isn’t overcrowded by other waterfowl.
Well, if you are like me you end up running in circles and getting embarrassed that a waddling duck can out maneuver you. Don’t tackle your ducks, however, since they are somewhat delicate. You can initially grab them by the neck but don’t pick them up or wrench them around that way. Don’t grab them by the feet or wings either since you will likely cause damage. Instead:
Grab the duck with your hands on either side of the body, making sure the wings are folded against the body and held in place by your hands. Pick the duck up. Take an arm and slide it under the duck, grasping the legs but resting the weight of the duck on your arm. Tuck the head under your arm between your arm and body. Carry it somewhere. Or put it down and try it again. It’s your duck, do what you want.
Ducks start to lay eggs when they are sexually mature (which is typically about 20-24 weeks old) if they have the right lighting and feed. If they don’t, they will wait until the days start to get longer and the weather starts to warm. When they start to mate and lay eggs, make sure to switch to breeder/layer food that has the proper protein, calcium, and vitamin makeup.
Well, you can’t force ducks to lay wherever you want them to, but here are several tips you can use to try to convince them.
Guinea Fowl Care
Good question! The short answer is: none. The long answer: Guinea fowl are popular in France as a source of meat. So the French have done to the guinea what the Americans have done with the chicken: Refine and produce bloodlines of large guinea fowl specifically for meat production. Jumbo guineas and French guineas are, for all purposes, the same thing. The bloodlines may be different but weights and characteristics are nearly identical. In fact, the terms “French” and “Jumbo” are used interchangeably. There is an understandable tendency to equate the French Guinea with the Jumbo Cornish Cross – which is a fast growing, hybrid meat chicken with a reputation for being a freak of nature. After all, both breeds were bred to dominate their market with a faster growing bird. But the difference is the the French Guinea has retained it’s natural foraging instincts a
nd ability to reproduce. It’s just a bigger strain of guinea fowl.
There are many myths surrounding French Guineas, one of which is that they cannot reproduce naturally. This IS NOT true.
If kept in captivity, French Guineas may not reproduce well but if allowed to free range, French Guineas can thrive and reproduce naturally just as any other strain of guinea fowl.
There is another myth that French Guineas cannot fly because of their weight. Again, WRONG.
Below I have a video that a customer (thanks Robert for your great feedback) posted on our Facebook page of a flock of French Guineas roosting rather high in a tree. These are the exact same breed you will get if you purchase day old French guinea fowl keets from us.
In fact, French Guineas prefer the highest roosts they can find. You’ll find them on top of your barn or high in trees. They can begin flying as soon as 3 weeks of age! The myth that French Guineas cannot fly may come from the fact that many heavy ducks bred for meat cannot fly because of their weight. People assume since the French Guinea has been bred to produce meat it’s some sort of genetically modified freak that can’t function normally. However, this is faulty logic and isn’t true. French Guineas can absolutely fly. They are fantastic foragers and will reproduce if allowed to free range. They will produce “true” offspring.
I’ve had several customers ask me if guinea fowl actually digest ticks. They claim that they heard from their neighbors nephews cousin’s mother (which is where all reliable information comes from) that guinea fowl eat ticks but that the ticks pass right through the digestive system of the guineas since the tick’s hard shell prevents it from being digested.
This is untrue. Here’s why:
- Many customers report buying French Guineas and soon thereafter noticing a huge decrease in tick sightings. If the ticks pass right through the digestive system without being harmed, why would there be a decrease in the tick population? Also, I’ve had several customers who were looking for French Guineas because they had a flock, got rid of them, and then got overwhelmed with ticks. This leads me to assume that the guineas had a direct impact on the tick population.
- Guinea fowl are excellent foragers that eat bugs and insects. So much so that during the summer you barely have to feed them (some folks feed them a little in the evening to lure them back into coops). Many insects have hard shells – called exoskeletons – on them (such as grasshoppers and crickets) and if guineas couldn’t digest such insects, you would have to supplement their diets much more heavily since they wouldn’t get any nutritious benefit from eating insects.
- Humans have teeth but birds don’t. A bird will either tear food apart in large chunks or swallow it whole. Then the food goes to the crop where it is stored for up to 12 hours. The food eventually gets to the gizzard. The gizzard is a muscular pouch where food gets ground up by small pebbles and grit that the guinea picked up while pecking food off of the ground. If the insect is still intact at this point it won’t be able to hold up to the muscular grinding actions of the gizzard and will be ground into a digestible paste. Goodbye ticks!
In summary, guinea fowl are great natural pest control. They devastate tick populations and do pretty well with gardens. We do have baby guinea fowl for sale on our website here. I hope you take a few minutes to check them out! We can ship them to your local post office and you’ll have a crew of tick control experts roaming your property on patrol 24/7 within a few months.
You need to keep a close eye on baby chicks the first couple weeks and if something else comes up, we totally understand if you need to push off the order or cancel it altogether. This is OK but we do have a policy regarding cancellations. We charge your card when you place your order so the order is paid for when you are done checking out.
We need to know within 2 business days of the ship date of your order if you need to cancel your order. This is because the order packing slips are printed out and lined up at the hatchery the Friday before the ship week. If you cancel an order the same day the order is to be shipped we may not be able to stop the order from being shipped. Because of this we need two business days to cancel your order (business days will be considered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Our office is open some Saturdays but Saturdays will not count as a business day). If you notify us with less than two business days until your order is shipped, we cannot guarantee that your order will be canceled. We will try our best to accommodate your situation but if your order doesn’t get canceled and leaves the hatchery, we cannot provide a refund although our safe arrival guarantee still applies. It will be your responsibility to have the order picked up at the post office.
If you do cancel your order and have more than two business days until your order is shipped, we can cancel your order and give you a full refund.
Do not cancel your order by disputing your credit card charges as this costs us extra fees and impacts our willingness to work with you in the future. Don’t be afraid to call or email us and cancel the order. We won’t be mad at you!
Unfortunately accidents do happen and we’ve had snowstorms and other calamities that have messed up USPS delivery schedules. We guarantee that your chicks will arrive alive and we work with extraordinary hatcheries that have proven track records. Still, if the amount of chicks you ordered do not arrive alive, we will refund them or replace them for you. Read our Safe Arrival Guarantee here.
Yes, all our poultry is available to ship to Alaska. Most of our layers are not available to ship to Hawaii. Click here for a list of our breeds that are available to ship to Hawaii.
No. All the available shipping dates are listed in the drop down box below the large picture on the product page. In some cases during the busy season (spring and early summer) we hatch chickens on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and will mail out your order on one of those days. It all depends on which breeds you selected. We will notify you when your order has shipped. Generally USPS takes about 1-2 days to get them to you.
Not quite. We ship them to your post office and you must pick them up there. We put your phone number on the mailing slip so your post office should call you when they arrive.
Nope. Sorry! We understand that would be nice but due to bio-security and the risk of contracting contagious diseases (such as the Avian Flu, coccidosis, etc) which can easily be transmitted to our premises on clothing and shoes, we do not allow local pick up from any of our suppliers. We only offer mail order poultry.