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Meyer Hatchery Review: Tips for Buying Chicks from a Hatchery

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Tips for buying baby chicks and a review of the Meyer Hatchery. Photo of 4 bantam chickens full grown from Meyer Hatchery and one silkie rooster.

Today I wanted to do a quick review of the Meyer Hatchery and talk a little bit about where to buy baby chicks. Last Fall I had the opportunity to review some baby chicks from Meyer and an Omlet chicken coop and run. It was a fantastic experience, and I was excited to find a hatchery that was close enough to me to justify buying the chicks online.

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Tips for Buying Chicks from a Hatchery

While everyone loves to see and hear the little chirps at the local feed store, it’s also not a big surprise that there is often a lack of diversity of breeds available and frequently the health of these chicks is QUESTIONABLE at best. At worst, I have seen dead chicks being cannibalized while the store employees ignore the issue. It’s HORRIFYING.

And while ordering online can be a HUGE worry for many people, if you time it right and go with the right hatchery, you will receive better selection, better sexing of chicks, and better quality bird overall.

Here are my best tips for buying chicks:

  1. IGNORE THE COST OF THE CHICKS: While buying chicks cheap may be better if you’re raising meat birds, DO NOT cut costs with the price of your egg layers. You’ll often pay $20-40 a bag for chick feed. The extra few dollars for quality chicks is WORTH EVERY PENNY. Better to pay more and get healthy chicks that are accurately sexed than to end up with 15 roosters that cost $50+ to raise to 12 weeks.

    The only time I worry about cost is if we’re talking FANCY chickens… I can’t really afford to buy $300+ birds. Those are specialty breeds and they’re simply not in the budget right now.
  2. FIND A LOCAL HATCHERY: By local, I’m referring to a hatchery that’s within a few states of your home state. You want to find a hatchery that is near enough to take a 8-15 hour road trip. This assures that the chicks don’t have to travel as far.

    Meyer Hatchery is in Ohio which is fairly close to Maryland. There’s a nice hatchery on the West coast that I’ve heard good things about, but I simply won’t risk ordering from them.
  3. ASK AROUND ABOUT TRUSTED HATCHERIES: While I’ve ordered chicks from a large feed store company that shall go unnamed, I have two hatcheries that I trust. One is Meyer. The other is a small hatchery in PA that I order meat chicks from. On my orders, I had 100% survival rates on chicks from both hatcheries and I will recommend them to EVERYONE in my area who asks. They were all also sexed correctly which was really nice and has never happened before for me.

    I have NEVER had a 100% survival rate on chicks from the big feed stores… regardless of whether or not I bought them in-store or ordered online.
  4. ORDER STRATEGICALLY: While you may need to risk orders in the summer if you need turkeys for Fall/Thanksgiving, generally a Spring order ensures that chicks aren’t being transported in extra hot mail vehicles. The Fall can be a good time to order too.

    During the USPS fiasco, a lot of people received dead chicks from hatcheries— if you know this is what’s happening in the delivery world at the moment, don’t order chicks at that time.

    Be aware of the timing: Are you going to have an upcoming vacation? You NEED the chicks delivered when you’re home! Usually the hatch date is chosen when you order- expect the delivery within 3 days of that. You really want to make sure that the post office is accessible on the date of delivery- I work from home, the post office calls me, and I go pick up the chicks immediately. Sometimes this happens at 5pm, sometimes it’s at 8am. I’m not sure why everything in the farm world expects you to be accessible 24/7, but c’est la vie. I’m currently waiting for a hay order that is coming ‘today’… and hoping they won’t show up while I’m at a doctor’s appointment.
  5. IF YOU BUY IN STORE, LOOK CLOSELY AT THE CHICKS! If you opt to buy chicks in the store, please please please look at the chicks for health. If some are sick and live in the same bin with the chicks you want, do not buy them. It’s HEARTBREAKING to lose chicks and trying to save them can be time consuming and expensive. All chicks cost the same amount to feed.

    Spend extra money on buying good, healthy chicks so you can ensure that you end up with healthy adults.

    If you check out my IG post below, I have a video of opening the chicks and some photos!

Meyer Hatchery

What do I like about Meyer Hatchery?

  • Women-owned
  • Sells a large variety of breeds.
  • Located on the East coast.
  • Healthy chicks.
  • Accurate sexing.
  • They pack the chicks with this gel that seems to be excellent for the chicks’ health.

My chicks included:

  • Buff Brahma Bantam Day Old Chick

The only one pictured that isn’t from Meyer is the silkie rooster who I got from a local person. These are my chicks all grown up!

Order from Meyer Hatchery here and use my Ambassador Referral Code DIYDANIELLE for $5 off!

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Review of the Meyer Hatchery. Photo of 4 bantam chickens full grown from Meyer Hatchery and one silkie rooster.

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