If you’re hoping to get a few hens to keep in your backyard and want to start with baby chickens, you can order through the mail from a poultry hatchery. But the minimum order is usually 25. It takes that many chicks to keep each other warm while they’re traveling.
You could order some hatching eggs and put them in an incubator, but some of the chicks that hatch will certainly be males. You could also order 25 pullets (females) and split the order with friends and neighbors. To find the variety you want, check out our Hatchery Finder.
But don’t forget to check your local farm store, such as Tractor Supply Company or Orscheln’s. You can order just a few chicks or ducks of a certain breed and gender. The chicks will come with a bigger order for the store. Farm stores and feed stores may also have chicks or ducklings available in the store, but the number of varieties is usually narrow, although there are often several breeds and hybrids to choose from. Depending on the store, chicks are available for several weeks in the spring.
Meyer Hatchery allows customers to order as few as three chicks. They include a heating pad and ship only via express mail. There are additional restrictions.