Who knew there would EVER be such a boom on all things poultry these days! Hatcheries are back ordered for weeks or months and it seems everyone with space and allowable city regulations wants a flock!
Of the first hatch of 20 chicks from our incubator, we sold all but six in the first week. And the last six went at a bit over two weeks old. The batch in the incubator right now are all spoken for assuming a good hatch rate, and we are collecting hatching eggs for a customer through Thursday. Taking pre-orders for the next anticipated hatch in mid-June and will sell more hatching eggs as they are requested.
So, one of two things will happen:
1) There is about to be a huge stray chicken problem when people get tired of the constant clucking and crowings; Or
2) My market for fresh eggs is about to tank!
If you are just getting started in chickens, I offer the following advice:
– Make sure your town/city/spousal ordinance approves of the idea. I sold chicks to someone recently who said she told her husband she was coming to get eggs (though I think she had chickens already). My kind of girl, but my husband knows I’m crazy and has (kinda) accepted it.
– Get everything ready and set up BEFORE you get chicks or reach out to someone to buy their chicks. With things the way they are, if you ask us to hold chicks for you and it takes 3 days to determine you cannot actually have them, know that we have likely turned away potential buyers in the interim and have now fed those birds an extra 3 days for nothing. Also, it’s best for the birds if their new home is ready.
– Decide up front what your end game is. Eggs only? Great! Get attached. Meat birds? Eh, maybe don’t read them bedtime stories. How will that change if one of your pullets starts to crow?
– Have a plan for integrating you other animals. My pup learned a hard lesson when he first decided that chickens could be fun entertainment. He now completely avoids them and I have seen roosters come up and take the apple he was munching on.
– Be ready to deal with snakes, hawks, coyotes, minks, lions, tigers, and bears, oh my! Chickens and their eggs are a welcome easy treat for most any predator. If you can’t handle snakes, this may not be the hobby for you. We had a broody on four eggs and lost them all to a snake today 😭
Good luck and happy flocking!