How to Fix a Broken Beak

A broken beak is a problem that no chicken owner wants to deal with – but unfortunately, knowing how to fix a broken beak is a skill that all chicken keepers should have in their back pockets.

Chickens are similar to humans in that their beaks grow a lot like fingernails. These birds can “file down” their beaks, or so to speak, with actions like preening and wiping their beaks on objects. 

Just like humans with their fingernails, each chicken has its own unique beak, too. Some chickens grow beaks that are long and elegant, while others have beaks that are short and stubby. 

Unfortunately, just like fingernails, beaks can (and often do) break. Therefore, it’s essential that you know how to fix a broken beak – and how to best care for your chickens in the process. 

Here are some tips.

What Causes a Beak to Become Broken?

Chickens use their beaks as tools, and like all tools, they can become broken. Most chickens use their beaks like they would use their hands, if they had them, so it’s no surprise that they can easily become worn down. They use their beaks for everything from eating to grasping, exploring to grooming. 

Chickens even use their beaks to communicate!

Beak injuries are incredibly common. Chickens can obtain injuries to their beaks from fighting with predators, engaging in squabbles with other chickens, or even getting them stuck in hard objects, like between the slats in hardware cloth fencing. 

Chickens can also injure their beaks from some of the following behaviors:

  • Collisions
  • Fighting
  • Grooming
  • Digging
  • Exploring
  • Eating

How to Fix a Broken Beak

Your first step in fixing the broken beak of your chicken is to examine the extent of the damage. Beak injuries can be as severe as complete removal or severing of the beak or as minor as a simple chip. Often, if it’s just a tiny chip you’re dealing with, you may not have to do anything at all. 

If your chicken has a significant beak injury, you’ll know that you need to address it because your chicken is suffering extreme pain. Your chicken might not be eating or drinking normally, which can of course threaten its ability to survive. 

If it’s just a minor crack, feel free to leave the beak alone. Often, a tiny crack will grow out and repair itself over time. However, more severe cracks sometimes need to be stabilized and splinted. Ideally, you should call in a veterinarian to help you out, but the reality is that there are not that many veterinarians who specialize in chickens in most areas of the country.

Therefore, you should be prepared to render any first-aid necessary to help your chicken out.

Engage in Regular Beak Maintenance

For the most part, chickens will take care of their beaks on their own – you won’t have to do a single thing. Your chickens will care for their own beaks via actions like preening, picking up rocks, and engaging in other activities.

If you keep your chickens in an enclosed run and do not allow them to free range, you may want to provide them with hard objects like rocks to help them hone their beaks. 

Some chickens develop beaks that grow abnormally. Also referred to as scissor beaks, these beaks require assistance when it comes to maintaining their shape and length. 

Have a First Aid Kit on Hand

It’s a good idea to have a well-stocked first-aid kit on hand regardless of your chicken flock’s overall size and wellbeing.

You’ll want to keep some of the following items on hand with special regard to beak care:

  • Vetericyn Poultry Care Spray
  • Tweezers or forceps 
  • Superglue
  • Cotton swabs
  • Old towels
  • Bloodstop powder or spray (such as Blu-Kote)
  • Nail clippers

One unique first aid kit item you might also want to keep on hand is a plain tea bag – you’ll learn more about why in a moment. 

Clean the Area Thoroughly – Then It’s Time for Surgery

If you notice a hen with a broken beak, your first step is going to be to clean the area thoroughly. The worst thing you can do is to allow dirt and bacteria to get inside the wound. As you clean the wound with poultry care spray, you are going to want to be extremely gentle – that tissue is sensitive. 

As you work, you can keep you calm by wrapping her in a towel with her wings secured by her side. She won’t be able to flap her wings or injure herself more in this fashion.

If there are any rough edges where the beak has broken, you may need to use a nail file to smooth them out. Otherwise, it’s the tea bag to the rescue.

Use your teabag to help create a salve. You need to empty the contents of the packet and cut a small patch from the bag that’s just slightly larger than the torn area of the beak. Using your pair of tweezers, you can put some superglue gel on the patch. Align the broken piece of beak and put the glue patch over it. Make sure no rough or jagged edges remain.

Once the first layer of glue dries, you can apply a second layer of glue over it with a cotton swab. Let that dry completely, too.

This remedy works great on minor breaks and cracks but be cautious about using too much superglue gel, as it can be irritating to birds. Do not let the glue touch any exposed tissue or get into the bird’s mouth. 

If the beak looks incredibly dirty or infected when you discover your hen, you may want to delay the glue-sealing process. This can seal in bacteria that will make your chicken incredibly sick. Instead, clean the area and apply disinfectant. Once you’ve taken care of the infection, you can fix her beak.

Helping a Hen With Exposed Beak Tissue

If your hen has a beak injury that is so severe that she has exposed beak tissue, you may need to get a bit more creative in your approach.

If you notice bright red blood, you will want to make sure the tissue is no longer red and swollen before you do anything else. Use some Vetericyn spray to keep the wound clean and keep your hen away from the flock for a few days. Apply the wound cleaner as often as possible. 

Another tip – if you don’t have any Vetericyn, you can use some hydrogen peroxide or Blu-Kote. 

Just avoid using superglue on a beak that has exposed tissue. It will really hurt your hen.

If you find that your hen is missing only a portion of the beak, keep pressure on it to cut off blood loss until you can get your chicken into a veterinarian. Often, the use of acrylic beka prosthetics or splints will be necessary.

Caring for a Hen With a Broken Beak

Once you’ve mended the beak of your hen, you need to take a few extra steps to make sure she gets back to feeling 100%. For starters, you will want to keep her away from the rest of the flock. This will avoid further injury and also prevent other birds from picking on her.

If the wound involves blood, this tip is going to be doubly true – chickens will pick on each other if they notice any exposed blood and this can kill your chicken. 

Instead, wait until the wound is undetectable before returning your hen to the flock. Watch the wound carefully over the next few months to make sure the beak heals completely. Usually, your chicken will be able to return to her natural behaviors, honing her own beak without dislodging the crack. 

In some cases, the injury may be extreme enough to warrant the use of antibiotics or anti-inflammatories. These must be prescribed by a veterinarian. 

Caring for your hen will, more or less, be the same after the beak injury. Do not drastically alter the diet of your hen – adding in foods or any kinds of supplements that your chickens are not used to can make your chicken feel thrown off-guard and unhealthy. 

You may, however, find that your hen has a hard time picking up pieces of food. You might need to switch to a mash and add some water. It should be the consistency of grits. Replace and clean the dish every few hours to prevent the growth of mold. Of course, providing plenty of fresh, clean water is also essential.

One final tip? Know what you can do in the event of an emergency that you cannot treat yourself. Often, veterinarian care is necessary when it comes to treating broken beaks. While veterinarians can be tough to find, it would behoove you to have veterinarian contact information on hand long before you need it.

Fortunately, broken beaks aren’t usually fatal for chickens – as long as you can catch and treat them early. Stay vigilant! 

10 Best Hatcheries to Buy Silkie Chickens

Looking for the best hatcheries to buy Silkie chickens? You’ve come to the right place.

When Marco Polo journeyed up across Asia along the Silk Road, he no doubt had dreams of tales of dragons and phoenixes, of strange tubular foods and spices. He was going to China, a land as different from the West as Thanksgiving is to Cinco de Mayo. Of all that he found, who would have thought that the most amazing, adorable, and most entertaining of all his discoveries would be a chicken?

Silkie Bantam Chickens are named from the Silk Road that Polo traveled, and this ancient breed is one of the most unique of all chicken varieties (check out our article all about odd Silkie facts here). Its feathers are as soft as down – little more than wisps of fantasy to the touch; its skin is as black as midnight – quite striking under white or buff feathering; their 5 toes sprawling; and their voices? Chatty! All the various colors of Silkie Bantams are loveable and utterly devoted to their humans. Indeed, they are one of the best possible chicken breeds for chicken owners who have small children.

In the USA, no matter the size, they are bantams, which is another remarkable detail unique to these incredible birds. We know you’re interested; who wouldn’t be? So with their origins halfway around the world, do we have to follow in Polo’s proverbial footsteps on China Airways to find our own fluffy feathered fowls? Fortunately, no! Silkies are available throughout the USA. Below is a list of TEN of the best hatcheries to buy Silkie chickens. If you’ve been considering these birds, you also might enjoy our article all about silkies!

silkie chicken chick on white table

1. Purely Poultry

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $5.76

As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds! 

Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed! They offer Black, White, Buff, and a hatchery Choice, which offers a $.28 discount!

Advantages:

  • Each order backed by live arrival guarantee.
  • Other kinds of poultry offered, too.

Disadvantages:

  • Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal. 
  • For shipping, 15+ bantams are required per order.

 2. My Pet Chicken

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $19.85

 My Pet Chicken got started in 2005 by Traci Torres and her husband, Derek Sasaki, two novices to the chicken world who had a dream to help other novices in their farmers’ goals. To do this, the put free how-to information on the web and offered some unique products and services. 

The website launched in 2005 and in 2006, their flock had grown to the point to where they started offering chicks for sale from their headquarters in Monroe, CT. The site has been mentioned in another of publications, and serves tens of millions of page views per year. Their Silkies can be purchased by variety: Black, Blue, Buff, or Assorted, which could also come out Splash.  

Advantages 

  • Offers Marek’s vaccinations on all standard chicks at the click of a button.
  • Consistent hours of operation. 
  • A good source for questions about ordering chickens, chicken care, and about raising chickens.
  • Full refund for any bird that has been incorrectly sexed. 

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability.
  • Does not have a storefront
  • Sexed female Day-olds cost an additional $20.00

3. JM Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $3.75

The Martin family, based out of New Holland, PA has been running JM Hatchery LLC for generations with an eye on excellent customer service, quality product, and satisfaction that they work in accordance to their Mennonite faith. One of their goals is to ensure that their care and attention to their birds is every bit as true as their daily devotion to their Lord. The family started raising guinea keets since the 1980s, and started the hatchery in the 1990’s. They work closely with three other farms: Blue Banty Farm, which specializes in Silkies; Fifth Day Farm, Inc., which specializes in ducks and geese; and Freedom Ranger Hatchery, which specializes in Freedom Ranger Broilers. 

Advantages

  • Guarantee live birds with replacement for any that arrive failing to meet this criteria.
  • Ship to every US State and Puerto Rico.
  • Shipping is through USPS by zone.

Disadvantages

  • Potential ordering confusion resulting from hatchery outsourcing orders to parent farm.
  • Minimum orders from Nov. 1 through Mar. 31 is 25 chicks.
  • White Silkies are featured on website, but no mention of other Varieties available.

4. Mill Valley Chickens

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $25.00

Holistic and humane, Mill Valley takes pride in the love they raise their chickens with. Indeed, they ensure that all bedding is devoid of metal wiring, that their chickens receive only the highest quality organic feed, and ensure plenty of natural lighting. With all this care and attention, they have a single goal: to get you the highest quality chicks in the best possible health. From their headquarters in Marin County, CA, they not only raise chickens, but they design coops, and offer courses on raising chickens. 

Black Silkie variety only. 

Advantages

  • All chicks are a flat rate (unless otherwise noted). 
  • Provides a number of hatching dates. 
  • All chicks come vaccinated for Marek’s Disease. 

Disadvantages

  • Cluttered product web page. 
  • Pick up or limited shipping. 

5. Feather Lover Farms

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $49.00

Getting their start with the rare black Ayam Cemani breed, Feather Lover Farms, based in California, has expanded their roosts to include a number of other rare chicken breeds, including Silkies, Marans, Malaysian Seram, and Swedish Isbar. They have indoor/outdoor breeding facilities which offer equal amounts of shade and warm California sun. The climate allows breeding to happen 365 days a year. 

Advantages

  • Shipped weekly!
  • Low minimum orders of 3. 
  • Flat-Rate Shipping.
  • Optional Marek’s Vaccinations.

Disadvantages

  • Max orders of 15. 
  • Black Variety only.

6. Cackle Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $4.15

Cackle Hatchery proudly boasts that they have been hatching and shipping since 1936. A third-generation hatchery based in Missouri, their mission is to provide customers with quality poultry for showing, meat, enjoyment, and eggs. They ship throughout the USA, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. They offer nearly 200 different types of chickens at all stages. 

Cackle also offers many other kinds of poultry including ducks, water fowl, game birds, turkeys, and other fowl. They are also a good source for supplies and book. Silkies are offered in Black, White, Buff, Blue, Splash, or as an Assortment Special.

Advantages 

  • Discounts if you buy male chicks
  • Vaccinations available
  • Only need 3 birds to ship (or just one for male birds)

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability (February through August)
  • Sold as baby chicks only.

7. Chickens for Backyards

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $6.00

Chickens for Backyards is an online poultry store that ships orders from Phillipsburg, MO. It sells over 100 breeds of day-old chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas with orders as low as three fowl. They have a mix and match option for all breeds, which can be shipped all in the same order. 

Shipping schedules run from February through October. On their website, they offer a comprehensive FAQ page and Chick Care information. Silkies are offered in White, Splash, Buff, Blue, Black, and Assorted. 

Advantages 

  • Orders can be cancelled up to 24 hours before shipping. 
  • Free shipping on supplies.
  • Comprehensive FAQ that covers a range of questions from care, feed, shipping, sexing, local laws relating to chicken farming, and terms.

Disadvantages 

  • Offer a 90% sexing guarantee, and will refund 90% of the purchase price once the 90% guarantee is surpassed. 
  • Limited availability.

8. Northwoods Poultry

Average Straight Run Silkie Price: $10.00 

After leaving a life of Nine to Five, Charmaine and Jeff headed out into the countryside of Florence, WI to start a life of horses, chickens and trees. In the nine years since, they have built up a happy home supported by their chicken habit. They have made a point to select among some of the rarest and unusual chicken breeds to accommodate the demands of all manner of chicken enthusiast.

Northwoods offers three Varieties: Splash, Buff, and White. 

Advantages

  • Very affordable
  • All chicks are sold as a straight run.
  • 48 hour live chick guarantee.
  • Offers Marek’s Vaccine to order.
  • Mixing and matching is possible.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive shipping.
  • Requires orders of 15 or more. 

9. Meyer Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $4.34

Meyer Hatchery is based in Polk, Ohio, and boasts itself as the “premier Poultry Source.” Priding itself on customer service and availability, Meyer Hatchery provides a variety of chicken breeds to meet customer demands for color and diversity. They welcome mixing and matching of breeds of the same poultry type to meet minimum order requirement for safe shipping. To help with orders, they have a calendar of hatchings. 

Meyer has a variety of means of communication, including multiple phone numbers, fax, and email. They also run a blog that covers everything from breeds to plant pairing with chickens, feed, cooking recipes, fowl entertainment, and survival tips. They offer a variety of Silkie colors: White, Blue/Splash, Buff, Black, and Assorted.

Advantages

  • Website is up-to-date in real time. 
  • Accepts checks and credit cards
  • Guarantees gender of chicks either through refund or store credit.
  • Optional vaccination.
  • Member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and provide NPIP VS Form 9-3 free of charge. 
  • Offer orders of over 100 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited store hours that change with the season. 
  • Limited availability.

10. Serenity Sprouts

Average Straight-Run Silkie Price: $15.00

The futility of city life was abandoned for the “simpler (harder working) homestead lifestyle” of Serenity Sprouts in Strasburg, CO. There, a primary goal is providing organic quality eggs and chicken breeds to all they could. At Serenity Sprouts, they take as much joy as sharing chicken experiences they do in helping others get started with their own chicken-related lives. 

Serenity Sprouts offers Silkie Bantams in Buff, Black, White, Blue, Splash, and a “Surprise Me” option.

Advantages

  • Chick hatches can be reserved 1.5 years in advance!
  • Offer delivery to residences within 200 miles, otherwise, orders must be picked up at the farm.

Disadvantages

  • Increased rates depending on the chick’s coloring.
  • Cannot ship live animals. 
  • No refunds offered, though store credit is available in event of a faulty product. 

Related Articles

This article about where to buy silkie chickens was updated 11/20/2020.

Best Hatcheries to Buy Polish Chickens

Looking for the best hatcheries to buy Polish chickens? You’ve come to the right place.

When people think of Polish Chickens, they probably don’t think of the following: Netherlands, wacky, docile, and inquisitive. Most people get so caught up in the pom-pom or “70’s rocker” quality of their “hairdos.”

This often makes them look past their Dutch origins or their amazing temperaments. Certainly, it is so easy to fall for those amazingly poofy head displays, that we might overlook the fact that it is sometimes really hard for these chickens to see under them.

Any stumbling or klutziness that might result from these feathery displays, only make them even more endearing to chicken hobbyists. As well they should. Polish chickens – both the Frizzle variation and the standard one – are truly wonderful chickens that are best as show chicks or as a lovable pet that adds tons of personality both physically and individually. 

In the market for a Frizzle chicken? You can find our recommendations for some of the best hatcheries specifically for these kinds of birds here.

These birds are not as difficult to find as one might think. Indeed, as people are finding more and more ways to raise their own chickens, the bouffant heads of these remarkable birds make them instantly desirable. Below is a list of ten of the best hatcheries to buy Polish chickens- in all the wonderful varieties that they come in!

10 Best Hatcheries to Buy Polish Chickens

Polish chicken in front of white background

1. Meyer Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Assorted Polish Standard Chicken Price: $4.17

Meyer Hatchery is based in Polk, Ohio, and boasts itself as the “premier Poultry Source.” Priding itself on customer service and availability, Meyer Hatchery provides a variety of chicken breeds to meet customer demands for color and diversity. They welcome mixing and matching of breeds of the same poultry type to meet minimum order requirement for safe shipping. To help with orders, they have a calendar of hatchings. 

Meyer has a variety of means of communication, including multiple phone numbers, fax, and email. They also run a blog that covers everything from breeds to plant pairing with chickens, feed, cooking recipes, fowl entertainment, and survival tips.

We have linked the page to the Assorted Polish Standard Chickens above, but Meyer offers individual types of Polish and Crested Chickens as well. 

Advantages

  • Significant discounts if buying male chickens.
  • Accepts checks and credit cards.
  • Guarantees gender of chicks either through refund or store credit.
  • Optional vaccination.
  • Member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and provide NPIP VS Form 9-3 free of charge. 
  • Offer orders of over 100 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited store hours that change with the season.

2. Hoover’s Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Assorted Polish & Crested Chicken Price: $3.67

Another established brand if you’re looking for chicks is Hoover’s Hatchery. Hoover’s supplies many farm and garden supply stores in the United States with their chicks, making them a smart choice if you want to skip the middleman and order from the hatchery directly.

If you’re ordering chicks, make sure you have everything you need to keep them healthy. Pick up some chick starter before your little ones arrive!

Plus, Hoover’s offers free shipping on practically everything you order. You’ll have to buy at least 15 chicks; so Hoover’s might not be the best option if you live in a city with chicken restrictions. However, as long as you’re willing to buy in bulk, it’s a smart choice. You can even mix and match your order by adding other birds of other chicken breeds along with poultry species like pheasants, turkeys, guineas, ducks, and more. 

Not sure if you might want to add other species to the mix? You may change your mind after reading about some of these duck breeds that lay beautiful colored eggs.

Another benefit of ordering from Hoover’s Hatchery? Despite the fact that this hatchery is located in Iowa, not necessarily a warm-weather state, it hatches chicks all throughout the year – a must-know feature if you plan on buying chicks around Christmas time. 

If you are looking for a specific type of Polish or Crested Chicken, there is also a list of individual Polish and Crested Chickens for sale. 

Advantages:

  • Excellent guarantee and refund policy in case of shipping problems.
  • Hatches chicks during the winter, one of the few hatcheries to do so.
  • Sells other kinds of poultry too.

Disadvantages:

  • Large minimum order of 15 chicks or 20 bantams. 

3. Murray McMurray Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Golden Polish Chicken Price: $4.80

Murray McMurray started his chicken business in 1917. As a banker, he sold his chicks to locals through the bank and by 1919, he had developed his own stock of chickens. During the Great Depression, he devoted himself to chickens full time. Since then, Murray McMurray Hatchery has developed into one of the largest chick hatcheries in the country. They sell more than just chickens, with ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, other fowl and game birds all in the catalogue.

Sexed male chicks tend to be the cheapest, meaning you can get some serious savings if you’re planning on raising these birds primarily for meat. You can also buy pullets or mix and match your order with chicks of other breeds, too. If you’re interested in reading more about how to raise Polish chickens, you may want to check out our article on the subject.

We have linked the Golden Polish Chicken above, but if you are looking for other types of Polish Chickens, a list is available here

Advantages:

  • Males are extremely inexpensive
  • Bulk discounts available
  • Excellent breed availability 

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of six birds at a time

4. My Pet Chicken

Average Straight-Run Assorted Polish Chicken Price: $4.20

My Pet Chicken got started in 2005 by Traci Torres and her husband, Derek Sasaki, two novices to the chicken world who had a dream to help other novices in their farmers’ goals. To do this, the put free how-to information on the web and offered some unique products and services. 

The website launched in 2005 and in 2006, their flock had grown to the point to where they started offering chicks for sale from their headquarters in Monroe, CT. The site has been mentioned in another of publications, and serves tens of millions of page views per year.

Like with the above Hatcheries, My Pet Chicken offers individual types of Polish Chickens if you are looking for a specific breed.

Advantages 

  • Offers Marek’s vaccinations on all standard chicks at the click of a button.
  • Consistent hours of operation. 
  • A good source for questions about ordering chickens, chicken care, and about raising chickens.
  • Full refund for any bird that has been incorrectly sexed. 

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability.
  • Does not have a storefront

5. Cackle Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Silver Laced Polish Chicken Price: $3.95

Cackle Hatchery proudly boasts that they have been hatching and shipping since 1936. A third-generation hatchery based in Missouri, their mission is to provide customers with quality poultry for showing, meat, enjoyment, and eggs. They ship throughout the USA, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. They offer nearly 200 different types of chickens at all stages. 

Cackle also offers many other kinds of poultry including ducks, water fowl, game birds, turkeys, and other fowl. They are also a good source for supplies and book. 

The link above brings you to the Polish Chicken sales page. The price above relates to the Silver Laced Polish Chicken breed, however. 

Advantages 

  • Discounts if you buy male chicks.
  • Vaccinations available.
  • Only need 3 birds to ship (or just one for male birds).

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability. 
  • Sold as baby chicks only.

6. Purely Poultry

Average Straight-Run Silver Laced Polish Chicken Price: $4.46

As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds! 

Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed!

The link above will take you to the Polish Chicken page, and for individual Polish Chicken breeds, just click on the link you’re interested in. . The pricing above is for the Silver Laced Polish Chicken. Please note that the rates change depending on the breed you click on.

Advantages:

  • Each order backed by live arrival guarantee
  • Small order minimum on chicks 
  • Other kinds of poultry offered, too

Disadvantages:

  • Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal

7. Mill Valley Chickens

Average Straight-Run White-Crested Black Polish Chicken: $19.99

Holistic and humane, Mill Valley takes pride in the love they raise their chickens with. Indeed, they ensure that all bedding is devoid of metal wiring, that their chickens receive only the highest quality organic feed, and ensure plenty of natural lighting.

Need to stock up on some additional organic feed before your birds arrive? You can find some here.

With all this care and attention, they have a single goal: to get you the highest quality chicks in the best possible health. From their headquarters in Marin County, CA, they not only raise chickens, but they design coops, and offer courses on raising chickens. 

Advantages

  • All chicks are a flat rate (unless otherwise noted). 
  • Provides a number of hatching dates. 
  • All chicks come vaccinated for Marek’s Disease

Disadvantages

  • Cluttered product web page. 
  • Pick up or limited shipping.
  • Expensive

8. Sugar Feather Farm

Average Unsexed Tolbunt Polish Chick Price: $35.00

Located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, Sugar Feather Farm is a newer farm that got started in 2018. While the family got their start in California, they wanted the opportunity to share their love of animals, the environment, and sustainability, and found their opportunity for just that in the hills of Vermont.

They focus on heritage breeds as these are the breeds whose past closely align with our own and give us the strongest reminders of our history. 

Advantages

  • Take a “holistic” approach to the rearing of their animals. 
  • Convenient ordering instructions. 
  • Shoot for a 5-7 week order process. 

Disadvantages

  • Expensive. 
  • Does not offer Marek’s vaccines.

9. Omega Hills Farm

Average Straight-Run Tolbunt Polish Chicken Price: $39.00

If you live near Columbus, MS, Omega Hills Farm is quite close to you! Located  just outside that city, Omega Hills is 16 lovely acres cresting a hill that is maintained by not one, but three generations of family! While the farm has been going strong for over a decade, rare chicken breeds were not introduced until 2012.

Since then, they have had the great pleasure of seeing these rare breeds thrive as they seek to share them with you!

Advantages

  • Custom fills every order that comes in. 
  • Aim to ship orders as close to 5 weeks after the order as possible. 
  • Guarantees live orders of 6 chicks or more. 
  • Offers shipped chicks as well as pick-up orders. 
  • Vaccinate all chicks for Marek’s disease.

Disadvantages

  • Expensive.
  • Do not offer Day-Olds. 

10. Greenfire Farms

Average Straight-Run White Crested Cuckoo Polish Chicken: $29.00

Greenfire Farm, located in north Florida, takes great pride in a very important factor of the American life: immigration. They bring in most of their flock from abroad and get them USDA permits for hatching and sales. This makes Greenfire Farm’s chickens of very nationally unique bloodlines, which is a plus for chicken hobbyists looking for the most unique birds in the country.

To make sure that their foreign guests are happy, they provide ample sun, shelter, and snacks, which, in essence makes the farm a first rate tourist destination that their birds never want to leave! Their offspring are eager to share stories of this first step in the American journey with your flock, so get them while they’re young. 

Advantages

  • 6-chick minimum.
  • Sell Day-olds exclusively. 
  • Original importer of most of their flock. 
  • Ships to Hawaii and Alaska. 

Disadvantages

  • Expensive.
  • 6-chick minimum.

Related Articles

Best Hatcheries to Buy Blue Laced Red Wyandottes

The best treasures are often the hardest to find. Imagine the state of the world if everyone had a goblet that provided them with eternal life. In a way, it might cheapen the experience. Or, if you’re one of those individuals with a notorious history with your in-laws, it might mean that they would constantly be ringing your spouse to complain about you. 

Luckily, when we think about the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, it’s not annoying in-laws that we have to worry about, but rather, just how beautiful and special these birds are. They were developed in New York State and Wisconsin in the late 1800s, and the color range is enormous! But the best variety of Wyandotte, the Blue Laced Red variety, is the hardest to come by. They are that special version of the elixir of life that add incredible depth of color to the flock with their blue splashes at the tips of their feathers. These dual-purpose chickens truly are a sight to behold. What makes them so valuable, though, is the fact that they do not breed true. In order to get their special coloring, breeders must breed quite carefully, and even then, there is a chance that the offspring won’t have the remarkable coloring that these exquisite birds are known for! 

As a result of the challenge of breeding them, Blue Laced Red Wyandottes tend to be a bit more expensive than most breeds. There are a number of hatcheries around the USA that offer them, however, so while the task of getting these special birds is nothing to laugh at, finding them is not as laborious as ages of research, dark web adventures, or run-ins with Nazis (hyperlink “run-ins with Nazis” to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sagmdpkWUqc). Below are ten of the best places to find Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chickens!

1.  Meyer Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery tohttps://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=BLRS)

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $11.13

Meyer Hatchery is based in Polk, Ohio, and boasts itself as the “premier Poultry Source.” Priding itself on customer service and availability, Meyer Hatchery provides a variety of chicken breeds to meet customer demands for color and diversity. They welcome mixing and matching of breeds of the same poultry type to meet minimum order requirement for safe shipping. To help with orders, they have a calendar of hatchings. 

Meyer has a variety of means of communication, including multiple phone numbers, fax, and email. They also run a blog that covers everything from breeds to plant pairing with chickens, feed, cooking recipes, fowl entertainment, and survival tips.

Advantages

  • Website is up-to-date in real time. 
  • Accepts checks and credit cards.
  • Guarantees gender of chicks either through refund or store credit.
  • Optional vaccination.
  • Member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and provide NPIP VS Form 9-3 free of charge. 
  • Offer orders of over 100 chicks. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited store hours that change with the season.

2. Cackle Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.cacklehatchery.com/blue-laced-red-wyandottes.html)

Average Not Sexed Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chick: $3.90

Cackle Hatchery proudly boasts that they have been hatching and shipping since 1936. A third-generation hatchery based in Missouri, their mission is to provide customers with quality poultry for showing, meat, enjoyment, and eggs. They ship throughout the USA, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. They offer nearly 200 different types of chickens at all stages. 

Cackle also offers many other kinds of poultry including ducks, water fowl, game birds, turkeys, and other fowl. They are also a good source for supplies and book. 

Advantages 

  • Discounts if you buy male chicks.
  • Vaccinations available.
  • Only need 3 birds to ship (or just one for male birds).

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability (February through August).
  • Sold as baby chicks only.

3. Murray McMurray Hatchery: (hyperlink name to https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/blue_laced_red_wyandotte.html)

Average Unsexed Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $3.90

Murray McMurray started his chicken business in 1917. As a banker, he sold his chicks to locals through the bank and by 1919, he had developed his own stock of chickens. During the Great Depression, he devoted himself to chickens full time. Since then, Murray McMurray Hatchery has developed into one of the largest chick hatcheries in the country. They sell more than just chickens, with ducks, geese, guineas, turkeys, other fowl and game birds all in the catalogue.

Sexed male chicks tend to be the cheapest, meaning you can get some serious savings if you’re planning on raising these birds primarily for meat. You can also buy pullets or mix and match your order with chicks of other breeds, too. 

Advantages:

  • Bulk discounts available.
  • Excellent breed availability through August .

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of six birds at a time.
  • Available only as chicks.

4.My Pet Chicken: (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/Baby-Chicks/Blue-Laced-Red-Wyandotte-p738.aspx)

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $11.15

 My Pet Chicken got started in 2005 by Traci Torres and her husband, Derek Sasaki, two novices to the chicken world who had a dream to help other novices in their farmers’ goals. To do this, the put free how-to information on the web and offered some unique products and services. 

The website launched in 2005 and in 2006, their flock had grown to the point to where they started offering chicks for sale from their headquarters in Monroe, CT. The site has been mentioned in another of publications, and serves tens of millions of page views per year.

Advantages 

  • Offers Marek’s vaccinations on all standard chicks at the click of a button.
  • Consistent hours of operation. 
  • A good source for questions about ordering chickens, chicken care, and about raising chickens.
  • Full refund for any bird that has been incorrectly sexed. 

Disadvantages 

  • Limited availability.
  • Does not have a storefront.
  • There is a 10-chick maximum on this breed.

5. Welp Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery tohttps://www.welphatchery.com/layer-type-chicks/wyandotte-blue-laced-red-straight-run/ )

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $3.78

Located in Bancroft, IA, Welp Hatchery was founded way back in 1929 by Joseph H. Welp. While their specialty is Cornish Rock Broilers, they have diversified to include a wide range of chicken breeds. To simplify their orders, they have a catalogue available for viewing or downloading (hyperlink “catalog” to https://www.welphatchery.com/uploads/WELPCATALOG2020_2020-01-27_13-51-43.html). From their shipping points in Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this hatchery truly has a wide reach. 

Advantages 

  • Can choose the breeding date on the product page. 
  • Marek’s immunization is a one-click process.

Disadvantages 

  • Maximum orders of 25.

6. Hoover’s Hatchery: (hyperlink name to https://hoovershatchery.com/bluelaceredwyandotte.html)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $7.32

Another established brand if you’re looking for chicks is Hoover’s Hatchery. Hoover’s supplies many farm and garden supply stores in the United States with their chicks, making them a smart choice if you want to skip the middleman and order from the hatchery directly.

Plus, Hoover’s offers free shipping on practically everything you order. You’ll have to buy at least 15 chicks; so Hoover’s might not be the best option if you live in a city with chicken restrictions. However, as long as you’re willing to buy in bulk, it’s a smart choice. You can even mix and match your order by adding other birds of other chicken breeds along with poultry species like pheasants, turkeys, guineas, ducks, and more. 

Another benefit of ordering from Hoover’s Hatchery? Despite the fact that this hatchery is located in Iowa, not necessarily a warm-weather state, it hatches chicks all throughout the year – a must-know feature if you plan on buying chicks around Christmastime. 

Advantages:

  • Excellent guarantee and refund policy in case of shipping problems.
  • Hatches chicks during the winter, one of the few hatcheries to do so.
  • Sells other kinds of poultry too.

Disadvantages:

  • Large minimum order.
  • Offers chicks only.

7. Elk Valley Farm (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.elkvalleyfarm.com/product-page/blue-laced-red-wyandotte)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $15.00

Elk Valley Farm specializes in raw milk products and rare heritage poultry. They are located in Eagle Point, OR and focus on quality over quantity. With their focus on environmental stewardship, they provide only the highest quality meat, eggs, and milk. The eggs they produce are vetted for beauty and breed standards, which means that all of their birds have tested negative for diseases and are readily available for shipping all around the USA.

Advantages 

  • Has a convenient breeding chart for predictions of hatched coloring.
  • Bred with a focus on sustainability and environmental stewardship.
  • Offer both local pick-up and shipping. 
  • No minimums for chicks picked up on the farm.

Disadvantages 

  • Color ratios of naturally hatched chicks come as what is available from sale.
  • Do not accept returns.
  • Does not ship to Alaska or Hawaii.

8. Purely Poultry: (hyperlink name to https://www.purelypoultry.com/blue-laced-red-wyandotte-chickens-p-872.html)

Average Not-Sexed Day-Old Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $15.35

As a family-owned business, Purely Poultry has some of the best customer service around. They pride themselves on their knowledge of their products, selection, and how-to details related to everything they offer, including ducks, chickens, geese, and lots of other birds! 

Located in Durand, WI, they guarantee live birds with every order, which is a good promise, indeed!

Advantages:

  • Each order backed by live arrival guarantee.
  • Small order minimum on chicks.
  • Other kinds of poultry offered, too.

Disadvantages:

  • Not a huge advantage to buying multiple chicks – discounts are minimal.

9. Chickens for Backyards: (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.chickensforbackyards.com/product/blue-laced-red-wyandotte/) 

Average Straight-Run Blue Laced Red Wyandotte Chicken Price: $6.00

Chickens for Backyards is an online poultry store that ships orders from Phillipsburg, MO. It sells over 100 breeds of day-old chicks, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas with orders as low as three fowl. They have a mix and match option for all breeds, which can be shipped all in the same order. 

Shipping schedules run from February through October. On their website, they offer a comprehensive FAQ page and Chick Care information. 

Advantages 

  • Orders can be cancelled up to 24 hours before shipping. 
  • Free shipping on supplies.
  • Comprehensive FAQ that covers a range of questions from care, feed, shipping, sexing, local laws relating to chicken farming, and terms.

Disadvantages 

  • Offer a 90% sexing guarantee, and will refund 90% of the purchase price once the 90% guarantee is surpassed. 
  • Limited Availability.

10. Hatch Poultry Farms (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.hatchpoultry.com/products/blue-laced-red-wyandotte-chickens)

Average Straight-Run Red Laced Blue Wyandotte Chicken Price: $4.00

Hatch Poultry is unique among many vendors in that their primary focus is quails rather than chickens. That is not to say that they lack an extensive selection of chickens, with no fewer than 17 different breeds available, incliding Leghorns, Sai Pan, Jungle Fowl, Rhode Island Whites, Wyandottes, Ayam Cemani, and Silkies. They got their start in Maine, and have spread all over the state as well as branching out to Florida, California, Ohio, and Texas.

Advantages 

  • Offer discounts to commercial customers. 
  • Offer no less than a 50% hatch rate. 
  • Free domestic shipping on orders over $75.

Disadvantages 

  • Orders have a 7-day wait before placement in the shipping calendar. 

Why is My Hen Crowing?

Most experienced chicken owners have had this experience – or at least one similar. You’re sitting in your living room, enjoying a cup of coffee while you listen to your hens cackle and chirp in the backyard coop. Then all of a sudden, a crow breaks through the morning area. 

A crow? Why is my hen crowing?

Relax. You probably didn’t mistakenly receive a rooster in your chick order (although you may want to double check, since this does occasionally happen!). Chances are, your hen is crowing for another reason. 

Here are some of the most common reasons why hens crow – it’s really nothing to worry about.

Common Reasons Why Your Hen Might Crow 

The Pecking Order

You are likely already familiar with the pecking order in chickens, but if not, now is a good time to brush up on it! The pecking order is an established order of dominance that makes itself clear very early on in a group of chickens’ lives. Whenever new chickens are introduced to the flock, the pecking order must be reestablished. 

Often, hens will crow to establish their places in the pecking order. They do this to assert their dominance and establish a territory – just like roosters will. If your hens are crowing, chances are, they’re on some sort of power trip.

Keep in mind, the crow won’t sound exactly like a rooster’s, but if you’re new to raising chickens you might have a hard time differentiating between the two. The crowing might sound a bit strangled and terse, in fact. 

You’ll know that the crowing behavior is related to a pecking order issue if there are some other behaviors that are going on in the flock. For example, there might be some aggression among your chickens or even some bullying behaviors (like feather picking) going on.

In most cases, this will sort itself out in a matter of a few days. If it doesn’t, though, you may need to remove the more dominant hen and isolate her until she calms down a bit. A new pecking order will be established in her absence, and things will likely be more mellow upon her return.

Lack of a Rooster

If you once had a rooster but no longer do, occasionally, a hen will decide to take his place and start crowing. This is usually also related to the pecking order or flock hierarchy, and more often than not occurs as your hen imitates the behavior of roosters.

Presence of Male Sex Hormones 

Wait, a hen can turn into a rooster? Well, sort of. 

It is entirely possible for a hen to develop a few male sex hormones, either from birth or sporadically. As a result, you might notice your hen adopting more masculine features, such as the production of spurs, a slowing in egg production, the development of pronounced wattles and plumage, and – you guessed it –  a crow. 

A hen is born with two ovaries, just like a human. The left ovary grows and develops, producing all the estrogen a hen needs to regulate the production of ova (or oocytes in chickens). They release into the oviduct tract. 

The right ovary, on the other hand, does not develop as the hen grows, instead remaining dormant, tiny, and mostly undeveloped.

Spontaneous sex reversal can occur if the left ovary is damaged or stops producing the required amounts of estrogen for some reason. Since the left ovary is the only one producing any estrogen, without it, her levels of estrogen will drop and her testosterone will rise. She will start to transform to take on male characteristics and behaviors. 

But is she now a rooster? Well…kind of. Technically, she is still a hen. Interestingly, though, once the left ovary totally fails and the right one turns on, it will develop into a male sex organ, known as an ovotestis, which can actually produce sperm and cause your hen to try to mate with other hens in the flock! 

Usually, these kinds of changes aren’t at all noticeable unless there is some kind of hormonal issue in your hens. This cause of crowing isn’t as common as others, but it can still happen – and is something to be aware of.

What Are Normal Noises for Hens to Make?

If you think your hen might be crowing, listen carefully – it might not be a crow but instead some other kind of noise that your hen is making. Here are some of the most common. 

Cluck of Contentment

When you spend a lot of time listening to your hens as they free range around the pen, this is a call that you will likely hear your chickens making quite frequently. It sounds like a calm, peaceful, and low murmuring. They make this sound to indicate to each other that they are all in earshot and are doing well. 

Alarm Call

This is perhaps the second most common chicken noise you will hear – but it’s not necessarily one you want to hear. If your chickens start the alarm call, which sounds like a fast, loud, and persistent repetitive clucking, you need to check to see what’s going on. Left unaddressed, that call will turn into a sharper, more piercing shriek or scream – it means something is coming after them.

Egg Song

The egg song is most often heard by coops with multiple hens, where they’re all vying to get into the nest boxes at the same time. It sounds loud and persistent and will continue until the noise-making hen gets her way and is finally able to wiggle into a nesting box.

Broody Growls

If you’ve ever had to deal with a broody hen, you are probably familiar with the broody growl. When a hen does not want to leave her nest, she will puff her chest up, growl, and even hiss when challenged. 

Later, the broody growls should shift – if a broody hen is allowed to hatch her own eggs, she will start to murmur and coo to her unhatched chicks. This often starts before the eggs hatch, when the mother hen is starting to talk to her chicks inside the eggs. 

You can sometimes hear the chicks talking back! 

Food Call 

Last but not least is the food call. Although this is usually the rooster’s job, if you don’t have any roosters in your backyard flock, you might find that one of your hens takes this job upon herself instead, as the dominant leader. 

When she finds good food, she will announce it with a sort of “tuk tuk” call to draw in the rest of the flock. It’s similar to the call used by a mother hen when she talks to her young. 

Hens Can Crow – And It’s Usually Nothing to Worry About 

Believe it or not, it is possible for a hen to crow! Fortunately, it is usually nothing you need to worry about. It’s usually a sign that one hen, in particular, has established dominance over the other hens in the flock. The crowing behavior may go away on its own over time, but if it doesn’t, there’s no reason to panic. It is totally harmless. 

In rare conditions, it is possible for a hen to develop male characteristics, but this is not common. As long as your hen is acting normally besides the crowing, carry on! It’s just a bit of backyard noise.