Best Hatcheries to Buy Jersey Giant Chickens

When one hears the name “Jersey Giant,” it might be understandable to envision a massive giant tromping and stomping over the hills. Luckily for poultry lovers, these robust fowl are nothing at all like immense monsters upsetting livestock and unearthing trees.

They are, however, the winner of the “biggest chicken breed.” Jersey Giant roosters can grow to a massive 15 lbs and reach the stately heights of up to 26 inches. Their female counterparts can reach up to 11 pounds and as tall as 20 inches. These are some BIG birds!

They are quite colorful, too, with their Black, Blue, and White variants being recognized by the American Poultry Association. A fourth color – Splash – is not recognized by the APA because it is a genetic quirk of a color that can sometimes result from breeding two Blues. Jersey’s are best as an addition to homes looking for an excellent show breed, some amazing broilers, or hens that lay between 150 and 200 brown eggs per year. 

To find some, one need only check out the links below, and with a credit card at your side, it won’t be long before these immense birds are growing in your own coops and runs!

Below are some of the best hatcheries to buy Jersey Giant chickens so you can get started with raising your backyard flock of these behemoths today.

What is the Jersey Giant?

You can read more about large egg laying chickens here, but the most important thing to know about Jersey Giant chickens is that if you are looking for a chicken breed that’s great for egg production as well as serving as a solid meat bird, this is the one.

Jersey Giant chickens are perfect free range birds, offering decent egg production without compromising on egg size or meat.

Ready to start raising Jersey Giants? Pick up some chick starter here and check out the list of the best hatcheries to buy Jersey Giant chicks.

10 Best Hatcheries to Buy Jersey Giant Chickens

two jersey giant chickens

1. Meyer Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $3.24

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 quantity requirements 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. Meyer offers Black Jersey Giant Chickens. 

FYI – looking for egg-cellent chicken feed? Have a look at our layer feed for sale here.

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 Marek’s 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.

2. Cackle Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $3.05

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 books. Cackle Hatchery offers both Black and White Jersey Giant Chickens. 

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 July).

3. Hoover’s Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $3.21

Hoover’s Hatchery 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. Hoover’s Hatchery offers only Black Jersey Giant Chickens. 

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 quantity.

4. Murray McMurray Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant 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 heritage chicken breeds, too. McMurray’s Hatchery offers both Black and White Jersey Giants.

Advantages:

  • Males are extremely inexpensive
  • Bulk discounts available

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of six birds at a time

5. Welp Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant 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. From their shipping points in Iowa, New Mexico, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, this hatchery truly has a wide reach. They offer both Black and Blue Jersey Giants

Advantages 

  • Can choose the breeding date on the product page. 
  • Marek’s immunization is a one-click process.
  • Minimum orders of 5.
  • Wintertime availability for select breeds (including Blue Jersey Giants!)

Disadvantages 

  • Maximum orders of 25.

6. Chickens for Backyards

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $3.95

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. Chickens for Backyards offers only Black Jersey Giants.

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. 

7. Purely Poultry

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $4.82

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! Jersey Giants are hatched from February through October. Purely Poultry offers both Black and White Jersey Giant Chickens. 

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.

8. My Pet Chicken

Average Straight-Run Jersey Chicken Price: $3.25

 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. Black Jersey Giants can be purchased only.  

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 

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

9.  California Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Price: $3.99

Nestled in the hills outside of Los Angeles, California Hatchery is making a name for themselves as an online resource for chickens, ducks, and goslings. They are proud to offer day-old ducklings nearly every day of the year! This is great for their backyard duck enthusiasts. While availability of their chickens isn’t quite as high as their ducks, they do ensure that their chicks can be shipped anywhere in the USA, which is certainly a plus for chicken enthusiasts! California Hatchery offers Black Jersey Giant Chickens. 

Advantages

  • Low minimum shipping numbers which can be mixed and matched. 
  • Safe arrival guarantee for replacement or reimbursement. 
  • Reasonable shipping costs. 

Disadvantages

  • Optional Marek’s vaccination is quite expensive. 
  • Service fee on any cancellations shorter than a fortnight. 

10. Townline Hatchery

Average Straight-Run Jersey Giant Chicken Price: $4.20

Townline Hatchery, out of Zeeland, MI, prides itself on its hands-on approach that its entire experienced staff observes. In fact, they have an entire series of how to raise birds! Their FAQ section is already quite comprehensive, and they encourage customers to contact them with any questions not already covered. They provide customers with 26 different breed of bird.

The only disadvantage to ordering from Townline is that you’ll have to buy in bulk. The hatchery has a minimum order of fifteen chicks, which can be a challenge if you live in a city that has restrictions on how many birds you can raise (most towns cap it at six hens). However, if you’re planning on shopping for a large flock anyway, Townline is the way to go – the hatchery offers a discount of several dollars per bird when you buy more than 100 chicks. Townline Hatchery has Black Jersey Giant Chickens available. 

Advantages:

  • Superior customer service.
  • Excellent reputation as one of the longest-standing hatcheries.
  • Great for buying chicks in large quantities.

Disadvantages:

  • Not many hatching dates available for fall, winter, or early spring shipping.
  • Comparatively expensive.

Related Articles

Homemade Suet Cakes For Chickens: Great Boredom Busters!

Crafting homemade suet cakes for chickens is a simple way to boost the fat in your flock’s diet while giving them a way to stay occupied.

 

In fact, a frequent question I get is “Can chickens eat suet cakes?,” and not only is the answer a definitive “YES!” but feeding diy suet cakes to chickens can help reduce bad behavior and stress from being confined in a coop all day.

 

It’s summer, so right now I’m making suet cakes to help my chickens stay cool.

 

And they’re a total hit!


While my hens otherwise look like they’re ready to melt and are completely miserable as they try to stay cool in our 100+ degree heat, when they catch sight of their suet cakes, the light comes back in their eyes as they realize they’re about to have a blast.

 

Needless to say, as soon as I drop the treats in their chicken feeders, it’s game on.

 

I like to use coconut oil when I make homemade suet cakes for chickens because it’s good for them (with good antibacterial qualities), it’s malleable, and it holds the corn, oats, and other things I add fairly well.

 

It’s also a nice source of healthy fat, particularly in winter, when you need to worry more about their calorie intake in the cold.

 

If you’re feeling particularly creative, you can make homemade suet cakes with bacon grease or other grease leftover from cooking.

 

You can use grease by itself, but I like to mix it with coconut oil (especially good for winter, when the extra protein will help them out).

 

Remember, however, that these are treats – not a replacement for a good basic diet.

 

Although I can guarantee your chickens will love your homemade suet and come running whenever they see you have them!
This is the best homemade suet cake for chickens recipe I’ve found that will help your chickens improve their health while providing a treat, and I’m happy to share it with you!

What should you add to homemade suet cakes for chickens?

 

You can pretty much add anything that’s fine for chickens to eat. Some easy choices are:

  • Corn
  • Oatmeal
  • Chopped unsalted peanuts
  • Dry peas
  • Wheat berries
  • Lentils
  • Flax seeds (improves omega-3s in eggs)
  • Sunflower seeds (high in fat)

 

I like to add more corn and peanuts in the winter for an energy boost to help them through the night.

 

Another option is to add pea sprouts, microgreens, etc, which is especially easy to do if you use coconut oil.

 

You can also add fresh or dry herbs. Oregano, sage, and thyme are good options that are also easy to source.

What shape should homemade suet cakes be?

 

As for shape, you have a few options.

 

I like to use a muffin tin; we have a lot of chickens, and a single large block would get eaten by the few, leaving the rest of our chickens wanting.

 

So, the muffin tin makes sure everyone gets a piece of the suet cakes.

 

You can also use a shallow pan, or anything that fits easily into your freezer.

How to make homemade suet cakes for chickens

 

Grab a muffin tin or pan

If using a pan, make sure it’s deep enough to accommodate all the coconut oil you plan to use.

 

Melt the coconut oil over low heat, just until melted (especially important if using sprouts)

Coconut oil has a melting point of 77 degrees, so it only needs to be warmed until it starts to melt. Any more, and you might destroy some of the beneficial properties of the oil, as well as potentially cooking some of your additives (and altering their nutrients).

 

This is particularly key if you plan to use sprouts – when they’re fresh, sprouts have more nutrients. But if they cook in hot oil, your chickens will enjoy them less.

 

Stir in whatever you’re adding

I like using regular oatmeal. People always seem to give it to us, and this is a simple way to use it up that’s also a nice treat for our backyard chickens.

 

Grind or chop up whatever you’re adding to your homemade suet cakes to make sure the entire block doesn’t crumble, and if you use peanuts, make sure they’re unsalted.

 

You can also alter your recipe depending on the season, adding more corn in the winter when energy is important, and flax seeds in the summer when they’re laying eggs again.

 

Pour mixture into muffin tins

Fill to the top, since the coconut oil won’t really expand in the cold. You can add some extra oatmeal or corn on the top as well.

 

Remember that the muffin pan will be hot (especially if you let the coconut oil get hotter than 77 degrees), so be careful picking it up and moving it.

 

Freeze until solid

Time will vary depending on your freezer. I like to make homemade suet cakes for chickens in the evening, then let them freeze overnight.

 

Invert pan to remove the homemade suet cakes

If you need to, you can run a knife around the edge of the pan, but I’ve found that’s less effective than simply turning the pan over and tapping on the bottom.

 

Feed and watch your chickens enjoy!

Remember that coconut oil has a low melting point, so don’t remove them from the freezer until you’re actually ready to feed them.

 

I’ve found they start to melt as soon as I bring them outside. 

 

Making homemade suet cakes is easy – and it’s a good way to fight boredom, reduce bad behaviors, and make sure your hens are getting extra calories!

 

I’d like to hear from you!

Do you think you’ll try making homemade suet cakes for chickens? Leave a comment below!

What To Do In Your Coop In November

November is here…..and there’s plenty you can do in your chicken coop to keep your hens and roosters healthy.

 

Fall is typically when we see an uptick in predators AND you might notice signs your flock is slowing down due to the lack of light and the cold.

 

You likely already noticed your chickens aren’t laying as many eggs…..and there’s lots of reasons for that!

 

Now is when your flock needs some extra TLC and support.

 

Here’s 7 care items you should do in November to raise a healthy flock of backyard chickens!

backyard chicken baby chick

Buy all the pumpkins you can at a hefty discount

Get out there and start hauling some pumpkins home. Leftover Halloween pumpkins go for about $1 after everyone’s done trick or treating.

 

Ones to especially keep an eye on are the “ugly” pumpkins, also known as Hubbard squashes.

 

They’re typically $9 before Halloween, but you can score them for nearly free, since most people don’t realize they’re edible!

 

Store your haul in a cool, dark location. They’ll keep for months, and you’ll be providing your flock with LOTS of juicy nutrients right when they need it most.

 

Want ALL the pumpkins a store has? You might be able to get a bulk discount if you talk to the manager!

 

Be sure to remove the rind before feeding or crack them open – your chickens likely WON’T peck through the hard rind.

 

Have a plan for freezing rain days

Freezing rain is even more deadly than snow or even sub zero temperatures. And the WORST is when it starts to rain and you have no way to keep your flock dry and warm.

 

Make a plan NOW and decide how you’ll deal with freezing rain so your chickens stay warm. Is your run uncovered? Can you cover it at the drop of a hat?

 

Is your coop completely enclosed? What will you do if a hen is wet, and it’s 20 degrees outside?

 

Making these decisions NOW makes life easier down the road for you AND your backyard chickens.

 

Check for signs of predators

Prevent a problem before it becomes a big problem. Don’t wait for a hen to go missing – look for signs of predators and get rid of them before you lose a backyard chicken.

 

Look for:

  • Footprints
  • Flighty flock/sudden change in flock behavior
  • Critters getting into your trash or other signs

 

Signs such as footprints and a trash-filled yard are easy to spot signs. But flock behavior requires a bit more introspection on your side.

 

Note your flock’s behavior: Have they suddenly stopped going to one part of your property? Are they insisting on roosting constantly?

 

Any behavior that’s different is a sign that a predator might be around.

 

If you have a “gut feeling” something isn’t right but you can’t tell exactly what, you can always install a game camera.

backyard chicken rooster with comb

Want eggs? Add a light bulb to your coop

This time of year, I get LOTS of questions about why chickens stop laying eggs. Usually, it’s due to the fewer daylight hours.

 

If you want an egg supply during the winter, try adding a daylight simulating bulb to your chicken coop, and let it run 2 hours before dawn and 2 hours after sunset.

 

Of course, if you don’t want eggs, then skip this suggestion!

 

Take photos of your flock with all the autumn leaves!

Don’t forget to enjoy this season – fall only happens once a year, and it’s a HUGE photo opp!

 

Spend a few afternoons taking photos of your chickens against the pretty fall leaves. You won’t regret it!

 

If you’re not a great photographer, you can always hire a pro! People hire photographers for their dogs, right?

 

Add “warming spices” on cold days

Certain spices will increase circulation, which can help your flock get an extra little kick of warmth.

 

Some options are:

  • Chili
  • Nutmeg
  • Sage
  • Prickly Ash

 

You can add the herbs to their feed to ensure your flock eats them. Just a pinch per chicken will do!

 

Provide herbs that are traditionally used to support healthy immune systems

You might worry your flock will feel the effects of winter, just like humans do. To support them and to raise healthy backyard chickens, you can add herbs to their feed.

 

These herbs are traditionally used to support healthy immune systems:

  • Oregano
  • Garlic
  • Calendula
  • Elderberries
  • Echinacea

 

You can feed them separately or together in an herbal blend such as PCM StrongHen.

 

Do a sweep to check for mice or rats

Lastly, do an inspection to double check no mice or rats have taken up residence in your coop. Especially in older coops, there can be nooks and crannies.

 

Mice and rats will make messes, leave diseases and fleas, and possibly cause your backyard chickens to get upset, or at least change their daily patterns. Not good!<!– Default Statcounter code for Chicken-coop-november
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Best Hatcheries to Buy Delaware Chickens

American breeds of chicken have been around since the foundation of the USA, and right at the top of that list – in terms of quality dual-purposing, look, style, and bloodline – are the Delawares. These amazing birds are a relatively recent addition to the American bloodlines, but their impact is without question. Technically, they are a gem of layer, producing large brown eggs, a good size for potential broilers out there; additionally, they are one of the brood hens in red sex-link hybrids. 

But really? One of the main attractions to barnyard breeding is the pet aspect of our birds! Delawares are a pure joy to keep in the backyard roosts. They are quiet. They are friendly. They are curious. And they are beautiful with their white feathering and dusting of dark at the tips of their neck and tail feathers. 

Sadly, these amazing birds have been on the decline of late, and have even fallen into the “threatened” species category. Fortunately, these Northern gems are still available all throughout the United States. To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of TEN hatcheries whose duty is to provide you with the means to add these Delaware Chickens to your backyards!

1. Meyer Hatchery (hyperlink hatchery name to https://www.meyerhatchery.com/productinfo.a5w?prodID=DELS

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $3.24

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. 
  • Limited availability.

2. Purely Poultry (hyperlink name to https://www.purelypoultry.com/delaware-chickens-p-635.html)

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $3.85

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

3. Cackle Hatchery (hyperlink hatchery name to https://www.cacklehatchery.com/delawares.html )

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $3.05

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 books. 

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 September)

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

Average Straight-Run Delaware 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:

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

Disadvantages:

  • Minimum order of six birds at a time

5. The Chick Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://thechickhatchery.com/home/delaware/ )

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $2.70

The Chick hatchery is Michigan’s “premier source for superior quality poultry.” With a creed that revolves around the sharing and joy of raising chickens, they operate in no-kill facilities. They raise their chickens humanely, with any unsold chicks going to Amish farms. Much of the experience of raising chickens is the awareness of the individual chicken and the relationship between food and our own health.

Their Delaware Chickens are available from February to September. 

Advantages

  • Ships a minimum of 3 of each sex.
  • All poultry guaranteed live delivery.
  • Offers discounts on orders of larger quantities of birds*. 

Disadvantages

  • Limited availability – February to September.
  • Does not ship to Hawaii or outside the USA.

6. Chickens for Backyards (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.chickensforbackyards.com/product/delaware/ )

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $4.15

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. 

7. Mill Valley Chickens (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.millvalleychickens.com/chickens-for-sale.html )

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $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. 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. 
  • Offer a 90% sexing guarantee for all chicks.

Disadvantages

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

8. Bob’s Biddies LLC (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://bobsbiddies.com/breeds-pricing/

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $2.50

A Chicken Hatchery with that Southern flavor, Bob Berry retired from construction engineering in Ray City, GA with his memories of the Dominique and Delaware Chickens that he grew up with. With his wife Diane, he set out with these two breeds with the goal of personal care and sharing his joy with other chicken owners. When you buy from Bob’s Biddies, you can guaranteed that these National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP)-certified chickens are “backyard-grown and backyard-hatched.” 

Since starting, they have expanded their available breeds to include Buff Orpingtons, Ameraucana, Silkies, and others, though can any of these breeds truly compare to the Delawares that Bob first fell for?

Delware Chickens are available from January through June. 

Advantages

  • Birds are professionally sexed.
  • Can be shipped with as short as a 3-week  lead time. 
  • Guarantee all chicks to arrive safely and alive. 

Disadvantages

  • Minimum to ship is 25 chicks. 

9. Freedom Ranger Hatchery (hyperlink name of hatchery to https://www.freedomrangerhatchery.com/delaware-gmo-free.asp)

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $3.25

Freedom Ranger Hatchery is a family hatchery in the best possible concept of that. Getting its start in 2005 in Lancaster County, PA, duties are shared and split amongst several branches of the Detweiler and Fox families. Their cumulative passion is the creation of GMO free chickens that would make Jesus Christ proud. They offer about a dozen chicken breeds and a quarter as many kinds of ducks, as well as some other varieties of fowl.

Delaware Chickens are available in July through October.  

Advantages

  • Can ship orders in excess of 100!
  • Optional Marek’s Vaccinations for 5 cents. 
  • A shipping schedule conveniently placed on the web page. 
  • Ships to Hawaii.

Disadvantages

  • Limited variety of Chicken breeds.

10. Ideal Poultry (hyperlink hatchery name to https://www.idealpoultry.com/product/1344/2)

Average Straight-Run Delaware Chicken Price: $2.90

From Texas to your home, Ideal Poultry has been providing chicken owners with stock since 1937! At Ideal, their excellent customer service agents seek to provide their clients with everything they might want, from exceptional birds, to smooth and safe shipping, to even supplying answers to any and all question that might be raised about their fantastic fowls! They ship 5 million chicks annually! And that doesn’t even include the variety of non-chicken birds available. 

Advantages

  • Can ship orders exceeding 100 chicks!
  • Easy-access breed availability calendars on the web pages for each breed. 

Disadvantages

  • Expensive optional Marek’s Vaccinations. 
  • No direct access to shipping information on their website

Stop Pendulous Crop In Backyard Chickens In Its Tracks!

Pendulous crop in backyard chickens can be a stressful event to manage.

You might even be wondering what pendulous crop even IS, especially if you’re a new chicken mama or papa. Well, I’m not going to pretend pendulous crop isn’t serious – it can definitely be an issue and it must be addressed. Without taking care of it, your chicken might not absorb the nutrients she needs and eventually, will waste away, lose weight, and die.

In this article, I’m going to tell you exactly what pendulous crop in backyard chickens is, and how to deal with it. At the end, you’ll have a good idea of how to handle this situation, should you ever need to help one of your chickens!

What is pendulous crop?

You might have noticed the word “pendulous” in pendulous crop, and that’ll give you a starting point to understand this health issue. In case you don’t know, the crop is part of your chicken’s digestive system. It’s where food is stored and begins the breaking down process.

As you can imagine, it’s critical the crop is healthy and in good shape to help your hen digest her food. When a hen gets pendulous crop, it can be due to a couple things:

  • The crop is impacted, and the weight of the food the hen consumes is getting heavier and stretching the crop.
  • The hen might also be anatomically predisposed to having pendulous crop, meaning her crop is larger, or naturally sags more than it should.

Either way, the crop has become impacted and needs to be cleared out.

You might wonder what the difference between pendulous crop and impacted crop is. Basically, pendulous crop is a type of impacted crop.

pendulous crop backyard chickens

Photo courtesy of Heretha Bell

Why does pendulous crop happen?

Simply put, the reason pendulous crop happens in backyard chickens is because the crop stretches due to too much food or possibly the anatomy of the chicken.  After your hen swallows food, for whatever reason (possibly a piece of food that’s too big, too much food, etc.), her meal gets stuck, and can’t leave the crop.

As your hen eats more and more, the pieces of food then sit there, fermenting, and not getting passed through the digestive system. While pendulous crop is an issue by itself, it also means the chicken isn’t getting nutrients, and eventually, the chicken can die of starvation.

How do I know whether my hen has pendulous crop?

If you see her crop is bulging and sagging and possibly moving around (meaning, it doesn’t feel like a nice, right, round ball about the size of a peach), she might have pendulous crop.

If you notice her crop isn’t smaller in the morning or if your backyard chicken looks physically poorly or sick, then she might have crop issues. It’s always best to double check with a vet!

pendulous crop in backyard chickens

Photo courtesy of Heretha Bell

What can I do about pendulous crop?

First, make sure the chicken actually has a crop issue by keeping her off food for 24 hours (still give water). When crops are full, they can be quite large – anywhere from the size of a golf ball (in a young chicken) to the size of a peach or orange in an adult.

So, you should first determine whether the crop is actually functioning. If you stop food for 24 hours, and notice the crop becomes completely empty the next day (for example, it was very full and now you can’t see much of a lump at all), the crop is working the food towards the rest of her digestive system and likely not impacting.

If it’s still full and you know she hasn’t eaten anything, her crop is likely impacted (you’ll want to double check this with a vet).  To empty the crop, you will have to “burp” your chicken (which is not as much fun as it sounds).  Burping consists of helping your hen regurgitate the feed that’s in her crop, and (hopefully) removing whatever is causing the crop to be impacted. You can read full instructions about dealing with impacted crop and emptying it in this article.

After the crop is empty, keep the hen off food for another 24 hours (still give water) and observe her closely for signs of additional problems. (Double check with a vet about any signs you should look for in your particular backyard chicken – they’re all different).

You can then slowly reintroduce food, making sure it’s in small pieces. If you’re still concerned, you can err on the side of caution and offer moistened food that’s easy for your backyard chicken’s digestive system to break down.

You can also mix raw organic apple cider vinegar WITH THE MOTHER (more on apple cider vinegar here) into her water – the beneficial bacteria will help her digestive system. We also have apple cider vinegar granules in the store, which are a shelf-stable probiotic.

You can also offer dried oregano with her feed, and parsley (which are both full of amazing nutrients for chickens).

As for food, dried river shrimp are a good option – they’re small and easy for beaks to break apart. They’re also very high in protein, and if your hen is still recovering and nervous, they’re very tempting for even the pickiest eater.

You can also mix their feed with brewer’s yeast, if you want to make sure your hen is getting plenty of vitamins after her bout with pendulous crop. Our brewer’s yeast is fortified with vitamin B 3, B6, and B12 and garlic, oregano, and echinacea (all herbs traditionally used to support healthy immune systems).

It’s important to remember that if your backyard chicken gets an impacted and pendulous crop once, it’s possible she might get it again. The best thing to do is keep an eye on your backyard chicken and double check the crop is working correctly, and you don’t see any further signs of pendulous crop.

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!