Between March and May and I managed to buy a total of 12 chickens. I bought them in groups of 3’s because I figured it’s easier for the chickens to adjust if they have a group of friends with them. I have one hen, Shadow. The two other chickens I bought her with ran away and now Shadow, is always by herself and doesn’t really spend much time with the rest of the flock. (For the first week, she even stood by the fence for hours at a time waiting for her friends to come back)
So in March when we first finished our coop, I looked all over for local places that had chickens for sale. People pointed me towards Tractor Supply, but they only sold baby chicks. And it was pretty much the same for most places, baby chicks only (it was Easter).
But baby chick are way too much work, requires extra supplies, and well it takes forever before they start laying eggs.
Adult chickens, however are much harder to find. I bought two sets of chickens off of Craig’s List. I had to check Craig’s List almost daily before I found chickens for sale in my area. One set of chickens I bought from a local farm, Brodhecker Farm that I knew sold baby chicks seasonally, but just happened to have some adult chickens for sale that were almost laying age.
The newest set I bought from the Backyard Chickens forum. There’s a lot of baby chicks and fertilized eggs for sale in the forums, but occasionally you’ll see some adults on there. The three I bought were from a breeder that mostly sells chicks, but occasionally sells pullets if she has some left over.
When purchasing hens, I tried to take note of the conditions they were keeping the chickens in, how much space they had, that kind of thing. And in general, when introducing a new chicken to a flock, especially an older chicken, you want to keep them quarantined for about a month before letting them come in contact with the pre-established chickens. But because all my chickens were fairly new, I wasn’t too concerned with biosecurity.
And I think I’m done with buying chickens for the year. The Sussex County Poultry Show was a few weeks ago, so I think they temptation has passed! Next year, I plan to just wait for a broody hen, and then buy some fertilized eggs for them to hatch. With baby chicks, biosecurity is less of a concern and you don’t have to worry about chickens introducing diseases to your flock.