Chicken Help

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Q: What can I do if my minimum order is too high?

A:

Because of our special packaging methods, we are able to ship smaller orders of chicks to meet the needs of our awesome small-flock backyard chicken enthusiasts. But for the safety of the chicks in shipping, we do have a minimum order which is based on the customer's zip code, anticipated time in shipping, and time of year (our minimum orders go up in winter to protect the chicks from the cold).

We are not able to make exceptions to our minimum order amounts, as this is the fewest number of chicks we can safely ship to your zip code. We want to make sure your chicks arrive happy and healthy! Unlike other hatcheries, we do not add extra males for warmth. We do not want to burden our customers with chicks they cannot keep.

Baby chicks in shipping box

If you don't have enough space or have budget restrictions (don't we all?) or there are regulations on the number of chickens you can keep in your area, sometimes even our low minimum orders are more than you may be able to keep.

If your minimum is more than you are allowed to keep, don't give up yet! You still have several options:


  1. You can share your order with a fellow chicken lover. That way, both of you get to enjoy new baby chicks! If you choose this option, remember that many breeds of chickens look nearly identical when they're young, and we only mark certain rare breeds, so keep that in mind when ordering with a friend so you'll know who gets which chicks. If the breeds you'd like do not come marked, you may want to choose breeds that look different from each other as chicks. To help with that, you can use our Baby Chick Identifier.

  2. You might be able to sell the extra chicks locally. Most farm supply stores have community bulletin boards that you can use to advertise your chicks. Also, many local areas have chicken enthusiast groups on different social media platforms, and the members are often looking to buy or sell chickens. If you're not sure you'll be able to find homes for any extra chicks, we recommend that you check with those groups before placing your order, just to see if there is demand in your local area.
  3. Chick peeking out of shipping box

  4. You might be able to donate them to a local school agriculture program or 4-H Club. If you are considering this option, it is wise to go ahead and check with your local schools and agriculture clubs before placing your order. That way, you don't end up with extra chicks that you don't have a plan to rehome.

  5. Because shipping times to more populated areas are usually faster, you can check larger cities near you to see if there is a smaller minimum order to that zip code. You may be able to ship in C/O (care-of) a post office in that city (this is only an option when our winter minimums are not in effect). When the chicks arrive, the destination post office can call you to drive in and pick up your chicks.

    If you choose this option, we highly recommend that you contact the destination post office you are considering using before placing your order, just to make sure they can accept C/O shipments of live animals and will not attempt home delivery.

  6. Juvenile chick held in hands
    Photo credit: Starrlight Farm

  7. You may want to consider ordering started 6-week-old pullets, which we offer in select breeds, usually in both spring and fall. The minimum order for these juveniles is just two birds. Started pullets are more expensive (the price takes 6 weeks of care and socialization into account), but we have a great selection when they are available! Plus, started pullets are sexed twice, so you have even less of a chance of getting an unwanted rooster.