Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer the most commonly-asked questions about ordering, chicken care, and more.

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Will the chicks I buy from you be related to each other? I want to breed my rooster with my hens, so I don't want them to be related.

Our breeding flocks are very large. We can't know which chicks hatch from which eggs. Even if we could, we don't keep track of which hen laid which egg, and we can't know which rooster fertilized which eggs, either. However, if you purchase birds from My Pet Chicken or some other major hatchery, generally speaking you can probably presume that the flocks are large enough to breed your birds together at home. Hatcheries understand that's what people want to do, so they keep breeding flocks with plenty of genetic diversity for breeding future generations. If you purchase birds from a...

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I want all my eggs to hatch, so is there any type of chicken breed that has a higher hatching rate for their eggs?

This is one of those questions where it's hard to tell what exactly you're asking, a question that tells us you're probably a beginner at incubation. Remember, fertility rates are different than hatching rates. Even when the eggs you place in your incubator are 100% fertile, you may get zero of them to hatch. This is because if the conditions aren't just right---if your incubator is too hot or too cold (or too humid or not humid enough, etc.)---the eggs may not hatch in those sub-optimal conditions. So, hatching rates are dependent on YOU, and how well you or your...

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Why does my chicken have trouble keeping his balance?

Is your chicken having trouble keeping its balance? A problem like this could be caused by many things. It may end up being nothing of concern...One of our staff had a mixed-breed rooster whose legs were simply quite long--maybe too long for his own good! He went though a period of awkward adolescence in which his legs were growing so fast, he was not terribly graceful. In fact he was outright clumsy, and he often lost his balance when he tried to crow. (Can you imagine how cute that was?) Once he grew into his legs, he no longer lost...

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Can a hen can turn into a rooster?

No, but we can give you some background information and share the crazy way that rumor may have gotten started! It IS true that, if your hen has had some damage to her reproductive system (such as an infection in her ovaries), she might begin to look like a rooster on the outside---and act like one---due to a hormone imbalance! Such a hen wouldn't lay eggs, and may even begin to crow. At her molt, she may grow in the same plumage roosters have in her breed. If her infection or condition then cleared up, she might begin laying anew,...

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How can I stop my rooster from pecking my hens?

Unless your rooster is causing the hens injury, pecking hens on their backs and heads is actually no cause for concern. It is courting behavior. He pecks them on their backs or heads as a signal that he would like to mate. With enough hens for each rooster present--we normally recommend 10 - 12 hens to one rooster--you shouldn't have any trouble with his over-breeding the hens, although it's still possible he might develop a favorite or two. When a hen gets pecked like that, if she is ready to mate, she will squat down so she can be mounted....

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How long are roosters fertile?

Like with any animal, this can depend on the particular bird. That said, roosters are sort of like human males: they will probably be fertile most of their lives! And if you have a great rooster, it makes sense to allow him to fertilize eggs for as long as possible to pass on those good genes. Black Frizzle Bantam Rooster If you're worried about whether your rooster is fertilizing eggs, just check your eggs to see if they're fertile. If they are mostly fertile, your rooster is doing his job!

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How much does it cost to raise chickens?

You knew this already: that depends on many different factors. Most importantly, it depends on what type of eggs you're buying at the grocery store. If you're buying the pricey, organic and/or pasture-raised eggs, then yes, it's possible to save money with a flock of your own. If you're looking to save money by keeping chickens.

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Which chicken breeds may need extra heat in winter?

Chickens are incredibly adaptable! They are kept all over the world in all kinds of extreme climates. But it's no secret that some breeds are hardier in cold weather than others. Some breeds were not developed for cold-hardiness or have characteristics that make them more susceptible to cold than others. In a well-ventilated but not drafty coop, most chickens can stay warm by fluffing up their feathers to trap a layer of warm air against their bodies--as long as they are not wet and or exposed to a draft. Drafts can remove that "jacket" of warmer air surrounding the bird....

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"The Clubhouse" Coop

Easy to assemble and built to last, the Clubhouse Coop is the perfect starter coop for a small flock.