Frequently Asked Questions

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

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Why don't you sell chicks year round?

We do sell chicks most of the year round, but there are a variety of reasons baby chicks aren't available for purchase at all times. Chickens naturally lay fewer eggs in the colder, darker months of winter. Some breeds stop entirely. Fertility is usually lower in the winter, too, so fewer chicks will hatch. In addition, in the fall and winter, our hens will be molting and regrowing new feathers for the coming year, so even those breeds that are good winter layers may lay reduced numbers of eggs, or may briefly stop laying until molting is over. That means...

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What if one of my chicks dies on the way to me?

Losses are rare (we see them happen about 1% of the time), but they do occur. For that reason, we recommend that if you have children, make sure they are not around when you open the package. If you do experience any losses, be sure to let us know within 48 hours of having received your order so your loss will be covered by our live arrival guarantee. If someone else is picking up or caring for your chicks for some reason, be sure to have them contact us within the 48-hour deadline to report any losses. When reporting losses,...

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What is debeaking or "beak trimming"? Do you debeak your birds?

Debeaking or "beak trimming" is what it's called when a baby chick's beak is burnt or seared off. It is painful and cruel. Here we explain more about the practice and why we're against it. Why do some breeders debeak their birds? Most rare breed hatcheries and breeders do not beak trim newly-hatched baby chicks, but often trim beaks of birds they're planning on selling when they're a bit older. The reason they do this is so they can pack the birds into a very small space. Keeping chickens in close confinement naturally causes severe stress, and in response to...

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What does your hatchery do with extra males and other chicks that are not adopted?

We do understand that other hatcheries may do things differently than we do--did you know that chickens are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act the way other "food" animals are?--but we wouldn't be able to sleep at night if our hatchery engaged in those practices. The majority of the baby chicks that aren't adopted are offered up for auction near our hatching facility. A portion of the unsold chicks are humanely euthanized and we are continuously looking for better alternatives.

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How much does shipping cost?

You can check the exact shipping cost to your location by placing the items you want in your shopping basket and clicking the "calculate" link (you'll have to enter your zip code so the cost can be calculated). Small orders of baby chicks, ducklings and goslings need extra attention to ship safely, so they include high tech long lasting heat packs to keep the babies warm, plus custom amounts of nesting material and ventilation to prevent jostling or stifling, based on the prevailing weather. Due to this special attention, very small orders of chicks and waterfowl cost a good deal...

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Can unvaccinated chickens get Marek's Disease from vaccinated chickens?

The Marek's Disease vaccination is attenuated, which means, in most cases, it's not even developed using the Marek's virus. Instead, it's developed using a different illness common to turkeys, but which causes the chickens in question to develop immunity to Marek's. This is the same way the small pox vaccine was developed for humans: the vaccine is actually based on cowpox. However, cowpox provided immunity from deadly smallpox, even though you can't get smallpox from the vaccine. We know of no reports or studies showing that nonvaccinated birds can be infected with Marek's Disease by exposure to birds vaccinated for...

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Do you send extra chicks with every order?

No, most of the time, we do not add extra chicks. Especially with small orders, we are careful not to add chicks (although it may happen occasionally, usually only if we've miscounted!). For larger orders of 25 or more chicks, it is more common to receive an extra. We understand that most of you are ordering very small quantities of birds, and may only be allowed to keep the exact number you have ordered. Since we ship our chicks with heat packs when the weather calls for it, we don't add "extra males for warmth" like other hatcheries do. If...

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The website says the breed I want is available for a date I want, so why isn't that a choice when I'm checking out?

In most cases, that will be because you are ordering more chicks than are available for your preferred date. When you place virtual chicks in your shopping basket, My Pet Chicken's automated checkout system takes quantity into account, so it could be that you're trying to ordering FOUR chicks when we only have one or two left on your preferred date. When that is the case, obviously, we can't reserve chicks for you that we don't expect to have, so you are offered only the date choices in which your combination of breeds--and at the quantities you want!--will be available....

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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.