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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Are sold out breeds ever included in a hatchery choice assortment?

Breeds that are not available individually may still be used to fulfill assortments, since the assortments consist of breeds that have hatched better than we predicted on a given hatch day. In other words, assortments can certainly be (and often are) fulfilled with otherwise sold out breeds, because once we've provided for the orders reserved for that week, we can use the remaining birds for assortments. This is a function of having to literally count our chickens before they've hatched: when making our availability estimates, we are conservative so we can avoid disappointing anyone who has reserved a specific breed....

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Will I be notified if my shipment has to be delayed for some reason? I don't want to ask for the wrong week off work!

Well, that's a more complex question than you may think. If there should be a problem on hatch day, of course we will contact you just as soon as we are aware, so you'll know to expect an altered shipment, or not to expect birds that week (depending on what you've asked us to do in the case of a hatch day issue). However, keep in mind that it wouldn't be before the Monday of hatch week, since we wouldn't know that there was a shortage of females hatching (for example) until after the babies had hatched and had been...

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Are your flocks pasture raised?

Our breeding flocks are raised indoor birds for reasons of biosecurity. Large hatcheries and serious breeders are more or less required to raise their birds indoors, since one of the main vectors for a lot of avian diseases is contact with wild birds. Hatcheries and breeders must be able to show by testing that their birds are free of these diseases (so sick or diseased chicks aren't sent all across the country!).   However, these aren't factory farm conditions like you see in the meat or egg industry with each bird being allocated a tiny cage that they can't even...

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How do I figure out whether or not I'm allowed to keep chickens in my area?

We know you're dying to start keeping chickens--but you don't want to get a flock of beauties only to find out later that they're illegal and have to give them up! That said, determining if it's legal to keep chickens in your area can sometimes be a little complex. Here's our best advice to determine if you are permitted to keep chickens in your neighborhood: First, we recommend you contact both your local health and zoning boards to see if there are any regulations relating to keeping chickens in your area. In addition to local regulations, if there is a...

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Which chicken breed has the quietest, tamest hens??

Hens of most breeds are rather quiet except for right before and right after they have laid an egg. Then they may make a loud "announcement" about it for a few minutes, usually called a cackle. They seem to be very proud of their accomplishment! Some breeds like Brahmas, Australorps, Faverolles and Mille Fleur D'Uccles are often specifically described as being quiet, but frankly I've never seen too awful much difference between a "quiet" breed and a "normal" breed in my flock. Hens of most breeds are fairly unobtrusive. Antwerp Belgian Bantam hen Young pullets who have just begun to...

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I only want two chickens, but the minimum in my area is five. Can I pay for five, but have you only send two?

I'm afraid not. The minimums are based on how many chicks are safe to ship, not how many we would like to sell. You can't give us extra money to send fewer chicks than would be safe to send you. Also, My Pet Chicken never send extra males for warmth. If you don't want to rehome extra roosters, please be careful when ordering from other hatcheries--be sure to check, first, and find out if you will be receiving extra roosters with you small order!

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Should I order extra chickens so enough survive into adulthood?

Normally you want to order the number of chickens you want to end up with---don't order extras with the expectation that some will die. But there are a few considerations you may want to take into account. Whether you lose any over the course of bringing them to laying age will also depend in part on the conditions you provide for them at your home. For instance, if your brooder isn't hot enough---or if it's too hot!---you may lose some chicks. Baby chicks can drown in waterers that are too deep, and if waterers or feeders are not securely seated,...

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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.