Frequently Asked Questions

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

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Is wry neck a genetic weakness that I should be worried about seeing in my chickens' offspring?

If you have a hen with wry neck, it is probably not a genetic problem... but read on, because the problem with answering that question definitively is that "wry neck" is not in itself an illness. It's just a symptom. Torticollis is the medical/technical term for wry neck; it is an abnormal head position where the bird may not be able to hold her head in a normal position. "Wry neck," "crook neck," "twisted neck," "limber neck" and "stargazing" are all common, nontechnical terms that are used more or less interchangeably to describe the symptom of torticollis. "My neck is...

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Can I order chickens from an out-of-state hatchery like yours?

My Pet Chicken's breeders and hatcheries handle all the state-level permits required to get the chicks safe and sound to you. So when you order from My Pet Chicken, there is usually nothing you will need to do with regard to state permits. Most states in the US require baby chicks and juvenile birds that ship across state lines to originate from clean hatcheries like ours, hatcheries that participate in NPIP (the National Poultry Improvement Plan). This is so that the birds will have been imported from flocks whose health is monitored. That's why My Pet Chicken's hatchery handles this...

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How can you send chicks through the mail when they sometimes die?

And if there is a risk that some chicks die on the way, then how can you justify staying in business?|Of course we hate it when chicks die along the way; every bird is an individual, and every loss is a tragedy. However, when it comes to shipping baby chicks, the risk of loss is small; in fact, it tends to be less than the risk of losing baby chicks you hatched at home in your home incubator. Even broody hens lose chicks. The truth is that we see more chicks die due to a lack of adequate care at...

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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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Are the color of a hen's eggs determined by the color of her earlobes?

Not exactly, although ear lobe color seems to be related to egg color most of the time. Breeds with white earlobes usually lay white eggs... except for Penedesencas and Empordanesas, which have white earlobes and lay dark chocolate colored eggs. Chickens with red earlobes usually lay eggs in shades of brown... except for breeds and varieties like Easter Eggers, Ameraucanas, and Araucanas, which lay blue or green eggs. Then there is the Silkie. The hens lay light brown or nearly white eggs, while their earlobes are blue. Check out my lobes! So ear lobe color is often related to---but not...

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How do I decide between hatching fertile eggs and buying baby chicks?

In almost every case, starting a laying flock with baby chicks will be easier and less expensive than starting one by hatching fertile eggs at home. Don't get us wrong, home hatching is great! But remember that fertile eggs (supplied from any source) are not guaranteed to hatch, because shipping can be so rough on the eggs. With shipped eggs, the average hatch rate is about 50%. That's just the average, though! That means sometimes you will have higher, and sometimes lower. In fact, with eggs, it is possible to do everything right and still not have any hatch. Plus,...

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What's the best way to order a breed that always seems to be sold out?

We're sorry the breed you want is currently sold out, but yes---there is hope if you're diligent! It's the MUST HAVE white Silkie! Our website always has up to date availability information, because as orders are placed, our inventory of chicks is updated automatically every five minutes. Sometimes more availability dates can be added throughout the year due to updates to our flocks' expected egg production, or due to cancellations by other customers. This additional availability is usually added on Mondays and Tuesdays, so those are the best days to check for new dates. So, if out of stock status...

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If I order straight run bantams, will I get a 50-50 mix, or do you use your extra cockerels as straight run?

We do not use sexed birds as straight run. (No hatchery we know of does that--how dishonest would THAT be?!.) It does not pay us to sex all our baby chicks--the services of a chicken sexer are expensive because it is such a specialized skill and takes so many years to learn. We sex enough baby chicks to fulfill orders for the sexed birds that week, and only those that are NOT sexed are used as straight run birds. Any extra sexed chicks will be used to substitute for the same sex of another breed that had a bad hatch...

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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.