When you're in the notoriously tricky business of counting your eggs before they hatch, the "counting" is more of an art than a science...
Many of you have stalked our website for months to get that day-old chick breed you really want. Maybe you wanted chocolate or olive eggs in your basket, or that sweet bantam pet for your little one. But who has time for stalking? If you don't want to reserve your 2022 chick order now, I can at least help you to stalk more strategically. Here are the 5 best ways to get just the breeds you want!
Way #1: Buy now, while your favorite day-old chick breeds are still available.
Pre-inventory has been posted, so most breeds are available for purchase. (Pre-inventory is the percentage of day-old chicks we "count" before they hatch—often before the breeder flock is even mature!) If you're happy to order baby chicks later, consider this:
First, some chick breeds' pre-inventory is already nearly sold out, including our new-for-2023 breed, Ayam Cemanis, and Lavender Ameraucanas.
Second, on hatch day we pack chick orders based on the date you reserve them. So if we hatch fewer chicks than we've sold on a given week (which we try never to do!), we fulfill the oldest orders first. Buy closer to the hatch date, and you'll be the one to get that text message saying that we're short on the breed you purchased.
Way #2: Buy now, add your favorite breeds later, because...
...Inventory for them is sure to pop up later. If all but a couple of your favorite chick breeds are available to order now, order for a ship date in April or later. You'll be able to add those coveted breeds onto your existing order in a few months by calling us when you see inventory pop up. (In later winter and early spring, we post extra inventory as we monitor each breed's rate of egg-laying and hatch. When we're confident, we conservatively adjust pre-inventory numbers up. More on that below.)
Way #3: Shop early for more inventory.
We add additional baby chick inventory in mid-January. Be extra watchful in later February, March and early April -- and be on the lookout for our newsletter! (Sign up on the homepage, bottom right.) We always announce new rare breed inventory when it comes through.
Way #4: Check Fridays & Mondays, precisely three weeks out.
On Fridays and Mondays three weeks before a given hatch date, we compare the number of eggs we collected that week with the number of baby chicks we pre-sold, and we post the difference onto the website as fresh inventory. Usually, those numbers go live on a Friday (3 weeks and 3 days before hatch), but sometimes they don't make it up until Monday. Just be watchful so you don't miss your chance! Many know this trick and stalk sold-out breeds like Silkies and Favaucanas.
Way #5: Order chicks early in the morning on hatch day.
If the first four ways don't float your boat, there's one last option. You can place your order on Monday mornings (early!) on the day the chicks are shipped and hatch, any time of year. If you can be prepared to receive chicks as soon as the next day, ordering on hatch day is a great choice.
The reason? Even once we count the eggs we collected 3 weeks prior to hatch, we are still conservative in predicting how many chicks will hatch. This means that we (intentionally) try to hatch a tad more than we eggspected. So on Monday mornings, we put those extra chicks up on the website for sale. Be on your toes, though! We stop accepting same-day orders around 2:30 p.m. eastern time.
That's it! We hope you've found this helpful.