7 Tips for Buying Chicks From the Feed Store

Make Sure You're Prepared Before You Get to the Feed Store


For a few months each spring, when you walk into your local feed store, you're greeted to the chorus of tiny chicken chirps as the annual chick season tempts so many shoppers. If you're not sure of where to buy baby chicks, this is a great place to pick up your first flock members or add to your existing flock of backyard chickens. It's local. It's immediate. And it's fun.

Here are some tips to make the process easier on you and your new flock members.

Tips to make buying chicks from the feed store easier on you and your new flock members.


How To Care For A Shamrock Plant

This is the time that shamrock plants are in abundance in stores each March. Should you lay down a few clams and purchase one? Yes! Shamrock plants are worth it for a holiday treat and an easy-to-care-for houseplant that will rebloom again and again. 

Buying a Shamrock plant for St. Patrick's Day gets you a hardy plant that will rebloom again and again.

The first time I purchased shamrock plants, they were for my young kids. Needless to say, the plants were in their bedrooms and they didn't get much care. But never fear, these hardy plants are actually bulbs. The lack of water sent the bulbs into a dormant stage. And once a little TLC resumed, the plants were back in business. Instead of dying, they revived and turned into lush houseplants that have bloomed ever since. 

Chicken Breeds That Lay Blue or Green Eggs

If you're planning your first flock or considering adding some new birds, blue and green egg laying hens ensure you'll have a colorful egg basket all year round and a fun talking point when you give eggs to family and friends.

Blue & Green Egg Myths

Do blue eggs taste different than "regular" eggs? No.

Do blue eggs contain more or less cholesterol than eggs of other colors? No.

Here's why — the quality of an egg's nutrition and an egg's taste is determined by diet.

All eggs are formed in the same way, but the nutrition a hen gets on a daily basis is what gives her egg its taste and gives the yolk its color. If your backyard chickens are fed a quality layer feed and allowed to forage for grasses, insects and anything else they can find, you can be assured your eggs will be fresh and taste good.

If you're planning your first flock or considering adding some new birds, blue and green egg laying hens ensure you'll have a colorful egg basket all year round.
Easter Egger and Cream Legbar Eggs

Baby Chick Health 101

Chick season is fun, but make sure you're prepared to welcome new chicks to your backyard and keep them healthy. Good baby chick health early on gives your birds the building blocks they need to become healthy adults.

Good baby chick health early on gives your birds the building blocks they need to become healthy adults.

The Backstory on Hornet Nests

Bald-Faced Hornet nests have a story to tell. Through most of the year, hornet nests are barely visible tucked in trees with leaves surrounding them. But in winter, hornet nests are easily found and fascinating structures that can be safely explored without fear of repercussion. Around my neck of the woods, bald-faced hornets make beautiful, teardrop-shaped nests that provide a home base for the colony from spring to late fall.

In winter, hornet nests are easily found and fascinating structures that can be safely explored without fear of repercussion. Find out more about these fascinating creatures.

Prebiotics and Probiotics for Chickens 101

Feeding your flock a nutritious and varied diet should include prebiotics and probiotics for chickens. Many commercial feed rations contain prebiotics and probiotics. But what are prebiotics and probiotics? Is there a way to supply them to your flock beyond commercial feed? How do probiotics and prebiotics help backyard chickens?

What are Prebiotics and Probiotics? 


Probiotics are live organisms that live in your intestinal tract and, to put it delicately, keep things cleaned out and flowing well. They also help to strengthen your immune system. They can be found in foods that have live cultures, like sauerkraut, apple cider vinegar, cheese, sour cream and, famously, yogurt. Prebiotics set the stage for probiotics because they are the food for probiotics. Prebiotics are a non-digestible type of plant fiber. Many high-fiber foods are also high in prebiotics.

Feeding your flock a nutritious and varied diet should include prebiotics and probiotics for chickens. Learn how to provide this nutritious supplement for your birds.
The flock enjoying a treat of bananas. (Peels were removed before serving.)

New Hampshire Chicken - Breed Spotlight

The New Hampshire Red chicken is a great family-friendly bird that's named for the state where it was developed. Many confuse this breed with the Rhode Island Red which makes sense because it was originally developed from Rhode Island Red stock. This is a good dual-purpose bird that matures early and consistently lays brown eggs.

Class: American
Origin: United States
Comb Type: Single
Color: Red
Standard Size: 6.5 Pounds (Hen) 8.5 Pounds (Rooster)
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Production: 4 to 5 Eggs Per Week
Hardiness: Cold and Heat Tolerant
Disposition: Calm, Friendly

The New Hampshire chicken is a great family-friendly bird that's named for the state where it was developed. This is a good dual-purpose bird that matures early and consistently lays brown eggs.
Big Red and our Buff Orpington (behind) are two of our most friendly chickens.

How to Understand Egg Carton Labeling


As backyard chicken keepers, we don't buy a lot of eggs from the store, so it's normal to have some egg carton code confusion. The egg carton section of the grocery is usually foreign territory and we find ourselves there only if the flock is molting or winter's waning daylight has left us eggless.

But honestly, even for a family that doesn't have backyard chickens, those cartons can be a nightmare to decode. Do you go with the 99 cent special? Are those organic eggs worth the price? Is free-range really free range? What's an extra large egg versus a large egg? When were the eggs actually laid?

Ugh! Stop the madness!

The key to buying a carton of eggs and peace of mind is knowing how mass-produced eggs are handled and labeled and exactly what those egg carton codes mean.

A Guide to Cold-Hardy Chicken Breeds

What makes a cold-hardy chicken breed and why should you care? If you're currently living in an area that has cold winters, then cold-hardy chicken breeds are a must because of their ability to withstand the frigid temperatures.

Every year there are stories of folks that bought the wrong breed for their climate and experience losses, have unhealthy chickens, or end up bringing their birds inside where the climate is more moderate. Don’t let this happen to you! Make sure to pick a breed that will live comfortably in your climate and thrive. Your birds will thank you for it!

If you're currently living in an area that has cold winters, then cold-hardy chicken breeds are a must because of their ability to withstand the frigid temperatures.
A Buff Brahma hen.

Tips to Help Your Chickens Get Outside in Winter & Snow

Can chickens go outside in winter? Yes! The truth is, they like to get outside and explore in pretty much any weather and it’s always good for them to get some fresh air.

It’s important to understand that chickens are equipped to handle cold weather. In fact, it can be easier for them to withstand cold weather than hot weather. As you know, backyard chickens have lots of feathers and they’re there for a reason. Underneath their outer feathers, chickens have a downy layer of soft feathers. When it’s cold, they fluff those feathers to trap warm air underneath and they’re able to stay cozy.

Can chickens go outside in winter? Yes! The truth is, they like to get outside and explore in pretty much any weather and it’s always good for them to get some fresh air.

How to Get Started Winter Bird Feeding

What Both You and the Birds Will Need


Feeding the birds in winter is a fun way to stay connected with nature, participate in some citizen science studies and maybe learn a thing or two. Winter is naturally a time when we spend more time indoors, but that doesn't mean we have to leave nature behind.

Find out how to get started winter bird feeding - what you'll need to feed the birds and what you'll need to see and identify them.
A white-throated sparrow.

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