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I'm a newbie, planning for a small (5-6)  backyard flock of bantam sized hens. I think I'm prepared as I'm going to be - books read, coop started, forums scoured - but one thing I'm still unsure of is where to buy chickens, besides a hatchery online of course. I was kindof hoping I could source these gals locally.

Does anyone know if you can purchase chicks or pullets, or even hens at a swap or show? The New England Bantam Club is having a swap in July and a show in August. 

Or are there farms in Mass. (or even in New England) that sells chicks?

Thanks for your advice!

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Lots of stores will carry them starting a few weeks before Easter, and running as late as June, depending on the local availability. Try TSC (Tractor Supply Center), Orschelns, Plainsman, or any Farm Supply Catalogs online. Several of the bloggers here have mentioned getting hatchlings from online sources, and received them with no problems, so I would not rule that out. Try this link if you want to get them from a online source :  http://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/standard_breed_chicks.html  many varieties, and lots of help with fountains, boxes, books etc.

Have you checked Craigslist.org? Might be able to find someone with some pullets left there. We just picked up 4 more from a local Grain and Feed store that had a few left in their barn!

As far as the usual feed stores, etc, it's probably too late this year. TSC started carrying chics here in MI last weekend of February this year, and stopped around mid-May. They did carry "straight-run" (unsexed) bantams, but you run the risk of a rooster that way...

Good luck! They're a lot of fun :) 

Hi, Pam! Congrats on deciding to keep chickens! In addition to Rick and Carrie's suggestions above, you might try searching Local Harvest, one of the resources (and a HOMEGROWN favorite) included on our Find Good Food page. For example, I just searched "farms" only for the keyword "chicks," with "Massachusetts" as the location, and found Meadow River Farm, in Rehoboth. Hope this helps—and please keep us posted on your chicken adventures!

Thanks everyone! I have been perusing Craigslist but haven't found anything, though I'm going to try to expand my search to Western MA, CT, VT, etc. I also talked to Drake at Cluck in Providence (a new urban ag store) and she had a couple sources for me. I'll also check out Meadow River - looks like they might have one of my favorite breeds - the Polish! 

Thanks again! I'll keep folks posted on my chicken adventures. :)

There are two auctions I have used in MA one in Swansea and the other is in Littleton MA (Flame) both have livestock to buy. Also Tractor Supply or any feed stores have them . You have to buy at least 6 at a time. If you want to come to Norfolk MA We can sell you 6 Pullets. 

Pam said:

Thanks everyone! I have been perusing Craigslist but haven't found anything, though I'm going to try to expand my search to Western MA, CT, VT, etc. I also talked to Drake at Cluck in Providence (a new urban ag store) and she had a couple sources for me. I'll also check out Meadow River - looks like they might have one of my favorite breeds - the Polish! 

Thanks again! I'll keep folks posted on my chicken adventures. :)

Hi everyone,

Just a quick update. I found someone on backyardchickens.com who had to relinquish her flock (her neighbors were complaining so the town got involved) so I'll be getting 5 pullets tonight. I'll keep folks updated on my adventures in caring for and enjoying my birds. I'm sure I'll be back seeking advice too!

Thanks again for all your help!

Pam

Good luck, and I hate hearing about the neighbors and town rulers getting involved. It would be nice to see the town councils and mayors figure out a way to help those trying to use their home sites instead of just competing for lawn of the month! 5 pullets is a great start for a backyard flock, if they are already laying get your cook book out!

So true. Apparently the neighbors were OK with it then they weren't. It's too bad that they have so much weight.

Hopefully cities and towns will follow Somerville MA's example: http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/somerville/2012/10/chickens_par...

Yes, I think 5 is a good start. Though I've been warned about chicken math! ;) Looks like they'll start laying in August. 

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