Buying Chicks: Breeder vs Farm Supply Store – Pros and Cons
When it comes to starting your own flock of chickens, there are a lot of decisions to make. One of the biggest choices is where to get your chicks from. While many people opt for their local Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) or other farm supply store, others prefer to purchase their chicks directly from a breeder. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each option and help you decide if buying from a breeder is better than getting chicks from TSC.
Pros of Buying Chicks from a Breeder
One of the biggest advantages of buying chicks from a breeder is the ability to get exactly what you want. Breeders typically offer a variety of breeds, so you can choose the specific breeds and even color variations that you’re interested in. Additionally, breeders often offer straight run chicks, which means you have an equal chance of getting a male or female. While this can be a disadvantage for some people, it’s a great option if you’re looking to build your flock and want to raise your own chicks.
Another benefit of buying from a breeder is that you can often choose the number of chicks you want to purchase. This is a great option if you’re just starting out and don’t want to be overwhelmed with too many birds, or if you’re looking to add a few specific birds to your existing flock. Breeders also tend to offer higher quality birds than what you might find at a TSC or other farm supply store. Since they specialize in breeding and raising chickens, they’re able to focus on producing healthy, genetically sound birds.
Cons of Buying Chicks from a Breeder
One of the biggest drawbacks of buying from a breeder is the cost. While it’s true that you’ll be able to get exactly what you want, you’ll likely pay a premium for that privilege. Breeders often charge more per chick than what you’ll find at a TSC or other farm supply store. Additionally, breeders may require a minimum order size, which means you’ll need to be prepared to purchase a certain number of chicks at one time.
Another potential disadvantage of buying from a breeder is that you may need to travel to pick up your chicks. While some breeders may offer shipping, this can be expensive and stressful for the chicks. If you’re not able to find a breeder in your area, you may need to travel a significant distance to get the birds you want. This can add to the overall cost and time commitment of starting your own flock.
Pros of Buying Chicks from TSC or Other Farm Supply Stores
The biggest advantage of buying chicks from a TSC or other farm supply store is the cost. Chicks purchased from these stores are often much cheaper than those from a breeder. Additionally, many stores have a minimum order size of just a few chicks, which is great if you’re just starting out and don’t want to invest a lot of money upfront. Another advantage of buying from TSC is the convenience. These stores are typically located in or near urban areas, so you don’t have to travel far to get your birds.
Cons of Buying Chicks from TSC or Other Farm Supply Stores
One of the biggest drawbacks of buying from TSC or other farm supply stores is that you may not get the breed or gender you want. While stores may offer a variety of breeds, you may not be able to choose specific colors or variations. Additionally, since the chicks are typically sexed by machine, you may end up with the wrong gender. This can be a big problem if you’re trying to build a specific type of flock or want to breed your own chicks.
Another potential disadvantage of buying from TSC or other farm supply stores is the overall quality of the chicks. While some stores do offer high-quality birds, others may not be as diligent in ensuring the health and genetics of their chicks. This can lead to a higher risk of disease or other health problems in your flock, which can be costly and time-consuming to manage. Additionally, since these chicks are often raised in large quantities, they may not receive the same level of individual attention and care as those from a breeder.
Overall, the decision to buy chicks from a breeder or from TSC or other farm supply stores depends on your personal preferences and priorities. If you’re looking for specific breeds or color variations and are willing to pay a premium for higher-quality birds, buying from a breeder may be the best option for you. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out and want to keep costs low, buying from TSC or other farm supply stores may be a more convenient and economical choice. Regardless of where you get your chicks from, it’s important to ensure that they are healthy and well-cared for to ensure the success of your flock.