My Adventure Buying Baby Chicks from Tractor Supply

Hatching a Plan for a Backyard Flock

As a first-time chicken owner, I was eager but nervous to get my start and begin raising a small backyard flock. I had done tons of research online and felt ready to take the plunge, but finding a good source for chicks was my biggest hurdle. I wanted to make sure I started out with healthy, high-quality chicks from a trusted farm source.

Many online forums and chicken-keeping websites recommended Tractor Supply as a go-to option for buying chicks each spring. After looking into it further, I decided ordering chicks from my local Tractor Supply store would be the best way to go.

In this blog post, I’ll share my entire experience buying chicks from Tractor Supply – from choosing breeds, preparing for their arrival, picking up my baby birds, and getting them settled into their brooder at home. If you’re thinking about getting chicks from Tractor Supply, I hope my story gives you a realistic idea of what to expect!

Choosing My Chicken Breeds

The first step was deciding what chicken breeds I wanted for my small flock. I did a ton of reading about the unique traits of each breed – things like egg production, egg color, mellow vs. flighty temperament, tendency to go broody, size, cold hardiness, and more.

Since I only had room for 4-5 hens to start, I wanted birds that would give me a good amount of eggs while also being friendly and docile. I settled on getting:

  • 2 Rhode Island Red hens – a popular dual purpose (eggs + meat) breed known for being calm and excellent layers
  • 2 Australorp hens – sweet-natured black hens that lay tons of large brown eggs
  • 1 Speckled Sussex hen – a beautiful brown hen with a mellow personality and decent egg production

I was so excited knowing my chick order was placed and would be arriving in just a few short weeks!

Preparing for My Fluffy Mail Order

Once my order was placed, it was time to get everything ready at home for the chicks’ arrival. Since they would only be 1 day old when I picked them up from Tractor Supply, I needed to have a fully prepared brooder area ready to keep them safe, warm, and happy.

Some of the key supplies I gathered ahead of time included:

  • Brooder box – I used a large plastic storage tote and cut out vents along the upper sides
  • Pine shavings – 6 inches deep for bedding
  • Chick starter feed – with extra protein and nutrients for fast growth
  • Waterer and feeders – specialty chick versions that prevent drowning/waste
  • Heat lamp with a red bulb to keep a warm 95°F area
  • Thermometer to monitor brooder temperature

I also bought some extra treats like dried mealworms and oyster shell calcium supplement. Making sure I was fully prepared made me feel less anxious about the chicks’ arrival.

Picking Up My Precious Cargo

The long-awaited day finally arrived – I was headed to Tractor Supply to meet my new feathered friends! I’ll admit I was extremely nervous on the drive there. I had never held or cared for baby chicks before. But I couldn’t wait to welcome them into my home.

When I arrived, I checked in at the customer service desk. One of the store employees brought out a cart stacked with boxes of cheeping chicks. I was handed a box labeled “5 Assorted Standard Breed Pullets” – aka my 5 baby girls!

Holding that warm box of fragile chicks on my lap during the drive home was such an amazing feeling. I couldn’t stop peeking under the lid to count little heads and feet – they were just so cute and soft. Their constant peeping was the sweetest sound.

Settling My Cheeping Chicks into the Brooder

Once I got my new brood home safely, it was time to introduce the chicks to their new environment. I placed the box inside the prepared brooder and slowly opened the top. Five fluffy balls of yellow down came stumbling out, peeping loudly and looking around curiously. They were even cuter than I imagined!

I helped each chick find the food and water, encouraged them to eat and drink, and made sure they were warming up under the heat lamp. Within an hour, they were settled in happily exploring their space and snuggling together for naps.

Seeing those tiny birds thrive in their new home, all thanks to my preparation and care, was so rewarding. I knew then that I was ready for this new adventure in chicken keeping!

Tips for Ensuring Healthy Chicks from Tractor Supply

Beyond proper brooding setup, there are a few other things I learned that can give your new Tractor Supply chicks the best start:

  • Check for alertness – Make sure chicks are active with bright, dry eyes upon pickup. Avoid lethargic chicks.
  • Ask about vaccines – Verify the specific vaccines your Tractor Supply chicks received. Common ones are Marek’s and coccidiosis.
  • Review health guarantee – Know the guarantee policy and watch for signs of illness the first week home.
  • Give electrolytes – Offer chick electrolytes in their water for the first few days to counter shipping stress.
  • Expect some mortality – Sadly, even with excellent care, some chicks may not survive. Don’t be discouraged.
  • Know proper handling – Support body fully when picking up chicks, do not carry by neck or wings.

Following this advice will tip the scales in your favor for raising healthy, thriving chicks from Tractor Supply. Don’t hesitate to ask store employees for help too!

Benefits of Buying Chicks from Tractor Supply

Now that I’ve had such a positive experience, I definitely plan to order all my future chicks from Tractor Supply as my flock grows. Here are some of the biggest benefits I’ve found:

  • Wide selection – They offer nearly any breed you could want, choices I couldn’t find elsewhere locally.
  • Healthy stock – As a major national retailer, they source chicks from large, reputable hatcheries.
  • Order convenience – Easy to order online or through the store. Fast shipping to store.
  • Price – Very reasonably priced, especially if you buy in bulk quantities for cost savings.
  • Supplies – One-stop-shopping for all the chick supplies you’ll need!
  • Guarantee – Health guarantee provides peace of mind, especially for first-timers.
  • Expert advice – Employees are experienced in caring for chicks and eager to help.
  • Workshops/Events – Fun, educational classes and kid’s activities related to chickens and animals.

For me, Tractor Supply offered the perfect chick buying experience!

Answers to All Your Tractor Supply Chick Questions

I know buying chicks for the first time leads to lots of questions! Here are quick answers to some common questions about getting chicks from Tractor Supply:

Do they sell live chicks?
Yes, they sell day-old chicks in spring through early summer.

What breeds are available?
All common breeds – layers, broilers, heritage breeds. You name it!

When do chicks arrive?
Shipments start in February and run through July based on your store’s location.

How much do chicks cost?
$2-5 per chick depending on breed and quantity. Buying in bulk lowers cost per chick.

Can you order online?
Yes, you can order shipped directly to your store through their website.

What supplies are needed?
Brooder, bedding, heat lamp, food/water, thermometer – the basics to keep them warm, fed, and safe.

Is there a health guarantee?
Yes, they guarantee live delivery and that chicks are free of diseases. Offers 30-day refund.

Are the chicks vaccinated?
Many are vaccinated for Marek’s disease and coccidiosis at the hatchery.

Do they sell chick feed/supplies?
Yes, they have a full range of Purina chick starter feeds, as well as brooders, feeders, vitamins, etc.

What’s the minimum number of chicks?
Usually minimum is 3-5 chicks. Buy in larger quantities for better pricing.

Are chicks sexed or unsexed?
You can request pullets (females) or straight run (unsexed mix).

Can you return/exchange chicks?
Refunds offered within 30 days for chicks that die shortly after purchase.

What age are the chicks?
Just a day old – they ship from hatcheries directly after hatching.

Expanding My Flock with Tractor Supply

My starter flock of 5 chickens has been thriving, and I’m already looking forward to expanding. I’ve loved watching my chickens’ individual personalities develop. Next year I can’t wait to order a whole new batch of cute chicks from Tractor Supply!

I plan to try out some new breeds, like fluffy Cochins, friendly Orpingtons, and quirky Polish crested hens. The possibilities are endless. I may even give some broiler breeds like Cornish Cross a try and raise a batch of birds for meat.

Thanks to the help of Tractor Supply, my backyard chicken journey has only just begun! I look forward to many more years of chick cuteness and fresh eggs ahead as I continue to grow my homestead.

I hope my experience gives you some helpful tips and the confidence to take the leap if you’re considering getting chicks. Let me know if you have any other questions – I love talking poultry!

Hello, everyone! I'm David Henry, a dedicated customer and enthusiastic reviewer of Tractor Supply Company. As a farmer and agriculture enthusiast, I frequently visit Tractor Supply Company to explore and purchase a wide range of agricultural supplies, tools, and equipment. Over the years, I have accumulated extensive experience and knowledge in shopping at Tractor Supply Company, and I aim to help others make wiser choices through my sharing. I understand the importance of selecting the right products for farmers, ranchers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. That's why I enjoy sharing my insights and recommendations to assist individuals in finding the best-suited products for their needs. Join me as we embark on a journey of discovering quality products and making informed decisions at Tractor Supply Company. Together, let's enhance our farming and outdoor experiences through valuable insights and practical advice.