These days you can get just about anything ordered online and shipped to you, from groceries to plants to pet chickens. Yes, you read that right! If you’re considering buying a backyard (or larger) flock of chickens, take a look at our reviews of online hatcheries that sell day-old baby chicks. We haven’t even covered all of them, but this list of the 10 best hatcheries will be able to fulfill all your chicken farming dreams and more.

All the minimums and breed information reflect egg-laying, day-old chicks specifically, although broiler chicks may be available through some hatcheries.

new little chicken divider

A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2024

Cackle Hatchery Cackle Hatchery
  • Lots of selection
  • Sell chicken supplies
  • Genetic selection for healthy birds
  • Second place
    Stromberg’s Stromberg’s
  • Discounts for larger quantities of chicks
  • Lots of locations for shorter shipping time
  • One-stop shop for all the things chickens need
  • Third place
    Purely Poultry Purely Poultry
  • Wide breed variety
  • Sustainable practices
  • Year-round chick availability
  • Meyer Hatchery Meyer Hatchery
  • 100% gender accuracy
  • Easy-to-navigate website
  • Low minimum order for most of the year
  • Jenk’s Hatchery Jenk’s Hatchery
  • Year-round chicks
  • Shipping included
  • Marek and IBD vaccination included
  • The 10 Best Hatcheries to Buy Chickens Online

    1. Cackle Hatchery

    Cackle Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:3
    Breeds available:Buckeye, Orpington, Jersey Giant, and more
    Other birds available:Turkeys, ducks, geese, peafowl, pheasant, and chukar
    Shipping:Free for lower 48 states during specials

    A 3rd generation family-owned hatchery operating out of the Missouri Ozarks, Cackle Hatchery claims to offer 202 varieties of poultry, shipping to your door since 1936. They ship to all the US states, including Alaska, Puerto Rico, and Hawaii. Cackle hatchery also offers adult birds and poultry supplies, as well as cute gift shop items.

    Cackle focuses on genetic selection to bring you the healthiest chickens possible. They do not use artificial means to keep their hens laying, rather, they let their hens lay eggs the natural way. To predict when chicks will be available in a given year, they have a handy availability chart on their website. Cackle has a replacement or refund policy, as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee.

    There is a $10.00 cancellation fee, and you can cancel an order up to 48 hours before the ship date, which is later than most hatcheries. However, you cannot change existing orders. Vaccines are a flat $10 fee for any amount of chicks under 66.

    • Lots of selection
    • Also sell chicken supplies
    • Genetic selection for healthy birds
    • Chicks are not available year-round
    • Flat vaccination fee

    2. Stromberg’s

    Stromberg’s logo

    Minimum order:5 for specific breeds, assortment boxes vary
    Breeds available:Mottled Java, Easter Eggers, Bantam Silkies, and more
    Other birds available:Adult and baby ducks, pheasants, quail, doves, geese, plus more
    Shipping:Free shipping on orders over $100

    Stromberg’s stands out on this list as the more “commercialized” option to get chicks from a hatchery. They are still a family-owned business though, having started small in Iowa in the 1920s, and moving headquarters to Minnesota later in the 70s. The store is the largest supplier of poultry equipment (even large chicken coops), and they sell many breeds of chicks, too. You have the option of buying the fertilized eggs, chicks, or adult chickens.

    This store has the standard live bird guarantee: chicks that arrive deceased will be refunded or replaced. Even though there’s a guarantee for live birds, there’s no guarantee on hatching eggs. You can pick your chicks by breed, or decide on an assortment of male or female chicks. When you order your chicks, they will contact you with the specific shipping date, you cannot tell right when you order like some other sites. Chicks will not be shipped from Stromberg’s when there is extreme heat or cold.

    There are 6 Stromberg’s locations in the US, which means birds spend less time in a box coming to you than if a location was further away from you. If you end up buying chicks or other equipment from Strombergs, joining the email list gets you 10% off.

    • One-stop shop for all the things chickens need
    • Wide variety of breeds
    • Discounts for larger quantities of chicks
    • Lots of locations for shorter shipping time
    • No shipping in extreme weather
    • Vaccination costs extra per chick

    3. Purely Poultry

    Purely Poultry logo

    Minimum order:10
    Breeds available:Isa Browns, Barred Plymouth Rock, Buff Orpington, and more
    Other birds available:Ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, swans, and more
    Shipping:Varies, free for Quick Chicks category

    Carrying 300 plus breeds of all kinds of birds, Purely Poultry out of Wisconsin is a hatchery with big goals. They want to offer “more genetic treasures” than any other hatchery, offering rare breeds that other hatcheries may not carry. Plus, their facility places a lot of importance on sustainability. The energy to run their operation comes from 100% renewable sources, mostly from wind and biomass. In addition to this, their billing is completely online, saving on paper.

    Purely Poultry sells chicks and fertilized eggs. As a bonus to help chicks thrive, they include GroGel in the shipping package as often as possible. Their Quick Chicks program allows you to order chicks quickly and with free shipping. The only downside to this, though, is that you cannot mix and match breeds; the minimum order is 10 and they will all be the same breed.

    Their live guarantee ensures that chicks will arrive living and remain living for up to 48 hours after you pick them up. Order changes cost you $10.00 and no cancellations within 10 days of ordering.

    • Wide breed variety, including rare breeds
    • Year-round chick availability
    • Sustainable practices
    • Usually supply some GroGel
    • Quick Chicks ordering restricts to one breed

    4. Meyer Hatchery

    Meyer Hatchery

    Minimum order:3 in April-November, 8 in December-March
    Breeds available:Green Queen Bantam, Cream Legbar, Olive Egger, and more
    Other birds available:Turkeys, ducks, geese, pheasant, chukar, and guinea
    Shipping:Free for broilers and Golden Buff, otherwise it depends on order size

    Meyer Hatchery is located in Ohio, is woman-founded, and has been around for over 35 years. Even though it’s young for a hatchery, they have been leading the industry by being the first to offer low minimum orders, leg banding for rare breeds, and a 100% guarantee in sexing chicks.

    In their “What’s Hatching” tab, you will be able to explore chicken breeds by hatch date. Ordering more chicks means you pay less with their bulk discounting. Order changes cost you $10.00 and must be made a week before shipping. This hatchery sells everything you might need to raise your chickens, from feeders to brooders to incubators.

    Most importantly, Meyer Hatchery offers a 100% guarantee that your chicks will be the correct gender that you ordered, a service no other hatchery offers. If you ended up with a male when you ordered a female, they will either refund your money or issue store credit for the price of the chick that was wrongly sexed.


    • 100% gender accuracy
    • Low minimum order for most of the year
    • Easy-to-navigate website
    • Offers poultry supplies
    • Shipping can be expensive for small orders

    5. Jenk’s Hatchery

    Jenk’s Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:10
    Breeds available:Novogen Brown, Golden Bovan, Blue Plymouth Rocks, and more
    Other birds available:Turkeys and ducks

    The oldest hatchery in America, Jenk’s has been raising chickens in Oregon since 1910. With great customer service, they sell different kinds of poultry as well as feed for poultry. Jenk’s chicks are available year-round.

    Jenk’s Hatchery outshines many hatcheries with the fact that all of their orders come with free shipping, and all chicks come with a Marek and IBD vaccination. Coccidiosis and salmonella enteritidis vaccines are also available for an extra cost. They guarantee a 95% success rate in sexing the chicks and offer refunds for DOA chicks.

    The price per chick depends on where you live in relation to the Oregon area, as they factor in shipping costs this way. Jenk’s website provides lots of customer reviews, so you know it’s a reputable chick farm.


    • Year-round chicks
    • Shipping included
    • Marek and IBD vaccination included
    • The website navigation can be confusing

    6. Welp Hatchery

    Welp Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:25
    Breeds available:Sex Link, Rhode Island Red, Australorps, and more
    Other birds available:Ducklings, goslings, pheasants, chukars, guineas, and quail

    What started as a small-scale hatchery in the 1920s in Iowa has become a larger corporation across the Midwest, including New Mexico. Cornish Rock broilers are their specialty, but they offer many kinds of broilers and egg-laying chicks. What’s notable about Welp is that their shipping is completely free.

    They are always adding new chicken breeds to their inventory. Even though the minimum order is high for an online hatchery, you can mix and match breeds to give yourself a diverse flock. At certain times of the year, like May and June, they have a sale on certain breeds. If you want your chicks to be vaccinated, you can add vaccinations when you add chicks to your cart, and they will do that for you.


    • Free shipping
    • Wide selection of breeds
    • Year-round shipping
    • Low prices
    • High minimum order

    7. Townline Hatchery

    Townline Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:15
    Breeds available:Isa Browns, Amberlinks, Barred Rocks, and more
    Other birds available:Ducks, pheasants, guineas, and turkeys
    Shipping:Free in Michigan, fee depends on the shipping destination

    Townline Hatchery focuses on the personal touch. For over 100 years they have helped supply the people of America with chickens from their small operation in Zeeland, Michigan, an area well known for chick hatching. They carefully monitor their home-bred flocks to make sure their chicks are top-notch.

    Townline’s chicks are available all year long. You can check when certain breeds are available with their handy availability chart. Vaccinations are not included for those who do not want to vaccinate their chickens. DOA chicks are either reshipped, refunded, or added as credit towards a future order. They offer beak trimming for a fee and bulk discounts for larger orders.


    • Careful bird-rearing practices
    • Easy-to-navigate website
    • Flexible options when your chicks are DOA
    • Year-round chick availability
    • Chicks and shipping fees can be expensive
    • No included vaccinations

    8. Murray McMurray Hatchery

    Murray McMurray Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:25 (January-March) or 15 (April-October)
    Breeds available:Blue Ameraucana, White Sapphire, Yokohama, and more
    Other birds available:Ducklings, goslings, turkeys, and gamebirds
    Shipping:Free for orders of 25 (January-March) or 15 (April-October), fee for smaller order

    The oldest and biggest rare breed hatchery in the US is Murray McMurray Hatchery in Webster City, Iowa. Everything there is done by hand. Murray McMurray ensures safe delivery of chicks with their reinforced boxes and a live delivery guarantee. Baby chick orders have an express delivery option for an additional fee.

    Murray McMurray offers a 90% sexing guarantee, with professional sexers performing the task at their hatchery. As long as the total order meets the minimum requirement, you can order as many different chick breeds as you like. Choosing which sex you want in an order is very easy to do on their ordering pages.

    They may add extra male chicks free of charge if the conditions are extremely cold, to keep the flock warm. If you don’t want this option, they will put in extra straw instead. Assortment packs are also available as a money-saving option.


    • Lots of breeds, including rare breeds
    • Easy to order different sexes
    • Experts in the industry
    • Must meet certain quantity for free shipping

    9. Ideal Poultry

    Ideal Poultry logo

    Minimum order:$30.00 worth
    Breeds available:Buff Minorcas, Blue Andalusians, Cuckoo Marans, and more
    Other birds available:Ducks, geese, guineas, turkey, pheasant, and chukar
    Shipping:No free options

    Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms is another family-owned business for four generations. Since 1937, they have sold more than 6 million baby chicks all year long from Cameron, Texas. In their standard chicken breed shop, you will be able to see clear photos of the adorable chicks for most of the breeds. A “currently available” tab makes it super simple to see which chicks are up for grabs at any given moment.

    What’s great about Ideal is they have no minimum ordering amount, as long as you spend $30.00. However, there are downsides. One is that you cannot predict what the shipping cost of your chicks will be before checking out. Also, if you order under 100 chicks, they tack on a handling fee of $7.00.


    • Year-round chicks
    • Clear shipping date
    • “Currently available” page on the website
    • No minimum amount of chicks
    • $7.00 handling fee for small orders
    • Unpredictable shipping cost

    10. J&M Hatchery

    J&M Hatchery logo

    Minimum order:15 for April 1- October 31, 25 for November 1-March 31
    Breeds available:Bantam Silkies
    Other birds available:Guinea Keets, broiler chicks, ducks
    Shipping:From $12 to $140, depending on quantity and destination

    J&M Hatchery is a small family operation in Pennsylvania specializing in Bantam Silkies. If you’ve always wanted a Silkie, this is your hatchery. Because the operation is so small, they take great care when hatching and packaging the chicks.

    They offer their Silkie chicks year-round, hatching every week of the year. If you order a lot of chicks, there are quantity discounts. Make sure to order early, because they need 3 weeks’ notice before they can fill the order. They will replace birds that arrive deceased. To ensure the chicks arrive alive, they add 2% to every order. Paying close attention to the season, they box the chicks to either protect them from heat or keep the warmth in for cold.

    • Small, family-run business
    • Specialize in Silkies
    • Replacement for DOA chicks
    • Available year-round
    • Only one breed available

    new chicken divider

    Buying Chicks Online

    Learn Chicken-Related Vocabulary

    If you are a total beginner to chick raising and chick buying, you will likely see some new words that baffle you.

    Here are some chick-related words and definitions to help you get closer to chicken expertise:
    • Pullet – a young female chicken
    • Cockerel – a young male chicken
    • Straight Run – the sex is unknown at purchase; you figure it out yourself later
    • Sexing – finding out if the chicks are male or female
    • Bantam – a miniature chicken, usually a ½ to ⅔ the size of a regular chicken
    • Broiler – a chicken that’s best for meat, not egg-laying

    The Basics of Online Chick Shopping

    You might wonder how shopping for chicks online even works. How can this even be humane? Rest assured, the ordering and shipping of live birds happens every day and has been happening for over 100 years. All of the hatcheries listed know and employ the best practices for the care and shipping of live baby chicks.

    To give you a better idea of the process before you buy, here are the basics of how online chick shopping works.

    Ordering Chicks

    When you go to a hatchery website, you will be able to navigate their online store by species of bird, the age of the bird, the bird’s intended use (meat, egg-laying, or ornamental), and finally the specific breed. Oftentimes you will be able to browse the names of the breeds with accompanying pictures of the adult chicken, the chicks, and/or the color of eggs they lay (if applicable).

    After you select a breed, you can decide the number of chicks you want. On most hatchery websites, you can mix and match chick breeds, as long as you meet their minimum order amount. While you’re deciding how many chicks you want of a certain breed, here you can also decide how many males or females of that breed that you want.

    On some websites, on the page of the breed you selected, you may also see when that breed of chick will be hatching and, in turn, when they will be shipped to you.

    Chick Shipping Process

    After ordering your chicks, the hatchery will note which of their eggs will go to you. On the day that they hatch, they will carefully select the best chicks and put them in a sturdy box with holes. Depending on the weather and the number of chicks you ordered, the hatchery staff may add additional male chicks, extra straw, or heat packs to keep the chicks alive on their way to you.

    How do they survive the trip? Before a chick hatches, it eats the egg yolk while inside the egg. This yolk sustains the chicks for at least 3 days, meaning the chicks will have full bellies all the way to your post office.

    Live birds cannot be sent to home addresses, so you will have to go to your local post office to pick up your chicks. It’s best to do this within 8 hours of delivery, and some hatcheries have a policy that makes a live bird guarantee void if you do not pick up within this timeframe.

    Common Policies

    When dealing with live animal purchases, it’s a given that things can go wrong sometimes. The most common mishap happens when chicks die either when you pick up the package or shortly after. Many hatcheries have policies in place to guarantee live chicks upon delivery, and sometimes up to 48 hours after you pick them up. Each one is a little different, so be sure to look into that before purchase.

    Another common policy is a gender accuracy guarantee. Most hatcheries guarantee the correct sex of chickens you ordered from 90%-100%. This means, if a hatchery has a 90% guarantee and you ordered 10 chicks, they will refund or replace more than 1 chick being the wrong sex from what you ordered. But, if you ordered 10 chicks and only 1 is the wrong sex, they will not cover it under a 90% guarantee.

    Gender mix-ups happen because chicks are almost impossible to predict the correct sex right after they hatch. One way is by coloring: within certain breeds, a male chick and a female chick are different colors. Another way is by feather placement: female chicks have alternating long and short feathers, while males have all one length.

    hatched chicks
    Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

    What Makes a Good Hatchery?

    Now knowing all the basics of buying chicks online, what makes a good hatchery?

    Here’s a quick list of what to look for:
    • They have the breeds you want, common or rare
    • Good policies for if and when mistakes happen
    • Good shipping rates and times
    • Vaccinations are included or easy to figure out
    • Shipping and availability dates are clearly stated
    • Easy website navigation
    • National Poultry Improvement Program (NPIP) certification

    Things to Consider When Buying Chicks Online

    First, it’s important to figure out what you want in a flock of chickens before buying your chicks online. Do your research, and come up with answers to the following questions before taking the plunge.

    How big of a flock do you want? Do you want a variety of breeds?

    Not everyone has large acreage for 100 chickens. Whether you do or not, keep minimum orders in mind when shopping for a hatchery to buy from. If you only want a few backyard chickens, buy from a hatchery that has a low minimum.

    Most hatcheries have at least some varieties of chickens, except for J&M Hatchery. If you’re not sure what kinds of chickens you would like, be sure to browse our guides to common chicken breeds.

    Do you want egg-layers, ornamental, or meat chickens?

    This somewhat determines the sex of the chickens in your flock. Roosters are pretty and can be used for meat, but they are useless for laying eggs. An all-female flock will still produce unfertilized eggs, even without a rooster around.

    Vaccinations, or none?

    Vaccinations are important to protect chickens from diseases, the most common being Marek’s disease. However, if you want a truly organic flock, this may mean you don’t want vaccinations. Different hatcheries offer vaccinations for free or for a charge, so shop according to what you want.

    Are you looking to save money? Do you need additional chicken items?

    Find a hatchery that includes the most things in the chick price (like vaccines and shipping) so there are no surprises at checkout. Also, it may behoove you to shop at a hatchery that also sells chicken products, as bundling these items together could eliminate shipping costs.

    What time of year is it? Where are the chickens being shipped from?

    Depending on the time of year, the weather could affect your chick’s survival rate. Chicks do not fare well in extreme cold or heat. Also, pay attention to where your chicks are coming from. Having chicks shipped from Pennsylvania all the way to California may affect chick survival and shipping costs. Luckily, some hatcheries have several locations to remedy this problem.

    chicken feet divider

    The Final Cluck

    After all these great online hatchery reviews, it’s difficult to pick a few that are the best. However, there are a few that stand out. Our pick for best overall is Cackle Hatchery, for their low minimum orders, wide selection of breeds, availability of poultry supplies, and natural health of their chickens. We picked Stromberg’s as a runner-up for the best place to buy baby chicks because of their free shipping over $100, availability of chicken gear, and easy-use website.

    We wish you the best of luck starting your backyard chicken farm!

    Featured Image Credit: Majna, Shutterstock