All posts tagged: Isbar chicks

What is a straight run chicken?

What are Straight Run Chickens?

You will sometimes see this phrase when buying baby chicks online. On our website we have some breeds that are “guaranteed female” and others that are sold straight run. Straight run chickens are a mix of male and female chicks. Each straight run chick has a 50/50 chance of being male or female when you order them. They are not sexed before they are hatched (you cannot tell the gender of an egg) and they are not sexed when they hatch so you do not know which sex you will get when you order them. Straight run chickens are typically less expensive than sexed chicks, but they do come with the “risk” of receiving a rooster.

The Pros and Cons of Straight Run Chickens


  • Straight run chickens are typically less expensive than sexed chicks.
  • You have a 50/50 chance of getting both male and female chicks, which can be helpful if you are planning to raise both for eggs and meat or if you would like a flock protector.
  • If you end up with a sweet rooster they will bring balance to your flock of hens and protect them from predators.
  • You will be actively stopping the killing of unwanted male chicks that large scale hatcheries practice upon hatch.
  • Straight run chickens are often more available than sexed chicks, especially at smaller hatcheries like ours.


  • You do not know which sex you will get when you order straight run chickens, so you may end up with more roosters than you want.
  • Roosters can be noisy and aggressive, the safety of you and your family is always number one. An aggressive rooster should be removed immediately after the first sign of aggression.

How to Choose Straight Run Chickens

If you are considering getting straight run chickens, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Do your research and choose a reputable chicken hatchery.
  • Order your chicks early, especially if you are looking for a specific breed. We often sell out months in advance
  • Be prepared to have both male and female chicks. If you know you would like three hens of a specific straight run chicken breed then go for six chicks to hedge your hen bets.
  • Have a plan for what you will do with the roosters if you do not have enough space for them. Often times local feed stores will take them and resell them to other folks looking for flock protectors.


alchemist_farmWhat is a straight run chicken?
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Buying Baby Chicks Near Me

Where to Buy Baby Chicks Near You

If you’re looking to buy baby chicks, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll show you where to buy baby chicks near you, as well as what to look for when choosing a hatchery. We offer pickups of chicks directly from our farm for folks who are local and for folks who live further away, we offer shipping nationwide!

Where to Buy Baby Chicks

There are a few different places where you can buy baby chicks. You can buy them from a local hatchery or national hatchery you trust, a feed store, or even online.

If you’re looking for the best selection of chicks, your best bet is to order chicks online, this way you can secure the breeds you are interested in without having to wait in line at a feed store. Hatcheries typically have a wide variety of breeds to choose from, and they can also give you advice on how to care for your new chicks.

If you don’t have a local hatchery near you, you can also buy chicks from a feed store. Feed stores typically carry a smaller selection of chicks, but they can still be a good option if you’re in a hurry or don’t have time to drive to a hatchery. Do be aware that chicks in the feed store are exposed to many people touching them and there is always the possibility for disease to be transmitted to the chicks if people are touching the chicks who have diseased flocks at home.

Finally, you can also buy chicks online. There are a number of websites that sell baby chicks, and this can be a convenient option if you live in a rural area or don’t have time to go to a hatchery or feed store.

What to Look for When Choosing a Hatchery

When choosing a hatchery, it’s important to do your research and choose one that has a good reputation. Read online reviews and talk to other chicken keepers to get recommendations.

Some things to look for when choosing a hatchery include:

  • A good reputation and good animal husbandry practices. How are they caring for the birds?
  • A wide variety of breeds. We offer 13 unique breeds that lay gorgeous egg colors!
  • A healthy chick guarantee. We guarantee live arrival of all of our baby chicks in the mail 🙂
  • A fast shipping time. We select overnight express delivery through the USPS.
  • A convenient payment method. We accept all credit/debit cards, PayPal, Venmo and checks.

It’s also important to make sure that the hatchery you choose participates in the NPIP program. This will help ensure that the chicks you buy are healthy and free of disease.

How to Care for Baby Chicks

Once you’ve chosen a hatchery and bought your baby chicks, it’s important to know how to care for them properly. Here are a few tips:

  • Provide a warm, safe place for your chicks to live.
  • Feed them a high-quality chick starter feed. Do your research on if you need medicated or unmedicated feed.
  • Keep them clean and dry.
  • Socialize them with people and other animals.

With proper care, your baby chicks will grow into healthy, happy chickens. And you’ll have the enjoyment of watching them interact with your backyard. Chickens are wonderful pets to help get us outside, they give us a reason to get some exercise, they provide company and they lay us eggs. They are truly the perfect pet!

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Ordering Baby Chicks online

How to Order Chicks Online

Ordering chicks online is a great way to get the breed of chicken you want, when you want it. Skip the line at your local feed store with this method of bringing new chickens into your life. With a little research you can end up with an incredible flock that you will enjoy for years to come. There are many reputable hatcheries (like us!) that ship chicks across the country, and with a little planning, you can have your new chicks arrive healthy and happy. It is important to make sure you know what kind of practices you are supporting when you select what hatchery you would like to order from. We are a no kill humane hatchery meaning that none of the male chicks are killed upon hatch as they are at large scale hatcheries. If that is something that is important to you it is good to do your homework before purchasing at hatcheries other than ours!

Here are a few things to keep in mind when ordering chicks online:

  1. Choose a reputable hatchery that aligns with your values. The power of your dollar is huge, support folks who are treating animals and the planet right! There are many hatcheries out there, so it’s important to do your research and choose one that has a good reputation. Read online reviews and talk to other chicken keepers to get recommendations.
  2. Order your chicks early. Chicks are in high demand, so it’s important to order them early, especially if you have your heart set on a particular breed. Many hatcheries have a waiting list, so it’s best to order as soon as you know you’re ready for chicks. We offer chicks from February through October each year so you have a nice long window of opportunity to order though us.
  3. Provide a warm, safe place for your chicks to arrive. We recommend reading this guide to get you started. When your chicks arrive, they’ll need a warm, safe place to stay. A brooder is a great option for this. You can either buy a brooder or make your own. Just make sure it’s big enough for your chicks to move around comfortably and that it has a heat lamp to keep them warm.
  4. Feed your chicks a high-quality chick starter feed. Chicks need a lot of protein to grow and develop properly. Make sure you feed them a high-quality chick starter feed that is formulated for their age.
  5. Keep your chicks clean and dry. Chicks are susceptible to disease, so it’s important to keep them clean and dry. Change their bedding regularly and make sure they have access to fresh water at all times.
  6. Socialize your chicks. Chicks are social creatures, so it’s important to socialize them from a young age. This will help them become friendly and comfortable around people.

With a little planning and care, ordering chicks online can be a great way to add to your flock. Just be sure to do your research and choose a reputable hatchery. And most importantly, have fun!

Need some help with your supplies to get yourself started? This amazon list has you covered from the time your baby chicks first arrive all the way up to their senior years.

Happy chicken keeping!

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Chick Body Parts

Baby chicks, like all birds, have a unique anatomy that is adapted for their survival and growth. It is fun to see them shift and change over each week. For the first few weeks of life here are the different visible body parts of a baby chick:

  1. Beak: The beak of a baby chick is a sharp and pointed structure that is used for pecking and foraging. In the first three days of life the beak will also have an egg tooth attached to it which is a hard extra piece to the beak which helps the chick break out of its shell. The egg tooth falls off naturally.
  2. Eyes: Baby chicks have large, round eyes that are located on either side of their head. They are equipped with excellent vision that helps them find food and stay safe. Fun fact: a chickens eyeballs do not move, instead they have to turn their head to see – this is why the birds have such long bendable necks.
  3. Comb: The comb is a fleshy structure located on top of the baby chick’s head. It helps regulate the bird’s body temperature and is also used to attract mates.
  4. Wattles: Wattles are fleshy, elongated structures that hang from the baby chick’s chin. Like the comb, they help regulate the bird’s body temperature and are also used in mating displays.
  5. Neck: The neck of a baby chick is a slender, flexible structure that connects the head to the body.
  6. Wings: Even as babies, chicks have small wings that are covered in soft feathers. These wings will eventually grow and allow the bird to fly.
  7. Breast: The breast of a baby chick is the large, meaty area located on the front of the bird’s body. It is a popular part of the chicken that is often eaten.
  8. Legs and Feet: Baby chicks have two legs and two feet, each with three toes. The feet are scaly and equipped with sharp claws that are used for scratching and digging.
  9. Vent: The vent is the opening located at the base of the baby chick’s tail. It is used for excreting waste and if your chick is a female this is the same place that eggs will come from.
  10. Feathers: Baby chicks are covered in soft, downy feathers that provide insulation and protection. As the bird grows, these feathers will be replaced with adult feathers. The adult feathers will be the traditional style of feathers you see on chickens which will cover their downy fluff underneath 🙂

Understanding the different body parts of a baby chick is important for anyone who is planning to raise these birds. By learning about their anatomy, you can better care for them and ensure their health and well-being. It is useful to also know the correct names for the body parts. Happy chick raising!

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How many chicks should a beginner start with?

This is an excellent question! The answer ultimately lies in asking yourself why you are keeping chickens? Is It for pets? Pest control? Egg production?

If the answer is eggs for you and your family then the question of how many chicks to start with lies in how many eggs you would like to be receiving per day when they are old enough to lay.

Baby chicken chicks are sold in two ways, “sexed” and “straight run” the sexed chicks are sold as guaranteed males or females. Straight run chicks do not reveal their gender upon hatch and are sold with a 50/50 chance of being male or female. We offer 13 breeds for sale. These breeds are offered as sexed and the rest such as our moss eggers (who lay dark green eggs) and our marans chicken (who lay dark chocolate eggs) are sold straight run.

Lets say you are a family of 4 looking to receive 8 eggs a day in the long run:

Egg Production:

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that not all chickens will lay eggs every day. Egg production depends on the breed of chicken, the age of the bird, and various other factors like diet and living conditions. In general, you can expect a laying hen to produce about 5-7 eggs per week, or roughly 20-28 eggs per month.

Family Size:

To determine how many eggs you need per day, consider the size of your family and how many eggs each person is likely to consume. If each person in your family eats two eggs per day, then you’ll need a total of 8 eggs per day.

Chick Quantity:

Assuming you’re starting with straight run chicks, it’s important to keep in mind that roughly half of them will be male and will not lay eggs. If you want to end up with 8 laying hens, you’ll need to start with at least 16 chicks to ensure that you have enough females. This way, even if a few of them turn out to be roosters, you’ll still have enough hens to meet your egg production needs.

Plan for the Future:

It’s also important to consider the long-term when starting a flock of chickens. Chickens can live for several years, so it’s important to plan for their care and egg production needs beyond the first year. If you want to ensure a steady supply of eggs, you may want to consider adding new chicks to your flock every year or so to replace aging hens.

Once you get into the groove and practice of keeping chickens, adding some new young layers to your existing flock will feel natural and easy.

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How Do I Care For My Chickens?

This is the most commonly asked question, and a very important one because you want to make sure you are prepared before brining in a new sweet animal into your life!

There are many details within this larger umbrella question. For a deeper dive on how to care for baby chicks you can visit our website section titled “New Chicken Keeper“. For those of you who prefer video classes we offer a Beginning Chicken Keeping Class and for everyone else, here is a general overview to get you thinking in the right direction!

Feeding: Chickens require a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins and minerals. A diet high in protein is especially important for laying hens, as it helps them produce strong, healthy eggs. Chickens can be fed a commercial feed, supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as kitchen cooking scraps and given access to grit for digestion.

Housing: Chickens need a safe and secure place to roost at night and lay their eggs. A chicken coop should provide protection from predators, be well-ventilated, and have ample nesting boxes for egg-laying. It should also be kept clean and free of moisture to prevent disease.

Health: Chickens are susceptible to a range of diseases and parasites, so it is important to keep a close eye on their health. Regularly checking for signs of illness, providing clean water, and keeping the coop clean are all important aspects of maintaining healthy chickens.

General Care: Chickens require regular attention to ensure their overall well-being. This includes monitoring their behavior, providing them with adequate space to move around, and maintaining a regular egg-collecting routine. They invite us to come outside and be with them – daily observation can tell is so much about what is needed for their health and wellbeing.

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History of The Welsummer Chicken

The History of This Beautiful Breed Is Interesting

The Welsummer chicken is a breed of domestic fowl that originated in the Netherlands. The breed was developed in the village of Welsum, located in the province of Gelderland, in the early 20th century. The breed was created by crossing several other breeds of chickens, including the Partridge Leghorn and the Plymouth Rock, with the goal of creating a bird that was hardy, good layers, and had a distinctive appearance.

The Welsummer was first introduced to England in the 1920s, where it was embraced for its attractive appearance and excellent egg-laying ability. The breed quickly gained popularity among poultry fanciers, and it was soon being exported to other countries, including the United States.

In the United States, the Welsummer remained a relatively unknown breed until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a growing interest in heritage poultry breeds led to a resurgence of popularity for the breed. Today, the Welsummer is widely recognized as an excellent layer of medium to large brown eggs, in our case we are selecting for heavy speckling on our eggs. Our line of heritage welsummers originated from an old school breeder in Appalachia and we are continuing on his work of selecting for speckling and robust health!

This is one very understated but amazing breed not to be missed in your flock 🙂


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Benefits Of Keeping Backyard Chickens

There are many benefits to keeping backyard chickens

  1. Fresh eggs: One of the primary benefits of keeping backyard chickens is having a constant supply of fresh eggs. Eggs from backyard chickens are often considered to be of higher quality and have a richer taste than store-bought eggs.
  2. Sustainable food source: Raising your own chickens can be a more sustainable and eco-friendly way to obtain your own food. Backyard chickens require less land, water, and feed than traditional livestock, making them a more efficient source of protein.
  3. Pest control: Chickens are natural pest controllers and can help to keep your garden free of bugs and insects. They can also help control weeds and other unwanted vegetation.
  4. Fertilizer: Backyard chickens produce nutrient-rich fertilizer in the form of their droppings. This can be used to fertilize your garden and improve the soil quality.
  5. Educational opportunities: Keeping backyard chickens can be a great learning experience for children and adults alike. It can teach responsibility, animal husbandry, and the importance of sustainable food production.
  6. Companionship: Chickens can be friendly and sociable animals, and keeping them as pets can provide a source of companionship and entertainment.

There are so many more! Chickens are the most generous of animals, they give and ask very little in return. Some folks say dogs are a mans best friend but we argue that it is in fact chickens that can be! 🙂

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Connecting With Your Flock

Not sure how to connect with your flock and start establishing that sweet relationship? Give these suggestions a try! 🙂

  1. Spend time with them: The best way to connect with chickens is to spend time with them. This can involve simply sitting with them, watching them as they go about their day, or providing them with treats and interacting with them. Chickens have unique personalities, and getting to know them can be a rewarding experience.
  2. Handle them regularly: Regularly handling your chickens can help to build trust and a bond between you and your birds. Start by holding them gently and talking to them in a calm and reassuring tone. With time, they will become more comfortable with being handled and may even start to enjoy it.
  3. Provide a safe and comfortable environment: Chickens are social animals and do best when they feel safe and comfortable. Providing a clean, spacious coop and run, along with access to food and water, will help to keep your birds happy and healthy. Adding a dust bath, perches, and other environmental enrichment can also help to make their living environment more enjoyable and increase their overall well-being.

In addition to these three ways, it’s also important to be patient and gentle with your chickens, and to always treat them with respect and kindness. With time and effort, you can develop a strong bond with your chickens and enjoy the many benefits of having these fascinating and entertaining pets in your life. May you all connect sweetly today with your flocks!


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History of The French Black Copper Marans

Ever wonder About The backstory of this amazing breed

The Black Copper Marans chicken is a breed of domestic fowl that originated in France. The breed was developed in the town of Marans, located in the Charente-Maritime region of France, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The breed was originally used for both egg production and meat, and it was prized for its rich, dark brown eggs.

In the early 20th century, the breed became popular among French poultry fanciers, who worked to standardize its appearance and improve its egg-laying ability. By the 1920s, the Black Copper Marans had become one of the most highly prized breeds of poultry in France, and it was soon exported to other countries, including England and the United States.

In the United States, the Black Copper Marans remained a relatively obscure breed until the late 20th and early 21st centuries, when a growing interest in heritage poultry breeds led to a resurgence of popularity for the breed. Today, the Black Copper Marans is widely recognized as a high-quality layer of rich, dark brown eggs, its attractive appearance, and its gentle, docile temperament.

They are one breed not to miss in your flock! We have chicks available from Feb-October of each year and we ship nationwide! 🙂

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