Q:

What are some ways to get free chickens to start your own flock?

A:

Quick Answer

Chickens are valuable, and the only way to obtain free chickens is to receive them as a gift. Some chicken breeders might be willing to barter for chickens in exchange for items of equal value. In most cases, starting a chicken flock from scratch requires purchasing adult hens and fertilized eggs or buying baby chickens from reputable sources.

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Full Answer

Starting a chicken flock requires a budget for purchasing the initial flock of chickens and accessories such as a chicken coop and nesting boxes. Depending on the type of flock desired, a rooster might be necessary to help nurture eggs before hatching. Chicken feed is another required expense. Spring is the perfect time of year to acquire young chickens, and day-old chicks are often available for purchase at local feed stores. Purchasing baby chickens at a feed store removes the guesswork of figuring out the gender of each bird.

Local hatcheries are another good source for finding quality chickens for a new flock. If there are no local sources for obtaining chickens, several hatcheries sell chickens by mail order. Starting a new flock using baby chickens requires patience, as they must remain inside a small pen for at least 10 weeks. Flock owners must generally wait another four months for young chickens to mature and begin laying eggs. Purchasing mature chickens cuts down on the waiting period for fresh eggs.

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