Raising chickens for either meat or eggs is a profitable venture if you know how to go about it. To get started, you have to get your choice of chicken breeds at a reliable hatchery. Ensure you consider the available chicken breed, cost, etc., before choosing a hatchery. If you are in Ohio, below are some hatcheries you can check out.
Top 8 Hatcheries In Ohio
Founded by Karen Meyer in 1985, Meyer Hatchery is one of the leading hatcheries in Ohio. They are NPIP-licensed and follow the highest standards in hatching their eggs. They provide over 100 breeds of poultry such as turkeys, chickens, geese, etc.
Some of the available breeds include:
- Black Copper Marans
- Blue Slash Marans
- Buff Orpingtons
- Olive Eggers
- Frost White Legbar
- Heritage Barred Plymouth Rock
- Rhode Island
- Brahma Bantams
- White, and Blue Cochins
- Silkie Bantams
- White Leghorns
- New Hampshire
Their prices depend on the breed, with the lowest being $3.79. Their customer service is excellent and helpful, and all of their chicks are in good condition.
Location: 626 OH-89, Polk, OH 44866
Orrville Chick Hatchery is another chicken hatchery you can check out in Ohio. The available breeds include Rhode Island, Wyandottes, Leghorns, etc. They are certified by the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP), and their product range includes chickens, turkeys, game birds, etc.
Location: 133 Collins Blvd, Orrville, OH 44667
If you’re looking for a specialist in hatching eggs and providing the best quality of breeds, Ridgway Hatcheries Inc is the place to go. They have over 90 years of experience in the industry, making them a standard for others. They sell different poultry products such as game birds, geese, turkeys, chickens, etc., and are NPIP-licensed.
Their shipping covers the globe, but the fees vary based on location and quantity. For instance, the shipping fee for 25 chicks with Zone 1 is $11.98.
The available breeds are Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, Golden Comets, Cornish Rocks, Isa Brown, Buff Orpingtons, Araucanas, Bantams, Wyandottes, etc. Their birds are of good quality, and the prices depend on the quantity and breed, with the lowest being Cornish Rock Cross Broilers which go for $82.
Location: 615 N High St, La Rue, OH 43332
Founded by Thomas R. Shelton, Case Farms Ohio Hatchery ensures they follow the highest standards in their processing. They only use licensed products for their poultry and are NPIP-certified. Their customer service is helpful and enjoyable. They have different prices to suit different budgets and quite some breeds to choose from.
Location: 1225 Hensel Dr NE NE, Strasburg, OH 44680
If youre looking for a hatchery with a wide range of chicken breeds, you can check out Eagle Nest Poultry. They are committed to providing their customers with chicks of good quality and licensed by the NPIP. Their chicks are bred to provide meat and eggs in good condition.
As regards shipping, you can only order a minimum of 25 chicks. You can also mix and match breeds. Some of their species include Welsummers, Dark Brown Leghorns, Americana, Light Brahmas, Bantams, Ausralorps, Wyandottes, and hybrid breeds such as Black Sex Link, White Mountain Broiler, Super Roaster, etc. Their prices are affordable, and their customer service is outstanding.
Location: 3904 3rd St, Oceola, OH 44860
Since 1924, Mt Healthy Hatcheries has served thousands of customers. They are passionate about providing the healthiest and best chicks to their customers with innovative technology, diligence, and attention to detail.
They have over 50 breeds, including Plymouth rocks, Brahmas, Ayam Cemanis, Marans, Wyandottes, Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex, Red Cross, Columbian Rock Cross, and Golden Comets, Olive Eggers, Americana, Cream Legbar, etc. Their prices depend on the breed and gender. They also offer shipping services which are determined by the availability of the breed in question.
Location: 9839 Winton Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45231
Founded by Christopher & Randee Summers, Country Haven Farm provides poultry in good condition. They are focused on providing the best service for their customers but are open only by appointment.
You can get breeds such as Black Copper Marans, White Legbars, Ayam Cemani, Deathlayers, Purebreds, Olive Eggers, etc. Their products are available at different prices, with the least being $2.94.
Location: 1272 Co Rd 149, Cardington, OH 43315
Owned and operated by Crystal Bradbury, Chicks by Crystal provides exotic chicken breeds of the highest quality at affordable prices. They are licensed by the NPIP & Ai Clean Certified and their flocks are third-party screened regularly.
They mix and match different breeds and consciously choose the best for their customers. Their shipping cost is $65, covering 5 to 15 chicks. The available breeds include Ayam Cemani, Ayam Ketawa, Candy Corn Polish, Lavender Orpington, Silver Deathlayers, Tolbunt Polish, White Face Black Spanish, Silkies/Showgirls, Cochin Bantams. and they come at different prices, with the lowest being $20.
Location: 1152 Fortier Rd, Geneva, OH 44041
What To Look for When Buying Chickens In Ohio
You must choose chickens with the highest rates of survival at the hatcheries. This is the only way to ensure you get value for your money and go through with your plans for the chickens. Below are some of the factors to consider.
Choose the healthiest
You should always have it in mind to choose the best of the chickens presented to you anytime you go to the hatchery. Different chickens have different health conditions, and only the strongest of the flock will serve your purposes.
It’s advisable to know the indicators of a healthy chicken before going to the hatchery, as this will help you make the right decision. For instance, healthy chickens are strong-breasted with some decent fat in their muscles. As expected, they are at the highest of the pecking order. Also, healthy chickens don’t sway when they stand. If a chicken does that, it’s not in good condition.
Choose a reliable hatchery
The kind of hatchery you go to when buying chickens is crucial. You can only get the highest quality of chickens from a hatchery that sells such. If all the hatchery has are unhealthy chickens, you won’t end up buying good chickens even if you choose the best of the flock.
Read up on the different providers in your locality before you walk into one to buy. Third-party reviews are a reliable way to gauge the products of any company. Besides, the wider the range of breeds a hatchery has, the more resources you have to make a good choice.
Choose breeds that serve your purposes
Your reason for raising chicks is part of what determines the type of chickens you’ll buy. For instance, if you intend to raise chickens for both eggs and meat, dual-purpose chickens such as Buff Orpingtons, Buckeyes, Jersey Giants, Black Australorps, etc., are excellent choices.
Breeds such as Sikies, Faverolles, Polish, Cochins, etc., are suitable for showmanship. Egyptian fayoumis, Brown leghorns, Bresse, etc., are meat chicken breeds, while Golden Comets, Sussex, Ancona, Rhode Island Reds, etc., are prolific at laying eggs.
Also, if you want to hatch some of your eggs, you need to include roosters in your flock. Therefore, you shouldn’t buy chickens for the fun of it. If you need help identifying the breeds that suit your purposes, you can request the hatchery attendants to help you.
Usually, not all chicken breeds cost the same. The cost is determined by many factors, one of which is the breed. Rare breeds and purebreds are mostly more expensive than other breeds. Show birds aren’t as affordable as other common breeds as well.
Another determinant of the cost is the type of feed and medical treatment given to the chickens. Some hatcheries ensure that only organic GMO-free foods with the highest medical care are given to their chickens.
Some even go as far as asking their chickens for third-party screenings to ensure they are in good condition. Buying chickens from such hatcheries will cost more than buying from others who don’t give their chickens the same care. Also, only buy chickens whose costs you can easily bear when nurturing them.
Care and Sustenance
Buying your choice of chickens is only the first step in raising chickens. You need to know how to sustain the chickens you’ve purchased. While there are general tips for caring for chickens, such as providing enough food and water and a safe place, some chicken breeds have specific sustenance routines.
For example, friendly chicken breeds such as Silkies, Easter Eggers, etc., appreciate human attention. As such, you have to be around them as much as you can.
In addition, different seasons determine the care you give your chickens. It’s common for non-hardy chickens to get frostbitten during winter, and you either have to prevent or treat this. In short, never buy chickens you can’t adequately sustain.
If you follow the guidelines above, you’ll make the right choices when buying chickens, and you’ll have a healthy and productive flock. However, you should go to the hatchery in person to inspect the chickens you’ll be buying. That way, you’ll avoid any unpleasant surprise springing up on you. If you already have a flock, you should quarantine the new chickens before you add them.
While you can only get the highest quality of chickens if you buy from a good hatchery, you must determine your purpose for raising chickens beforehand and choose those which serve the purpose. To know more about the hatcheries above, you can visit their website, send them an email, or read third-party reviews on their website.
Joseph Hudson has been raising chickens for over 15 years. In 2018, he completed the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. He currently raises over 1400 chickens on his 7.5-hectare farm. He keeps sharing his experience on raising healthy and happy chickens on Chicken Scratch The Foundry.