Can’t find a chicken hatchery in Illinois? Well, that will not do!
We know how hard it can be to find chicken hatcheries in the Prairie State. We are here to save the day and heed your chicken needs!
We looked far and wide to find you the 8 best chicken hatcheries in Illinois.
We know you are excited to get some chicken. Without further delay, let us check these hatcheries out.
8 Best Chicken Hatcheries in Illinois
- Location: 14025 County Rd 975 E, McLeansboro, IL 62859
- Phone: +1 618-643-5602
If you want colorful egg layers on your land, you should check Chicken Scratch Poultry. They specialize in these kinds of birds, the fancy lot!
They have hatching eggs, chicks, and pullets too! If you are interested in their pullets, they go for around $30 to $100 each.
They ship too. But the costs are not the same everywhere. Confirm your shipping cost before placing your order; see if it makes financial sense for you. Well, only one way to do that; hit their website for a quote.
- Location: 22511 IL-113, Wilmington, IL 60481
- Phone: +1 815-482-8806
If you are looking for more than chickens, then you might want to consider our next hatchery.
They do not have a website, so you will not see the available birds with a few clicks. They do have a Facebook page, and you can message them for available birds and their prices. To give you an idea, they have Rhode Island Reds and Orpingtons. You could get each one at around $4.
They do not ship, but it seems it would be worth it to drop by their farm! See the quality of their birds for yourself.
- Location: 28137 E 2900th St, Prophetstown, IL 61277
Sunset Barn Family Farm is a cozy little place. They do not have tons of options, but they have a decent selection. They have:
- Heritage Welsummers
- Black and Blue Copper Marans
- Olive Eggers
- Croad Langshans
- Lavender Ameraucanas
- Easter Eggers
- Lavender Orpingtons
- Gray Broilers
You can get chicks for as low as $3.50 to $12 each. They do not sell sexed chicks, so we hope you are alright with straight runs!
You can only pick up your order as they do not ship.
- Location: 14976 LeRoy Rd, Farmer City, IL 61842
- Phone: +1 309-530-4206
Cherokee Flats sells chickens and rabbits. If you are looking to buy some furry friends along with your feathery friends, then you might want to look into them.
Their available breeds are:
Their hatching eggs go for $24 per dozen, while their straight runs go for $2.50 each.
It does not seem they ship, but you can reserve from them.
- Location: Cherry Valley, IL 61016
- Phone: +1 630-448-0837
Bushel and a Peck is a homely family-owned hatchery in McLeansboro, IL. It is run by the family trio of Andrea, Claire, and Joshua; all dedicated to breeding, raising, and hatching chickens and geese in a safe, ethical, and environmentally-conscious way.
Among the chickens you’ll find in their inventory include the following:
- Olive Eggers
- Silkie Chickens
- Frizzle Laced Polish
- Blue Laced Red Wyandottes
- Black Copper Marans
And yes, you can also buy fresh eggs by the dozen.
Let’s talk cost: prices for their chicks start at $8 each. As for the beautiful gems (Silkie and Frizzle Laced Polish), you’ll have to dig deeper; $20 a piece. May I recommend buying in bulk (by the dozen)? Because it offers a cheaper avenue to own chicklings.
- Location: 3036 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60618
- Phone: +1 773-588-1144
Belmont Feed & Seed do not always have the same breeds. If you are looking for something in particular, it would be a good idea to check back with them often.
Here are some of the breeds they have sold in the past:
Since they do not have the same birds always, you would expect that prices vary as well.
They also do not ship, and you can pick up your girls (yes, they only sell female chicks) at specified dates.
- Location: 24562 Como Rd, Sterling, IL 61081
- Phone: +1 815-626-4380
Gaumer Family Farms is one of the affordable hatcheries.
They have breeds like Cinnamon Queens and Black Stars, and they sell their pullets at $15 each.
It does not seem they ship, but you can pre-order their chickens if you want! That way, you will surely get a bird when they become available.
- Location: 10000 Bell Fountain Rd, Dawson, IL 62520
- Phone: +1 217-364-7505
Last, we have Gage’s Poultry Plus, LLC. They sell all kinds of birds, like turkeys, quails, and pheasants. Of course, they have chickens too!
If you are looking for some meat birds, then they have Cornish Crosses.
Like with some places, you will not easily see the availability and prices of birds. You have to contact them if you are interested in transacting with them.
What to Look for When Buying Chickens in Illinois
You now know where to look. Now, let us talk about what you should look for.
Rules & Regulations
We almost always tell you to look for the rules and regulations in your area before you buy some chickens. Why is that, you ask? Well, it practically answers if you can or cannot raise chickens in your area.
You might be surprised, but there are places in Illinois, like Monmouth and Wilmette, that do not allow keeping chickens.
If you are not allowed to keep chickens in your area, you do not have to give up hope just yet! Lincoln used to not allow chickens in its area, but that has recently changed. Slowly and surely, raising chickens is being allowed in places where it used to be prohibited. You might only have to wait for some time.
Capacity & Commitment
Next, you have to look for your commitment to this task. Check your capacity and commitment to take care of some feathery friends.
Raising chickens is undoubtedly a fun and rewarding experience, but it is not all that easy.
Now, we are not scaring you! However, if you want to have some happy and healthy chickens on your hands, then you would have to commit!
Once you have decided that you are ready to take care of some feathery creatures, you need to prepare before buying your chickens.
Look for possible problems you might face, and try to prevent them even before it begins.
Also, you would have to look for the things that your chickens would need. To name a few, you need to look for a coop and a run.
Of course, you would need to look for a supplier.
Did you have a hard time finding a hatchery? It may be because certain areas have limited options due to restrictions on keeping chickens.
You would want to find a good one with good chickens at great prices with good customer service. However, if your choices are limited, then you might want to sacrifice one of these things.
Whatever happens, though, do not settle for sick chickens! If you do not have lots of options, you might want to go with a reasonable price if the cheapest option is an hour or two further.
Happy and Healthy Chickens
We said you should not settle for sick chickens, so how do you find a healthy chicken?
A healthy chicken is usually easy to spot. Often, a healthy chicken looks like a healthy chicken. In other words, you can often rely on their appearance or the things you can see.
First, eye the eyes of your chicken. You want wide-open eyes. It is a little uncommon to see a sleepy chicken when the sun is out and about. Chickens are usually wide awake when they hear someone approaching.
Next, look at their feathers. You want to see their feathers intact and that they are clean. The only exception to this is if you bought them during the molting season.
Then, you would want to look beyond the feathers of your chicken. Gently part them to see if it has any lice or mites. Part the feathers at its rear end as well. You want to see clean skin and bum.
Vent gleet is one of the few diseases that does not immediately make your chicken look sick, but it is usually immediately evident in the chicken bum. If you see any whitish or yellowish discharge, the chicken is probably unwell.
After that, you want to take a good look at the chicken’s poo. It is a little gross, we know. However, you would have to deal with lots of chicken poo anyway when you start raising chickens. Is it in a shade of brown and somehow solid with white dusting? The chicken is probably healthy. On the other hand, if there is blood in there, that is a pretty bad sign.
Does one of your chicks have a marking on its head? Refuse it!
As you would expect, the marking would mean something. Ask the seller what it means. If they do not tell you, then that is a red flag. Refuse the chick.
Not always, but these marks usually mean something you do not want.
It could be that you bought pullets, and one of them has a mark. It could mean it is actually a cockerel. On the other hand, if you bought straight runs, the marking could mean that the chick is sick.
It is better to be safe than sorry.
Chicken Predators in Illinois
Chickens are some delicious birds, and humans are not the only ones who realize that. There will be many animals gunning for the flesh and eggs of your pricey chickens. Chicken predators that are specific to Illinois include foxes, opossums, skunks, snakes, weasels, dogs, bobcats, bears, coyotes, and raccoons. Of course, these depend on your location within the state.
As for aerial threats, watch out for eagles, hawks, and owls.
Rats are dangerous too. They may not hunt down and kill a chicken, but they carry lice and sometimes gnaw on your chickens, leading to some serious infections.
Here is a little recap!
First, we talked about the 7 best chicken hatcheries in Illinois. We gave you an idea of what you could expect from each place. However, additional research is always ideal, especially in matters like these.
Then, we walked you through what you should look for when buying chickens in Illinois.
With everything we talked about today, we think you are about ready to raise some feathery friends! We also talked about how to keep chickens recently. If you want more information on handling chickens, you might want to take a look at that.
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.