Raising chickens can have its difficulties, but it is mostly a fun and rewarding experience that comes with many benefits. One of the difficult things that you may encounter at the beginning is finding a perfect place to get your baby chickens from. In this article, you will be able to read about top hatcheries in Wisconsin, as well as some tips on raising chickens in this state.
Top 5 Chicken Hatcheries In Wisconsin
The easiest and the safest place to buy your chickens is a good-rated, NPIP-certified, reliable hatchery. Hatcheries usually have decades of experience in raising chickens, so you can be sure that you will get healthy and happy poultry.
They also offer many different breeds to choose from, according to your needs and conditions that you can provide for your new flock. Here are the top 5 chicken hatcheries in Wisconsin.
- Location: 104 Beltline Dr, Beaver Dam, WI 53916
- Phone: 920-887-2122
The story of this hatchery begins in 1912. They have been raising chickens for more than a century now. They are NPIP certified and sell a variety of chicken breeds. Some of the chicks that you can find here are Sunnyside Jumbo Broilers, Sunnyside Rangers, White Leghorn, Brown, Special Black, Red, Sunnyside Rainbow Eggers, Barred Rocks, and Rhode Island Reds.
A lot of these are Sunnyside originals, bred by their specialists for either meat or egg production, or as dual-purpose chickens. The prices range from less than a dollar to two dollars per chicken, depending on the age. They primarily deliver to Wisconsin and surrounding areas, but if you live further away, you can contact them about the additional information.
- Location: N363 Hubbleton Rd, Waterloo, WI 53594
- Phone: 920-478-2053
This NPIP certified hatchery officially exists since 2000, but it started out as a hobby in 1965. They sell standard breeds, such as Barred Rock, White Rock, Tetra Brown, Silver Lace Wyandotte, Rhode Island Red, Rainbow (Dixie), Production Red, New Hampshire Red, ISA Brown, Golden Lace Wyandotte, Americana, Hyline White Leghorn, California White, and Brown Leghorn.
They also have rare breeds, like White Crested Polish, Welsummer, Salmon Favorelle, Lavender Orpington, Dominique, and many more. Considering their wide selection, the prices wary a lot. You can find standard breeds for around a dollar, while rare breeds go for four dollars and more. They ship all over the USA.
- Location: 705 Fremont St, Fremont, WI 54940
- Phone: 920-472-4068
Purely Poultry has been raising chickens for decades now. They are NPIP certified and they ship nationwide. They offer more than 150 different breeds of chicks. You can find egg layers, like ISA Browns, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Black Australorps, New Hampshires, and so on. Some of the broiler chickens that you can order from this hatchery are Free Range Broilers, Cornish Cross, Delaware, and Kosher King.
They also have dual-purpose chickens, as well as cold-hardy, and heat-hardy chicks. The prices vary a lot and due to the large assortment of chickens to choose from, it is possible to find something affordable for anyone. They have a gender guarantee and a product accuracy guarantee.
- Location: 3764 W Union Dane County Line Rd, Brooklyn, WI 53521
- Phone: 608-513-2308
The Lund family started raising chicks in 2000. They are now an NPIP certified, Brooklyn-based hatchery that also exhibits their birds at shows. They offer four breeds – Vorwerk, Black Cochin, Salmon Faverolle, and Buff Brahma. They sell at 15$ each. They offer shipping at 70$ per order. They do not sex their chickens.
- Location: 9492 County Rd N, Plain, WI 53577
- Phone: 608-546-2205
Shamrock Farm is an NPIP certified hatchery located in Hudson. They offer large fowl, like Russian Orloff and Wyandotte, and bantam chicks, like Brahma and Wyandotte. They also released an exclusive offer that consists of Buff Laced Wyandotte and Lavender Wyandotte. Their prices are affordable and you can expect five bonus chicks for every 20 chickens of the same breed you order.
What To Look For When Buying Chickens In Wisconsin
When deciding to raise chickens, it’s of utmost importance to check if you are allowed to do so. Keeping more chickens than allowed or keeping them without a permit can get you into trouble. You can be charged money or even a jail sentence. Here are some things to know before you start ordering chickens in Wisconsin.
Local Laws And Regulations
Before you welcome your furry little friends into your property, find out everything you can about local ordinances for keeping poultry in your city, town, or village. Rules can differ a lot depending on where you live, so this step is very important. Here are some of the things that you should know about keeping chickens in Wisconsin.
One of the mandatory things that you have to do if you want to keep live poultry is to register your premises, whatever the amount of chickens you want to keep is. This is free and done fairly quickly.
The main goal is to keep track of infected or dead livestock in order to control and minimize the spreading of disease. You will need to provide your name, type of livestock, address, and phone, among some other potential information needed.
You can be exempt from this rule if you are an individual who holds a religious belief that would oppose the idea of registering premises with livestock. In this case, you would be required to sign an affidavit.
Permits And Prohibitions
Another crucial thing that you have to be aware of is the limitations and requirements for keeping chickens in your city.
If you live in Milwaukee, you are allowed to keep up to four chickens – roosters are not allowed. You would need to have a separate coop for them, meaning that you won’t be able to use a garage or any other similar space not specifically designed for poultry.
You can keep chickens as pets or for eggs, but you are not allowed to slaughter them. Before bringing them home, you need to obtain a permit.
Madison has similar rules. You have to obtain a permit first and then renew it annually – it lasts from January 1st to December 31st. You are not allowed to keep roosters and your hens need to have their own coop that is located at least 25 ft. away from other neighboring lots. Keeping up to four chickens is allowed; six if they are an accessory to a museum, school, or a daycare center.
Green Bay implements similar rules as well. You need to have an annual permit and you can keep up to four hens. Their coop should also be at least 25 ft. away from any adjacent buildings. No roosters are allowed and you are prohibited from slaughtering the chickens.
Appleby started allowing chickens just several years ago. If you live in this city, you can keep up to six hens on your property, and they should have their own coop separated from other buildings. The coop should have 2 sq. ft. per chicken. You are required to obtain an annual permit. If any chicken catches a disease, you are required to inform the Health Department.
If you want to keep chickens in Janesville, you also need to obtain a permit that you will be renewing annually. Before you are allowed to bring chickens to your property, you need to provide pictures of the coop you intend to use or build. If the pictures don’t match the actual coop during the inspections, your license can get revoked. You can keep up to four chickens in this city.
Apart from the official rules and regulations that you have to go through to keep chickens, always make sure to check with your neighbors if they are fine with your decision. Since no roosters are allowed, there won’t be much noise, but you will need to keep a coop clean so the smell doesn’t bother anyone.
Climate And Weather
Just like it would be very difficult for people used to warmer climates to move somewhere very cold, certain breeds of chickens are more used to warm or cold weather. You should keep this in mind when buying a new flock.
Wisconsin’s climate is continental, meaning that summers are warm and winters can get very cold, especially around Michigan Lake. You should opt for winter-hardy chickens – they usually originate from colder places so their bodies are equipped to handle low temperatures.
Some of the breeds that are suitable for this type of climate are Australorps, Wyandottes, Ameraucanas, Delawares, Rhode Island Reds, Orpingtons, and Barred Rocks. This doesn’t mean that you should just leave them in their coop when it’s cold and hope for the best. They should have a heating lamp turned on whenever the temperatures are too low, as well as warm bedding.
Wisconsin is a great state for raising chickens. There are plenty of good hatcheries to choose from, and countless breeds to fit your needs. Remember that winters can get pretty cold so try to choose cold-hardy chicken breeds.
Make sure that you have registered your premises, obtained all permits, and consulted your neighbors about the chicks you plan to keep. Once you have all of that settled, enjoy having your new pets on your property.
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.