Chickens In The Mail

With the rise of online marketplaces and specialized hatcheries, it’s now possible to select and order live chickens, from heritage breeds to rare varieties, and have them shipped directly to your doorstep. This unique and convenient approach to getting chickens opens up a world of possibilities for backyard farmers, homesteaders, and those looking to embark on a rewarding journey into chicken keeping. Here is my experience with mail-order chickens.

Box filled with chickens.


On March 5th, 2015, I awoke to the sounds of soft ice pellets hitting the ground. I wasn’t alarmed by the sound – in fact, it was somewhat soothing. The weatherman had predicted ice for Alabama, so it didn’t come as a surprise. What did surprise me, though, was the call that would come five minutes after I woke up. It was the Post Office.

I knew that my chickens from Mt. Healthy were going to be sent via the post office, but I had no clue that I would be called to come and get them. The lady who called was really nice and told me that they had arrived around 2:30, but that she didn’t want to call me at that time. I hurriedly got ready and drove the few miles to pick up my new baby chicks.

The workers at the post office knew why I was there. Who, in her right mind, would show up shortly after 5 am on a day that schools and businesses were going to be closed due to bad weather? That would be me.

Black and yellow chick in hand.
Production Red baby chicken.

The Beginning of the Story

My mom and I volunteered at a free clinic, and a couple of our co-workers/volunteers had chicken coops. In addition to hearing about their chickens, we had been privy to a few dozen or so fresh eggs from time to time. My mom had started looking at chicken coops and told me she was thinking about getting one. I showed her a picture of a coop that was at our local wholesale club that I had snapped with my phone  – she wasn’t the only one who wanted her own hens. Next thing you know, we both had new chicken coops.

Snow capped chicken coop.

February 2015

We started preparing early for our little chicks. We originally tried to get some from a local farmer, but he didn’t have any to sell. I asked him where would be a good place to get them and he referred me to Mt. Healthy. (I would never have thought about ordering chickens through the mail.) So I contacted them and in just a couple of weeks, our baby chickens were in the mail.

Inside our “package” were 19 healthy little chicks. I took them out and placed them in a large green bin which served as their nursery. It was complete with a heat lamp, thermometer, pine shavings, feed, and water.

Chickens on wood chips.

Though I was ready for their arrival, I don’t think I was quite prepared for just how cute they would be.

Man holding baby chicken.
Woman looking at baby chicken's feet.

I received an assortment of chicks:  Golden Comets, Black  Australorps, White Rocks, Brown Brahmas, Reds, and Golden Laced Wyandottes.

Baby yellow chicken.

It was amazing watching how much they grew in a short period of time. They went from being all fuzz to having their wing feathers coming in. While their cute little tails were still developing, some of the girls were figuring out how to fly.

Baby chicken perching.

This little girl loved to fly up to the edge of the box and perch there. See that screen behind her? We had to use that to keep her from flying out.

On the few days that we had temps in the 70’s, I put the girls into their coop. They really seem to enjoy being in there and spreading their wings. They fluttered about from here to there. We put a worm in the coop and they ran all around the coop – either trying to get the worm or trying to keep the others from getting it.

Baby chickens in coop

If you have chickens, I would love to hear about them. What advice do you have?

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8 Comments

  1. I want some chickens so badly and I pine for the same cute chicken coop that is at our Sam’s Club. I have been told that you can’t have livestock inside our city limits. Booo hissss!!!
    Good luck and enjoy your fresh eggs!

    1. I hate that for you. If you heard that info second-hand, you might want to check for yourself. Some places will permit hens. 🙂

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