This week I did my homework on all the local farm store’s chick days. I spent time calling stores and quizzing their chick person on what was coming and when. I was surely not the only person calling this week because I hardly got the word chick out of my mouth and they knew who I was looking for. I am sure these calls were being placed from California to New York to any place known for having those magical “Chick Day.”
Most of the folks were patient and very helpful with what I am sure was their 100th plus call with the same questions; What are you getting and what day are they coming? I did not need them to run through the list of everything coming in, I just wanted to know what heavy dual purpose birds they were getting and the planned arrival dates. Most of them knew then exactly what I was looking for and the call was short and sweet. One location, the chicken man talked about a couple breeds saying how well they dressed out for him last year. One location asked me what a dual purpose bird was, it made me smile wondering if she thought it meant they dueled like chicken fighting. He should have spent a little time reading up if he was going to be in charge of birds for the store. Lord knows what advise he will give to beginners.
All the time I spent finding phone numbers of farm stores on the internet, and then placing phone calls, drove home to me that the farm supply stores don’t really get the value of leveraging the net. I know that ordering chickens is a little unpredictable, but I honestly don’t know why farm stores don’t post a list for the store of the planned delivery/order schedule of chicks. They can add a disclaimer at the bottom that the actual in store chicks are subject to change due to hatchery availability and shipping schedules. It would save tons of their employee’s time. They make changes to their website to announce chick days, so adding the schedule would be no big deal for their website manager.
My decision is that my chicks will becoming from either Bozeman or Helena. I will be at the store early to get chicks, and will make the best with what they have that week. I won’t have the prettiest group of hens that my neighbors and friends have come to expect. But as always they will lay well and tolerate Montana winters just fine. In the end I will have some nice egg layers and a few birds in the freezer.