Chickens

Northern Colorado Feeders Supply is proud of our growing and ever expanding poultry division! We know that our customers are interested in our processes and how we do things, so we have created this section of our website that will help to answer any possible questions you may have!

Hatcheries:

Due to our extensive list of breeds we can order, we use 7 different hatcheries across the United States. All of our hatcheries are well established with most of the standard breeds, and each one of the hatcheries we use has special breeds exclusively bred by them as well. We encourage our customers to check out the hatcheries we use, both to see what breeds they carry as well as to know where they come from. All of these hatcheries are NPIP (National Poultry Improvement Program) Certified Clean or Monitored, meaning they have all gone through rigorous testing for superior animal health and clean environments for hatching chicks.

  • Privett Hatchery - New Mexico, established 1960
  • Ideal Hatchery - Texas, established 1937
  • Mount Healthy Hatchery- Ohio, established 1924
  • Meyer Hatchery - Ohio, established 1985
  • Hoover's Hatchery - Iowa, established 1944
  • Cackle Hatchery - Missouri, established 1936
  • Metzer Farms (Waterfowl Only)- California, established 1972

Terminology

We sometimes forget that not all of our customers have been in the poultry world for their entire lives, and in that we sometimes miss the fact that not everyone knows what we are talking about when we just start "chicken chatting".

We order the majority of our birds "sexed" from the hatchery, meaning we order them as pullets if they are available as females. However, some rare breed layers and waterfowl are only available as straight run. Bantams, Guineas and Turkey poults are always straight run and do not fall under any guarantees. Details of this can be found in the breeds available section.

Here are a couple terms that we use frequently, hopefully this will help with basic poultry and waterfowl verbiage:

  • Pullet- a pullet is a female chicken under the age of 1 year. We sell our chicks as "pullets". Quite often, people see "pullet" and think we are selling a laying pullet, but all of our chicks come to us as day-old and we do sex guarantee them.
  • Cockerel- a cockerel is a male chicken under the age of 1 year. We try not to get these, but it happens.
  • Hen- a female chicken over the age of 1 year.
  • Cock- a male chicken over the age of 1 year.
  • Straight Run/As Hatched- this means these come just as they hatched, so we don't know if they are males or females and do not fall under any guarantees.
  • Standard Breed/Size Layer- meaning a standard sized hen for egg production.
  • Bantam- small breeds of chickens, these are recognized miniatures of the poultry world.
  • Poult- a young turkey.
  • Heritage Breed- an established breed that is recognized as a breed in its own right and can reproduce with the same breed standard.
  • Sex Link- certain breeds of chickens are sex linked, meaning the first generation of a breeding pair the chicks will be different colors or have markings to distinguish males from female chicks. (I.E. Rhode Island Red Rooster x a Rhode Island White Hen creates a Gold Sex Link, but if you breed GSL to GSL you will not get a sex linked bird)
  • Auto-Sexing- refers to certain breeds of chickens that multi-generational hatch sex linked chicks. (I.E. Cream Legbar x Cream Legbar will create a sex linked hatch, and if you breed those babies they will continue to be sex linked through the generations)
  • Keet- a young Guinea Fowl.

Availability and Special Orders

Although we keep chicks year round, that doesn't mean that our full list of breeds are available all year. For the most part, our full list of breeds is available February through June. We do special orders for all types of chickens, waterfowl, turkeys, and guinea. However, if you are looking for specific breeds of poultry and want to order them, we ask you understand that we may be able to get them within or week or it could take us a couple months depending on the availability of the hatcheries. Some breeds are selectively bred in lower numbers to keep the genetic lines as well maintained as possible, therefore at times it can take us some time to get certain breeds. There are also some breeds we are limited on the amount of chicks we can get at a time.

Ducks & waterfowl are now only available sexed from Metzer Farms in California. In the past we were able to get sexed waterfowl from all of our hatcheries, but that is no longer the case. We carry ducks by special order only, occasionally we do get extras on our orders that become available for purchase, but we do strongly advise ordering ducks if you are wanting some. Geese are only available by order, we do not order those in extra numbers. Sexed Geese are often weeks, if not months out, so we encourage ordering with plenty of time. They are typically only available March-June.

French Pearl Guinea are available February-August, all other colors are not available until early June. Certain turkey breeds (mainly meat turkeys) are available to order in early March, where as the heritage breed turkeys are usually available last week of April beginning of May through July.

We are often asked why some of the same breeds of poultry are more expensive from one hatchery than another, and the easiest way to explain this is the differentiation of "backyard" chicken quality versus "show" quality in the breed, as well as the rareness of the bird. While we don't guarantee a show quality bird, we try to get the best quality of all the breeds we can get. There are also certain breeds are only available to us from one hatchery and therefore we are locked in a price of that breed. If you have more questions about this, please feel free to come in or contact us!

Health and BioSecurity at Northern Colorado Feeders Supply

  • We have an established "hen house", where we keep the majority of our chicks and bantams. Their health and safety are of the upmost importance to us therefore we have a Sani-Stride disinfectant mat that we require customers to step on before they enter this room. This mat has a disinfectant that will prevent the spread of any diseases that may be on your shoes.
  • We do not let people handle chicks. I know this is not what the other places do, but we do not allow people to pick out their own chicks or reach into our brooders. Not only does this prevent the spread of any diseases, but it also really helps keep the chicks stress levels lower when they are not being grabbed at or picked up constantly.
  • We vaccinate all of our chicks for Mareks Disease. We do not vaccinate for Coccidiosis or other poultry diseases. We do carry medicated chick feed with Amprolium if you choose to feed t

Store Policies for Northern Colorado Feeders Supply

We are no strangers to the poultry world, but we know that this is a big venture for quite a few folks. We have some store policies that we want to make sure everyone understands before they purchase birds from us. Please read through this section in entirety and let us know if you have any questions or concerns before you purchase any poultry.

  1. All poultry comes in Friday morning and is available after 10:30, and then they are available during normal weekly business hours. We do close down chick/poultry sales 30 minutes prior to store closing, so please be sure to check store hours before coming to purchase chicks.
  2. We do not put holds on birds that have already arrived and are up for sale. If you have not pre-ordered a bird, they are first come, first serve.
  3. We hold any pre-ordered poultry after arrival for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We will call you when your entire order is ready for pickup, so please be sure to check voicemails. Any ordered birds that are not picked up by Monday morning at 7:30 will be put back up for sale. A 3 day hold policy is generous and can become challenging when we have 50 or more special orders, so we appreciate picking up pre-orders in a timely manner.
  4. Because we often have 30 or more breeds in stock, we do not list all the breeds off over the phone. If there is a specific breed you are inquiring about, feel free to ask if we have them in stock.
  5. We reserve the right to decline the sale of birds, for any cause. This has never happened, but if the chicks are unhealthy upon arrival or we feel they are being sold into a stressful or inappropriate environment we will exercise this right.
  6. Our minimum purchases on all poultry is 2 (two) of each. Meaning 2 chicks, 2 ducks, 2 turkeys, etc.
  7. All layers are 93% guaranteed as hens, however if you end up with a rooster we will take him back if we have space (must call first, roosters brought back without approval will be turned away), and we can offer options for replacement. WE WILL NOT TAKE BACK ROOSTERS WITHOUT PROOF OF PURCHASE FROM US. We apologize for any inconvenience, but we are not responsible for chicks purchased elsewhere. Every chick purchaser is given a blue sheet with the purchased birds on it, this IS your guarantee and it must be kept for any guarantees to be valid. Without a receipt or special order in the book, we will not take the roosters back.
  8. Our rooster return policy requires them to be at LEAST 14 weeks old before we are willing to take them back, and we take roosters back in order of approval. If you suspect (or know) that you have a rooster, please send a picture of the rooster as well as a picture of your blue guarantee sheet and we will get you on our return list. We cannot guarantee where the rooster will go, nor can we guarantee how quickly we will get him in. We understand that this is frustrating to many folks, but it is all we can do. We take back one at a time and do our best to find a home in a timely manner.
  9. We do not guarantee bantams or anything sold as straight run to be hens. If it is sold as straight run, you are accepting you may end up with males. If you are unsure if you are purchasing a straight run only breed, please ask the staff member.
  10. There is a 24-hour survival guarantee on standard laying breeds only (DOES NOT include bantams, some extremely rare breeds, turkeys, ducks or guinea fowl) of natural causes only. We understand that sometimes chicks just do not thrive, but after 24 hours they are completely out of our care. Purchaser MUST CALL within 24 hours of purchase if a chick has passed. Unfortunately, we have been taken advantage of more than once so we require a photo of the deceased chick for replacement.
  11. We will not take back chicks that have left the property. For biosecurity reasons, we are unable to put them back in the brooder once they have left the room. There are absolutely no exceptions to this policy. This policy is in place for the health and safety of the birds.
  12. When you purchase any poultry from us, you are agreeing to our terms and conditions.