If you aren’t into incubating your chicken eggs, you’re probably unsure where to get chicks. Almost every hatchery claims to have optimal customer satisfaction and chicks with excellent genetics.
So, it can be difficult trying to pick one, which is where we come in. In this article, we’ll help you decide on the best chicken hatchery in New Jersey.
At a Glance
- Princeton Lavender – Best Overall
- Jersey Chickens – Best for Accurately Sexed Chicks
- HC Live & Fresh Poultry – Best for Healthy Chicks
- V&R Homestead – Most Versatile
The 4 Best Chicken Hatcheries in New Jersey in 2021
1. Princeton Lavender – Best Overall
Princeton Lavender offers various chicks, pullets, and hens for sale, as it features over 150 birds of 6 to 10 different breeds at a time.
Furthermore, its breed collection is impressive. To illustrate, it has hardy, dual-purpose birds and excellent forages, which can handle cold weather conditions and are productive. Also, it has breeds that lay up to 200 eggs a year, holding the record for egg-laying.
In addition, the best part is that you can find all the information you require about the available breeds and their nature on the hatchery’s website, saving you the extra research. And unlike some other hatcheries on this list, Princeton Lavender accepts credit card phone sales and checks.
Nonetheless, we have to note that this hatchery may not be the one for those looking to get older pullets fast because you’ll probably have to wait for the supplier to grow them out. However, since you’re here for chicks, you won’t have to worry about that.
- Sells chicks, pullets, and hens
- Has over 150 birds and 6 to 10 different breeds
- Features hardy and dual-purpose birds
- Sells birds that lay up to 200 eggs per year
- Has an informative website
- Accepts credit card phone sales and checks
- Doesn’t provide older pullets on the spot, as the hatchery has to grow them out
Princeton Lavender excels on all grounds, with multiple breeds, numerous hardy, dual-purpose, and productive birds. Not to mention, it sells chicks, pullets, and hens.
2. Jersey Chickens – Best for Accurately Sexed Chicks
Jersey Chickens is a solid hatchery where you get to choose how accurately sexed your chicks are. For one, sex-linked baby chicks are the most accurately sexed at a percentage of 99%.
As for standard breed chicks, they have a 90% sex accuracy percentage. Finally, straight run chicks aren’t sexed. If you’re considering those, note that you’d need 50% females and 50% males.
Moreover, the hatchery has numerous breeds. So, sex-linked baby chicks include Bielefelder Chicks, Jersey Red Chicks, Cream Legbar Chicks, Jersey Gold Chicks, and Jersey Black Chicks.
Standard ones are Ameraucana Chicks, Barred Rock Chicks, Black Australorp Chicks, and more. Straight run chicks are either Silkie Chicks or Belgian D’uccle Chicks.
On the downside, the hatchery isn’t currently shipping chicks or taking online orders, so you’d have to purchase chicks on the site. And it accepts payments in cash (not credit).
- Accurately sexed chicks up to 99%
- Various chick breeds across sex-linked baby chicks, standard chicks, and straight run chicks
- No shipping (currently)
Jersey Chickens offers various sex accuracy rates, so you can decide to pick up accurately sexed chicks up to 99% or 90%, which is impressive. And it has numerous breeds for you to choose from.
3. HC Live & Fresh Poultry – Best for Healthy Chicks
Thanks to the supplier’s carefully curated diet, HC Live & Fresh Poultry raises some of the healthiest flocks. This non-GMO (genetically modified organism) diet balances carbs and protein and features powdered probiotics.
Moreover, the hatchery has adequate floor space, proper sanitation, and climate control. And the flocks are tested for diseases before leaving the premises. Accordingly, the hatchery raises some of the healthiest breeds.
Also, if you’re looking for a well-established hatchery, HC Live & Fresh Poultry has been in the business for over 10 years. And it has remained consistent with its quality over time. In addition, the hatchery can deliver your chicks close to your location, which is always a plus.
The one thing we have to say is that this hatchery doesn’t sell organic chicken; however, these birds are arguably healthier than most organic chickens because of their diet and living conditions.
- Chickens are fed non-GMO diets
- Has good sanitation and climate control
- Sufficient floor space
- Sells healthy chicks
- Has over 10 years of experience
- Delivery to close proximity from your location
- No available organic chickens
HC Live & Fresh Poultry boasts some of the healthiest flocks you’ll find. They’re well-fed, tested for diseases, and raised in good living conditions, so there’s practically no reason not to invest in them.
4. V&R Homestead – Most Versatile
At V&R Homestead, you can get your chicks, but you can also get roasters, pullets, laying hens, and hatching eggs all year long.
Regarding the available breeds, the hatchery has Silkie Showgirl Chicks, Olive Eggers, Black Australorps, Lavender and BlackCochins, Easter Eggers, Sultan Bantams, and so much more!
Additionally, the suppliers at V&R Homestead are very knowledgeable, so you can ask them about all things chicks and even ask them to recommend you a breed to suit your purposes; they won’t disappoint.
So, this is an excellent hatchery to work with if you’re a beginner. But be warned that they may be relatively pricey.
- Sells chicks, roasters, pullets, laying hens, and hatching eggs
- Numerous available breeds
- Superb customer service and knowledgeable suppliers
- Prices may be considered expensive
V&R Homestead could be the ideal hatchery for you if you aren’t just looking to buy chicks but want to buy hens, roosters, eggs, and more. It’s also superior when it comes to customer service and satisfaction.
Factors to Consider When Buying Chicks
Now that we’ve given you suggestions for the best hatcheries in New Jersey, it’s about time we cover some factors that’ll probably help you pick the best chicken hatchery.
Shipping and Refunds
When it comes to shipping, it can be stressful for chicks. To handle that, some hatcheries add more chicks, usually male, to keep the chicks warm. And they still deliver the correct number of chicks. In addition, hatcheries may offer replacement or refunds for chicks if they’re delivered dead.
As for the chicks’ sex, you want a policy that ensures you get what you’ve asked for, and hatcheries typically promise a percentage of correctly sexed chicks. So, opt for 90% at least. And make sure there are refunds for incorrectly sexed ones. Finally, remember that a hatchery with clear and straightforward policies is an automatic green flag.
You can buy chicken in standard/large size or bantam size. Large breeds offer the most meat and eggs. Otherwise, bantams are a quarter or a fifth the size of large species with smaller eggs. Typically, you’d want large breeds if you’re raising them for the meat or eggs.
If you’re interested in rare breeds, heritage is an essential factor. Perhaps you want a particular heritage breed to get its egg layers or meat birds. Not to mention, rare breeds are typically more hardy, better settlers, and exhibit more traditional chicken behavior.
A chicken hatchery’s online reputation can tell you a lot about it, so read reviews and watch unboxing videos of its chicks. This should help you discover if the hatchery’s living conditions are ethical and unsanitary.
Tip: You can also talk to your local feed store to ask them for referrals.
Dual-purpose flocks are classic ones raised on farms in early America. They provide both excellent laying production and plump meat, hence their duality. So, they can make for a worthwhile investment.
When chicks are hardy, they’re equipped to handle cold weather conditions and sustain themselves in tough times. They also know how to forage rather than depend on eating feed. So, they possess the skills of a traditional chicken, which aren’t typically found in production breeds.
By now, we hope you’ve come across a hatchery that you’re interested in trying out. And in case you need a recap of our top picks, Princeton Lavender is arguably the best chicken hatchery in New Jersey. Its breeds are hardy, dual-purpose, and produce a lot of eggs.
Then, there’s Jersey Chickens with its accurately sexed chicks (up to 99%). It’s also got sex-linked baby chicks, standard chicks, and straight run chicks. Last but not least, HC Live & Fresh Poultry grows chicks in such a sanitary and spacious environment, feeds them well, and provides them with the needed medical care.