GETTING BIRDS (around Champaign-Urbana, IL)
There are several ways to get hens. I'd advise against mail ordering day-old chicks from the big hatcheries, given (warning: linked video may be disturbing) how birds are treated in most big hatcheries. There are other local options:
- The Wettstein Farm: This is a great organic family farm, and the family sells chickens (pullets and sexed hens) at a very reasonable price. We even bought a few Guinnea Fowl off them one year. The farm is located west of Bloomington, IL. Call first to arrange a time to drop by.
- Chet: If you haven't talked to Chet, you really should. He hatches chickens for the U of I (I'm guessing for research purposes) and will sell you day-old sexed chicks for a couple of dollars. To locate Chet, go to the U of I Egg Sale on Tuesday morning (image of the sign below) and ask for him. Last time we called him, he showed up within ten minutes with our chicks.
- Arthur Sale Barn: Going to auctions in Arthur is a good time, and you simply can't beat the prices of hens sold on the auction block.
Above: a pic of the sign (showing hours) outside the Arthur Sale Barn.
Above: a pic of the sign (showing hours) outside the UIUC Egg Sales outfit.