Egg Laying Chicks for Sale - Brown Leghorn - Free Shipping


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Table of Contents

How Do We Ship Baby Chicks Across The Country

With care and dedication.  Baby chicks and peeps are very dependent on their mother hens.  But these bulk peeps are not shipped with their mother hens, so we package them with additional care and love.  Depending on the season and your location, we will package them with specially made corrugated packaging that allows adequate air flow for the chicks.  This is a proven way to ship egg-laying chicks through the mail with very limited casualties.

But it's critical to know that your egg laying chicks are cold when you receive them!  We will be repeating this!  So  be sure to have a 100w or 125w red light available for them when you unpack them.

What Carrier Do We Use?

The government deserves criticism.  But in our experience, the post office offers the most cost-effective way to ship and deliver live egg-laying chicks.  We use USPS Priority mail, which delivers packages in 2-3 days.  At our request, the package will also be held for pick up.  This means that the post office will call you when the chicks arrive, so that you can pick them up.  This also lets the chicks for sale sit in the climate controlled post office after they are delivered.   So please include your phone number during checkout.

Where do we ship from?

There's just something about Pennsylvania that produces a great egg-laying chick.  The great farming heritage and culture in Pennsylvania has afforded us with an abundant amount of resources that helps us continue growing our chicken operation.  Even though we ship from Pennsylvania, all orders come with free shipping.  So if you're a California hippie or a Wyoming dungaroo looking for bulk peeps, we will ship egg laying chicks for sale at no cost.

Are they guaranteed?

Yes!  We know how to pack and ship these adorable peeps so that they survive the transit through the mail.  Our egg-laying chicks are guaranteed to be alive when they get to your post office.  We also package a few extras with the shipment.  This is incase there are any chicks that don't survive the transit.  If your egg-laying chicks do not survive the transit in mail, please let us know right away.  We guarantee live delivery and will ship a new order free of charge to compensate.  Inquiries and issues can be emailed to us at contact@thecritterdepot.com.

When do we ship egg laying chicks?

We only ship egg laying chicks 1 day per week.  Typically, that day is Wednesday.  But sometimes we may change the ship date by 1 or 2 days depending on local weather or our operation schedule.  Either way, you will receive a USPS tracking number so you can verify that the chicks are in route.

How many egg laying chicks should I buy?

This is really a personal preference.  But it really depends on how much space you can provide them, and how much food and shelter you can offer.  The general rule of thumb is that 2 chicks will need about 1 square foot of space.  This isn't an exact science.  But it's a good place to start.  But every good chick owner will need to keep an eye on their behavior.  If it looks like chicks are starting to peck at each other, or get aggressive, then that's a good sign that they need more space.  So consider adding a 2nd brooder to your set up.

But, they will also need to be feed daily, and also have their poop cleaned weekly as well.  After 6 weeks is when they are usually fully feathered, and can roam around..  They will still need to be fed daily while roaming.  We recommend our composting grubs as a great source of food and calcium. 

What are straight run chicks?

Our straight run chicks are generally 50% Female and 50% male.  However, we do not guarantee this, and there could be some variance.  Only female chicks will lay eggs.  The male chicks are generally useless, unless you're feeding them to your python.  However, if you'd like your chicken eggs to be inseminated, you'll want some males around.  

How do I care for baby chicks after getting them in the mail?

Find a Warm and Calm Location

Peep chicks are defenseless, and unable to regulate their own temperatures.  So they need a calm, warm location to grow, without wind, that provides a consistent temperature.   Chicks cannot regulate their own temperature, and will need an area that can provide these resources.  Which is why it's important to have their brooder adequately set up prior to receiving them in the mail.

Setting up A Brooder for Egg Laying Chicks

After you've identified this location, you'll need to keep them in a brooder.  A brooder is a secure, confined area that will keep your chicks safe as they mature into egg laying chickens.  Your brooder can be a clear, plastic tote, a galvanized drum, or a home-made hutch with chick wire. 

There's a variety of opinions on how many chicks to put into a brooder.  The general rule is about 2 chicks per square foot.  However, chicks don't always follow an exact rule.  So the best approach is to keep an eye their behavior.  If they start to peck at one another, then that's a good sign they are feeling over crowded, which means you should add more space.  You will need this set up for about 6 weeks, or until they fully grow their feathers.  That is the time they can tolerate cold temps, and should be free to roam.

There many ways to make brooders.  But each one needs these specific item:

  • heat
  • bedding
  • food and water

Heat for egg laying chicks

You've seen these inexpensive domes at every hardware store.  And they are perfect for the chicks you just received in the mail.   But what's important is the bulb you put into the dome.  As stated before, these chicks are extremely cold.  The transit stresses them, and dehydrates them.  And they can't regulate their own body temps.  So it's mega important to use a heat bulb for their brooder.  We recommend a red heat bulb at 125w.  This will generate enough heat to create an ambient temp of about 105 degrees in the specific area.

The chicks will need these temps for about the first week of their life.  Then, you can reduce the temp by about 5 degrees every 5 to 7 days.  Once they are fully feathered, they will be able to tolerate cold temps on their own.  But baby peeps require the highest temps.  and as they get older, and develop feathers, their heat requirements can be decreased.  Here's a guide on what temps you need to provide for your peeps or chickens.

It also needs to be stressed that these heat lamps area fire hazard.  So make sure you're keeping a close eye on the bedding material, so that your brooder doesn't combust into flames.

Bedding material for egg laying chicks

The best bedding for your brooder is 1-2 inches of large pine shavings.  Do not use cedar or teak.  Both are toxic and will kill your chicks.  And do not use saw dust.  The chicks will also peck the saw dust, thinking it's food, and ingest it, which can make them sick.  Make sure the pine chips are large, because you don't want your chicks to eat them.  The nice thing about the larger pine shavings is that they don't compact as much as finer material, which will make it easier to clean your brooder, and add more pine chips in about a week or 2.

Food and Water for egg laying chicks

We keep emphasizing that your chicks are cold and stressed from the transit.  In addition to supplying them with adequate heat, you'll also want to provide them with very warm water in a specialty chick dish.  Cold water will only cause your chicks to get cold faster, which can cause them to die.  So make sure you're providing them with warm water throughout during their time in the brooder.

You chicks will need a specialty feed that's loaded with the proper nutrients.  Your egg laying chicks should not eat the same food as your broiler chicks because both feeds are specifically designed for each chick.  You can go to your local feed mill to find the best recipe available for your egg laying chicks. 

How to care for my chickens?

In about 16 weeks, your baby chicks will be able to lay eggs.  You won't need to care for them the same way you were caring for your chicks.  So you will need to make some adjustments to your care schedule.  You can get the detailed breakdown in our care guide for egg laying hens.  But hens will need to be throughout the day.  And you will need to set up their coop so that they are not over crowded, and comfortable enough to meet their egg laying production schedule.

How long until egg laying chicks lay eggs?

Egg laying chicks will start to lay eggs in about 18-20 weeks.  There isn't much you can do to stimulate their cycle.  But it is critical to make sure they are well fed while they are growing.  A baby chick that is well fed and developed will have a higher production yield in their egg-laying days.  It is also important to allow them to get as much natural light as possible.  The chicks will do better by learning the natural cycle through day.  This light cycle helps regulate their circadian schedule, which helps monitor a positive egg yield.

How many eggs will these chickens lay?

Our brown leghorn chickens are extremely productive and will lay about 320 eggs for 1 year.  After one year, their productivity drastically decreases.  Many keepers will often butcher them after this drop in productivity.  However, other keepers grow attached to their chickens, and will continue to collect eggs, even if their productivity declines.

How long will these chickens lay eggs?

Brown leghorn chickens will product about 320 eggs for their first year.  This is their maximum productivity.  After that, their productivity drastically reduces, and many keepers will butcher their hens.

What can I do with the hens when they're done laying eggs?

A lot of owners grow fond of their hens, and will keep them until the end of their life span.  They don't produce a lot of eggs after the first year.  So if the keeper is looking to get nutrients from their hen, they will end up butchering them.

Will egg laying chickens lay eggs all year long?

Egg laying chicks will lay eggs all year long.  They will need a warm hen house to lay eggs the winter.  But their egg laying abilities are not seasonal, and will continue to produce about 320 eggs in their first year of production.  

What's the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?

The only difference is what you see - the egg color.  Both brown eggs and white eggs are basically the same nutritionally.  Their color is the only difference.  The type of chicken you buy is the only differentiator of the egg color.

What's the difference between an egg laying chick and a broiler chick?

An egg-laying chick is really good at one thing - laying eggs.  A chicken master will buy egg-laying chicks for the specific purpose of egg yeild.  If you're looking for a chicken to eat, then you'll want to buy a broiler chick.  These chicks aren't great at laying eggs.  But they are good at growing muscle, which can turn into tasty meat.

Why don't you sell only male egg-laying chicks?

 If it isn't obvious, male chicks will not lay eggs.  And if you have male chicks, they can fertilize the hens eggs, which become eggs that you cannot eat.  if you're looking to raise more chickens, then you'll want the straight run option, which comes with both female and male chicks.

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Conditional Live Delivery Guarantee 

 

The Conditions

  • Customer must be home to receive delivery.  Or package must be held at Post Office.
  • Destination temps must be 45 degrees F or above.  No exceptions.
  • Customer must provide correct shipping address. 
  • Applies to paying customers only.  Winners from the CritterFam contest are excluded from the guarantee.  

If the conditions for the Live Delivery Guarantee are met, Customer must do the following:

  • Send us pics of the deceased.  Pics can be sent to contact@thecritterdepot.com
  • We must be notified within 24 hours from the moment customer receives package.  

If conditions are met, we will ship a replacement package free of charge. 

 

Shipping In Winter - Full Disclosure

  1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
  2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

We still have success shipping in the winter.  

If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

  • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
  • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
  • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

We only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

Before YOU and every other customer collectively sends us disgruntled emails on Monday asking where your order is, please know that we only ship live products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.  And this isn't because we're lazy.  It's because we need to be proactive, and make sure the live products don't get stuck in transit over the weekend.  If they get stuck over the weekend, there is an increased probability that they will not survive the transit.  And perished animals in your mail box don't do either of us any good.  

When Will My Order Ship?

Great question.  In fact, it's too great of a question.  This question makes up 80% of our incoming emails!  And all we can think of in the office is what better things we could do with that time.  So here's the nitty gritty breakdown for when your order will ship:

  • If order was placed on a Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, or Saturday then your order will be shipped on the following Monday.

shipping crickets

  • If order was placed on Sunday, or Monday then your order will be shipped on Tuesday.

shipping crickets

  • If order was placed on a Tuesday then your order will be shipped on Wednesday.  

shipping crickets

And please know that these shipping schedules can change depending on Post Office holidays.  But if you still have questions about your shipment, please do not hesitate to email us as contact@thecritterdepot.com.  

Ok Bug-Boy.  But What about The Tracking?

Great question.  We will upload tracking information within 36 hours after the order has shipped.  So if your order ships on Monday, the latest we would update tracking information for your order is by Wednesday morning.  

And What About DOA's?

DOA's (dead on arrival) are a part of the business.  It's not profitable for us to send out deceased animals.  So please know that we take every possible precaution before shipping.  

But we care about our customers, because you're the ones putting us in business.  And we guarantee live delivery as long as specific conditions are met.  So if your order does not arrive alive, please let us know.  As long as conditions are met, we will have another order reshipped free of charge on the next shipment date (this excludes winter reshipments, which will be reshipped at our discretion).  

We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

  1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
  2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
  3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

  1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
  2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

Unfavorable Shipping Conditions

Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.  If that is the case, we will make our best effort to contact the customer so that can make other arrangements if desired.  

But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.  But these alone doesn't guarantee live delivery.  

But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.  

Winter Shipping Policy

  1. We will not ship when Destination Temps are below 25 Degrees F              
  2. Live Delivery is Not Guaranteed when Destination Temps are below 45 Degrees F

If you are ordering crickets, superworms, or any other live product during the winter, you need to be realistic: we’re trying to ship a live product through sub 30 degree temperatures affordably.

We take extra measures during the winter to try and increase their chances of survival.  However, history has proven that customers are 4x more likely to receive perished crickets when shipped in the winter.  This is fact.

Shipping in the winter has always been our biggest challenge.  And every other crickets vendor has the same problem.  No one wants to send you dead crickets. We want to provide you with excellent service, because we know you care about your pet. But the reality is we can’t control the weather. And there’s only so much packaging we can do before we have to increase our costs.

We still have success shipping in the winter.  

If you decide to order for a winter delivery, here's what you can do on your end to ensure you receive happy, healthy live products:

  • You MUST be home to accept the delivery.  The live product cannot be left outside in the freezing temperatures, or it's certain they won't survive. 
  • If we ship with the Post Office, we highly highly highly recommend that you communicate with your post office.  And that you ask them to hold the package for pick up.  
  • If there is a problem, we must be notified within 24 hours of receiving the live product.

 Remember...

Dead crickets or superworms don't do you (the customer), or us (the cricket grower) any good.  So let's work together to ensure your live product survives the transit.  

We can only ship Live Products on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays

We want to get your products delivered quickly just as badly as you do.  But the reality is that shipping live products isn't the easiest task.  And that means we have to be disciplined and strategic when we ship.  Otherwise, there's an increased probability that perished crickets will show up on your doorstep.  And that doesn't do any good for the customer or shipper.

We Ship with The Post Office and with FedEx

We ship with the post office for a few reasons.

  1. They keep their packages inside their climate controlled buildings.  This is a game changer.  Instead of leaving the packages out on a dock, they are brought inside the building.  Which can drastically increase the survival rate for the crickets and superworms.
  2. They Deliver on Saturdays. Since they deliver on Saturdays, we're able to ship on Wednesdays.  Most packages are delivered within 2-3 business days.  So if we ship on Wednesday, that 2-3 day window falls in the same week, which avoids any Sunday transit delays.
  3. Cost Effective. And one reason why we're able to keep our prices so low is because we use the post office.  USPS Priority mail is a great, and reasonable priced service.  And any savings we gain, we pass right back to the customer.  

The post office is our preferred shipper.  But depending on your proximity & time of year, we may upgrade your shipping service to FedEx for these reasons:

  1. The Post Office is unreliably slow during holidays.  The drawback with the post office they don't guarantee delivery dates.  They will advertise 2-3 days for their Priority Mail shipments.  However, the don't guarantee you package will arrive in 2-3 days.  And this becomes painfully obvious during the holidays, specifically between Black Friday and New Years.  Which puts us in a tough spot because our preferred shipper with climate controlled facilities is no longer dependable.  So we'll ship with FedEx for this reason.
  2. Faster Shipping/Shorter Transits.  Faster shipping and shorter transits have obvious benefits.  The live product will get delivered faster, and in a preferred habitat.  And FedEx does guarantee their delivery dates, which is beneficial for the customer.  

Unfavorable Climates

Temperatures are a big consideration when packaging and shipping live products.  And at any time, we may decide to postpone deliveries if we feel the live product will not survive the transit.

But if the temperatures are too cold, we can package the crickets with heat packs.  And if they are too hot, we can package them with cold gel packs.

But either way, we need to keep a close eye on the weather when we get into the extremes.  So please keep that in mind when expecting deliveries.