Not many people purchase day-old chicks in large numbers for meat and eggs these days, but some still enjoy having their own eggs.
Ben and Tina Schrag, who farm northwest of Goessel, maintain a flock of 60 to 65 laying hens to produce eggs for their own use and also to sell to family and friends.
This year, for the first time, they decided to raise 100 chickens for sale.
“People who don’t have the time, knowledge, and equipment to raise chickens but want four or five for their backyard will buy them,” Ben Schrag said.
He expects most of the chickens to go to townsfolk.
He researched the most popular breeds and talked to a hatchery before deciding which breeds to buy. He said he was looking for breeds that are hardy, produce large eggs, and lay eggs through winter.
He ordered chicks through Countryside Feed in Hillsboro and settled on Cinnamon Queens and Golden Comets. He said the chicks he purchased from Countryside Feed are cheaper and of better quality than could be purchased at a farm store.
Countryside Feed is a local supplier of day-old poultry of all kinds, ordered from a hatchery in Lebanon, Missouri.
Desk clerk Byron Noeth said the business gets 20 to 30 orders every year. All kinds of poultry are available, including chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and guineas.
Noeth said most customers order chicks for egg production, while two or three may order them for meat. Chickens that lay brown eggs are more popular than those that lay white eggs, he said.
The minimum order is 15, but sometimes orders can be combined if customers want fewer than that.