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The Feather Farm
Specializing in rare, heritage and fancy chicken breeds ideal for the backyard flock
Breda Fowl / Black Copper Marans / Swedish Flower // Mille Fleur d'Uccle / Silkie
How to Order
Read the information below for more information and details then send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your order including breed, number of chicks/eggs, preferred receiving date, your address or nearest airport if we're flying them to you and any questions. We'll send you back answers and the total cost.
We custom hatch for your order so please pre-order. A 50% deposit is required before we set the eggs for your order. Hatch day is usually Tuesday/Wednesday so they are ready for pick up or shipping on the weekend.
Chicks are unsexed so you will get both roosters and hens, about 50% of each, in your chick order. It's like flipping a coin though, the more you order the closer to 50% you come, for example with a small order the percentage may be quite different eg. in an order of four chicks three of one sex gives you 75%. Any extra roosters are a great addition to your table. We process all our extra roosters and will never go back to store bought chicken, the flavour and texture of our home grown birds is so superior. Even the bantam roosters are processed, they dress out at around one pound each and make a lovely one person meal with left-overs…unless you’re extra hungry…or a teenager…
Chicks are started and ready to go at 3 days old so we know they are healthy and off to a great start of eating and drinking well. They are kept separate from our older chickens (in the dog and cat-free bathroom) to minimize any spread of disease and parasites.
Minimum Order: 4 chicks for local pick up, 10 chicks if shipping by Harbour Air, and 20 chicks on longer flights. Minimum numbers for flying chicks are required so they stay warm for the trip.
Shipping: We like to ship by Harbour Air ($15-20 per box) and Air North, both are awesome, friendly, budget conscious, small airlines who accept any solid box for shipping. We also ship WestJet (special box required) and will ship by other airlines if they will get the chicks to you. There is an additional $5 charge for us to deliver to Harbour Air or the Langdale ferry terminal.
Shipping costs outside of local area: If you are not in the Harbour Air service area then shipping will probably be around $175-200. Chicks are shipped by Harbour Air to Vancouver Airport and then to your destination by your preferred airline. If your airline requires a specific shipping box/container there will be an additional cost for that.
Substitutions: We do our best to accommodate you with the breeds and delivery you've requested but I've yet to find a chicken (or chick) who will read and abide by my order lists. Sometimes the hens fail to lay as many eggs as expected or chicks just don't hatch out. If we don’t have enough chicks of your desired breed to fill the order we’ll contact you to see if you’d like another breed substituted, a refund or your chicks on another date.
We are a small farm and not all breeds are available at all times and some are only available in limited or very limited quantities.
Ordering Hatching Eggs
Due to conditions beyond our control once they leave us, we do not offer any guarantees on shipped eggs.
Hatching Eggs: Minimum order $40 on hatching eggs. Hatching egg orders will be filled as eggs are available, we keep a waiting list and contact people in order when we have eggs.
We have had great success shipping hatching eggs throughout Canada with Canada Post's Xpress Post service which offers guaranteed delivery to most places in three days or less. We ship them out on Monday, carefully packed in cartons and bubble wrap so they arrive before the weekend. We will send you the tracking number Monday evening. We also ship by Harbour Air, please add $5 for delivery to their terminal.
Due to conditions beyond our control once they leave us, we do not offer any guarantees on shipped eggs. We do include an extra egg or two when available. With shipped eggs a 30-50% hatch is considered normal as transport, temperature changes and time all adversely affect hatchability. We ship fresh, clean eggs that are no older than seven days old. We regularly hatch our own eggs throughout the season to make sure that we are always shipping eggs with good fertility and hatchability.
More information for those who like the behind the scene stuff...some of it's interesting.
Chicks are easy to ship by air as long as there are enough of them to keep each other warm for the duration of the trip. Our favourite airlines (Harbour Air, Air North) accept any cardboard box so we usually use wine boxes which are very solid and best of all free so no added cost to you. With most flights they are at your place before they will need food or water but on the longer flights we ship with chick starter and watermelon for liquid just in case they need a snack. As started chicks ours do need to eat and drink regularly, which makes them different from the just-hatched chicks which can be shipped by mail and can survive a couple of days without food or water.
Shipping Hatching Eggs
Shipping hatching eggs is easy when they are packed properly, shown below is the method we are using with success. We send them Xpress Post (Canada Post’s second fastest guaranteed delivery) and they can reach the other side of the country in three days, though it does sometimes take longer to remote rural areas. We ship on Monday so the eggs will be in your hands before the weekend, if all goes as guaranteed. If they do not arrive by the guaranteed day, we contact Canada Post to get a refund and return your Canada Post costs.
Average Cost and Time to Ship Xpress Post in 2017: BC is $20-30 and 2-3 days*, Alberta and Saskatchewan $40-60 and 3 days*, east of Saskatchewan $60-80 and 3 days*. We do have a busienss account and get a discount which we pass on to you. This is just an average, the longest shipment was seven business days to northern BC, it was only three hours north of Prince George which was a two day delivery. We figured they must use dog sleds to access that town. *Delivery day calculation does not include the day they are received at the post office.
As you can guess, shipping hatching eggs is not natural and does affect their hatchability. A good hatch from shipped eggs is 30-50%. These same eggs will hatch 85-100% at home. We only ship eggs we have good fertility and hatchability on at home which we test by hatching them ourselves.
We collect the eggs several times throughout the day from clean nest boxes lined with hay. The clean eggs are stored in cartons between 10-15 deg C and turned daily which keeps the eggs in good shape so they will hatch well.
How we Ship Our Hatching Eggs
First we select the best eggs; clean ones which have a strong shell, good shape and average size. Our Marans eggs are also selected for colour. Next we candle the prospective eggs. This helps us to eliminate the occasional egg with hairline cracks that are not visible to the eye and loose or misplaced air cells.
These good eggs are then individually wrapped in toilet paper which helps to cushion and stabilize them when in the egg carton. Small eggs which would shake around in the carton when the lid is closed get extra padding to hold them firm so they can’t smash into each other. The carton is then taped shut and wrapped in bubble wrap and placed into a cardboard box surrounded by a layer of crumpled newspaper or feed bag. We’ve found that crumpled newspaper/feed bag performs as well as bubble wrap, is more environmentally friendly and cheaper so it’s become our favourite.
The cardboard box is cut down as small as I can because shipping costs are calculated on box size, and yet still big enough to provide protection from shipping. We then wrap the box in plain brown paper (feed bags are plentiful around here), and tape Fragile and This Side Up notices on to the box. After being labelled with the address, a picture taken of the box and address which we send to you so you know it’s on it’s way. Monday morning we take it to the post office and ship it Xpress Post so it will arrive that same week . We are also experienced in getting refunds for shipments that arrive after their guaranteed delivery date and will refund it back to you.
Why we can ship eggs
While eggs were not designed to fly to distant locations, the way they are designed does allow us to do this. The egg is created to wait until the hen has a full clutch, generally 10-14 eggs, which will take her around two weeks to lay, laying one every day or so. The first laid eggs wait dormant when cold though they will warm up and develop a little every day as she sits on the nest to lay the next egg, but very little development happens until the hen settles down to brood them, then they leap into life and start developing. This dormancy until heated is why we can collect and ship eggs.
As the waiting egg ages, hatchability decreases, eggs up to two weeks old generally hatch well and over two weeks the hatchability drops rapidly until at three weeks very few, if any will hatch. Turkey eggs can remain viable up to four weeks and smaller eggs like quail have an even shorter time with two weeks being considered the maximum storage time.
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Updated January 4, 2018
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