With spring right around the corner it's time to start planning where you're getting peeps from this year? Do you have your breeds picked out? How many are you adding this year?
1 Hatchery mail order stores are one of the most common methods of purchasing new stock. We have had both great luck and disappointment from these companies. The quality of the stock seems to fluctuate yearly even within the same companies. The major upside is being able to pick from so many breeds as well as ordering only pullets.
2 Farm Stores are extremely popular each spring, as they fill the stores with sounds of peeping chicks echoing threw out. You are simply getting Hatchery mail order chicks, but atleaset you get to physically pick them out. Watch out for the straight-run bins they can bite you in the butt with rooster ratios. Make sure to check the conditions you don't want to bring home disease or illness.
3 Hatch your own peeps with an incubator. This is definitely a fun method for the whole family. Sounds easy enough and technically it is, but this method also comes with downfalls. What are you going to do with all the roosters? You must also be ready to except, you will have to dispose of the ones who didn't make it out of the shell, or passed away in the process. You can also skip the incubator and use a broody hen. Always a great option nothing cutier than watching a mama and her babies roam the yard.
4 Local purchase is a great option. You can find anything from rare breeds to wonderful farm mixs. Always check out the farm conditions and the people raising them. Ask if they have a rooster return program. For us we sell a handful of peeps locally each spring. We always take back unwanted roosters for our customers at no extra charge.
We have tried it all over the years and have enjoyed each experience. We love raising our own on the farm more than anything. We do however order a few chicks each year to introduce new bloodlines.