It’s easy to picture your life as the owner of a chicken farm, where your healthy chickens are laying and hatching eggs, and your flocks and game birds are running free and happily across the backyard. Soon, you’ll be making a hefty profit from selling poultry products for a pretty penny.
But to get to that point, the first step is to find the best chicken hatchery to source your first batch of chicks. It’s important to invest in the best chicken breeds and look for a reputable hatchery to help you get started.
In Ohio, chicken hatcheries are a dime a dozen, thanks to its central agricultural location. However, they’re not created equal. Some chicken hatcheries are better than others. Today, we want to show you the six best chicken hatcheries Ohio has to offer.
6 Best Chicken Hatcheries in Ohio
1. Meyer Hatchery
Address: 626 OH-89, Polk, Ohio 44866
Meyer Hatchery is perhaps the most popular one on this list. It’s one of the largest hatcheries in Ohio and has been in the business since 1985. They offer over 100 breeds of chickens, from Olive Eggers to Wyandottes to Rhode Island Reds.
One unique thing about Meyer Hatchery is that they also offer waterfowl. Chickens are great, but animals like geese and ducks offer many poultry products while adding more entertainment and beauty to your farm.
The hatchery also has a partnership with Book of the Month to help chicken farmers who want to educate themselves more about chicken raising through reading. They curate books on homesteading and life on the farm and give a discount on the books each month.
2. Mt. Healthy Hatchery
Address: 9839 Winton Road, Cincinnati, Ohio 45231
Next on the list is Mt. Healthy Hatchery, which is as popular in Ohio as the first hatchery we mentioned. This family-owned hatchery was founded by the O’Hara family, who involved all their children in running the farm. Today, it belongs to fourth-generation O’Haras.
Mt. Healthy Hatchery prioritizes growing and caring for chickens to make sure they lay healthy, high-quality eggs. That way, you know for sure that your chicks come from good breeding.
They have tons of bird breeds available, like Buff Orpingtons, ISA Brown chickens, Black Australorps, and many more. Check out their trusty breed finder to see if the one you’re eyeing has made it on their list!
3. Chicks by Crystal
Address: 1152 Fortier Rd, Geneva, Ohio 44041
If you’re looking to raise chickens with rare breeds, Chicks by Crystal is the hatchery for you. This hatchery specializes in hatching chicken breeds that are critically endangered and difficult to find, like silkies, cochins, white-faced black Spanish chickens, and more.
This hatchery is run by Crystal Bradbury, a member of the American Poultry Association and the renowned Ayam Cemani Breeders Association. She focuses on making sure her range of chickens is genetically diverse so that she can provide services to any kind of chicken farmer.
All of Crystal’s breeders are on site, so the farm is quite small. Although they can sometimes get you your chicks slower than other large farms, the quality of these rare breeds is always worth the wait.
Although this hatchery primarily focuses on rare breeds, common chickens like bantams and leghorns are available too. You can get all your chickens from the same place, whether they’re a typical or rare breed.
4. Eagle Nest Poultry
Address: 3904 3rd St, Oceola, Ohio 44860
Eagle Nest has been in the chicken-hatching business for 90 years. Its goal is simple—to provide all its customers with top-notch quality chicks, eggs, and poultry products. They have lots of bird species available, like chickens, turkeys, geese, game birds, and more.
What’s unique about Eagle Nest compared to other hatcheries is that they have two different breeding programs for their birds.
One is called the “Farmline” program, which is meant to raise them so that they produce the best eggs and meat. The second is the “Exhibition” program, where the birds are trained for both the hen house and entertaining chicken shows.
As with any reputable chicken hatchery, Eagle Nest makes sure to get the farm tested through the National Poultry Improvement Program. So, you can rest assured that every chick you get from them is healthy and happy.
This mail-to-order hatchery can ship chicks straight to your own! See their minimum orders per shipment here.
5. Country Haven Farm
Address: 1272 Co Rd 149, Cardington, Ohio 43315
The Country Haven Farm started as a small hatchery in 2006 when it was founded by the Summers family. After doing so well in their first location, they were able to purchase a bigger location in 2013 in Cardington, where the farm is operational today.
What’s cool about this farm is that they don’t only sell chicks and birds. They also have a wide selection of luxury poultry and farm products, from moisturizing soaps made from goat’s milk to beautiful, ranch-style home décor.
As for their birds, the selection is excellent as well. They have many chicken breeds available, from Rhode Island Reds to Easter Eggers. They can offer you fertilized eggs, baby chicks, and even adult birds.
One thing to note about Country Haven Farm is that they operate on an appointment-only basis. That way, they can give you their undivided attention when you visit the farm.
6. Ridgway Hatcheries
Address: 615 N High St, La Rue, Ohio 43332
Finally, we have Ridgway Hatcheries, one of the oldest chicken hatcheries in Ohio. The farm has been open and serving customers for over 100 years. They specialize in numerous chicken breeds ranging from broiler chickens to dual-purpose birds.
Ridgway Hatcheries has been successful for over a century because they prioritize three things—quality, proper breeding and hatching, and professional integrity. By constantly improving over the years in all three of those aspects, they have made a name for themselves in the industry.
This hatchery can get you all sorts of chicken breeds, from Plymouth Rocks to Buff Orpingtons. You can also depend on Ridgway Hatcheries to give you the most high-quality chicks and birds.
Factors to Consider for Chicken Hatcheries Ohio
There are plenty of factors you might want to consider before settling on one Ohio-based hatchery for your chicken farm.
Watch this quick video to see some factors you need to think about before ordering from a chicken hatchery, plus more suggestions on the country’s best hatcheries with easy shipping:
Here are several of the most important things you should keep an eye out for when you’re deciding which Ohio chicken hatchery you want to get your chicks, waterfowl, and poultry from.
1. Reliable shipping methods
Perhaps the most important factor in choosing a hatchery to deliver your baby chicks is how reliable they are with shipping. Look for a hatchery that can promise to send your newly hatched chicks via mail.
The boxes the chicks are shipped in should be well-ventilated to give the chicks proper airflow. There should be an absorbent base to keep them dry and healthy as they make the long journey to you. Each box should have at least a small amount of water and food to keep the chicks alive.
If you can, look for a hatchery with free shipping so you can save some extra bucks. Most hatcheries have a minimum quantity of chicks you need to reach to get free shipping. Getting more than the order minimums can even get you a discount when buying chicks!
2. Many Available breeds of poultry
Aside from chickens like bantams, you might also want to look for a reliable hatchery that has many poultry breeds available. Geese, turkeys, and ducks are amazing animals to have on a farm as well, and it would be very convenient to get them from the same hatchery as your chickens.
You also want to make sure that your poultry animals are healthy before you buy them. Before they’re shipped out, ask to see if the day-old chicks will be dewormed or get vaccinations, regardless of breed and species.
3. Good reputation in Ohio
Of course, you want to get your chicks from a renowned and reputable hatchery. They should be at least well-known enough to have an established reputation as a good farm in Ohio.
Longevity is one sign of a reliable and trustworthy farm. If it’s family-owned and has been running for decades, you know for sure that they know what they’re doing.
4. Excellent customer service
Last but not least, your hatchery of choice should have excellent customer service. At the very least, their staff should be responsive to any emails or phone calls. They must be able to answer your questions about breeds, shipping, and lead times with high accuracy.
Ohio has an abundance of chicken hatcheries; some are among the best in the United States. Because of that, choosing where to buy your chicks can be overwhelming.
The Ohio-based hatcheries we listed above all have their unique strengths, so it’s entirely up to you which you want to go for based on your priorities. All these hatcheries are renowned and known for their top-quality services. To be honest, we don’t think you can go wrong with any of them.
Do you have a favorite Ohio chicken hatchery for your coop? Share it with us in the comments below!