Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Lesson 732 – Not Picking up Chicks

By Wendythomas @wendyenthomas


Last week I talked about how I was planning on picking up a few new chicks. From last fall, we’ve lost 4 of our older birds (out of a flock of 34) and so we have a little wiggle room to get some more flock members this season.

I was planning on getting 2 chicks now and then adding 2 more birds over the summer.

Last summer, in order to get any chicks in New Hampshire, you had to buy at least 12. As the chick buying laws have changed – you can now buy chicks in any quantity –  I went into our local Tractor Supply store ready to bring home 2 chicks.

“Can’t do that,” the clerk told me. “We sell chicks only in quantities of 6 and ducks in quantities of 2.”

I could respect that decision. In fact, I was okay with it and about ready to leave, when he added “It’s the New Hampshire law.”

Wait a minute. “No, it’s not,” I replied.

I know this for a fact, because I’ve been teaching about the new law since it was put into effect last July. I’ve even written articles for newspapers about the change in buying chicks.

Putting a minimum quantity on the amount of chicks you buy is *not* the New Hampshire law.

The clerk was confused. He made an attempt to “look up” the law in a notebook on the counter. Surprisingly (not) he couldn’t find any reference to it.

Needless to say, I left without any chicks.

When I got home, I called the main number for Tractor Supply Store. The nice woman on the phone told me that buying birds in a minimum quantity was a Tractor Supply Store policy put in place to ensure that the birds only went to “agriculturally minded households.” When I told her that that was fine, but that it wasn’t the law in New Hampshire, she asked if I wanted to be connected to Customer Service to make a complaint.

Not at all.

In fact I applaud, Tractor Supply’s attempt to protect the birds. I have long made public my concerns about the change New Hampshire made (I had visions of kids with a couple of dollars in their pocket buying a plaything for the afternoon.) And I think that having a lower minimum quantity purchase number is a good compromise (even though I was prepared to buy only 2 chicks) from a store that cares about what happens to it’s livestock.

Nope, no complaint from me, however, I do want Tractor Supply to recognize that they are operating under an individual store’s policy and they are not operating under the New Hampshire law.


I just wrote a blog post for GRIT Magazine on how to pick out a healthy chick.  Here’s the link- Chicks Are Not Puppies.


I write about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact me at [email protected]

Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even  a recipe or two.

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