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Buff Orpington chicks.
One-day-old Buff Orpington chicks. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch photos)

A symphony of cheeps, peeps and chirping sounds fill the air as you enter Talmage Farm Agway store in Riverhead. Hundreds of one-day-old chicks arrive every few days from Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, Inc. in Ohio, according to sales associate and “chicken lady” Tara Besold.

The store in Riverhead allows you to special order your chicks or just go in and buy a half dozen for your backyard coop (according to New York State agricultural law you can’t buy less than six when they are this young because they are flock animals and need others to thrive. Once they are six to eight weeks old, or pullets, you can buy fewer). Talmage Agway lists more than 25 available breeds on its website, from Araucanas and Buff Orpingtons to White Plymouth Rocks.

There has been tremendous growth in the demand for baby chicks in the last 10 years for homeowners who want a backyard flock to get farm fresh eggs, said store manager Bill Van Schaick.

“We’ve seen a big up tick in the last five years with steady growth and it has grown by leaps and bounds,” he said.

In 2015 the store sold 5,671 chicks and so far this year it has sold 1,278.

They host an educational seminar in March called “Chick Days” and according to Van Schaick, it is “bigger and better every year.”

The next upcoming educational events titled”Chicken Chat 201″-Raising and caring for your chicks and laying hens” are set for April 29 and April 30.

See their website for more details.

Your North Fork Sunday Scene features weekly snap shots of life on Long Island’s top fork

Talmage sales associate Diana Arcila with one-day-old Rhode Island Reds.
Talmage sales associate Diana Arcila with one-day-old Rhode Island Reds.
Sales associate Tara Besold unpacks the Dark Brahma Barred Rock chicks.
Sales associate Tara Besold unpacks the Dark Brahma Barred Rock chicks.
Dark Brahma and White Plymouth Rock chicks.
Dark Brahma and White Plymouth Rock chicks.

Previous North Fork Sunday Scenes:

Early spring blooms

Peacocks in Southold

Roaming the pasture at McCall Vineyards and Ranch

A Southold ‘Renaissance’ man

Winter at the Beach

Sunset over the Sound

An early harbinger of spring

A field of geese? Look again

A North Fork snow day

A New Suffolk Ave. sunset drive

Icicles form at Iron Pier Beach

Birds of many feathers in Riverhead

Blanket-wrapped horses

Katahdin sheep in Jamesport

Late fall harvest at Andrews Family Farm

Feisty Acres quail farm

Fall art in the fields

North Fork fall foliage

Healing with Horses

Harvest is coming

CSA pickup day at Biophilia

A postcard from Love Lane

Bring on summer

A stroll down Oregon Road

‘Zenful’ flowers in Baiting Hollow

Hello from this North Fork mama and her babies

North Fork asparagus is here

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