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.
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