Photo: Daquella manera, Flickr Creative Commons
I ended up caving and I placed an order with Sand Hill Preservation Center for 25 chicks. Now, there's no guarantee that I even get a single chick. This is a very small operation, and one that focuses on genetic preservation of rare and heritage breeds of fowl and the package I ordered is a fall special that is basically just the odds and ends of whatever is still breeding and could include guinea fowl and even turkeys in addition to a variety of chicken breeds. I'm okay with this. I'm not going to be showing or seriously breeding these birds. They're just for some fresh eggs and just because, really. Plus, the package runs about $1 per chick less than anywhere else I could get them (even if I waited until spring and bought them at the feed and seed store) and much more than that less per guinea keet or turkey poult.
The uncertainty about whether I even get them is that because of their low volume, the hatchery sometimes has to return your check because they just didn't get enough eggs to fill all of the orders. If that happens, it'll just be $30 I don't actually spend.
I'm kind of excited though. I need to go out back with the machete and chop down those weeds in the pens, maybe go out in the woods and chop up some saw palmettos to make a thatch roof to keep them dry.