top of page
Anchor 1

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What You Should Expect
    Not every chick we sell will be show quality or flawless. Dark-egg chicks are hatched from dark eggs laid by our large, primary breeding flock, which may have flaws. We continually work on our breeding program, but imperfection is the rule and to be expected. SOP chicks are from specially selected adult birds that meet the criteria specified in the American Poultry Association's Standards of Perfection. That said, their chicks cannot be expected to be perfect. Here again, imperfection is the rule and to be expected, possibly even disqualifying traits. While we don't expect disqualifying traits to appear, genetics is challenging and birds can have unexpected recessive genes that can become dominant if in the rooster and the hen. Birds are like people—no one is perfect, so please, have realistic expectations. We avoid the “English type” Marans, which are clean-legged—without feathers on the legs and feet, that is. Other examples of flaws include, but are not limited to: feathered middle toes, long shanks, yellow shanks, sparsely feathered legs and toes, improper color markings, white underfluff, shafting, leakage, halos, over-melanization, solid white coloring (Sport Whites are thrown by Black Copper Marans), etcetera. Dark-egg chicks are less expensive and ideal for someone whose interest is in the dark, gourmet-quality Marans eggs. We are working on our SOP flock and hoping to darken their eggs, but this takes time.
  • Ordering and Payment
    Orders should be placed online through our Store website page. You can also email us at or call us at 984-297-0066. If we are unable to answer the phone, please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. Calls received before 3 pm will usually be returned that same day. We hatch and ship babies every week, from February through October, based on a first-come, first-serve queue. When you place your order, you will have the opportunity to leave a message at checkout with a preferred shipment date. We will try to accommodate your request, if possible, but we will not place your order before someone else’s and vice-versa. If you do not have a specific ship date request, then we will email you an estimated hatch date, based on our order queue. Payment in full is due when you place your order. We never, ever share or sell your personal information with any third parties. You may pay oinline or by check. Checks may be mailed to: Thornfield Poultry P.O. Box 819 Hillsborough, NC 27278
  • Shipping & Delivery
    MINIMUM PURCHASE: THREE CHICKS. USPS Priority Express shipping is REQUIRED if your chicks have to be shipped. We have two box sizes, 12 and 30 chicks. If more than 30 chicks are ordered, then shipping will be owed for EACH box shipped. Orders are shipped Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday via the United States Postal Service. You will receive a tracking number by email and a text message when the birds are shipped. The USPS does not guarantee overnight delivery of chicks, so we will only ship via Priority Express, which guarantees delivery in 1, 2, or 3 days. Most often, deliveries only take one or two days. More remote locations usually take 3 days. Please, contact your local post office and alert them of the expected delivery. Chicks will be held at your local post office for you to pick up. We encourage you to track your shipment progress. Since we are DEPENDENT on USPS for delivery, we cannot refund your shipping if your delivery does not arrive by the guaranteed delivery date. WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for the shipment after it is delivered to the Postal Office. If your shipment is lost or is a total loss due to mishandling by USPS, it will be your responsibility to file a complaint with the USPS to obtain reimbursement. Our 72-Hour Live Chick Guarantee goes into effect ONCE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE CHICKS FROM THE POST OFFICE AND ALL ARE ALIVE. You MUST PROVIDE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF of all the chicks IN THE SHIPPING BOX immediately upon receipt and all MUST BE ALIVE. The 72-Hour Live Chick Guarantee will reimburse you, less the third party's cost of processing the refund, for any chicks that die within 72 hours of receipt by the Buyer. AGAIN: Proof of life immediately upon receipt of the chicks is required.
  • 72-Hour Live Chick Guarantee
    Thornfield Heritage Farm, aka Thornfield Poultry, guarantees the survival of all chicks received alive for 72 hours AFTER you receive them and all are alive when you take receipt from the post office. Our 72-Hour Live Chick Guarantee goes into effect ONCE YOU HAVE RECEIVED THE CHICKS FROM THE POST OFFICE AND ALL ARE ALIVE. ​ IMMEDIATELY UPON RECEIPT, YOU MUST PROVIDE PHOTOGRAPHIC PROOF of all the chicks we shipped and IN OUR SHIPPING BOX, OTHERWISE THE 72-HOUR LIVE CHICK GUARANTEE IS NULL AND VOID. AGAIN: A photo of the chicks shipped is required immediately upon receipt of the chicks or the 72-Hour Live Chick Guarantee is NULL and VOID.
  • Pullet or Adult Bird Pick Up
    We do not ship purchased pullets or adults. They must be picked up in person at a pre-appointed time at the entrance to our farm or a coordinated location.
  • Hatching Eggs
    We sell our darkest Black Copper Marans eggs, which generally are 7s and 8s. While we take extreme care to ship our eggs as protected as possible, we cannot guarantee fertility or that eggs won't get broken. Once the eggs have shipped, their handling is beyond our control. We use our own, customized, extra thick foam shippers, double-boxed with peanuts in both boxes to insure the best protection. WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR EGGS, REMOVE THEM FROM THE INNER FOAM SHIPPER BY PUSHING THE EGGS UP THROUGH THE FOAM FROM THE BOTTOM.
  • Arrival of Day-Olds
    When you receive your baby chicks, we recommend you immediately place them into a warm incubator for 6 to 12 hours and provide them with fresh water and a good chick starter. In the first week or so, we like to feed our young a mixture of water with a supplement called Rooster Booster in the ratio of ½ teaspoon Rooster Booster to 1 gallon of water. Your new chicks will need a brooder to stay warm until their down has been replaced by feathers and average night temperatures stay about 70 degrees. While we work very diligently to maintain a healthy flock, our birds are free-range, and as such, are exposed to diseases and parasites from other birds. We are NPIP certified, which means we are tested regularly by NC Department of Agriculture and our poultry are found to be free of Typhoid, Pullorum, Avian Influenza. In addition, we have random stool samples regularly tested by an independent, third party for parasites. Nonetheless, free range birds are at risk for exposure to Coccidia and other parasites and contagions, so we strongly encourage you to quarantine your new chicks for at least three weeks in a location away from your other birds.
  • Order Cancellation
    You may cancel your order for a full refund, if cancelled more than 30 days prior to your anticipated ship date. If you cancel your order within 30 days of your ship date, there will be a $50.00 late cancellation fee. The balance will be promptly refunded.
  • NPIP Certification
    We are NPIP Certified in the State of North Carolina, meaning our poultry flocks are tested every 6 months and certified free of Pullorum-Typhoid and Avian Influenza. Our NPIP participant number is 55-1482.
  • No Farm Tours
    We are very proud of our farm and would love to share it with you, but due to biosecurity concerns, maintaining our NPIP certification, and the safety of visitors and our livestock guardian dogs, we are unable to provide farm tours.

NOTE: The term ‘Chick’ is used here as a generic for chick, duckling, and gosling

bottom of page