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Frequently Asked Questions

What does out of stock, preorder, in stock, and backorder mean?

A. Out of stock – the items are not in stock and can’t be ordered or requested.  Preorder – this is where you can order an item in advance before it is released or ready. In stock – this means the item is in stock but our timeframes still apply (we need 5-7 weeks to process). Backorder – this means we have a lot of pending orders , not as many birds and timeframes  can generally be longer. We will be able to fill backorders. Recommend contacting us  if you need more details or we typically indicate the timing on the webpage.

When will my order be ready?

A. Our policy is 5-7 weeks to process. We are not a hatchery but a farm who takes special care of our fowl. So when a customer places that order we will start to work on that order,  and we typically don’t have stock readily available. So this means for hatching eggs we assess the orders already placed and determine when we can fill it then work on collecting eggs. For babies we set the eggs then it will take at least 22 days till hatch ( duck/turkey/guinea 29, goose 34). Then we give them a week to acclimate. If there are orders ahead those will be filled first. For fully feathered it is those days plus the typical 5-8 week growing period , so roughly 3 months. Some products are backordered and we indicate this clearly on the website.

Can I get my fowl right after I place my order?

A. Generally no, we need time to get the fowl ready.  Many timeframes for hatching eggs, babies and fully feathered can be seen here. Appointments are required for fowl pickup.

Can I receive parts of my order if it is ready?

A. Yes, absolutely! Contact us for this option so we can accommodate your request.

Where are you located and how do I contact you?

A. We are on google search and maps. You can reach us via email at contact@sugar-feather.com, on our contact form, Facebook, Instagram or by phone (802) 560-5606. We are a family farm and do our best to get back in a timely fashion, if not please reach out again.

Can I create an account?

A. Yes you can here. From your account dashboard you can view your recent orders, manage your shipping and billing addresses, and edit your password and account details.

What is the difference between fully feathered a pullet and a hen?

A. At our farm, a fully feathered bird is a bird we raise from chicks to a certain number of weeks based on full feathering out, so no heat lamp is needed and the bird can go outdoors. A pullet is a young hen not mature but can be starting to lay or older than a fully feathered. A hen is a full grown chicken at a year old.

Can we have our birds shipped or can we pick up?

A. Yes we offer on farm pickup or ship via USPS. When you are placing your order you indicate on the checkout pickup or ship and can put any notes you would like to share. We don’t meet up or personally deliver.

Do customers pay for shipping?

A. Yes, internet orders automatically figure your shipping for you (we don’t control the USPS prices). The shipping charge covers postage to your Post Office, box, padding, heat, food and special grow gel for all live fowl orders.

How far in advance should I book my order?

A. As soon as you know when and how many you want to order you should go ahead and place your order. We start taking  pre-orders  in the Fall  for next season/year to be booked and shipped. When you place the order in the notes section please indicate anything you would like us to know. All orders are generally 5-7 weeks out due to time of year, hen behaviors, weather and conditions beyond our control.  Some breeds (turkeys, guineas, ducks, geese) are seasonal layers.

How do you ship your fowl?

A. We ONLY ship through the US Postal Service. Other carriers do NOT handle fowl shipments. For hatching eggs we use Priority Mail option, for all live fowl we use Priority Express with extra insurance.

Can I make changes to my order or add more birds to my order?

A. Please contact us on our  contact page with your order number(Important). You can also just cancel the existing order and re-do.

What days are fowl shipped typically?

A.  We ship Monday and Tuesday. Shipping towards the end of the week is not good for the birds or eggs an they could potentially sit over the weekend.

What are your minimums for orders?

A. No minimums for pickups, fully feathered or hatching eggs no minimum, chicks/ducklings/keets/poults are a suggested  6 of any combination.

Will the post office deliver our chicks to us at our home or do we need to go to the post office to pick them up?

A.  Pick up at the Post Office.  When your order arrives, the post office is instructed to call for pick-up. We put on your shipping box the phone number you gave to us. We recommend keeping close  watch on the delivery and tracking and notifying the post office that you have live birds coming and to call. Delivery can be 1-3 days. for priority mail express, priority express is longer. Be sure you or someone is available for the anticipated day and days around the arrival date.

Do you sex your birds as in can you tell me if they are male or female?
A. Most of the breeds we work with are sold “straight run” which means we cannot guarantee that you will be receiving females. If we do have specific breeds of chicks that we can guarantee to be female, those breeds will be clearly listed on the website. You can also purchase fully feathered birds where you can select for a female. When purchasing straight run chicks you have a 50/50 chance of receiving males. If you order a straight run breed (like Swedish Flowers) it is good to order twice the amount of chicks as you would like to have hens of. For example, if you want four hens, order 8 chicks and chances are you will receive the number of hens you are after!

 

Can you tell me if my duckling, turkey,  quail or guinea is male or female?

A. No, we sell the ducklings unsexed and if sexed wrong you can damage their reproductive systems, we don’t want to take that chance. Turkey poults are not able to be sexed, it is pretty impossible to tell for awhile. Guineas some can by color . Geese, yes those can be autosexed  generally at birth. Quail – yes  at a certain number of weeks.

Do you have any adult hens or ducks for sale?

A. No. We do not sell any of our breeding or laying hens during the hatching season but occasionally we sell a limited number of each of our breeds as adults come October/November.  To be in the loop on the sales of adult hens follow us on Instagram and Facebook , sign up here,– the hens tend to sell out fast!

Why are your prices higher than a hatchery or my local feed store?

A. Several reasons! First we know our genetics, backgrounds and take great measures to purchase and raise quality breeding stock. This stock is expensive and a lot of labor.  With this we offer our breeders vaccinations, top feed and supplements to produce strong and healthy stock. Second it costs a lot to do farming. We spend  much time, labor and love to do this , and  feel farmers are very underappreciated and underpaid. We want to give you quality, and experience  and take a unique wholistic approach. See our  Farming Practices,  Sustainability, Education and Wholistic pages of our site. We appreciate your support.

How do you raise healthy birds?

A. Our birds are tested by the state NPIP Program twice a year to be free of diseases so we know we are providing our customers with the healthiest birds possible. We also work hard on our breeding program, by selecting birds that have good health and vigor. Any birds who become sick we don’t use for our breeding program.  We also believe in good nutrition by providing top quality feed, vitamins and supplements, designed and recommended by top nutritionists and doctors. We breed for health, vigor and adaptation to our environment here in Vermont. Since we have weather extremes here our birds tend to do good in all climates.  We also vaccinate for Marek’s Disease the #1 most contagious disease that has no cure if  your chicken gets sick.

Do you vaccinate your birds?

A. Yes, we vaccinate for Marek’s Disease. All chickens are vaccinated at birth here on the farm. Pricing for the vaccine is included in the chick’s pricing, no need to pay extra for this service.

Why vaccinate for Marek’s Disease?

A. What is Mareks disease? Marek’s disease is a highly contagious viral neoplastic disease in chickens. The disease is characterized by the presence of T cell lymphoma as well as the infiltration of nerves and organs by lymphocytes. The related herpesvirus of turkeys (HVT) causes no apparent disease in turkeys and continues to be used as a vaccine strain for the prevention of Marek’s disease in chickens. One or more syndromes occur after infection: paralysis of one or more limbs, tumors, depression, grey eye, unequal size of the pupils and/or immunosuppression. There are a number of other diseases or conditions that could cause these syndromes and it is very hard to determine if Marek’s is the issue at hand. Vaccination for Marek’s is also not a guarantee that the chicken will not get Marek’s disease but symptoms may not show like an unvaccinated bird. We go into more details in our blog article by The Chicken Doc, also in our educational area we have related articles and information as to the WHY and general questions on the subject.

We do not vaccinate Geese, Ducks, Guinea, Turkeys, or Quail

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