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Ship Hatching Eggs Nationally?

Yes! Melissahof poultry are certified under the USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) as clean from pullorum-typhoid and H5/H7 avian influenza. Under NPIP, hatching eggs can be shipped to most US states, including Alaska and Hawai’i. There are some states that require additional permits and animal health testing. If you reside in Florida, Maine, Minnesota, North Dakota or Texas, please contact Melissa prior to ordering hatching eggs.

For your happy flock, you need hearty stock, which is why Melissa selects breeding stock according to each breeds’ standard of perfection. The breeding hens and roosters are refined by the pastured life in the high altitude (Melissahof is at 5,400 feet in elevation), semi-arid climate of Wyoming.

Here’s how to keep your flock hearty:

  1. Order your hatching eggs.
  2. Melissa will schedule shipment with you.
  3. You set the eggs in your incubator or under a broody hen.

Hatching eggs are shipped out of Lander, Wyoming 82520 via the US Postal Service on Mondays to avoid them sitting in a US Post Office over a weekend. The eggs are cushioned by foam shippers crafted to transport eggs.

  • Melissahof is unable to guarantee the hatchability of any eggs due to conditions outside of Melissa’s control during shipping and incubation.
  • Melissahof does guarantee that your eggs will be shipped fresh and in excellent condition.
  • All hatching eggs are shipped prepaid US Priority Mail, categorized as fragile, and are insured. Open the box(es) that contain your hatching eggs at your Post Office and report any damaged eggs to your Post Office or delivery driver, including separated chalazae.

Currently, Melissahof hatching eggs and live poultry cannot be shipped to Canada. Also, Melissahof does not ship live poultry – baby chicks or started pullets – outside of Wyoming.

Delivery within Wyoming for live poultry and hatching eggs is available through the local food hub. For this option, select Eat Wyoming shipping when you check out. Read more about this Wyoming delivery option here.

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How to Eat Melissahof

Melissa understands that you want to be a community supporter – of farmers, ranchers and landscape. For you to do that, you need good food. Food that connects us. That is raised and grown in a holistic manner to regenerate landscape and provide us with a resilient food system.

Melissahof holistic eatsMelissa raises the rooster chicks hatched at Melissahof Hatchery on pasture, with no hormones and antibiotics, and harvests them in the autumn. These heritage meatbirds are offered as packaged whole chicken, necks, organ meats and feet.

Where does the garlic come in? Melissa grows several varieties of heirloom garlic without synthetic chemicals. Because garlic is planted in the autumn and harvested in summer, tending it balances well with the spring hatch season of baby chicks. Winter, and its dormancy, is the season of rest on Melissahof.

Stock your kitchen with Melissahof holistic eats:




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In the Press

Cowboy State Daily

Few of us give any thought to where our food comes from or how it’s raised. Our main concerns are centered around food being plentiful and relatively cheap.

But a few farmers and ranchers around Wyoming are trying to change the way we think about food. One of them is Melissa Hemken, a pastured-poultry producer who farms 35 irrigated acres outside Lander. Read more of the article here.




Wyoming Public Radio Open Spaces

The 2023 egg shortage hit Wyoming hard. Melissa was interviewed for a Wyoming Public Radio story on eggs, chickens, and the importance of buying local for a resilient food system.  Click on this link to listen or read the transcript.




APA BlogMelissa has found that some investment in poultry-specific equipment advances cleanliness for the chickens and their eggs, reduces the risk of disease transmission, decreases feed loss, and promotes operational efficiency. She blogged about her favorite poultry equipment for the American Poultry Association.



Know how your eggs got laidJACKSON, Wyo. — Sustainable food, including your breakfast eggs, provide ecosystem services to regenerate our Wyoming lands, according to Melissa Hemken, owner of Melissahof farm. Melissahof’s poultry flocks – Buckeye, Wyandotte and Faverolles – live in mobile coops and day pens to rotate frequently to fresh pasture, with its forage, insects, and nutrients, near Lander, Wyoming. A fourth flock, the Dominique, free range the farm. Read more on


Pre-order locally hatched chicks

(Lander, WY) – Chick hatching season is right around the corner for Lander’s Melissahof Hatchery, and they are now taking pre-orders for their four heritage breeds: Salmon Faverolles, Blue-laced Red Wyandotte, Dominique, and Buckeye. All four are dual-purpose heavy breeds, which are good for both meat and eggs. Read more on




As a guest blogger for the American Poultry Association, Melissa wrote about how Melissahof Hatchery was hatched. Read more here on this link.


Coop de Trailer Park blog



When you pick up your chicks at Melissahof, you’ll notice lots of trailers retrofitted into mobile coops. Melissa blogged about the retrofit process for the American Poultry Association.

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Marek’s Vaccination

Marek’s vaccinations are available for your baby chick order. To order it for your chicks, please purchase the Marek’s vaccination product and select the number of chicks in your order.

From Mississippi State Extension:

Marek’s disease is one of the most widespread poultry diseases in the world. The first report of the disease was in 1907 by József Marek, for whom the disease is named. It is a highly contagious viral disease caused by a herpes virus called Alphaherpesvirinae.

Marek’s disease can occur in chickens 3 to 4 weeks of age but is most commonly seen in birds between 12 and 30 weeks of age. Female birds are more often affected than are males.

Transmission of the virus occurs by direct and indirect contact between chickens. Once the virus is introduced into a chicken flock, infection spreads quickly from bird to bird, even if the chickens are vaccinated. Seemingly healthy birds may be infected and, if so, will regularly shed the virus into the surrounding environment. Both infected and recovered birds are lifelong carriers of the disease; they will continue to shed the virus in their feather dander and through oral and nasal secretions for the remainder of their lives.

If you have infected birds in your flock and you bring in new birds, the new birds are at risk of becoming infected if they are housed with your birds and did not receive Marek’s vaccination at hatch. The disease is not transmitted through the parents to the egg. Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for the disease and infected birds never recover.

Birds that develop clinical symptoms of the disease usually do so because of some form of stress trigger. This could be normal hormonal changes associated with the onset of egg-laying in hens or crowing in roosters, flock fighting and peck order establishment, extreme weather conditions, predator attack, change in management or flock ownership, high parasite load, or rough handling. Birds may suddenly go lame, and this initial lameness may be mistaken for an injury. However, the lameness worsens until the bird is unable to walk. These birds may develop the classic Marek’s paralysis pose in which one leg is positioned straight out in front of the body and the other straight out behind.

There are four different forms of Marek’s disease, and infected birds may exhibit one or more forms:

  1. Skin (cutaneous)
  2. Nerve (neural)
  3. Eye (ocular)
  4. Internal organ (visceral)

Read More…

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Orders Fulfilled Sequentially

Your order of Melissahof chicks will be scheduled for fulfillment according to when it is received. For instance, if your order is the first received it will be the first fulfilled in March. Your order will maintain its prioritization if you choose to have your chicks hatched out later in the spring. With your order, please note your preferential timing of your chicks’ hatch – if any. Melissa will endeavor to meet your preference.

  • Hatch season extends from March through May.
  • Chicks are available through pre-order only.
  • No minimum quantity required per order.

When you order started pullets, they will be available for pick up beginning in May at 8-weeks-old.

Orders for hatching eggs are also scheduled in the order received. You can choose when to have your order of hatching eggs shipped to you. Read more about hatching egg orders here

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Wyo Wide Transport

The mountains and sagebrush plains of Wyoming are vast. We’re used to driving long distances, but you may not have time to drive to Lander – location of Melissahof – to pick up your chick order.

For your convenience, Melissahof partners with Eat Wyoming, a state-wide virtual farmers’ market, to transport orders within Wyoming.  The Eat Wyoming driver will ensure your chicks are warm and safe on their drive across the state to a pick-up locatEat Wyoming Transportion near you.

  1. Order Melissahof chicks now,
  2. enter a zip code of your Wyoming town or a population center near you,
  3. and complete your purchase. 

Your chicks will ride shotgun, in a comfy box, on the front seat in a delivery van’s cab. They’ll arrive healthy and happy, and you skip hours of driving.

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Hen Guarantee

Many folks keep chickens for their freshly laid eggs. On average, seven hens will lay at least 2-dozen eggs a week. It’s disappointing when many of the pullet chicks – young hens – purchased for your flock turn out to be roosters.

Accurately sexing day-old chicks is imprecise, which causes mistaken gender identity from even the commercial hatcheries. If you live in a town where roosters are unallowable due to their audible crowing, it’s a problem to have supposed pullet chicks actually be roosters. It’s a hassle to re-home unwanted roosters, and you may not want to process them for chicken meat.

Salmon Faverolles hens.

Melissahof solves this for you with a Hen Guarantee! With notification by September 1st that your order of pullet chicks contained a rooster or two, Melissa will swap started pullets for roosters in healthy condition. Live roosters can either be returned personally to the farm, or you can pay for Eat Wyoming transportation.

Melissa will add the superfluous roosters to the pen of “McNuggets” – the Melissahof roosters that live on pasture until they meet their destiny as nutritious chicken meat.

Order Melissahof chicks now to ensure that all of your chicks will be your future laying hens. Now, that’s something to crow about!

*Hen Guarantee only applies to orders of female chicks. Unsexed orders are not covered.