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How Mail-Order Chickens Became a Multimillion-Dollar Venture A husband and wife tap into the urban-farmer trend and build a $2 million operation.

By Marty Jerome

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Selling pet chickens by mail may sound like a business scheme that isn't fully incubated, but for married couple Derek Sasaki and Traci Torres of Monroe, Conn., it has turned into a multimillion-dollar venture, My Pet Chicken (MPC). And why not? Chickens make antic companions--less needy than dogs, less judgmental than cats--and you'll always have eggs for breakfast.

Over the last few years, the idea of chickens as pets, especially as suburban and urban ones, has exploded nationwide right alongside Sasaki and Torres' website, It's a clearinghouse of chicken-care information and an extensive e-commerce site devoted to chicken feed, henhouses and chicks for sale in lots as small as three hatchlings. MPC works with a hatchery that offers its customers chicks that can lay a myriad of egg varieties, from spotted to green-tinted, delivering them via Express or Priority mail. (Fun fact: The U.S. Postal Service has been shipping live baby chicks for 95 years.)

"It's amazingly simple," Sasaki says. "Chicks are able to be shipped right after they hatch because they're still ingesting the remainder of their yolk sacs for approximately three days. Our chicks are hatched, dried, sorted by breed, sexed, fed, packed and shipped within 24 hours."

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