Just starting to get catalogs from the hatcheries, and thought I'd mention something that may interest you. Meyer Hatchery in Ohio (http://www.meyerhatchery.com/) is offering one free pullet with orders. What they'd like their customers to do is give the eggs from that one hen to your local foodbank. Kind of a cool way to encourage giving, and it should work well for those who like to raise chickens as pets.
Most people who keep chickens likely hand out full egg cartons without this incentive, but it is thoughtful. I don't know about you, but I just love this time of year. I send off requests for catalogs from every hatchery I see advertised and boy is it fun to look through them.
A lot of the hatcheries are on my website (the 'links to hatcheries' page) at http://fortheloveofchickens.com/. People often ask me for a reference to my favorite hatchery, but I've ordered baby chicks from many of them and have to confess I don't really have a favorite. I haven't had a bad experience with any around the country, so far. I guess maybe a good rule of thumb would be to choose one that is closer to where you live and carries the breed(s) you like best. As long as they sell chickens they're on my good list! So, not very informative, I guess.
Oh, Murray McMurray now has a blog. It's at http://blog.mcmurrayhatchery.com/. Yeah, I know, maybe I'm not supposed to mention a "competitor", but you should have an opportunity to benefit from all sources.