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Hatcheries, Day Old Chicks

Posted

Pros: There are some devoted staff, who unfortunately have no power to undo the mistakes of the others.

Cons: Unhealthy stock, endless clerical errors, rudeness & outright dishonesty -- Also, misleadingly, they are a brokerage for Meyer, not a hatchery,

Our first order was in June of 2012 -- and like many who've reviewed, we had problems getting the breeds we wanted -- all on the same date.  The shipping cost is steep with My Pet Chicken, and being a beginner, I really didn't relish the idea of integrating different age groups of hens.  We settled on substitutes and made arrangements with our post mistress to call us immediately on the big day. Our order arrived with only 2 of the 7 alive.  Those 2 died within 2 days. I was pretty shaken, and would have really liked to have had a more sympathetic person to speak with regarding their condition, and the ensuing process. The insensitivity and rudeness was later defended in the name of "efficiency" -- as in "I'm sure she was just trying to get you the birds you want . . . " and I might have bought that somewhat, if they hadn't called back to tell me that they " couldn't process my order with the birds selected" yet again . . . and then again . . . and yep -- AGAIN.

So, I selected birds that I was less and less familiar with, trusting that they knew what they were advising me about.  Of the 7 I had REALLY wanted: at least 1 Austrolorp, at least 1 Speckled Sussex, and a couple of Salmon Faverolles (pref. 1 of each gender). and hopefully a Brahma and/or an Orpington --  Suffice to say I ended up, finally, with none of those -- except the Faverolles. And they were deformed (as was a female ordered on the same date by another buyer - from Meyer Hatchery.

 

  I hadn't known it at the time, but "My Pet Chicken" is not a Hatchery.  They are merely brokers who get their birds from Meyer Hatchery.  (And Re-sell them with inflated prices and for absurd shipping charges.) They answer phones and emails from all over the country, but cannot affect the orders of a Hatchery that has their own huge orders to fill. So if someone fails to enter your phone order -- which happened to me REPEATEDLY . . . well suddenly you become a very low priority, and are out of choices -- behind Meyer customers and any MPC internet sales that may have come in while you assumed your order was all set.  And, instead of being honest about the situation they make a lot of excuses and creatively falsify what's transpired, and what's been ordered -- and especially what they've promised. If, like me, this whole nightmare took you right through to August, well you aren't likely to find many of the choices that you paid to reserve 8 weeks ago.  I gave up and found some of the breeds I'd wanted through breeders in my local (Northern CA) area and awaited the  "re-shipment" --a very different bunch of birds, which they were finally able to ship 3 weeks later.  Unfortunately, I had purchased 2 baby Austrolorps (at the suggestion of one of the My Pet Chicken customer service staff) to keep the last remaining Faverolles baby company.  When he died, I still had healthy (but older) babies to integrate. We'd been given some EE's (as MPC had none) and when the last of the (first shipment) Faverolles left the Austrolorps lonely, we got a Crested Polish and an RIR so they'd have playmates.

   My second MPC shipment arrived with some healthier birds. Only one, a Cinnamon Buff, looked truly sickly, but again, the Faverolles had problems.  The females had very twisted toes, which I tried very hard to help along.  One, named Gidget, improved pretty well, and one, Binky-Rae didn't.  Still she gets around fairly well and is much loved and enjoyed by all of us. She is also well protected by her Barred Rock sister "Miss Weezah".  Sadly, the male, "Fargo" had this weird soggy, almost pendulous belly that we hoped was merely a hernia -- I didn't know that such a tiny chick could have such a problem, but it seems to be cardiac related.  At 8 months he had to be re-homed, and now has a flatter backyard to roam.  As the Cochin pullet they sent turned out to be a rooster, and the Cinnamon Buff had died within a couple of days of arrival, we were looking at a flock without many stellar layers.   

  We finally purchased a few SLW's with a Buff Orpington and one more RIR. to round out the mix.  In all I had  5 separate age groups to integrate, which as a beginner, I found challenging.  I had chosen to go with My Pet Chicken because I felt they could offer the best customer support and probably healthier stock.  I also wanted too support certain policies I believe in:  -- Not de-beaking, not "peanut-packing" baby males, and so on.  But since they merely broker their birds,  I'm actually supporting another hatchery about whom I know nothing -- except that they had some major problems with their Faverolles that season. I feel sorry for the 2 very nice people I spoke spoke with who understood why I so wanted to have chickens, who shared my initial excitement, and my eventual frustration.  They were totally devoted to chickens, yet devoid of any power to help when things when wrong, over, and over again.  That said, I would absolutely NOT recommend My Pet Chicken based on my experiences. Too many people were simply too unprofessional. Rather than try to deal with it, they simply made excuses and made up fiction.  They should be ashamed. Perhaps someday they'll pull together a viable company, but they made a miserably frustrating, horribly disappointing and overly expensive experience out of something I had very much wanted to enjoy.  We love our birds very much, but they deserved a better and less stressful start.  

Posted

Pros: Great customer service, healthy chicks, Fast delivery

Cons: Needs to hatch more chicks more often, some breeds expensive

McMurray (MM) is absolutely great. They have good customer service, and healthy chicks. During winter though they hatch less chicks then most hatcheries so ordering certain breeds can be a pain if you plan for spring eggs. Also some breeds can be expensive or hard to order, for example ,  guineas you need 35 or something like that to order, and you cannot add them to your chick order. Overall though their a great hatchery whom we're going to order from again (not that we've only ordered once so far! :D )

Posted

Pros: Warmer Climate Makes Shipping Early Spring Chicks to West Coast Safer, Robust Healthy Chicks, Great Customer Service they have California Greys

Cons: The website isn't the best but you can figure it out pretty easily. Not as extensive a selection as some.

I had placed an order with another hatchery but then I learned that that hatchery shipped on Fridays and chicks sat in postal distributions all weekend and many here on BYC were experiencing high death rates amongst their chicks I cancelled it and looked elsewhere.  I found that Privett had the breeds I wanted including a new desire,  California Greys, which are only available in two hatcheries.  I changed my order twice during the time between placing it and receiving it.  The customer service people were polite and friendly and promptly took care of the changes I requested.

 

The chicks hatched on the 24th and arrived as scheduled on the 26th. I was thrilled with the size and apparent health of each one.  They seemed twice the size of the chicks I had received from another more well known hatchery last year.    I had my own hatch going and when my babies hatched they looked tiny by comparison too. 

 

Privett is located in New Mexico so for those of us on the  west coast it may make more sense to use them in terms of less potential stress on the chicks.

 

Because I have learned that sexing chicks is so hard on them I will not order sexed chicks again unless they are auto-sexing.  But I am really pleased with the pullets I have received  from Privett.

 

Purchase price for  sexed pullets: 10 Easter Eggers, 5 Speckled Sussex, 5 California Grey, 5 Partridge Rocks.  I  don't remember what shipping was but it was reasonable...under 20.00

Posted

Pros: Lots of breeds, lots of varieties, small minimum

Cons: Can send the wrong order

Ideal Poultry, a hatchery started in 1937, is a family owned and operated business. They claim that their business is built on customer service and quality poultry, and from what I've seen, they stay true to that.

 

They are the biggest supplier of backyard poultry, having a wide range of bantams, brown egg layers, white egg layers, rare breeds, ducks, and geese, they ship their poultry all over the United States of America, and sell close to 5 million chicks annually.

 

While you can get quality chicks from them, there's always the chance that you wont get any quality poultry from them. Their poultry often fits what they say, with the red sex links laying brown eggs regularly, and the white leghorns laying jumbo-size white eggs regularly.  

 

If you want quality poultry from a hatchery, then you're looking in the wrong place. Hatcheries do not breed their birds the same way a responsible, reputable breeder would. Instead of looking at hatcheries as a source of quality poultry, you should try to find a breeder of the bird you are looking for. There are plenty of good breeders right here on BYC!

 

There is no minimum order for poultry, but your order must come to $25.00

 

Ideal Poultry is U.S Avian Influenza clean, and Pullorum-Typhoid clean.

 

I hope this review helps someone decide whether or not Ideal Poultry is for them.

 

Thanks for reading! Please comment! yippiechickie.gif 

Posted

Pros: low prices, good selection of rare bantams, online availability views

Cons: whole order DOA and had to work to get good customer service

Ordered 25 bantam EEs and 2 bantam Welsummers and unfortunately, they froze in shipping.  Not enough bedding and no heat pack and then it appears weather caused a delay or something in shipping which caused the demise of my whole order.  Called to report them DOA and wouldn't be able to get whole exact order until end of May or partial re-order in 3 weeks. Was pretty bummed and ended up not re-ordering from them cause I was paranoid it would happen again and I couldn't get everything I wanted anyways.  Original phone call to customer service did not garner a whole lot of sympathy from the lady on the other end.  Sent an email to the company via their website and got an email back from Jess who was very helpful and sympathetic about the loss of my babies.  She offered to throw in a Vitapak with my reorder or refund the whole thing.  I chose refund because I was gun-shy, but I might try ordering from them in a warmer time of year.  I think maybe during cold weather it's a bad idea to order from a hatchery that is more than one state away.  3.5 stars for good selection and after emailing, excellent customer service, but no more than that cause the chicks should have been able to make it here alive.

Posted

Pros: can mix different poultry....15 bird minimum

Cons: rare breeds of chickens and ducks only sold straight run

I ordered 5 LF light brahma pullets 5 LF buff brahma s/r and 5 s/r cayuga ducks.  They sent and extra LB as well. We lost 2 chicks the first day but the rest thrived and did well.  I cannot say for certain if we recieved the exact sexes as a raccoon took care of culling for us and cut the flock down to our current flock of  2 light and 2 buff pullets and 1 buff rooster and 1 cayuga drake.  The light brahmas are excellent quality and are laying well the buffs aren't quite as impressive but my Cayuga Drake is very close to the standard with the exception of a little extra green on his bill.  Overall very satisfied!!

Posted

Pros: True to standard Dominiques, good customer service, nice chicks

Cons: unsexed in rarer breeds

Several years ago I ordered 15 chicks from Cackle. They all were healthy, and thrived after being shipped all the way to NNY. Their Dominiques are from an old successful show line and I got 2 show worthy hens in my order. I also had their Buff Orps, SL Wyandottes, GL Wyandottes. I was extremely pleased. The only thing I didn't like was that they didn't used to offer Marck's vaccinations of chicks, but they do now.

Posted

Pros: Great Birds

I ordered the Brown Egg Layers Special from Murray McMurray last summer and all I can say is wow. The order comes with 25 of various breeds and they throw in a free exotic chick. They gave me 26 girls plus a Buff Laced Polish roo as my bonus. They all grew up strong and healthy and the mix was wonderful. I got some red colored breeds, some white, some barred rocks, 1 black one. I did lose some but it was to dogs and had nothing to do with the health of these birds. I just ordered from a different hatchery this year because when you start order different breeds from Murray they charge a significant amount more plus shipping is a little expensive with Murray. But I got all strong healthy chicks and I have nothing bad to say about my experience with Murray. I will post again whenever I get my new chicks from this other hatchery.

 

I posted 2 pictures of my chicks when I got them from Murray. The one picture of them in the box is literally when they arrived to my house. I opened the box and there they all were alive and hungry!

Posted

Pros: Proactively strengthening each breed

Cons: No ability to order or pay online

I've been a fan of Glenn Drowns at Sandhill Preservation for some years. He is in the "business" for the purpose of preserving, and improving, a large number of rare (and not so rare) breeds and varieties. You can be sure you are getting genetically pure birds. I've always had great luck with their chicks being healthy at delivery. 

Posted

Pros: Variety, Better quality, Can order small numbers compared to most hatcheries, Great customer service

Cons: Pricier than most

I used to order all my chicks through McMurray but I've switched to My Pet Chicken for a number of reasons. I had good experience with McMurray I just like My Pet Chicken better.

 

- Firstly I think the breed quality is better with My Pet Chicken. The chicks I’ve ordered from My Pet Chicken have far out surpassed the chicks I’ve gotten through McMurray in both temperament and looks. I realize they aren’t to be compared to what you would get through a breeder but I’m not trying to compare apples to oranges.

 

- You can order a very small number of chicks through My Pet Chicken and the shipping only increases if you have an order less than 15. The min order with McMurray is 25.

 

- My Pet Chicken has a no kill policy. They do not use male chicks as packing peanuts and they do not throw them live in garbage bags or meat grinders. They sell excess male chicks to the Amish where they are likely raised as meat birds but I believe this is a fine practice in comparison to being ground up or thrown away. I can order only pullets with a guilt free conscience. I’ve heard bad things about what McMurray does with their chicks but I can’t claim to know for sure. I did look at their website and could find no information about this matter but I assure you they have to do something with all those excess baby roosters. IMPORTANT NOTE: Unfortunately this policy has changed and no longer says "no kill" see MPC's website :http://www.mypetchicken.com/backyard-chickens/chicken-help/What-does-your-hatchery-do-with-extra-males-and-H103.aspx I appreciate that they are still trying to address this issue in a humane way but it's still a sad update...

 

- My Pet Chicken has great customer service: I had a $10 chick die a day after it had arrived and My Pet Chicken refunded me the money, no questions asked. They were also very friendly and sympathetic about the loss.

Hatcheries, Day Old Chicks
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Hatcheries you would recommend.

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