I'm sorry for your sad experience. I've ordered from Meyer several times before - and have never had a sick or dead chick. I have another order placed that will arrive in August.
I believe that most problems encountered with shipped chicks are not because of the hatcheries but because of the post office. No matter how careful they try to be (and some likely aren't careful at all), they will occasionally drop a box or the box gets tipped over or they overheat in the back of a truck. Hatcheries would not be able to stay in business if it was the norm for chicks to be DOA. I doubt there is much difference from one hatchery to another of the number of chicks dying. The best route may be to pick them up in person whenever possible - as long as it's from a reliable source. However, I will continue to order from Meyer based on my own past experience and knowing that the birds I get will be healthy.
Edited by CarolJ - 5/16/12 at 1:24pm