70% Dead Chicks - Meyer Hatchery


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 3, 2012
Vance, AL
Our family placed an order for 10 chicks with Meyer Hatchery in early February. We didn't want to buy local because we wanted some unique breeds (Buff Brahma, Polish, etc.). After waiting for 3.5 months I finally got the call to get the babies from the post office. I was there within an hour of the call. Opening the box, I was horrified to find 7 out of 10 chicks dead. I called Meyer before leaving the post office, and the customer service rep was upset along with me and offered to send more chicks. I told her I didn't want to send any more babies to their death. They credited back my card for the dead babies, but none of the shipping, vaccinations, etc. Our weather has been very mild this week, so their deaths should not have been weather related (it's 75 right now).

So...long story short...after waiting for months I had three babies, paid over $13/each for them with shipping, and was utterly traumatized by the sight of the limp, lifeless bodies of the ones that didn't survive overnight shipping. I don't even remember the last time I cried like I did after seeing those dead babies.

I don't like to send negative information about companies unless I feel very strongly about something. Their customer service person was very understanding about the situation, but if you have the choice of buying locally or having chicks shipped, I strongly recommend buying locally. Maybe this happens only once in a blue moon, but it was a horrendous situation (made worse by months of anticipation), and if I can save someone else the trauma then it's worth having posted this message. Sadly, had I not been a complete newbie to chickens, I would have realized that ALL of the "rare" breeds I ordered were available from local sellers.
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8 Years
Jan 12, 2012
It happened to me also, we got 5 chicks but all were dead when we got to them. I'm so sorry about that.


7 Years
Mar 11, 2012
Nanton, AB, Canada
I was actually shocked to hear how frequently chicken owners recieve or send shipped chicks. We are parrot owners, and many low class breeders will attempt or offer to ship birds, and in the parrot community it is generally frowned upon greatly to ship any type of birdl, unless they are being personally driven or escorted. It is super risky for the birds health, especially baby chicks like that. I wouldnt have ordered from a hatchery for this reason, but I know its common in the Poultry world. However your experience just solidifys my feelings on this.

I am so sorry you had to see that. I would have been devastated as well. One of my Buff Orps passed at 6 weeks old for natural causes and even that was traumatizing for me to find. I cant imagine your situation.


In the Brooder
8 Years
Oct 6, 2011
We just ordered 32 chicks from Meyers to be here in 44 days. I pray to god that they will arrive safely. this is our first time ordering live chicks.


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 10, 2012
Our neighbor just ordered 100 from them and recived 8 extras and all are as healthy as can be.I have no horse at all in this race,just wanted to mention that it is very probable that it wasnt the hatcherys fault,most likley poor handleing by the P.O. and to point out if it were some sort of sickness even more likley it would have spread to the other 3 you have and they as well might be dead.Sorry for your troubles but sadly it often happens....with respect
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7 Years
Feb 9, 2012
Vista, CA
I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.
In June, we are suppose to receive our 7 babies from Pet chicken and beforehand I am stressing out to received them dead as well. We ordered them online for the same reasons as yours... we wanted some unique breeds that we cannot find here... but after reading all of those horrific stories, I am really scared, especially because we live in the west coast, so it is going to take several days for them to arrive. We waited June because we knew they would have a better chance to survive, but now reading your story I am scared. Pet Chicken has the same policy as Meyer Hatchery, meaning they will reimbursed us for the loss of chicks but not for the shipping (we paid $36 for 7 chicks
Once again, Sorry for your loss.


7 Years
Apr 12, 2012
Old Lyme CT
I am so sorry for your loss and experience:( I am also getting 10 baby chicks from my pet chicken, which I understand gets them from Meyer, the first week of June. I waited for a little bit warmer weather just 'because' and wanted to work on my coop, have everything in place. This is one of my fears as well, tho I understand it's awful, I also understand it's not 'that' common place..Hopefully mine will be ok


In the Brooder
7 Years
May 15, 2012
Petaluma, CA
On the farm, some chicks die just because they aren't strong enough. In a large hatchery like that, they probably just ship them and hope for the best.


8 Years
Feb 2, 2011
Wasilla Alaska
I'll throw my pennies in. I also ordered 50 from meyer, 11 DOA. Of those 11, five were not even dried off before shipping. They were the fresh hatched chick that hasn't fluffed out. That evening the survivors started dropping like flies. Brooder was set perfectly, they had no interest in food. Next day chicks from a father away hatchery arrived, none dead in the box and only two died in the two weeks following, they went right for food and water.
Now I know they have a long trip to get here but when an Iowa shipper can't get them here alive but an Ohio shipper can, I also see a problem. I don't feel Meyer shipped healthy chicks, I think they were weak chicks before they even left the hatchery. Lesson learned, I won't order from Meyer again but I won't tell anyone else not to order from them, your experience may differ. I have a couple friends in this area who have also had similiar problems with Meyer birds. They are a hugh hatchery so if they were totally bad they wouldn't be in business so they have to get it right most of the time. I will also say the PO creates a lot of the problems.
I think my Ohio brids did better because they're located near a major hub so shipping is fast from them.

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