Bad Experience w/IDEAL Poultry Hatchery: Normal Occurrence?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Gresh, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. Gresh

    Gresh Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Hi, all! I wanted to know your opinions of IDEAL Poultry Hatchery and Breeding Farms in Cameron, Texas. I recently placed an order with them, and have had a most disagreeable experience so far. I ordered seven chicks, only three of which have turned out healthy. One (a Russian Orloff male) was dead on arrival. Three others (a female Buckeye and two female Orloffs) were infected with a disease that I can only best describe as stiffness in the legs and wobbliness. One female Orloff died of this disease the night of arrival, and the other Orloff and the Buckeye pretty much went downhill from there. I took very good care of these chicks (I have raised several chicks in the past successfully) and cannot think of anything I erred in. They had clean pine-shaving bedding and water, medicated chick starter feed, proper light and heat, and no drafts in the brooder. I also gave them water-soluble vitamins for the first few days after shipping. I called IDEAL about it, and they said that it was merely shipping stress (bad explanation for the stiff legs and wobbliness). They refused to admit any possible error on their part.

    So, as you can see, I haven't had a good experience with IDEAL. However, I want to know if stuff like this has happened to anyone else. I really like IDEAL's low prices and the relatively quick shipping, but I'd rather pay high price and wait awhile to get good stock than pay IDEAL's price and wait IDEAL's time for bad stock.

    If IDEAL is normally as bad as it was for me, I'd be indebted to anyone who could give me some better hatchery suggestions. Ones I have considered are: Meyer, Cackle, Purely Poultry, and My Pet Chicken.

  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I have ordered from Ideal several times and LOVED them but this last time I ordered I ordered 25 and now have 5 left. All died but not sure of what. All my other birds were around them all and they are still good and healthy and it's been almost a year and I have not ordered fromm them this last spring cuz I didn't know what was going on. Just died off one by one.
    chicken_george and reindeermama like this.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

  4. Gresh

    Gresh Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Quote:Wow, and I thought I had it bad! Of 25, just 5 now? Gosh. Well, if that isn't a confirmation that I should never order from IDEAL again, I don't know what is. Thank you for sharing that. [​IMG]
    chicken_george likes this.
  5. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I ordered from Ideal about 2 years ago and was very displeased with the health of the chicks. I lost 10 out of 25 the first week and some every week after that for a few weeks.
    I hatch and raise at least 30 a week and sometimes about 100 a week from my own eggs and ones shipped to me. I have only had one other hatchery that was worse than I deal and that was X-treme Poultry in TX.

    I will stick with Strombergs for now if I have to order more chicks.
    chicken_george likes this.
  6. Gresh

    Gresh Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    Quote:Wow, sorry you got such a ripoff! Sounds a lot like my experience, too, just not so large scale. Well, since X-treme and Ideal are both in Texas, maybe there's something wrong with Texan hatcheries? I can't really afford to buy Stromberg's minimums for chicks, but I have one of their catalogs and they seem to be a good hatchery. Anyhow, thanks for the input!
    chicken_george likes this.
  7. idealpoultry

    idealpoultry Official BYC Community Sponsor

    Sep 25, 2007
    Cameron, TX
    Hi Everyone -

    We wanted to take the time to address some of the concerns stated in this thread. We are sorry to see that you have had a bad experience with our poultry. We pride ourselves on breeding and selling quality poultry. We also strive to create a most pleasant experience with our staff while you order.

    We are an NPIP Certified and Monitored Hatchery. We go even further with very stringent Biosecurity and Animal Husbandry practices to ensure the health of our poultry. Poultry diseases, ones that are transferred hen to chick, are very virulent and can be deadly. Many of these also affect hatchability and fertility. We do not have a disease on our farm nor do the chicks that leave our facility. Our chickens are our business and livelihood, and would not compromise their health or comfortability intentionally. Once a disease is present, there has to be time for the body and immune system to be compromised which then visible symptoms can be seen. Most loss that can be seen within the first few days of receipt is due to stress from shipment and not from disease. It is very hot outside and we do all we can at our facility to ensure the comfort and livability of the poultry that leaves here. However, once they have left our facility, we do not have control over how each shipment is handled until it reaches the customer. Contrary to belief, we do not receive any recourse from the postal service when a shipment arrives dead or stressed. We offer to reship or refund at our cost. Our customers order and expect live poultry and we want our customers to receive live poultry. We would not be in business for 74 years by providing inferior poultry.

    To Gresh - I am sorry that you feel the answer provided was not what you were looking for. If we did not provide you compensation for your loss in credit back to means of purchase, please let me know. We cannot always determine why chicks die as it is very hard to diagnose over the phone. We are always willing to help and provide solutions when we can.

    When I am in the office, I am always willing to help with any poultry health or husbandry questions. I have Poultry Science Degree from Texas A&M University and years of poultry experience. We hope this information helps and also answers the concerns.

    Ross Windham
    Ideal Poultry Breeding Farms
  8. Blue

    Blue Songster

    Apr 6, 2010
    I'm sorry that you had such a bad experience. I ordered from Ideal for the first time this spring (my first order from any hatchery TBH), and all of my chicks arrived in good condition, all very active and hungry. I ordered 10 chicks, and they sent 17 (7 barred rock 'packing peanuts'). I've been very happy with the health of my chicks; I did have a bout with Cocci a couple weeks ago, but that was my own fault for putting the chicks out on the ground too soon without giving them time to build up their immunity.

    As of now, the 8 gold brabanters, 2 old English game bantams, and 7 barred rock 'packing peanuts' (one of which turned out to be a pullet. Yay!) I received are seemingly doing very well and are now 6 weeks old. If I decide to order more, I'll definitely get them from Ideal because I've dealt with them once, and I like their $25 minimum and reasonable shipping rates, but I can definitely understand how others would feel differently after having an unpleasant first experience (a bad first impression really does stick with you in my experience).

    Having said that, if you report your losses, I believe most hatcheries will refund your money or offer to ship replacements. There are always variables that can go wrong with shipping live animals, and I was actually surprised that my batch of chicks arrived in such good condition; I had prepared myself for the worst and was expecting at least 1 loss to be honest, so I was very pleasantly surprised.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011
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  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I ordered from Ideal, in march when we still got snow in Washington. All healthy, all alive, a mix of turkeys and chickens, less than 20 of them total, all grew up and no issues here. I'd order again without hesitation if I needed more chicks. Shipping is tough on them and I did not give anything other than fresh water. No vits, no electrolites or supplments. Just clean water and food. I picked them because they were close and offered what I wanted. [​IMG]
    chicken_george likes this.
  10. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I'm pretty sure all my chickens are from Ideal. Some I ordered and some I bought at local feed stores, at least some of which I know order from Ideal. Probably all do, as it's the closest large hatchery. I lost about half in my first order, clearly the PO's fault, but they insisted on replacing or crediting, anyway. As far as I know, there has never been any disease in my flock.
    chicken_george likes this.

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