Best hatchery

Paco El Gallo Negro

In the Brooder
Mar 16, 2020
13
20
36
Hi all. Looking for some advice as to where I can order baby chicks and baby ducklings online.
I had a bad experience with a hatchery in the past where 8 out 10 baby chicks came dead in the box.
Any advice will be appreciated.
 

TheAlrightyGina

Crowing
Sep 3, 2020
777
3,076
316
Memphis, TN
Yeah honestly right now the USPS is struggling because of poor management, and even when it's not you want a close one so the stress is the least. It's far more telling if they die while you're taking good care of them, despite arriving seemingly well.

That being said, I've had good experiences with Meyer Hatchery and Murray McMurray, though the last time I bought from the latter was over 10 years ago.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
14,215
19,432
822
California's Redwood Coast
Hi all. Looking for some advice as to where I can order baby chicks and baby ducklings online.
I had a bad experience with a hatchery in the past where 8 out 10 baby chicks came dead in the box.
Any advice will be appreciated.

Shipped chicks always face shipping stress.. USPS has been both good and bad on my end. I've ordered from most of the hatcheries with very decent result.. I've gotten and lost a full shipment of 25 bantams from MPC. They refund.. but still a stressful experience! Talking with your local feed store about which hatchery THEY use and if they might include the breeds you are interested in their orders.. which you pick up after they have been warmed, hydrated, etc and less likely to still be fading/failing.

If you place your own order.. have Poultry Nutri Drench (better than electrolyte mixes) on hand to add in water, crush the feed extra small for several days to a week.. these two things immensely impacted my shipped poultry survival rate.. regardless of WHICH hacthery/breeder is used.

Order during the best weather season possible.. MIND order minimums as they are often in place for a reason.. order a few more than you need expecting some not to make it but will be refunded and you will still get the number of birds you desired. Or sell of any extra survivors.. Go in on an order with someone else if needed to meet shipment quantities.

Duckling and chicks are usually not shipped together, though they do have box dividers, heat packs, etc. which may allow for it. I believe things have come a long way in poultry shipping over the past decade.

Adding your general location to your profile may help folks make their best suggestions possible at a glance. As noted by other posters.. sometimes ordering closer to home can HELP combat shipping stress. KNOW your location shipping route.. there is NO such thing as "express" to MY location.. EVEN if the hatchery demands, charges, and spends the $65 for it. Sometimes "express" actually delays my arrival when the package misses the switch at the SF airport to come north on the truck. Working with breeders both ways.. "priority" shipping is the best option for MY route and location.. YOUR mileage may vary! Sometimes my location means if I want chicks in 3 days.. I must drive south 90 miles or wait until the next morning. Some breeds are simply hardier than others.. in fact some varieties of some breeds are hardier than others! Genetics is everything..

I'd go with Meyer's, Cackle, Ideal.. easily again!

Purely Poultry only if I needed something hard to find.. and ordering a BUNCH.. to eat many and keep only the best of the best.. their genetics.. were.. not what I would call high quality. BUT.. when working with a a shallower gene pool (aka more rare/harder to find) there are certainly many challenges I'm well aware of.

Decide if you want your chicks vaccinated against Marek's and order/quarantine accordingly. Many feed store chicks are NOT vaccinated unless otherwise stated.. which is MY personal preference.. but many folks prefer vaccinated flocks.

My local TSC uses Hoover's. I've not used Mc Murray, but have heard decent stuff.

On Craigslist farm and garden section.. each year.. someone local has ordered excess chicks to offer for sell to other usually for about the same price as purchase.

Hope this helps give you some alternative ideas! :fl
 

TJAnonymous

Songster
Feb 29, 2020
683
1,904
211
Central Arkansas
I ordered 20 chicks from McMurray about 5 months ago. I was delighted that my chicks arrived a day early, only to be horrified that 7 of them were dead. It looks like the shipping box was tipped or something because all of the dead chicks looked squashed on one side fo the box. I took pictures and called McMurray immediately. They shipped me 7 new chicks without a hitch.
 

MissE

Songster
Oct 17, 2020
384
1,043
201
Northern MN
I order mine though my "local" farm supply store. By local, I still have to drive an hour. They aren't a huge chain, but they have 6 or so locations in northern MN. They get them from Hoover. I don't have to worry about minimum orders or lost chicks in the mail, dozens of chicks are shipped at one time which helps keep them warm, and they have a regular delivery day for the chicks so no wake up call from the post office two days before you were expecting them. I have never lost a new chick this way. I did have a couple cornish x die once, but they were a couple weeks old at the time. Hoover has a pretty good variety and they are the closest to where I live.
 

RoosterCruiser72

In the Brooder
Dec 28, 2020
13
46
46
I buy my chicks from cackle hatchery. They guarantee you will get them alive and well during shipment. They also add a couple extra chicks in the shipment to make sure. Never had a problem. Last time I ordered 20 chicks and was sent 23. All alive and well. Plus they have the biggest selection of chickens out of all the hatchery's PLUS they have (in my opinion) the easiest website to navigate.
 
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