Cackle Hatchery reviews

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by kenzier093, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Katt66

    Katt66 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    Barnesville, PA
    Just from my own experience and what I've heard and seen others say, both personally and online here, I have to almost question if it's not actually your feedstore that's to blame.

    I do know when I placed my last order from Cackle, I'd wanted Cuckoo Marans. They called me the evening of the day I placed my order and said that they were out of Cuckoo Marans but suggested substituting Welsummers as they also lay very dark brown eggs.

    Is it possible that something like this happened through your feedstore and instead of just communicating with you after receiving a call from Cackle regarding your order, they just hoped you wouldn't notice that they'd agreed to substitute chicks.

    I dunno. Just seems strange considering others' experiences with them.
  2. Eliaria

    Eliaria Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 3, 2012
    Martinsville, IN
    They were very diligent when I placed my order with them. I originally ordered BCM, Welsummers, and brown leghorns. The girl that works there called me soon after and told me that they called and the hatchery was out of BCM and BL, and so I tried two other breeds, and she called me back and told me those were out as well. She then followed up with another call and said the hatchery gave her a list of what they would have available to ship at that time, so I opted for the Cukoo Marans and Buffs. Had my feedstore failed to contact me, then I would point the blame more towards them, but with all the effort they put in for me, I can hardly believe that. They even called and confirmed the order was on its way the evening before. The Hatchery was to send specially marked chicks (like they did with my ducklings) and they failed to do so. Thankfully, 2 weeks later, my ducklings were properly marked. I still got part of my order, but not all of them, as did the other people who came in with me. Partial orders everywhere. I've heard too many complaints on that particular hatchery in the past but figured they were the minority and that chances were it wouldn't happen to me multiple times. There are many complaints out there, more than just a few unhappy customers. My aunt even warned me to order from a few others because of her own poor experience but I didn't listen. Shame on me.

    My chicks are healthy this time around, so I have no complaints there. But Cackle has messed up too many times for me to want to order from them again. I've seen way too many complaints on here and other sites about that hatchery. Just giving my review is all.
  3. jc12551

    jc12551 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    S.W. TN
    I got my order in two weeks ago and I am once again satisfied. I ordered 10 Appenzeller Sptizhaubens, 11 were sent. I ordered 5 EE pullets and 6 were sent. One NH roo which came marked (I forgot to ask!!). I ordered 15 assorted bantam cochins, 18 sent. Two bourbon red turkey poults. I lost one bantam on day one and one yesterday because the heat lamp blew when I was gone and by the time I got home and discovered the situation it was smothered. They are all happy, healthy, and big. I can't wait to see how the crests on the Spitzhaubens turn out (their little mohawks are adorable!).

    I communicated with the Hatchery through email, online, and on their facebook page for this order. Never had a problem.

    When I placed my order I said "sometime in April but on a Monday" to give them flexibility with the breeds I wanted. They let me know that the best date for what I wanted was April 21st. Which was fine.

    I ordered a surprise and told them "no meat birds, anytime after June 1" and they let me know that June 2nd would work so I am eagerly awaiting that!
  4. sirrahm

    sirrahm Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2014
    I'm afraid I will have to side with Amanda. I purchase my chickens from Farm and Fleet in Woodstock, Illinois on May 3rd. I bought two Black Sex Links from them to add to my flock and they purchase from Cackle Hatchery. When I got home which is about 20 miles I noticed that one chick had what looked like a hernia in it's abdomen. The two chicks whet right from their box to a chick container with a heat lamp. Nothing that I did for sure. The chick died on the morning of May 5th. When I contacted Farm and Fleet they gave me an aww too bad so sad attitude and told me that Farm and Fleet and Cackle both have a no replacement policy on the chicks. I then called Cackle and they said I would have to take it up with Farm and Fleet. Sorry too bad so sad. Ok here is the reality it is not the monetary loss of the chick I have lost chickens to hawks and a raccoon that was really tricky and could unlatch a door, but it is the aww too bad so sad attitude. I had purchased all my chicks from Farm and Fleet along with all my feed dog supplies etc. I was intending on getting a handful of Silkies within the next week but with that type of attitude I would just as well pay more and purchase from another retailer and home breeder home breeder.. They could have said, "we are sorry that one of the chicks didn't make it. If your planning on purchasing more we can give you a voucher on that purchase." On the phone I spoke to the clerk the assistant manager and the manager or so they said. So I made sure that this was an attitude in cement before I was put off.
  5. Aamanda

    Aamanda Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2013
    Linn Creek, MO
    They seem to do ok for the most part. Its when there Is a problem it falls apart. The customer service is horrible when there is a problem. I took a big hit when they sent me my order of pulets. out of 15 7 were roosters. They credited me about a buck each. This year they made up some by waiving my shipping fees but last year they failed to contact at all so that I could order more chicks to lay this year. So this year ill be raising chicks instead of getting eggs...
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2012
    Cackle hatchery was my favorite hatchery until my last order. Got the 15 assorted turkey special and ended up getting 8 black Spanish and 8 blue slate...but then the black Spanish poults started getting weak and flopping over dead. There is something wrong with them that has nothing to do with me. The blue slate turkeys are fine. The leg horn chick's are doing fine...The black Spanish are just dying off. Going to call them tomorrow and see what they have to say about it. They better give a refund. Either way I won't be ordering from cackle again. Unless they handle my complaint very well, but if they try to hide behind the we only guarantee live delivery crap I will have a fit. I've raised hundreds of chicks, ducklings, and turkeys and not had a single one die (while still in the brooder) under my control. And now all these black turkeys are Keeling over. I know it isn't my fault. I'm awesome at this.
  7. ledbythelamb

    ledbythelamb Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2014
    Jeff from Cackle Hatchery admitted to sick birds (will get to that part in a minute)
    I ordered 28 Speckled Sussex in mid April (20 pullets, 3 cockerels and 5 straight run). Just before they were to send them, I got a call asking if I wanted to get a different breed, as they were running out of Speckled Sussex. I told her no, I specificially wanted SS birds. She told me that they MIGHT have enough to fill my order if the rest of them hatched today, but if not I would have to wait until July to get my order unless I got a different breed!
    Why would I have to wait an extra two months to get my order? I asked if they only hatch them every couple of months! She said they hatch a few times a week but that a lot of people had ordered them. So apparently, they were willing to put MY order at the end of the line to send orders to people after me.
    I was NOT pleased! But I got a call later that day (April 27th) that they had just enough hatch to fill my order. They shipped on the 28th and I picked them up on the morning of the 29th.
    They all arrived alive.. with 3 extra birds to boot so I was pretty happy. Some were runty.
    Got them to their ready brooder and they all drank and ate but a couple of the chicks would lay down on their sides with their feet straight down. I'm not sure if that is normal or not, it surely didn't LOOK normal but they did get up and run around with all the rest.
    A few days later I noticed a roo was walking strangely, waddling and falling and I thought maybe it developed spraddle leg. Then I noticed weird head movements and lethargy and heavy breathing. He died at approx. 10 days of age.
    While that one was going down hill, another roo started walking funny. Next day it had labored breathing, involuntary head movements, was falling on its side, sitting on haunches, unbalanced and had a terrible tremor. At first I thought it was shivering..but no, definitely tremor.
    Then more developed the same symptoms! All with a tremor, unbalanced, falling over, lethargic and all starting out with difficulty/difference in walking.
    Only ONE who developed these symptoms recovered.
    So far I've had 7 out of the 31 chicks come up with this neurological disease, whatever it is, and 4 have died, 1 recovered and 2 more are in quarantine.
    I called Cackle Hatchery and told the woman who answered the phone, and she suddenly put me on the line with a different woman.
    That woman told me she had not heard of anyone reporting sick birds. I told her that all my research into these symptoms points to possible Avian Encephalomyelitis.
    She told me she had never heard of the disease. She did not ask my name and did not take down my number or any other information.
    I would think that should be standard protocol! They should check into their breeders and notify that there could be a neuro disease spreading!
    So I emailed cackle hatchery, with details of my experience, and asked for a response that my email was received.
    I got an email from Jeff yesterday evening (May 27th) and he admitted that he has had reports of this illness in the past few weeks from customers who have recently ordered Sussex.
    He claims that he is havine 10 chicks and 2 hens sent to the state lab for testing. I have to keep checking back with him for results.
    Now I don't know what to do. I have a brand new coop built, my chicks just turned 4 weeks old and I can't keep them in the brooder for 3 more weeks. But I don't want to contaminate my chicken coop and run if it turns out I need to cull all of these chicks and start over! I don't want sick birds. Especially not birds that were sent to me that way with who knows what.
    Of course, nothing has been said to me about replacement or money back. Not yet anyways.
    So far I am not happy with Cackle Hatchery. If Jeff knew for the past few weeks about illness in the Sussex..why didn't he call everyone who had recently received Sussex orders to let them know? Why doesn't their telephone reps at least know to take down your information when you call to report sick birds? I'm starting to wonder if somebody didn't already know something was going on with these birds when I was told I might have to wait at least TWO extra months for my order.
    In any case.. this isn't to bad mouth Cackle Hatchery. Please be aware that something is very wrong, at least with the recent Speckled Sussex shipments, and I suspect it to be the virus AE but really it could be anything. I am hoping I will be sent a copy of the lab reports and I will try to update when I know anything more.
    Here is a copy of the email I received from Jeff:
    Hi and thanks for the contact and report. I am sorry that a lot of our phone rep are order takers and not disease issue persons.

    I have had a few similar symptoms reported in last couple of weeks with regard to Sussex orders. We plan to send 10 chicks to the state Lab and 2 hens to the state lab for testing. Give me a report in 3 weeks and a reply email to this email in 3 weeks. Not sure I will have a report back by then but hope to. Most sincerely,

    Jeff Smith
    Cackle Hatchery ®
    PO Box 529
    Lebanon, Missouri 65536
    Office 417-532-4581
    Cell 417-838 2880
    Email: [email protected]
  8. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 16, 2012
    It isn't just their chickens this year...they did refund me the money for the turkeys...After I had the woman on the phone for forever. First she asked what bedding they were on. I said hay, she said switch them to shavings and that will fix it. And I was like no. I always brood on hay, and all the other birds in the same brooder are fine. Including the other breed of turkeys.
    So she says what's the temperature of the brooder. I said 95 under the light and the birds choose their own temp depending on when they are cold or not. She said well that's too low and I said again in that same brooder I have 5 leg horns and 8 blue slate turkeys from you guys as well as 13 chick's I hatched myself yesterday and all birds are fine except the black Spanish that have been dying one after another. And she said OK hold on. Then she came back and said well give them this stuff its just shipping stress, and I said lady they all showed up in the same box. And she put me on hold again. Got back on the line and asked me how many black Spanish turkeys I got and I told her 8 and she asked how many were still alive now...2. Then she asked how many blue slate turkeys I got and I said 8 and she asked how many of them were still alive...and I said all 8 haven't you been listening. I know for a fact that this isn't anything that is my fault. Because I have done this a lot and never before lost a bird at this age. Not a single one. And there are 28 birds in the brooder doing great. Only your black Spanish turkeys are affected by whatever this is. I didn't call so you could tell me what to give them to fix It. I called to let you know something is wrong with the birds you are selling and I want a refund. And she said ok. And I said ok, and I won't use cackle again. Ever. Sending sick birds then trying to tell me that black Spanish turkeys can only survive on wood shavings while all other birds under exact same conditions are fine...don't play me for stupid, this isn't my first rodeo...I'm the freaking poultry whisperer
  9. sirrahm

    sirrahm Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2014
    @jeff smith
    Jeff I wouldn't put those birds in your coop, not until you get some feed back from Cackle. And I certainly wouldn't worry if you had some negative words about a Hatchery that didn't bother to contact all it's Sussex purchasers concerning a redundant problem. Would it cause a panic? I doubt it but it could save a coop full of aged producers. There is quite a few things it could be. Yes a problem may be beyond their control until detected, [​IMG]but if they knew about it for a couple of weeks and just let it ride sounds pretty irresponsible to me anyways. I work hard to keep my coop healthy and thriving I'm afraid if I was in your position I would be very upset. I'm just say'n. I haven't been too thrilled with them this year.
  10. ledbythelamb

    ledbythelamb Out Of The Brooder

    May 28, 2014
    Not sure where I am suppose to put them. Jeff says he HOPES to have results in 3 weeks, but isn't sure. My chicks will be nearly 2 months old by that time. I've had these birds in my garage in a large makeshift brooder and my hubby wants his garage back as soon as possible. So far since I have quarantined the remaining sick ones the others seem to be doing alright.. there are two that are appearing to be lethargic and I'm watching them closely. I understand Cackle not wanting to cause a panic or false alarm or anything..but I think at the very least they should have notified everyone who ordered in the last couple of months of the Sussex breed. Grr, I'm just so frustrated at this point.

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