Cackle, Myer, or McMurry for meat birds and turkeys?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by AinaWGSD, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    50
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Looking ahead to next year, we would like to try raising some broilers and some broad breasted white turkeys for home use. We might also throw in a small order of pullets (mostly brown leghorns) to supplement our laying flock and/or cockerels to try our hand at caponizing. These three hatcheries are closest, therefor I'm assuming would most likely have the shortest transit time and least shipping stress for the chicks. Does anyone have any recommendations or bad experiences to share regarding any of these hatcheries and their meat birds and/or turkeys?
     
  2. learycow

    learycow Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,511
    336
    246
    Apr 1, 2011
    Southern Maine
    I would NOT recommend Cackle. I have used Cackle for ducks (great experience and no issues), laying hens ( just ok experience, lots got sick and died even though they were vaccinated.)
    But as far as turkeys and meat chickens go, I would try a different hatchery.
    Someone I know got 150 "broilers" from them this year. First of all, more than half of them were not broilers. They only grew to half the size of a broiler, and they weren't even white like broilers. They had lots of black feathers which made me think they were a mixed breed of some sort. The other half looked like broilers but grew very poorly.
    As for turkeys, I had the worst experience with them. I ordered 18 turkeys from them (this was 2 years ago, I have not ordered turkeys from them since but that's not to say they haven't cleaned up and corrected the problem). I got them at the end of July. I had 2 die a few months in, natural causes from what I could tell as I always lose one or two. But in October, they started acting sickly. They would lose weight (1 or 2 at a time) and simply die. I had them free-ranging in a fenced in area that I rotated in the same field. Fed them the same feed, etc. By Thanksgiving I only had 2 left, which I dared not to eat. After the first 5 died, I sent 2 into the state to be tested. The results came back with "Blackhead" positive. I had never heard of this before so called the lab and a vet to see what I could find out.
    They told me that it can be contracted from chickens (my chickens are housed completely separate and they NEVER came into contact with my turkeys) or they come with it. It can get into the embryo when the egg is laid and hatch with the poults. So I did a little research and found that I was't the only one who was having that same problem. There's a blog online that discusses different hatcheries. There were MULTIPLE people who had the same problem, and apparently there was some sort of outbreak at the hatchery.

    So, like I said, the problem has more than likely been corrected by now, but I will never order turkeys from them again. I though prices of feed were outrageous back then (even worse now!) but I was discouraged because they didn't die until they were mostly grown. When I had the most amount of money invested in them!

    I have had great luck with McMurray (never gotten broilers or turkeys from them tough).
     
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,429
    50
    173
    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    Thank you for the recommendation. I agree, the blackhead problem has probably been long since corrected, but if they had poor broiler stock to begin with I imagine they probably still don't have the best stock now.
     
  4. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,090
    54
    168
    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    I ordered from McMurray i didint get there turkeys or meatbirds, but the chicks I did get were very healthy.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by