Did Ideal send me a bunch of extra pullets or packing peanuts (cockerels)?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by David1998, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. David1998

    David1998 Chirping

    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    My order of 9 pullets from Ideal Poultry arrived yesterday. All seemed to be healthy and off to a good start. Interestingly, I received 17. My first thought was extra cockerels as packing peanuts. However, none are marked as requested and if they are cockerels, they're a mix of the same breeds I ordered. This is what I got:

    Buff Orpington:
    I ordered 3 but received 5. All are similar size (large) with buff feathers coming in.

    I ordered 2 but received 4. All have muffs and are brownish. Two look more like chipmunks and the other two similar but without the light colored strips on the back.

    Rhode Island Red:
    I ordered 2 and received 2. They are reddish brown, so easy to pick out from the bunch.

    Barred Rock & Dominque:
    I ordered 1 each and received a total of 6. They all have smallish white/yellow spots on their heads, dark legs and looks just like the pics online. Trying to sex them based on the white/yellow on their heads doesn’t help me with their sex. They all seem too similar. None have lots of white/yellow on the heads. It’s pretty localized.

    It seems as if they gave me 2 extra of each of the breeds expect for the Rhode Island Reds.

    Eventually I have to figure it out. I only have room for maybe 10 full sized birds and roosters will be a problem where I live. I can post pictures later if there is something specific that would help figure them out. I’ll also call Ideal, but I’m not expecting them to know. Anyone else noticed this with Ideal?
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    No experience with mail ordered chicks, but read somewhere that some add extras in case all don't arrive alive ?

    I think buffs are nearly impossible to tell male vs female - other threads discuss checking their wing feathers .
    BR and Dom are so similar - your description sounds like all likely female. But one of my barred rocks had a large white head spot and by all info I could find indicated likely roo. Had a home ready to accept him….but she turned out to be a she!

    Try getting photos to post for the experienced flock owners to try to help. But it is difficult until they get older.

    Good luck…expecting 9 and getting 17 ! Hope you have the room to keep them all at least until you can see which are pullets. They really grow fast and boarding 17 in planned area for 9 will be tough if not impossible.
  3. DCchicken

    DCchicken Songster

    Aug 29, 2013
    It is quite normal for hatcheries and breeders to send extra chicks (usually cockerels) to ensure the safe warmth of your chicks during shipment. Usually it is just a couple extra but you never know. Good luck with your new babies.
  4. AprilW

    AprilW Songster

    Feb 7, 2011
    north Georgia
    In the past when I have gotten small numbers of chicks from Ideal the extra males were all one breed and not the same breed as the sexed chicks I ordered. The fact your extras are the same breeds as the chicks you specifically asked for, I would venture to guess they are also pullets and you should consider yourself lucky. However, I would not be surprised if they turn out to be male. Photos as they get older would help.
  5. RareDuck

    RareDuck Chirping

    Jun 30, 2013
    They have had a lot of specials and over hatches so maybe they sent you extra pullets so they would not have to do whatever to them. Maybe they would rather give them away than kill them.
  6. May I suggest you simply call or email them and inquire what they sent? Chances are since they were extras of what you ordered they are just that extras and not cockerel packing peanuts...
  7. Ideal has always sent me extra birds, even a small duck order I made they sent me 12 little males for added warmth. However, they are located in Cameron TX and you appear to be in Houston...would not seem like much extra warmth was needed this time of year in that area. Maybe you have "extras"...the birds they sell as Hatchery Choice orders because they just have too many.
  8. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Whether the extras are male is about a 50/50 shot - as pointed out above it is not uncommon for extras to be sent along and they are not always just cockerels. Your only option at this point is to grow them out to the point you can start discerning gender and then decide from there what to do with them.
  9. Free as a Bird

    Free as a Bird Chirping

    Aug 20, 2014
    New England
    Do you live far away from the hatchery? That could be why they sent so many (for extra warmth).
  10. David1998

    David1998 Chirping

    Jul 30, 2014
    Houston, Texas
    That's what I was thinking. It would be more work to go around and grab ones from different breeds.

    Yep, then the customer (me) will remember that and would possibly be more likely to order from them again. Kinda like going to the ice cream shop, and they give you two scoops rather than one because it emptied out the container.

    Relatively, I'm close. It's about 140 miles. Right now in Texas, there is a greater risk of them overheating during shipment than getting too cold.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014

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