Disappointed with hatchery chicks

costello

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
151
13
116
Hi:

I received 18 chicks on Tuesday through the mail from a hatchery. As of now, three are dead. A few more look iffy. I would be surprised if at least one or two more don't die.

The 17 included three different breeds. All the dead ones are Faverolles pullets. One of the iffy looking ones is another Faverolles pullet. The Faverolles cockerel and the last pullet look healthy.

The 7 Wyandottes all look vigorous and healthy.

There are also 5 Chanteclers. Several of those don't look so good, but so far they're holding their own.

I'm relatively new to raising chickens - just over a year - but this is my sixth group of chicks, and so far I've never had a single one die on me. I've purchased 3 sets at farm stores and hatch 2 sets. This is my first set coming through the mail from a hatchery.

Is it unusual to lose so many?
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
8 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,083
831
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
It's not that unusual - shipping is stressful on little ones. The feed store chicks you purchased were shipped the same way, but to the feed store, where the weak chicks and those that didn't make the trip well were weeded out before you made your purchase. The stores have losses just like you are seeing. Those you hatched yourself didn't have to go through any shipping post-hatch, so that stress was not an issue for them at all.
Have you contacted the hatchery about the losses you took? Did you read their policies? Some have a 24 hour window, others a 48 hour window - so it's important to familiarize yourself with the policies of the hatcheries you use.
 

cracked egg

Chirping
7 Years
Feb 29, 2012
229
20
91
Blackfoot, Idaho
I used to have orders like that, once the entire order had perished. The hatcheries that I have ordered from sent replacements. It seems that most of causes for me was the postal service, as soon as insurance was placed on the orders they arrived safe and sound and kept inside the post office instead of the loading docks.
I would contact the hatchery and talk to a rep.
 

costello

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
151
13
116
Thanks. I'll talk to the hatchery. It's a relief to hear others have had this happen. If this had been my first batch of chicks I'd feel like a complete failure.
 

costello

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
151
13
116
Two more chicks are dying, and many of the others look lethargic. This has been a horrible experience. I may never mail order chicks again. I'm not sure how I'll ever get any rarer breeds, though.
 

keesmom

Free Ranging
12 Years
Jul 28, 2008
10,711
4,667
531
MA
Two more chicks are dying, and many of the others look lethargic. This has been a horrible experience. I may never mail order chicks again. I'm not sure how I'll ever get any rarer breeds, though.
Where are you located? There are a lot of Wyandotte breeders out there. Not many Faverolles breeders but maybe you're near one of us. Chanteclers are going to be hard to find.
 

Animals970

Songster
7 Years
Dec 14, 2012
2,267
15
143
Which hatchery did you use?, some of them have better reviews than others, you always need to read reviews before choosing a hatchery.

I'm not trying to be rude, but did the chicks seem like this when you got them?, or a few day(s) after you got them?, cause if it started happening after you got them you may be the one that is doing something wrong.
 

costello

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
151
13
116
Which hatchery did you use?, some of them have better reviews than others, you always need to read reviews before choosing a hatchery.

I'm not trying to be rude, but did the chicks seem like this when you got them?, or a few day(s) after you got them?, cause if it started happening after you got them you may be the one that is doing something wrong.

I won't name the hatchery, because I don't want to unfairly tarnish their reputation, but they do have mostly good reviews on this site.

If this were my first batch of chicks I'd say I very well could have done something wrong. But since it's my sixth batch, and I've never lost a chick before, and these were treated the same as all the others, it seems less likely.
 

costello

Songster
6 Years
Mar 24, 2013
151
13
116
It's also curious that almost all of the dead chicks are of one breed. And most of the chicks of that breed died. The Wyandottes are doing great.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
13 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,859
25,334
977
Southeast Louisiana
I've never lost any chicks that were mailed, but it certainly does happen. Often that can be traced to the post office more than the hatchery. My brother is a rural mail carrier. He'll tell you that some people working for the post office take good care of the shipments and some don't. It's just like any other big business, some people are better than others.

What's unusual in your case is that it is only the Favorelles. That's just not right. If it were a shipping problem, all the chicks should be affected, not just one. That sounds like a hatchery problem. How early or late was your shipment? If the shipment was a little late, maybe the Favorelles were hatched earlier than the others? Or it may have something to do with something else.

Definitely contact the hatchery. See what they say about why it is only the Favorelles. They should either give you a credit or more chicks.
 

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