First experience was a BAD experience!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kye022984, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Kye022984

    Kye022984 New Egg

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Hi chicken lovers! I am new to chickens and just received our first batch of chicks last week from McMurray, a batch of 25 however we received 27 :) The experience was negative unfortunately and ends with a partial refund of all the chicks we lost and another go with a new hatchery, My Pet Chicken.

    The first group of chicks all died except six of them. Since I've been so confused about how they died I looked up a lot on this forum and found this thread:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/466306/new-order-of-baby-chicks-dying-fast

    Everything this poster describes was my chicks to a "T." So, I'm assuming they all died from the stress of shipping. We moved to another hatchery because McMurray refused to resend another batch of chicks on another day except Saturday. I believe my birds sat at the PO all day Sunday until they called to have me pick them up LATE Monday morning. I was frustrated to say the least.

    Our new batch of chicks arrived this past Wednesday morning at 5am. It's been 48 hours since their arrival and we've only lost four. A lot better than the last chicks (I'd lost at least 10 by that time) but I'm still perturbed that we're loosing any at all. I check on them a few times during the day, change water, feed (if needed), check for pasty butt and clean the bedding if needed also. They all received Quik Chick upon arrival in their water, I dipped all their beaks and monitored the temperature of their brooder. I feel like all my bases are pretty much covered.

    So, concluding, is there anything else I'm missing? Is it normal to loose a few birds upon arrival? Has anyone else experienced something like this? About how long until I know we're in the clear and no more birds are going to die from stress?

    Thanks for any help! I'm so happy to have found this forum!
     
  2. kaylabeans28

    kaylabeans28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2015
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    Some birds will take it harder than others. It's hard to order chicks and expect them all to live. It's always best to order from nearby hatcheries. I've had my run in with stressed out chicks who die.
     
  3. Kye022984

    Kye022984 New Egg

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    Mar 13, 2015
    Great reply thank you! I have had to try so hard to let go and give them what they need and just see who makes it. Gah! It's so hard! Next time I will be looking into nearby hatcherys or even buying birds locally instead.
     
  4. song of joy

    song of joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Time of year has a lot to do with shipping and post-shipping mortality. When chicks get too chilled they'll die in transit and for a few days after arrival. November through March are the worst times to ship chicks if they have to go through ANY states experiencing winter conditions. I've placed 4 hatchery orders over the past few years and never lost a single chick, but the shipping occurred in April and in June. (In some parts of the country extreme heat also contributes to shipping mortality during the summer months.)

    Another factor is shipping speed. Based on several postings, it appears some hatcheries (e.g., Murray McMurray) are using priority (3-day) rather than express (overnight) delivery. It makes a huge difference in survival, especially during really cold or really hot shipping conditions. I've received orders from Texas and Ohio, and in both cases the chicks have arrived in PA the day after they were shipped. Chicks need to arrive within 48 hours of hatching. After that, survival rates plummet.

    Hatchery precautions against mortality are another factor. Some will include heat packs with the chicks, which increases survival rates. Meyer Hatchery has done this with my orders.
     
  5. kaylabeans28

    kaylabeans28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could also try ordering and picking a later date and have them add heat packs. That makes it easier for them to live.
     
  6. Kye022984

    Kye022984 New Egg

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    Mar 13, 2015

    Yes McMurray does only do priority even this time of year. I had to pay $40 in shipping for the expedited shipping costs to My Pet Chicken since it's the winter months which I was totally okay with. They also sent these birds with a heat pack. I can definitely see the difference between the two flocks. These chicks seem more energetic, eating like crazy and drinking water. The four that have died were just gradually getting more lethargic. My McMurray chicks were all really sleepy and lethargic. By the fourth day I had lost a complete of 21 birds!

    This is all good stuff for the next go-round when we order again. Thanks for all the great advice!
     
  7. kaylabeans28

    kaylabeans28 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that you've had a bad experience, but I know people who order from them all of the time and have all living birds.. I have a shipment coming in within a few days..
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. nordicacres

    nordicacres Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2015
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    Have you looked for local breeders? I would imagine if you could pick them up their survival rate would be greatly increased. GL!
     
    1 person likes this.

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