Hatcheries .... am I missing something?


9 Years
May 6, 2010
SW Iowa
I have ordered catalogs from a half dozen hatcheries. Some of the hatcheries are making you get quantities of 5 of each breed or else pay more. What difference does it make if you mix and match chicks of different breeds as long as you have the minimum?
Honestly it just sounds to me like they want to make more money. Usually the only reason they say five or more of any of hem is because that helps them with keeping enough heat to survive shipping. Did you try cackle hatches? I am pretty sure they only have a limit on how many not how many in a specific breed.
I have no problem with getting the quantities, I want around 25 but I want different breeds. Some of them may be 5 but I may only want a couple of some of the breeds too.
It may be to sell more, or it may be not. If you order one or two of a breed you are liable to wind up with none; it's not unusual to lose a few either in shipping or the first days or weeks. They replace those lost in shipping and don't even require any proof, like a P.O. form. I imagine this makes replacing lost chicks a lot simpler and gives them a little more leeway in what breed to replace with. They can't fully predict which breeds will be in demand, of course, so they wind up running out of some and having leftovers of others. You will not be a happy customer if you order two, they die, and the hatchery sells out of the breed. There could certainly be more reasons I might not think of. I can see how a hatchery might conclude that this policy results in more satisfied customers.

I don't know whether Ideal does this, but there used to be an Ideal employee that was a BYC member, and I imagine she would know the reason either way. I hope she reads this thread.
The hatchery has to run to each bin of each different breed of chicks when filling your order. If they do not have atleast a solid 5 chicks from one breed/gender, is it really even worth their time to do so? What if someone ordered 1 chick of 100 different breeds? That would sure be a pain to fill..
i dont think thats really the issue..................you have to remember that they have to set your order to hatch and coordinate that with other orders , making sure each they are hatching not too few. as some may die, but not too many peeps that they have too many to be sold.
hatching out tons and tons of teeny mixed orders isnt really profitable, and its no good for the breeder farms who supply the eggs to the hatchery.
Major hatcheries very, very rarely have extra. I know that I try to buy any extras that the hatcheries I deal with have, on their hatch days. Other hatcheries have other people like me that do this. It is like extra "processing" to deal in orders of <5 chicks, and that is a fact, though other reasons apply, I believe that to be the main one. Small hatcheries behave the way you describe, for example JM hatchery. However, the large hatcheries hatch what they can of each breed, as per the market, and typically sell out by a hatch day. For example on the market, a hatchery may set 10X the Barred Rock as they would the Black Sumatra, as BR are a common breed that many people are familiar with and therefore higher volumes are purchased. Those facts taken into consideration, the hatchery plans the numbers of the different breeds to hatch, and set a flat rate of those.
For me I will have at least 3 breeds with 5 of the same kind but then I wanted to fill the rest of the order with a few of several different breeds to try them. Eventually I hope to hatch out my own but have to build up my flock first. If I can't pick just a few of one breed I will move on to the next hatchery. I plan to buy 25 but there are a few breeds I just want a couple.
We (Meyer Hatchery) will let you mix and match whatever you want, so long as you meet our minimums for each poultry type. If you want 25 chicks of 25 breeds - go for it! Our minimum chick order is three and if you want 3 kinds, it's no problem! Our spring ordering begins December 1st. Hope you'll consider us - we'd love to get you wht you want

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