Hatcheries

kenzier093

Songster
6 Years
Feb 10, 2013
715
45
136
Northeastern Pennsylvania
What hatchery does everyone use? I ordered once from Hoffman Hatchery about 3 years ago and I was not impressed. I ordered all pullets and received some roosters. I just ordered from Cackle Hatchery this year. So far I like Cackle the best. What is Meyer hatchery and all the other hatcheries like with customer service, chicken quality, can you tell them when you want your chicks, etc.?
 

Beer can

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Aug 12, 2014
9,502
17,142
781
Upstate NY
I was going to order from Cackle, but they didn't have all three breeds I wanted ready at the same time. I liked how Cackle had on each breed of chicken; *Breeder Farm Source: “ Cackle Hatchery® Poultry Breeding Farm” developing our bloodline or strain of pure* and then the breed and what year. I ended up ordering from Meyers. Meyers was a little cheaper. I read some bad reviews on Meyers, dead chicks, that they did replace or refund,credit. I think this is because Meyers minimum order during warmer weather is three. I ordered three pullets of each Welsummer, Brown Leghorn and Easter Eggers. Two Welsummer cockerels, and ten "Leanns Adopt Me", which were basically free in what I saved in shipping by buying more than the eleven I wanted. All arrived in good shape, and I had no fatalities after.
I have read hatchery birds are not true to breed compared to 'breeder' examples. I found out this is true. I ordered two Welsummer roos and planed on keeping the best one, I ended up with a third in the 'Adopt Me' mystery chicks. Only one of the three looked SOP. A Welsummer hen should look just like my Brown Leghorns, only fatter and without the white earlobes. Two of the Welsummers have redish neck feathers, only one has the yellowish neck feathers like they are supposed to have. Not a big deal though, unless your looking for show quality,Lol.
Customer service was good and they notified us exactly when they would arrive.
 

kenzier093

Songster
6 Years
Feb 10, 2013
715
45
136
Northeastern Pennsylvania
I was going to order from Cackle, but they didn't have all three breeds I wanted ready at the same time. I liked how Cackle had on each breed of chicken; *Breeder Farm Source: “ Cackle Hatchery® Poultry Breeding Farm” developing our bloodline or strain of pure* and then the breed and what year. I ended up ordering from Meyers. Meyers was a little cheaper. I read some bad reviews on Meyers, dead chicks, that they did replace or refund,credit. I think this is because Meyers minimum order during warmer weather is three. I ordered three pullets of each Welsummer, Brown Leghorn and Easter Eggers. Two Welsummer cockerels, and ten "Leanns Adopt Me", which were basically free in what I saved in shipping by buying more than the eleven I wanted. All arrived in good shape, and I had no fatalities after.
I have read hatchery birds are not true to breed compared to 'breeder' examples. I found out this is true. I ordered two Welsummer roos and planed on keeping the best one, I ended up with a third in the 'Adopt Me' mystery chicks. Only one of the three looked SOP. A Welsummer hen should look just like my Brown Leghorns, only fatter and without the white earlobes. Two of the Welsummers have redish neck feathers, only one has the yellowish neck feathers like they are supposed to have. Not a big deal though, unless your looking for show quality,Lol.
Customer service was good and they notified us exactly when they would arrive.

Do you have a picture of the Easter Eggers you got? On other threads, people that have ordered from Meyers, most of the EE's pics that I see posted are clean faced and don't have a beard. From Cackle, I got 5 EE's and they all had a big beard and all different colors and none of them are similar. I do have both clean faced and bearded, I just prefer the bearded ones because that makes them cuter lol.
 

Beer can

Crossing the Road
6 Years
Aug 12, 2014
9,502
17,142
781
Upstate NY
Couldn't get any good pics, my birds wouldn't stay still. I'm keeping them inside for awhile, they were free ranging and roosting in trees. Something ate a few of them, maybe a racoon. I'm hopeing to get them used to their coop so they come back in at night. I ordered three EEs two have beards, one doesn't and looks kinda like a golden laced
400
[/IMG][/IMG] wyandotte. One of my mystery chicks I thought was a poor example of a golden campine, after posting pics on here turns out to be a EEer bantam, with no beard.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,092
19,531
857
Southeast Louisiana
There is some good hatchery information in this.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/285981/breeder-and-hatchery-index

The only hatchery I’d specifically warn you about is Mt. Healthy. It’s reported they have had salmonella issues three years running. Once I could accept as a fluke but not any more than that. It’s going to take them a lot to regain my trust.

Each hatchery is different with their own policies, procedures, and different people running them. I don’t like to lump them all together but there are some similarities. In general, you are not going to get a show quality chicken from a hatchery and their prices reflect that. A show quality breeder will carefully select one rooster to put with one or two specific hens to try to produce a grand champion. Even then they get a lot that won’t win a grand prize. Most hatcheries use the pen breeding system where they may have 20 roosters in a pen with 200 hens, all mating randomly. That keeps genetic diversity up but it does not lead to many show quality chickens. Different people are selecting which chickens go in that pen too and they have different criteria for selecting which chickens go in there. It’s unrealistic to expect show quality chickens from a hatchery. If you want show quality chickens, spend the big bucks and buy from a breeder with a proven track record.

Easter Eggers are about the most misunderstood chickens around. That’s mainly because there are no standards so an Easter Egger can be about anything. Some people think EE’s were developed from Araucana’s or Ameraucana’s but it’s actually the other way around. Those breeds were developed form Easter Eggers. Cackle had their EE flock established before the Ameraucanas were even a recognized breed. Each hatchery is going to be different. It is a great idea to get pictures of EE’s from different hatcheries so you know what to expect from that specific hatchery. I can’t help you with that because I’ve developed my own, red or black mottled chickens that lay blue or green eggs. I’m pretty confident none of the hatcheries are going to have EE’s that look like that.
 

nayeli

Songster
6 Years
Jan 18, 2014
1,988
108
196
I haven't had any experience with recieving chicks yet... but I have put in two orders with Ideal. I found they had great prices, no minimum quantity, and ship year round, they are also the closest hatchery to me. So far I'm not super happy with Ideal. I put in an order for silkies, assorted bantams, and silver sebrights the first time. I got a call a couple days later and they cancelled my order because they said they wouldn't have them in stock to send to me. I read someone on here who ordered the sebrights after me and were expecting them the 8th (my expected ship date had been the 22nd). Anyway talked it over with the person and found out that they thought my order was cancelled de to the silkies. I reordered today and got a October 8th ship date by not including silkies.

I'm a little annoyed that when they called me by phone they didn't just give me the option to exchange the silkies for a different type of bantam breed... really I was more interested in getting the sebrights than the silkies! I'm just glad I stayed on it. I got a new ship date that was sooner than I was expecting so now I'm just waiting to see if I'll actually get them this time.
 

kenzier093

Songster
6 Years
Feb 10, 2013
715
45
136
Northeastern Pennsylvania
I haven't had that happen to me yet, but I sure hope it don't! I am pretty positive I want to get Red and black sex links and Easter Eggers next spring. Just thought I would try seeing what other peoples' reviews are on different hatcheries. The only thing I am not happy about with Cackle is that they are in Missouri and I am in PA. In February, I ordered 5 Salmon Faverolles, 5 brown leghorns, and 5 Easter eggers. They shipped one extra Salmon Faverolle so I ended up with 16 total. When I opened up the box, one Faverolle was very weak and was getting trampled by the others and the rest seemed fine. Over the next 2 days, 2 more Faverolles died. I think it is just that breed can't handle stress very well. The rest were all healthy. About 1 month ago one of my EE roosters had sour crop and died. So now I have 3 SF, 4 EE's, and 5 BL.
 

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