Hatchery Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by BarredR, Jan 1, 2016.

  1. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

    82
    3
    43
    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    We just ordered chicks for the first time ever from Meyer Hatchery and I gotta say not a good experience. One chick was DOA and they have been dropping like flys. Out of 27 chicks we have lost 9 so far and a few still fighting for life.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,128
    3,326
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Talk to Meyer. Most hatcheries have guarantees of some sort, so see what your options are.

    When were those chicks shipped and when did they arrive? What was the weather like during shipment? Meyer has no control over what happens after the chicks leave their facilities. If you go through the comments on various hatcheries in this section you’ll see that a lot of the problems happened during shipping, not because of anything the hatchery did. This is not just Meter but any hatchery.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ery-reviews-see-where-to-purchase-your-chicks

    I assume this is not your first rodeo with chicks but I’ll say it anyway. How did you manage them when you got them? I’ve seen several threads on here where people complain about the chicks dying after they arrive but when you dig details out of them, they mismanaged the chicks after they arrived.

    I’ve ordered from Meyer once before and everything was great, but if you ship tens of thousands of chicks a week, occasionally things do go wrong. Sometimes it is the hatchery at fault.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2016
  3. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

    82
    3
    43
    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    They shipped 12/28/15 and received them 12/31/15 here in Washington State we are in the upper 20s to low 30s.
     
  4. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

    82
    3
    43
    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    We have have had tons of chicks just never mail ordered. We dip beaks and put them under heat in brooder. I'm assuming that proper procedure? Some chicks where not able to walk or stand on arrival others seemed to get around fine but died.
     
  5. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

    82
    3
    43
    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    We currently have a clutch of Crested Cream Legbars hatched 12/21/15 all doing well no losses.[​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,128
    3,326
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Yes, the proper procedure. Thanks for not being offended by the question.

    If they were shipped the 28th, they were hatched the 27th. If you received them the 31st, they were four days old. I’ve had a broody hen wait that long to take the first hatchers off the nest, waiting for the late ones to hatch, and those chick were fine. But that’s getting close to the limit as to how long the absorbed yolk will provide food and water. They could have been a bit stressed by that so resistance dropped.

    I’ve had shipped chicks delivered he day after they were shipped, overnight, but most of the time they come the following day. I’ve never had a chick arrive DOA but I have had a chick die three days later. Sometimes they are just not meant to live. I’ve never had a problem where several continue to die.

    My guess is that they were probably exposed to too much cold during shipping, maybe left on the shipping dock too long. That and the longer than normal shipping probably weakened them. Probably not Meyer’s fault, but still call them and see what they offer to rectify the problem.

    The post office ships chicks by different routes, depending on where the hatchery is. Next time you might look at different hatcheries and try to find out what routes the post office would ship to cut transit time. Not sure how you’d check that, maybe chat with the hatchery.

    Next time you might try putting a little sugar in their first water, just the first 12 hours or so. Or you can buy electrolyte packs for that at the feed store. I’ve never done that but it will give them a boost of energy to help them get over shipping stress. I did that with an injured hen one time and she perked right up. You could still try that, just don’t leave the sugar water in there long enough to go sour.

    Another thing to avoid is ordering chicks around the holidays, any postal holiday. Although they insist it doesn’t reduce transit times, I think it does. Posts like yours show up more often around postal holidays than other times.

    That’s a rotten introduction to shipped chicks. Usually it’s not bad at all.
     
  7. BarredR

    BarredR Out Of The Brooder

    82
    3
    43
    Jan 30, 2014
    Gold Bar WA
    Yeah we use probiotics and save a chick electrolytes for all of our chicks. Thanks for your thoughts very much appreciated.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by