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Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by chicken farmer, Oct 16, 2013.
Post a hatchery and tell us good/bad and why..It could help a lot of us in the future.
I think you should find the hatchery closest to your area.
I used McMurray for sevearl years and did OK, and then I got 2 big order's of 100 and almost all were DOA's or died soon after. BTW the 2nd shipment they never sent me another order or refund, and that was the last of my business.
I use Ideal, I live in TX the hatchery is in TX and I usually get my chicks within 12 hours of the hatch. The boxes are time stamped. I order mainly Broilers or Cornish X and they arrive healthy. I am very happy with them.
So that would be the main thing, find who is closest to you, and then check their reputation.
I lived on the coast in California. I have a different experience with Ideal Poultry. I started to raise chickens for eggs and their manure for my garden in 2010. I ordered my first flock of 30 from McMurray. The baby chicks arrived healthy, and none of them had died on me. In 2011 and 2012, I brought in replacement from a local feed store that carries Ideal Poultry chicks. Each of these years, there were a few young pullets died, but this year 6 out of my 10 replacement had died before 5 months old. I contacted Ideal Poultry and told them the problem with pictures.
The first two had enlarged hearts. One had tumor on the back. One had a deformed gizzard (picture below).One had crippled leg and because he was not a pullet, so we butchered him, and found that his crippled leg wasn't an injury. It was caused by a huge tumor on the muscle that was probably inhabited the nerve. He also had one harden enlarged testicle (picture below). One of the six I didn't bother to do an autopsy.
By reading a few books about raising chickens, I learned that should be a inbreeding problem. Ideal Poultry said that may be Marek's disease and Mycoplasma. My chicks live their first two months of lives on a wired brooder area and then on concrete coop and run until they are 4 months old. All of these chicks had their problematic health issues discovered prior to they had contact to soil except the one with a deformed gizzard. I believe none of their problem were related to what Ideal Poultry is trying to blame. Ideal Poultry had not returned my email since then.
I have spoken to a few people who got the chicks from the same source, Ideal Poultry. They all have 20 to 30% dead rate,. I am very unhappy with Ideal Poultry, and I will never get any more chicks from them. It was a waste of time and heart broken experience.
I've had very good experience with Welp, but I think that with all the shipments going out of the hatcheries, there are times that during the shipping process things go wrong. If you research a lot of the hatcheries you will find 1000's of good experiences and then find where there are 100's of bad experiences from the same place.
I prefer to find local breeders that you could go and see their operations and birds.
Well that is terrible, and it does not say where you live, if Marek's is known to be in your area. You can call your local AG extension office and see if there is a problem with Marek's or any other disease. I have never had any issues, and I eat most of mine that I get from Ideal.
Thanks for your reply. I live in Fort Bragg, CA. I keep my coop very clean. We eat our older ones also.
I am sorry if that came out wrong. I meant no disrespect on how you tend to your flock.
Not at all. I truly appreciate your response. I was only trying to clarify that the problem was inbreeding.
Inbreeding does not cause defects. Anybody who studies genetics knows that. I got 15 Black sex link pullet chicks from Ideal this year. All arrived healthy and stayed healthy but one was killed last night by some unknown predator and looked like she had been slashed with a knife. I am very happy with my Ideal birds. As for buying from the closest I do not think distance makes a difference. My newest ducklings came from Metzer in CA and I live in VA. They arrived in 2 days all alive and still alive and healthy at 12 days old. I ordered them from McMurray because they take Paypal and Metzer doesn't. Someone on another thread said the White Leghorns they ordered from McMurray came from Ideal. I ordered from Hoffman in PA because they were close and they came from Ideal. The hatchery you order from may not be where your birds come from but their return address will be on the box. The zip code mailed from tells you where they came from.
I've placed 3 orders with ideal this year. First was a straight run bantam assortment. Of the 25 birds 2 died. One was deformed and appeared blind, the other simply failed to thrive. The assortment was nice, weighted a bit towards roosters but that was just bum luck. Some really pretty birds grew up from that batch. Customer service credited those that died without hesitation. Second order was for 12 silkies. They sent 14 plus 5 heavy breeds for warmth. All have thrived and are nice birds. A lot of variation in bearded versus non and the size of the poof ( crested?) on top but no complaints. They were reds and buffs. Couldn't tell a whole lot of difference between the two colors but there was some, the reds being darker. The latest was for 50 black sex link pullets. All arrived healthy and as of day 5 are looking very good. They sent 51 but one is obviously a rooster with the white spot on the head and white legs. I'm happy with the birds so far. Ideal has historically shipped my birds on Tuesday afternoons and the post office calls promptly at 6am on Thursday mornings. I always check the weather forecast between here (north MS) and Texas before ordering. You can't beat their prices and the weekly specials and email blasts they send are at times almost irresistible. The above shouldn't be read or viewed as complaints. I've been quite happy with them and will order again. I've used mcmurray in the past and have have gotten some nice birds but you can't beat ideals prices. Also be very aware of the weather when ordering from mcmurray. The birds come out of Iowa and ship through Minneapolis where the weather and temperatures can be brutal if you get too eager and order in early spring. The result can be very disappointing in my experience.