How to choose a hatchery?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DangerChickenHouse, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I just finished building my coop. We are ready to get four day old chicks. I live in NC. How do I choose a hatchery?
  2. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    Threre are lots of goos ones out there I guess it would depend on how many you wanted. MPC lets you order small amounts based on where you live smallest order would be 3. I have ordered from them and have never been diasapointed. I also have ordered from Chickens for They came quickly and in very good health no problems at all.
  3. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    I chose my hatchery by the minimum order number they would ship. Since I only wanted about 8 chicks I went with They have a minimum order depending on where in the country you live. I live in Colorado and my minimum was 7. I purchased 2 each of 4 different breeds. Many hatcheries have a 15 or 25 bird limit and breed minimums of 5 or more.

    This is my only experience with ordering day-old chicks, but it has been a positive one with all of my chicks arriving in good condition and on the day we expected them. There was a thread on this discussion forum a few weeks back asking about people's experience with MPC. The person who had started the topic hadn' t had a good experience, but I think everyone who responded had positive things to say about their experiences.

    Good luck
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio

    Here's what I did

    1) I decided on the breed that I wanted by looking through the breeds page located here: Not all hatcheries carry all breeds, so that narrowed things down for me.
    2) I decided that I would like the chicks to be vaccinated (Marek's, some offer coccidia). See if the hatchery you might use will vaccinate the chicks for you.
    3) I wanted the chicks to be delivered. If you want them to come in the mail, consider the distance over which they will be shipped. Not an issue in all cases, I am sure, but one that I thought about. If you want to pick them up, consider the distance you are willing to drive.
    4) There is a hatchery page here on BYC ( Take a look, and search through the BYC site to see if comments made by members can help you to decide on a hatchery.
    5) Sites like MyPetChicken, etc., seem to use drop shipping from the big hatcheries like Meyer, because the availability dates are the same. I decided to cut out the middleman and saved a small amount of money by ordering direct.
    6) There is some variation in the minimum order from different hatcheries. Check to make sure that the hatchery you will choose allows for small orders.
    7) The availability dates for the breeds I wanted had a small impact on my choice of hatchery. This might be true for you.

    All in all, this sounds like a complex process once written down, but it was really quite easy. Best of luck with your future flock! Pete
  5. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    We would like 1 or 2 Silkies, 1 Buff Orpington, and 1 Barred Rock. We would also like all hens. So, I guess we need to use a hatchery.

    I really don't want my chicks shipped over long distance. I'll check out my options.

  6. AlienChick

    AlienChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY
    Also, keep in mind that if you're ordering bantam chicks, they will most likely be straight run.

    Although, I think MPC will offer bantam hens.

  7. Hummingbird Hollow

    Hummingbird Hollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2011
    Colorado mountains
    Quote:I think another thing you might want to consider right now is the heat where you live and the heat in the part of the country that your chicks will be shipped from. I know that parts of the country are experiencing record high temperatures and some folks have expressed concern with whether chicks can arrive in good health if they are subjected to long periods at high temperatures. The good news is that baby chicks like the temperature around 95 degrees. The bad news is that in a mail truck, temperatures may be much higher than that. I don't know what maximum temperatures are for day old chicks but it may be good to ask some questions of the hatchery before you order.
  8. DangerChickenHouse

    DangerChickenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2011
    Charlotte, NC
    I didn't even think about the temp. It's crazy hot in NC. Shipping chicks to me probably isn't a good idea.

    I guess I'll keep checking out craigslist. I'm new to all of this, so all of your input has been very helpful!
  9. Maisie1

    Maisie1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 26, 2011
    Madison, WI
    I ordered four (hopefully!) female chicks from, and they are now five weeks old and very healthy. I believe MPC is located in Connecticut, and they shipped them to me in Wisconsin without any problem. Plus, their customer service is great. They're happy to answer any questions you may have--just email or call. I'd highly recommend them. Regarding the extreme heat: They shipped mine in June before our big heat wave, and they placed a little warming pad in the box. Perhaps in really hot weather they wouldn't do this? Baby chicks need their ambient temperature to be around 95 degrees the first week of life anyway, so maybe it's not an issue. Good luck![​IMG]
  10. crayon

    crayon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Hillman Michigan
    We got our first 10 locally- then we lost one and DH figured we getter get more in case we lose them to natural causes. So my best friend had got an order in early July and I asked her where she got them- she said Meyer Hatchery (Ohio). She said she picked them because of their min- order of only 3. I was first going to order from Murray McMurray but their min was 25- and this time of year they were out of everything I wanted. So I check Meyer and got all the chicks I wanted within a 2 week wait. WHOOT!!!!

    I lost on due to shipping (it was hot last week, but that could also be just the shock of shipping and a weak chick). I lost one more about 4 days in- I am guessing natural causes. But I let them know and they offered to send me more, but I figured I would just take credit for next spring. I had ordered 12- so I got 10 that made it and that was fine.

    I will say the chicks from Meyer are happy, healthy and VERY active! And beautiful little buggers....

    Good luck!

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