I've never had an experience this bad with a hatchery before...Randall Burkey Company?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by sommrluv, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I placed an order January 17th for 100 Speckled Sussex chicks that the website said were immediately available.

    I always like to order my chicks early, so once weather warms up in may, They can be outside already. I received an email that my chicks would ship April 11th. Not the normal four week backorder, but I had paid already and just though that sometimes these things happen.

    The morning of the 11th I receive a lunchtime email asking if I can substitute 22 birds as they only had 78 to send me. Twelve weeks of planning and they couldn't find a company to ship me birds? They had only three breeds available from all of those listed on the website...andalusians, buckeyes, and white cochins. And not 22 of any one of them, so I told them to go ahead and ship replacements. I paid $33 for 'overnight chick shipping, and they promised they would ship monday afternoon.

    Thursday morning my chicks arrive...at least 72 hours after hatching but the hatch date on the box reads the 10th, Tuesday. And they paid $13 for shipping. Is that a normal handling fee on 100 chicks?

    My very accommodating postmaster lets me pick up the chicks at 6:45 in the morning, as they don't open until 8am, and in his phone message he said..."They are so LOUD! Come get them!" :)

    I get them home and happily open the box, I have my brooders all set up with fresh food, water with ACV...and I only received 86 chicks plus six DOA. And since they have been here, we've lost another 24 and they are dropping like flies. But oddly enough, ONLY the sussex is dying. I think they held the hatch to add more birds to the box from the next days hatch. Even my normally stoic husband is nearly in tears at the parade of death in our living room. I mean, I raise all sorts of animals to eat, but it's still sad to see a baby die without a chance.

    So every twenty minutes I'm trying to revive my dying birds, and this entire thing is heartbreaking. And Burkey has the nerve to tell me I can have chicks at some distant future date as they have no availability.

    I'm so disappointed with this company. I've never had a loss rate like this before. Even the replacements won't be sussex, they'll be something else. Has this happened to anyone else? I've been very nice up until the email telling me they don't know when they will get me birds. I told them it was unacceptable.

    I'd love to return here and tell everyone Burkey made good on my purchase. Has anyone had this experience before? Is this a normal loss rate on 100 chicks? I've ordered this many before and have lost 1.

    I appreciate everyone letting me vent.
  2. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Songster

    Aug 11, 2010
    I am pretty sure he runs a smaller operation, although you'd never know it. I have ordered gear from there, but never chickens.
  3. laughingdog52

    laughingdog52 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2011
    Eastern Oregon
    Horrible! I ordered from a hatchery once years ago and it was so much fun. I really didn't know what I was doing. I picked them up from the PO, and even as a newbee I didn't lose 1 chick. I tried to order Black Astraloup(sp) this year, and was told that the hatch "went wrong" and they weren't available at this time. I am so sorry that this happened to you. How disappointing to lose so much time, too. They should refund your money and just send you to another hatchery.[​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. ButchGood

    ButchGood Songster

    Mar 14, 2012
    Central Texas
    This is good to know. Thank you for posting. I will avoid them in the future. My first ever mail order chicks came from MPC. A little on the expensive side, but i got exactly what i wanted and they were all fat and healthy. I just ordered some turkeys from Ideal. They'll be in next week. Hopefully they will be in the same condition.
  5. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Thank you for letting me vent. :)

    I have ordered from Ideal and Cackle with really good results. Now that I have an incubator I only wanted breeds I can't find locally and I guess that was my downfall.
  6. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Songster

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    That is truly horrible. I would avoid that hatchery in the future and have my money refunded back. Hope that the rest of your chicks survive and give them sugar water as quick as possible. I've ordered d'Uccle chicks from Ideal and should be receiving them by next week.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  7. vjbakke

    vjbakke Songster

    Mar 21, 2011
    I would ask for your money back and go with a different hatchery. I have only ordered from Meyer and only lost one chick.( out of 6) die within the first day. They have a 48 hour guarantee on the chicks living. I just got 4 EE this wed, they hatched on Mon. Shipping is high, over $35, but I see that they were sent express air.
  8. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    X2 I would definatly demand a refund and just go ahead and order your sussex from another source. I have ordered from MPC and Chickens for backyards with ni issues and never a DOA. I just recieved an order from MPC that shipped on time as I ordered April 9th and I had the on the 10th. Since you will be ordering a larger quantity you have many options. I've heard good thinks about ideal, Meyer and Cackle Hatchery as well.
  9. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Songster

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    Same thing happend to but I had a smaller order of 28 chicks from Meyer last year almost half died within the first week, never gonna order from Meyer again... I would image if you order 100 chicks a couple may die cause they could of got stepped on by the other chicks that your chick lose is crazy... I just got a order of 46 chicks almost a week ago from Murray McMurray none died and all are very healthy so far.
  10. sommrluv

    sommrluv Songster

    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Here's my update...we're at 48 losses, eight missing from the original number and 40 total expired chicks. I have five more chicks that are laying nearly face flat. Last night we started hand feeding them because it's so sad to just watch them fade. I'm hoping I saved a couple at least.

    I'm hoping that it's just not fade, fade, fade as I go through the week here.

    Burkey is going to ship me 25 barred rocks st. run and 5 buckeyes, and that's the best they can do. They will refund the other portion. Barred rocks aren't my favorite but they are reliable layers and that's what I need right now. :(

    I'm striking out even trying to get my order filled with other hatcheries right now, it's the busiest season there is.

    Thank you for all the kind words! It's really appreciated. It's interesting that only one chick out of all those dead was an andalusian, the rest were all sussex. It confirms in my mind that they held the sussex and there no way I could have gotten them thursday by the time they'd been 72 hours without food. I have sugar, electrolites, and some acv in their waters right now.

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