Marans Buyer Beware: Brinkhaven Farms (Blue Birchens)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by baunlee, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. baunlee

    baunlee Songster

    Jan 31, 2014
    Western New York
    Today I Review a business called Brinkhaven Acres.

    I am greatly disappointed by my interactions with this business. In a recent order, I attempted to purchase 4 blue birchen marans - as advertised – on the website. This order was placed prior to a disclaimer of “chicks may be blue black or splash” in the description- which was added after I contacted the business with confusion as to what I had received (only 1 blue chick). Note: This fact is not disputed by either party but I am reiterating it to summarize my overall experience.

    - Order placed with Brinkhaven March 11 to be delivered week of May 2

    - Order arrival date comes..

    o Receive email stating order would be put off for 1 week. No problem there for me. Alternates were also mentioned at this time. Among those options were Blue, Black, Splash and I did not take up that offer; Instead the original order was to be fulfilled the following week as placed.​

    - Order arrives

    o My instant confusion over only 1 chick being blue???​

    - I Contact Brinkhaven the same day the chicks arrived to inform them of my order mistake and to reach a resolution in this matter:

    o Listing description was then openly edited to state “chicks may be blue black or splash”​

    o At that time, I was asked how could things be resolved, me thinking, “good sign maybe this was an honest mistake?”​

    o I worked through several emails and spent a lot of time coming to a collaborative solution that would be considerate of both parties.​

    - Resolution that we choose

    o Brinkhaven would try to hatch more Blue Birchen Marans during the month of June to meet the original order (minus 1 - for the chick I thought I received.)​

    o However, to meet the “minimum number of birds” shipping requirement (of 5) I graciously offered to buy other birds (thus sending even more money) so that the minimum could be met.​

    - June 10th, I contact Brinkhaven: the ONE blue chick that I did receive (despite ordering 4) now has COPPER coming in?!?! “The blue gene in poultry is a little different” as you said, Yes… but, NOT like this!!

    How is that possible to receive a blue copper marans from the same pair that yields blue birchens? YES- it is possible if the parent stock is not pure (cross between black/Blue copper over a birchen hen. The father of the blue chicks is for sure a Blue/black copper or impure Birchen.

    To further confirm this point: I took it upon myself to further explain this whole situation to an expert marans breeder, and this was his response:

    “I think Brinkhaven is trying to recreate a blue birchen from a Blue copper but they don’t know how to do it. Especially if they want to sell fertile eggs from the cross in the first 3 years. a lot throws back. If they had sent you a cockerel I’d be able to tell better what rooster has been used over a blue copper hens. You see, if it was a birchen rooster used over a Blue copper hen/hens, then all the pullets will be Blue/black birchen and all the cockerels will be impure Silver/Gold S/s+. In your case, the pullet is blue copper, so her father cannot be pure silver, no way.”

    “Your pullet is definitely a Blue Copper Marans. Based on everything you have told me I'm thinking that the Seller a) sold you chicks from a Blue Birchen Project Line (meaning his/her line doesn't breed true at this point (I.e., copper leakage), b) inadvertently sold you chicks from a Blue Copper mating, or c) doesn't have a clue of what is a Birchen Marans. By the looks of your pullet I'm guessing b) or c).”

    I have tried to be very gracious and giving the benefit of the doubt but I now have 0 out of those 4 birds I ordered of that type.

    - Brinkhaven agreed to a full refund. No explanation.

    Hi Mary,

    We actually haven't seen any copper in those that we have raised up ourselves and haven't heard the same feedback from other folks who have ordered them. I can see from the photo it's obvious there is not silver as one would expect. Our goals in breeding are to improve upon the stock we have and offer our customer the best we can with (we hope) a mutual understanding that not every single bird is going to be a perfect representation. That's not a guarantee anyone would make. We have a statement about it on our website under "terms" which is outlined below if you're interested in reading it.

    Breed Quality
    At Brinkhaven Acres we work hard to breed for health, appearance (feather pattern/body type/comb type etc), egg color and production...not necessarily in that order. It has taken many generations and essential culling to maintain and improve upon our breeding stock. It is our goal to provide you with a good foundation for which you can start or add to your own breeding program. Our website includes pictures of our flocks at various stages in an effort to be transparent about quality. What you see is what {produces} what you get. Hopefully, we have provided enough information for you to make a confident judgment about the quality you will receive from us. You'll want to determine your own goals and cull accordingly because surely not every one of our birds will meet all of your criteria. It's just the nature of the beast. Generally, we do not credit or refund for quality issues unless there are major faults, which are handled on a case by case basis. We appreciate your understanding.

    At this point, I don't feel like it would be a good idea to send more of the same stock with which you haven't been pleased. I plan to refund you in full for what you have paid, including the extra chicks that were planned for your second order. I know this isn't what you want, ultimately, you want the chicks, but it's in both our best interest in my opinion. <end>

    - I thanked them and agreed. In the same email, I asked how this could happen, out of curiosity just because I know the following:

    A Blue Birchen Line (if it carries the pure silver / white gene) will NEVER produce a Blue Copper just like a Blue Copper Line will never produce an occasional Blue Birchen. Copper leakage should only show up in a "project line" of Blue Birchen.

    Their response to my question:

    I'm so glad you agree. I would just hate to send more of the same thing. The goal is happy customers, not to continue to disappoint. In the same situation, it's how I would want to treated.

    While we haven't seen or heard of this to this point, we are hatching for our new 2018 breeders very soon and will be watching for it no doubt. I don't believe it's a matter of mistakenly sending a Blue Copper Marans. In my research it looks like this would be considered a yellow birchen, not a silver birchen like we're breeding for. Our roosters have come from separate lines than our hens, who are also varied lines. There is no obvious culprit causing this. I should have said that in my first email because I never really answered the "how?". Also, took some time because I really wanted to look at everybody with a fine tooth comb to see if there was something we missed in our selection process.

    I want you to know we appreciate the feedback. We cannot get better if people hide such issues.

    Full refund on both transactions has been completed on my end.

    They are talking no sense. The one they sent me is a Blue copper pullet. CLEARLY. I think they have no clue what they are doing.

    I'm happy they did the right thing in offering me a full refund. That alone won't dull the sting of disappointment but at least I’m not out of the money. I also get that there are no guarantees regarding the quality of the chicks even if their breeding stock was Grade A.

    What bothers me is that they did not offer an explanation for how this happened
    . Based on their second response I'm convinced they are selling eggs / chicks from a project line (which is unethical IMO) AND they do not have a clue about breeding. At least they made it right.

    From an ethics standpoint, I strongly encourage this business to reach out to customers that have paid good money for an experience similar to mine. I would take down this listing ASAP as well, or at least heavily edited it to reflect the truth. I find it hard to believe that I am the first person to notice ALL of the “blue birchen” chicks from you, 0% are blue birchen marans.

    As of TODAY, January 8th 2018, Brinkhaven is still trying to sell these birds to unknowing customers. Really not cool, hence this review and me taking all the time to outline the specifics.

    from Facebook:
    Yesterday at 2:23pm · Huntington, OH ·
    Blue Birchen Marans & Heritage Barred Rocks day old chicks available for shipment Tuesday, Jan 9th. This is our first test hatch of 2018, and should include 6-10 chicks. We will carefully package them for safe arrival with heat packs. Live delivery guaranteed. Asking $130 for the group including Express shipping. please, PM to order. We are also taking pre-orders for spring on our website

    Attached Files:

    Helloworld likes this.
  2. pntdhorses

    pntdhorses Songster

    Oct 18, 2015
    Interesting! I ordered 6 Blue Birchen eggs in April from them. Hatch date was yesterday. They sent me 10 eggs but only 5 hatched yesterday. One was struggling a bit and this morning didn’t make it out or I would have had 6.

    I did end up with one splash. But would like your opinion on the chicks seems how you seem very knowledgeable. After reading your post, I’m wondering if these are really Blue Birchen. They are probably too young to tell obviously but would like some input.

    Attached Files:

    Helloworld likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: