My Local TSC Selling Sick (MG) Chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by MacCana, Feb 19, 2015.

  1. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is not meant to dirty anyone's name or to be taken as slander. This is information pertinent to TSC customers and they have the right to know what they are buying before they leave the store.

    If you do not know what MG or Mycoplasma Gallisepticum is, try googling "MG in Poultry" to start. It will bring up numerous good, informational articles. This is a run down of what I discovered today. You are free to double check my information if you feel the need, but I promise this is truth (for what that's worth from a stranger).

    The two Tractor Supplys closest to my town in my area have ordered from TownLine Poultry Farm in Zeeland, MI this year. THESE CHICKS ARE OUT OF MG POSITIVE BREEDING STOCK. I only know this because when I went to the TSC after classes today, I saw that they had started chick days and immediately ran back there to hopefully get some. Well, having learned my lesson ( i lost a whole flock to the disease), and noticing their waterers all looked as if they had antibiotics in them (color was off), I questioned where they came from and why the water wasn't clear.

    An employee informed me that they had started them on tetracylcine. I asked what was wrong with them, and he said nothing that he knew of. That just doesn't stack up. You don't give medicine to healthy animals. So i asked for the hatchery's number and spoke to a very nice lady. Their customer service was excellent btw. I asked her if they test for MG/MS and she said they did. But couldn't remember for sure so she put me on hold to go ask one of the men who worked with the chickens. She came back and told me that he said that their breeding stock *does* test positive for MG and that the man said that all hatcheries have MG and I wasn't going to find any who didn't, or if there were, he hadn't heard of any. (This appears to be mostly true, several big names I emailed or called, either said they didn't test for it, or that they can't say they're MG free) I said thank you, hung up, and made a beeline for the door. Though to their credit, this place has been the only one that admitted having breeding stock with it, even though it's obvious they aren't the only ones...

    Now for someone with this in their flock already, that keeps their birds forever (keeps a closed flock), doesn't sell hatching eggs or babies, and enjoys their chickens strictly for eggs and pets - this doesn't really matter. Though medicating and keeping a flock with MG healthy can be rather costly after buying medications randomly throughout their lives and replacing lost birds.

    Some have differing opinions on MG and it's seriousness. This is not up for debate. This is just so those who had planned on getting chicks from their TSC have the ability to check and see where their chicks are coming from, and make a decision based off that. (make sure to ask, I do not think that one hatchery would be able to ship chicks to all the TSC in the country, of course.)

    I'm not sure how big an area one hatchery may ship to, but it now may be worth it to you to check into before buying and possibly infecting your own birds.

    Just a friendly heads up.
     
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  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Several sources I've read say that it's very common for hatchery stock to be MG +. Depending on who you talk to, it's a very serious matter, or not so much, depending on flock stressors and immunity issues. One more reason to hatch your own, not that that in it'self will prevent MG or MS in your flock. I've found that a lot of local feed stores don't like to tell customers where their stock comes from, TSC being the most notorious for this.
     
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  3. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm one of the people that consider MG serious.
    I personally feel that big hatcheries are perpetuating a disease that we are better off without and only reason it's so prevalent is bc most people get hatchery stock and these hatcheries don't try to keep it out. Only way to do that is to restock breeding birds and lose millions in the process. And they don't want to do tht.
    So I simply don't buy from hatcheries that aren't MG free anymore. It does limit your options, but it's not impossible to avoid. A wonderful example would be Whitmore Farm. They're certified MG free (as well as the rest) but they don't cost $2 each either, like you'd get at TSC....but I guess I'm realizing you get what you pay for? And if avoiding MG is the mission, then you may have to pay a bit more.
    I just wanted to put tht out there bc I want people to look into what they are getting before they get it so they can make the best choices for what works for them.
     
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  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks for the input. I certainly didn't intend to trivialize these diseases.
     
  5. TnMama

    TnMama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My current flock of 6 came from TSC last year. I decided then no more TSC babies, I had sick birds and lost several. Turns out the hatchery they used last year had Salmonella. This year, They told me they were getting from new places, one in MI and one in NM. I decided to order from McMurray. The TSC birds are just kinda "off". I'd rather order from McMurray where we always get healthy birds and they replace them if they aren't. I still shop there for feed and supplies and such, but no chicks from there ever again!
     
  6. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @lazy gardener : Oh I know, I know :) I just get so worked up about things like this. Bc I was one of those suckers that didn't know any better just a year ago and I would've bought as many as I can carry. I'm just glad I'm not that way anymore...i've lost enough money the first time, and have spent $300 so far this year on just obtaining new stock[​IMG]

    As another member said on a different forum, "I wouldn't buy a puppy from Wal-Mart." I've never looked at it like that but that's right on the money pretty much.

    @TnMama : Yes the guy told me the reason why they ordered from a diff one this year is bc the one they've been ordering from had had a salmonella outbreak. I just figured that he meant at the hatchery. Had no idea that the salmonella infected chicks had actually been bought [​IMG]. Sorry to hear about that. I won't be buying chicks from TSC again. They obviously aren't doing their own research before selling these animals to their customers. And that's enough to put me off. I'll continue to buy supplies also, but no more critters.

    The guy was awfully honest about it all. So really I have him to thank for even being able to find all this out.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    One of our Maine posters was at TSC last year, and they had a bin that was labeled PBR pullets. She checked the bin, and sure enough, they were all roosters. It's off putting to me to see a bin labeled "red layers" next to a bin labeled "white layers". And then there will be a sign stating that bin A could have any number of the possible 6 breeds listed, same for bin B. If I'm buying a chicken, I want to know what breed I'm buying. I want to know where it came from. Other issue with buying from a feed store: Some bins are open so the public can hang over them, reach in and pick up the chicks. Even though there are signs telling folks not to... you know the entitled folks... the ones that feel that they are exempt from such warnings. Then, there's the unsupervised, or poorly supervised kids. I don't want my stock handled by someone who's wandered in, and may have diseased birds at home. Then, there's the replacement policy. Check with the store before buying any chicks. Last year, I special ordered chicks (the second year in a row) from a local feed store.. The previous year, they gave the 48 hour guarantee, and worked with me when my 3 Dom pullets were roos. Last year, under new management, the chicks were all hypothermic when I got there to pick mine up. There were 2 bulbs, suspended about 3' above chick level, to be shared between 4 bins of chicks. They were all screaming, pig piling under the little bit of available heat, the ones that could were standing on their tip toes to try to reach the heat. Then there were the comatose ones (including 2 of my special order chicks), and the ones that were too sluggish to even try to get to the heat. I asked the manager where the thermometer was. Got a dumb look. I explained that they didn't have enough heat. His response... "they have a red bulb." So, I got my chicks, and was told that there was absolutely NO replacement policy on dead chicks, even my 2 comatose ones. I tucked the weakest one in my shirt pocket, and made a hasty exit with the rest.

    Moral of the story, if you order direct from the hatchery, you'll have more control. Chicks coming into the feed store still get shipped from somewhere. If you have any options at all, order direct, split the order with a friend, start 25 chicks and sell some... At least that way, you'll have the 48 hour replacement policy in your favor.
     
  8. ASilkieLife14

    ASilkieLife14 Out Of The Brooder

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    I almost bought some chicks from TSC this year. They looked healthy and all, but this tsc is in Michigan too, so I ask where they got them from. they told me that they were from TownLine hatchery and that they buy from them every year! I left because I remembered reading this thread. So I left without any babies. The bad thing is that I got chicks from there last year. but all my chickens seem healthy. Im gonna get hopefully NPIP tested this spring. I hope my chickens don't have any of this!
     
  9. losttexan

    losttexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Careful - the resident TSC apologist is going to appear, defending all of their practices . . . .
     
  10. Mahen100

    Mahen100 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That was my experience here at an Arlington, TN TSC. When I inquired about the name of what they had labeled "red pullet"... he wouldn't even give me the name of the hybrid sex link. The TYC employee also refused to give the name of the hatchery the birds had shipped from, evading with "we get them from different places and put them in the tubs as they come in." (how's THAT for biosecurity?)
     

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