I can't say because I just ordered my first chickes from Ideal.
- I first started at eFowl and put together an order after MUCH research on which of the breeds they sold that are fairly good layers and winter hardy. THEN I saw that you need to get 5 of each breed, 15 minimum. OOPS I want 2 of several breeds so I can:
1) tell them apart
2) tell which birds are laying
- So I found MPC. All looked good, they sell in smaller quantities and don't have a minimum per breed. OK then! Shipping for 12 from MPC is $37. I was about to order, but figured I should do as you are - read reviews of the hatchery from knowledgeable BYC folks first. And I found nothing WRONG but also a pointer to other hatcheries, including Ideal so I checked them out. Shipping for 12 from Ideal is $7 for small order charge, plus $6 for 1/4 box plus 15 cents per bird airmail charge. Total from Ideal is just over $49, from MPC it would be $76. Since I've not read bad things about Ideal, I went the 'cheap' route.
- I must say it was NOT easy to figure out what the shipping would be. They could do a better job, maybe a calculator like MPC has.
- They show "sold out until" but you can't order those birds. They have a "notify me" option but I think it would be nice if they KNOW they will have a breed in a month, that they let you order since you don't necessarily want the chicks 'tomorrow' anyway. Which I didn't, but read on ...
- I was given a choice of ship dates, chose 7/17. Got the confirmation email. The next day I got the ship date email - 6/13. I'm going to be gone from 6/20 through 6/24
I sent them an email asking why the 7/17 date wasn't used and the response was that they don't know that they will have all the breeds I wanted "that late in the year". So I understand but it might be helpful if besides the "sold out until" indicator, they had an "only available until" indicator. Called my wife, she's OK with taking care of the chicks as long as the brooder bathtub is set up and I'm there when the chicks come (like *I* have ANY experience raising chicks! Turns out she DOES, from many decades ago).
If things go as planned, my first flock will arrive 6/14 or 15 and consist of 2 pullets of these breeds:
Blue Red Cubalaya
Admittedly, several of these wern't on my orginal list but they look so cool and some of the ones I originally wanted (like Barred Rocks and Wynodottes) should be readily available at other times so I went with some less common breeds. If I don't kill them with poor chicken raising, we should start getting eggs in January or February. I hope to add more in a few years, using the advice given here to keep a relatively consistant quantity of eggs as the hens age (they will live their full, natural lives) by adding birds every 2 or 3 years.
I am a first time chicken person, ordered 10 from MPC , the order process was very easy, picked my own ship date, and yes the shipping to CT was 37.00 but I figure atleast I got to pick out what I wanted, how many I wanted and when I wanted them shipped.
I should be getting mine around June 5/6 will give a review after they arrive..So far happy with MPC .
MPC is AWESOME!!! I get all of my chicks from them. They are very helpful and nice. When my silkie chick hurt her leg, I was able to call them and they gave me their vet who helped me out! 10/10!!! They are a bit pricey though. I am very happy with them...
I just had 7 chicks delivered from My Pet Chicken a week ago, a few days later some started to twitch so I emailed MPC and they replied that it could be an electrolyte imbalance. I stopped putting vitamins in their water and gave them fresh water and all are doing great! I really like their customer service! A friend of mine ordered from Ideal Poultry and only wanted 8 hens, they told her that they were going to ship with 3 males free of charge for the added warmth but when her box arrived it had 9 extra roosters in it. So not only did she have to feed all 17 until she knew which were roos but had to find them a home too. So I think the shipping price is worth it from MPC so you get exactly what you ordered.
I ordered 12 chicks from MPC and got my box on a Tuesday. Shipping was crazy expensive, but I had nobody else to pool my order with, and I didn't realize that other places had a small chick minimum. I had read great reviews here regarding sexing and customer service, so I gave it a shot.
There was 1 DOA, a barnevelder. I was reimbursed for the chick. The other barnevelder limped for two days, and still walks slightly slower than the others, not sure if they got trampled during shipping or if it's a genetic problem.
One welsummer died when she was 2 wks old. Not sure what happened, I found her in the brooder and everyone else has since been fine.
2 turned out to be roosters, which I rehomed today. So from 12 sexed females ordered, I am ending up with 8 females. one roo is a black copper Marans, and I only ordered two of those.
I ordered 4 darkish egg layers and 4 EE's. Now I have 3 EE pullets and 2 dark eggers. I will be getting money back for the Roos, but I have to wait til they are older. I can't say what the birds will look like as far as showing, but these area hatchery stock. The surviving birds are all vibrant and healthy, except for the gimpy barnevelder.
I guess there probably isn't any way to get the exact collection of pullets one wants, regardless of the seller. If one dies or is a roo, they are going to give you back $3 or $4 but you are shy a chick since they won't be sending replacements. Good to know, though it makes it hard to plan!
Stopped at the P.O. yesterday to let them know I was expecting chicks late next week. Fingers crossed for 12 healthy females!