Online Hatcheries?

MjsChickens

Chirping
May 23, 2017
35
15
59
United States
My Coop
My Coop
Hello! I just wanted to say before I start that I am pretty new to this website. I have been looking at online hatcheries as I am planning on getting chicks sometime in June. MyPetChicken and Murray McMurray Hatchery are the current ones I am looking at. I have the following questions about each:
1. Do they treat their chicks well, and is transportation okay?
2. Is their a significant price difference, and is one better quality?
3. If I order chicks from one of these suppliers, can I show them?
4. I am planning on getting about 15 chicks. Which is better for large orders?
Thank you in advance for your patience and response! :)
 

MjsChickens

Chirping
May 23, 2017
35
15
59
United States
My Coop
My Coop
I have also been looking at Meyer Hatchery. I just want a place that ships quickly, and has healthy chicks. I am planning on getting multiple breeds, but they all are relatively common. Availability is a concern too :(
 

SilverKelpie

In the Brooder
May 16, 2017
20
43
44
I've only ordered from MyPetChicken, but this is the experience I had:

1. Do they treat their chicks well, and is transportation okay?

They shipped them in a cardboard box with air holes, a faux nest, and a heat pack. They went USPS express and arrived in two days to my post office in Texas. All survived and all are still alive. However, there are bad experiences reported all over the internet, though that may go for all of the hatcheries. I was still pretty nervous when my chicks were in the mail.

2. Is their a significant price difference, and is one better quality?

I believe My Pet Chicken is the most expensive of all of your options. I went with them because they sex bantams (I like the option), accommodate small orders (I only need a few), sell actual Ameraucanas and label their Easter Eggers as Easter Eggers (I don't care for ignorance or the suspicion that other hatcheries are cheating their customers), and finally, have the most appealing website design (yes, if you make your website attractive and easy to use I will pay more). I couldn't say anything about quality since I have chickens for fun instead of show, though everyone I see says that hatchery chickens are substandard and if you want high quality, you should go with a breeder.

3. If I order chicks from one of these suppliers, can I show them?

I'm sure you can, but see above comment about hatchery versus breeder stock. It will probably be chance if you get one that perfectly conforms to show standard versus one with flaws.

4. I am planning on getting about 15 chicks. Which is better for large orders?

I've heard that one of the hatcheries gives you free shipping if you order...I think it was $25 worth of chicks. Can't remember which one, but that might be the best option for a large order void of any further context.

ETA: That would be Cackle with the $25 for free shipping.
 

PrancingGoat

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
34
38
49
Massachusetts
Don't order from Murray McMurray!

We are relatively new to chickens but after purchasing from a local feed store (Klem's) and having such a healthy flock last year (not a single chick had even the slightest of problems other than a couple cases of pasty butt) we figured our chances were good for saving any stressed chicks from the mail.

We made our first ever hatchery order this spring from Murray McMurray. Within the first hour I knew it was a mistake!! They arrived within 36hours of being shipped. Upon opening the box, 2 of the 15 had arrived dead and trampled, 1 little one was gasping for its last breaths, 1 had no energy to walk, barely could stay awake, and after 4hours of standing over it to ensure it was warm enough, not getting stepped on, as well as feeding it drops of water mixed with the Quik Chik, it sadly perished. Then, a few hours later another, that could walk when you made him, but otherwise just wanted to sleep, died.

I thought that at least the worst was behind us but 10 days later another of the chicks (which I noticed had been eating and drinking this whole time but not growing as quickly) started to act lethargic, wouldn't take food, and barely could stand. Within 6hours, it too passed :C

I know not all chicks will make it, but this is 6 out of 15 within two weeks.

NOW it is 3 weeks later and I woke up to bloody poop below where they roost, which is frustrating because I have them in immaculate conditions AND they were supposed to be vaccinated for cocci!

I love animals and my chickens are family so this has been devastating. I will never order from a hatchery again. Local may be more work but this experience has made what is normally an exciting time, a complete nightmare.


@MjsChickens: You may also find this person's experience helpful (from a different thread where I originally posted about this and where others are having similar problems):

our Murray Mcmurray feather footed bantam order arrived the first week of May, and it has been a long month of doctoring and composting chicks. we are down to 13 from, 2 near death when the box was opened picked up right away from post office. one dyed bright green from being smashed into the suppliement at the bottom of the box died in 24 hours as did another two - not a chick novice and did what the MMC reps on the phone said to do, blaming stress. from that point pasty butt all month long and losing one after another, two little ones hanging on, one now with a scaly butt is breathing his or her last, struggling all the way. something must be wrong
 
Last edited:

GertrudeLover01

Songster
7 Years
Mar 20, 2012
340
14
126
Murfreesboro, TN
I recently got an order in last week from My Pet Chicken, and I highly recommend them.
1. My chicks came in a box with a faux nest, no heating element though. I think it was because there were five of them, and it was 90° out the day I received them. My chicks shipped out at 3 pm on the 31st, and my post office called me to pick them up at 7:45 am on the 1st. So, I would say the transportation was absolutely fabulous! The speed may, however, depend on where you live in relation to MPC. Their shipping facilities are in Ohio and I am in Tennessee, hence the speed. But I was impressed with the speed and the chicks seemed happy and strong when I received them!
2. All I know about price is that I payed $69 for 5 chicks. Now, $45 of that was shipping, but it is expensive. I would say the price is worth it because I have heard bad things about Murray McMurray and I didn't want to risk it. I think MPC has superior customer service and shipping, from what I've heard on here and what I've experienced.
3. You could show them, but neither will give you really superb lines, most notably with RIRs. If showing is your main goal, I'd chose a breeder with great stock and lines who advertises here and provides pictures. Hatchery quality chickens tend to fall somewhat short of breed standards for showing or just barely meet them, although they are wonderful for eggs and companionship as well as breeding for fun!
4. I truly cannot speak to which is better for large orders.
In all, I'd highly recommend MPC but have had no experience with Murray McMurray other than reviews on BYC.
 

PrancingGoat

In the Brooder
May 17, 2017
34
38
49
Massachusetts
I have heard bad things about Murray McMurray

I wish I had read those reviews before I made my order. As I write this, another of my MMcM chicks is dying. I have never had to deal with cocci before this and despite treating immediately, it is taking its toll. This order has been heartbreaking to say the least. Good luck with your little feathered flock!
 

GertrudeLover01

Songster
7 Years
Mar 20, 2012
340
14
126
Murfreesboro, TN
I wish I had read those reviews before I made my order. As I write this, another of my MMcM chicks is dying. I have never had to deal with cocci before this and despite treating immediately, it is taking its toll. This order has been heartbreaking to say the least. Good luck with your little feathered flock!
I'm so sorry! I hope it resolves soon.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom