Opinions on Ideal Poultry Hatchery?


Apr 9, 2018
I have ordered 3x this year from Ideal.
1st order was Cochin LF Assortment Straight Run, I received 1 strangely colored bird with very sparse leg feathering was a cockerel, 1 white fairly nice looking(pet quality) 1 Self Blue which was small and weak from the beginning, both were pullets and 2 barred Cochins(took them to a judge friend and they are a nice representation of LF Cochins 1 pullet and 1 cockrel.
I also ordered 6 Buff orpington pullets only one was incorrectly sexed and is a roo. Very nice looking for Hatchery birds.
I was able to place all of them outside during the weirdly cold weather NC has had and they survived. My only casualties was the White and self blue to cocci.

My 2nd order was Faverolle, 2 cockerels and 6 pullets. 3 left a bit to be desired on the facial structure and "fluffieness" for bearded and muffed birds. The other cockerel and 4 pullets are nice except for 1 pullet that seems as if she may turn out exceptionally well for a hatchery chick. I also received 10 red broiler packing peanuts that I won't scoff at because they will end up in the freezer. Seriously I will be happy to freeze these flighty, nippy little jerks, that are constantly picking fights! No casualties

I have received both of these shipments within 24 hours from Ideal, and from Texas to North Carolina, that's nothing to sneeze at, it's actually excellent!

My 3rd order ships this week and is their Birchen and Gold Laced Cochin Bantams, I expect everything will run as smoothly as the others and I will receive fairly good stock considering it is a hatchery.


Feb 23, 2018
I forgot to update this. My experience with Ideal Poultry was below exceptional. My first order was horrible, they came in on time but there were many dead upon arrival, most were filler chicks so I wasn't too upset about it. What I was upset about was half of my order didn't arrive. I only got a handful of the chicks I actually ordered. I put the chicks on corrid to prevent cocci and also gave them nutridrench. I was very attentive to them, but most of the chicks seemed stunted and weak and I lost many more in the first day. Ideal Poultry was kind enough to resend me the chicks that died and the chicks they didn't include in my first order. My second order came very late, it took two whole days to show up instead of one. I know they may have not had control in that, but I found this very frustrating. Fortunately, none were dead upon arrival. But, I was still missing a good portion of my order! I never received my old english bantams or my blue mille d'uccles. Most of the chicks were filler sex link roos. The survival rate did turn out better this time, I only lost one stunted porcelain and a few fillers that I didn't care about. My favorite I got out of the order is my self blue d'uccle that I named Opal. They look like they will grow into a fairly good quality bird, considering they are from a hatchery. Their behavior is giving my rooster vibes, even though they are too young to physically tell. I also got a really nice porcelain d'uccle, although their cheek feathering is a bit lacking. I hope it grows in with time. I also got a handful of mystery colored d'uccles instead of blue milles. They are kinda pretty, they sort of look like splashes. They have amazing feet feathering for their age, but their combs are getting pretty big and I suspect they are roosters. I'll update when I can determine the gender of my favored chicks.

All in all, my experience with Ideal wasn't terrible, but not the greatest either. I am hoping the few birds that were from my order turn out to be worth it. I don't think I will order from Ideal again. Although, they are supposed to have self blue silkies next year. So I may order some to see what happens.


5 Years
Apr 30, 2015
Chicagoland DuPage Co
My Coop
My Coop
I would wager that no production hatchery has great stock, but you may get lucky. I've ordered from Ideal in the past, and although I lost some of the bantys ( I think I should have separated from my LF, I don't think they kept warm enough early on) all of my remaining chicks did well. Too bad I lost all but one to a raccoon! :( The survivor, a brown leghorn, is beautiful and smart as a whip.
I'm glad they improved with your subsequent shipment!


11 Years
Nov 4, 2009
I just got an order from Ideal. It seems they are having some trouble this year, but have been very accomodating.

I ordered 10 Buff Cornish and 25 Game Bantams. I got a call from a very harried sounding employee who was clearly having a rough day and expecting to be reamed, but was very polite, to apologize, as someone sent D'Uccles instead of Games, and that they were also sending the Games so to expect 2 boxes. I thought that was really generous of them, I'd have taken a partial credit, but was thrilled to get the birds - I've plenty of space and my kids are in 4H, too many chickens is never a problem here!

Well, Ideal has no real control over this, but I got the call saying the birds were already on the truck the evening of the 24th. The poor things didn't get here until the morning of the 27th.

But, there had been a miscount on all the banties, They only sent 23 D'Uccles and 21 Games. Several D'Uccles were DOA and one game (The buff Cornish were great, and they sent the 10) The banties were all huddled and started dropping like flies. The weekend was spent dipping little beaks and nursing tiny chicks, but as of today I only have 2 D'Uccles and 3 Games :(

To their credit, Ideal apologized and we're going to give it another try, I asked them to please charge me for gogel, heat packs, whatever might help the little guys on their way. I thought it was pretty decent of them to send them out again when they'd already kind of sent them out again. I'm really hoping this next one goes better. No matter what, we'll not be trying again. I'm just going to hope we get enough to breed them. I think shipping is just really hard on the tiny biddies. Overall, Ideal has been really nice about it and the standard birds I've gotten are and were all great, but definitely a mixed experience.


Feb 7, 2018
I agree they are courteous. My chicks will be 3 months old this week... what are left after the fox raid. But by no means are they standard in size. They sell 5,000,000 a years so they are strictly commercial birds but I am guessing they will lay very well.
Mine are all bantams and very healthy and friendly.
But I am going to sell coop and chicks as there is no way to allow them outside. Neither do they want out.


11 Years
Nov 4, 2009
To update, I didn't get the grogel or heatpacks I asked for (wasn't charged for them either, but had told them to please send them and if my payment info on file wasn't enough I'd re-authorize it) but happily, the little guys seemed to make it just fine.

They sent exactly 25, no extras, but at least it wasn't a short count like before. Two were fading out when they got here and did pass, but so far all the rest are settled in well, warmed right up and have been attacking the water and food all day. They clearly had an easier, warmer trip, they are MUCH louder and more active than the last ones - busy, busy, busy!

No real way to tell quality at this age, but I wanted porcelain banties for barn birds and I'm happy with that. One chick has curled toes (one from the last batch had as well) but it doesn't seem to slow it down any. Time will tell if they will straighten. But no crossed beaks or anything other than that one case of curled toes.

The 4 remaining from the first batch (the weaker D'Uccle passed) are active, eating and growing and looking good. The Buff Cornish are great. I'm really in love with the huge, chunky things. They are surprisingly active, a fly got into the brooder and they turned into a pack of velociraptors.

So overall, I'm happy with Ideal. I'll likely never order banties from there again - just too long a trip to me (only the fact that the kids really, really wanted these made me do a re-order instead of a refund) but I'd certainly order full size chicks from them again.


7 Years
Mar 26, 2012
Rochester, WA
I have never heard of "packing peanuts" before and was shocked and saddened at all of the dead chicks in the box upon arrival. We ordered 4 Buttercups and 4 Norwegian Jaerhons - they sent 20 - and the only living chicks in the box were 4 blue and 4 buff Cochins! They were shipped on the 15th and arrived on the 17th here in WA.

Maybe they are used to this kind of stuff and they are heart hardened, but what an absolute waste. We have called, they want pictures. Horrible.

Hawaii Chicks

Dec 13, 2018
I live in central Texas, so ideal is my go to hatchery. They don't have good show quality, but I've never gotten an unhealthy batch from them.

I do know that they've been having some genetics problems recently that they have been working out. For example, I got pullet chicks from them in Oct. 4 Delaware, 4 Marans, 4 Welsummer, 4 Americana, and 4 Australorps. This was the only batch (out of MANY) that I have a complaint about. One of the Delawares was rumpless... Which is adorable but not ideal (haha pardon the pun). Another "Delaware" turned out to be a Easter egger. One of my americanas had a cross beak. And two of the marans were roos.

Like I said, I order from them every year, and I've had fantastic birds from them every batch. This was the first batch where there were problems.

I hope this helps!
Did your Marans lay dark brown?

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