Ordering Chicks From Meyer's, And I Have Some Questions

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Calix, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Calix

    Calix Out Of The Brooder

    67
    3
    31
    Sep 7, 2012
    I got a coop for Christmas[​IMG]and I'm ordering some chicks from Meyer's Hatchery for this spring (I live within driving distance, so it's sort of ideal for me.) My first question is, what exactly does the NPIP Certificate they offer for free entail? Is my flock considered NPIP-certified as long as I don't add any more birds, or is it just proof my chicks came from a certified hatchery?
    Two: do you think I should order any of the supplement packs they offer?
    Three: If I get the Meyer Meal Maker, can I get her vaccinated for Marek's like the other chicks? I don't want to pay for the others to be vaccinated just to have one unvaccinated bird in the flock.

    That's all the Meyer-related questions I have for now- if anyone can answer any of them, I would be really grateful.
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    319
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    I don't know anything about NPIP, so I will let someone else answer that one. I like the grow gel to start chicks off with. When having them shipped the ones that had grow gel were healthier and stronger then the ones that didn't. You have to mix it at home but it is worth it. Yes, you can have her vaccinated as well. Make sure you put it in your order.
     
  3. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    I got all of my chicks from Meyer Hatchery. I believe that the NPIP says that the chickens are pure to their breed. I didn't get that with my chicks. I think it is something good to have if you are going to enter your chickens in shows and such. Im not entirely positive on that so if im wrong, someone please correct me.
    I don't see why you shouldn't vaccinate the one chick. If you are donating only the eggs, then definitely vaccinate it. If you are donating the meat, I would still vaccinate it. Its only like a dollar or two extra to vaccinate and it may just save the life of that chick. You never know.
    I didn't buy any supplement packs and all of the chicks turned out fine. I think they just want you to spend more money. If you really think that you should get something, then buy it. But I don't think that any of those packs are really necessary.

    On a side note: You said that you got a coop for Christmas, so im assuming that its a premade coop kit. Be careful of how many chickens you get with one of those. The box may say that it can hold 5 chickens, but in reality it can only hold 2. Basic rule of thumb: take the number of chickens that it says it can hold and divide that by two (and round down if need be). That is the number of chickens that can happily live in it. I bought a coop that said it was meant for 5 chickens. When I assembled it, I couldn't believe how small it was! I ended up buying another of the same coop and a run extension and connected all of them to make it suitable for 5 chickens. I still thought it was too small so I let the hens free range for part of the day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  4. 20736

    20736 Chillin' With My Peeps

    484
    31
    113
    Jun 6, 2012
    NPIP
    National Poultry Improvement Program. Google it, it is under USDA.
    Each state administers NPIP a little different. In my state, you can't legally sell birds and eggs without NPIP certification.
    Hope this helps.
     
  5. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,316
    210
    218
    Dec 7, 2011
    For shipped chicks gro gel is great. If you intend to get some,depending on how far away you live from Meyers (driving time) I would take a thermos of hot water with you and mix it up when you get there (with warm,not hot water) and give it to them on the trip home. It gives them a good start, but is usually the first thing they have to eat after hatching. Its really up to you just a little extra boost to get them started. Don't forget to dip their beaks in water (warm) as you take them out of the box when you get them home. I know nothing about the coop you got, but if its a pre made one, you probably are going to want to put some kind of finish on it, the "paint or stain they come with won't last a season.
    NPIP is a health certificate. I got chicks last year from Meyers, they are nice birds and I love them. Having them vaccinated is a good idea.
     
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    916
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    NPIP is a program designed to help prevent diseases of poultry. To get a NPIP certificate your birds must be tested for what ever the state considers the most dangerous poultry disease or diseases. Any poultry not certified can not be shipped in interstate commerce. I know that this is an exaggeration but theoretically it is a violation of federal law for a non certified chicken to cross the road, that is if there is a mail box on that road. Notice I said exaggeration and theoretically, if you have a mail box then you are engaging in interstate commerce with every piece of junk mail you get from another state.

    http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/

    "The National Poultry Improvement Plan was established in the early 1930's to provide a cooperative industry, state, and federal program through which new diagnostic technology can be effectively applied to the improvement of poultry and poultry products throughout the country. The development of the NPIP was initiated to eliminate Pullorum Disease caused by Salmonella pullorum which was rampant in poultry and could cause upwards of 80% mortality in baby poultry. The program was later extended and refined to include testing and monitoring for Salmonella typhoid, Salmonella enteritidis, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Mycoplasma synoviae, Mycoplasma meleagridis, and Avian Influenza. In addition, the NPIP currently includes commercial poultry, turkeys, waterfowl, exhibition poultry, backyard poultry, and game birds. The technical and management provisions of the NPIP have been developed jointly by Industry members and State and Federal officials. These criteria have established standards for the evaluation of poultry with respect to freedom from NPIP diseases."

    The colored text is intended to draw your attention.

    It is un-necessary to test every flock member just the breeders if you are selling hatching eggs and baby chicks. I still think that if you are shipping live adult birds, especially overseas that then you must have a vet's certificate of health as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2014
  7. Calix

    Calix Out Of The Brooder

    67
    3
    31
    Sep 7, 2012
    I actually did some more research on the NPIP Certificate... it has to do with testing negative for certain diseases (the diseases they test for vary state by state) I'm just not sure what exactly I'm getting- a certificate saying I'm NPIP Certifified, or that their hatchery is. I suppose I can email Meyer's about it.

    I decided not to get any supplements... I might end up getting some from our local TSC, but I want to explore my options first. Also, the units you can by from Meyer are apparently huge- waaay more than I would need for six chicks.

    Quote:
    Actually, it's a used coop my parents bought from someone. It's very well made, with a really nice wire on the run (which has a wire-covered top) and vents. It's something like 1 in by 1/2 in, I think. It's made of nice heavy wood and painted well, and the only way you can even tell that there were chickens in it before we got it is a little bit of poo and feathers that didn't quite get cleaned out, and a little bit of paint fade on the coop door, ramp and the frame of the run that rests on the ground. When it warms up, I'll be scrubbing it out really well with bleach water and either painting or Blackjack-57-ing the interior.
    As for the number of chickens it can hold, I guessed about 4 by its measurements (my father said the previous owner said you could fit in ten... either he had bantams, used it as a growing-out coop, or was packing LF in there like sardines) and ordered six from the hatchery, for a number of reasons:
    1): Chicks are fragile, so with six I could lose one or two and still have a little flock.
    2): If I bought four and lost a couple, it would be very hard for me to add to the remaining one or two chicks- all the hatcheries around here require you to buy at least three chicks, which would put me over anyway. This way, barring any major losses, I'll have enough hens both for eggs, and to keep themselves warm in our freezing Ohio nights.
    3): As I mentioned before, adding to my flock could be very difficult atm. It would be a lot easier to find a home for a healthy hen (especially one that lays green/blue eggs), and if it requires me to get a bigger coop... that wouldn't exactly be a tragedy [​IMG] Especially since it was my mom that convinced me to get six- who would've thought that after six years of me begging for chickens, she would be the one insisting we get MORE [​IMG]

    Also, I hope to allow them as much free-range time as possible... we have lots of options, since the coop is portable and we have a generally-unused dog pen just sitting out there gathering dust that I'm planning on putting chicken wire around as a day run (if we can get the coop into the pen it will stay in there, but the thing's super heavy.) I'll make it work, however things turn out.

    Thanks to everyone who answered- I really appreciated your input!
     
  8. chickencoop789

    chickencoop789 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,629
    37
    153
    Jul 1, 2012
    New Jersey
    Well, good! I was planning on only having 3 chickens so I ordered 5 chicks. They all turned into healthy hens so I kept them all, but my parents weren't too happy about having 2 more :lol:
    Make sure that you vaccinate your chickens well and give the coop a major cleaning. A used coop opens up a world of diseases to your chicks.
    Good Luck!
     
  9. Calix

    Calix Out Of The Brooder

    67
    3
    31
    Sep 7, 2012
    Good to hear yours are doing good [​IMG] Thanks!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by