Please Tell Us... What Would You Do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Boring Farm, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. Boring Farm

    Boring Farm In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2010
    We raise Rhode Island Reds and successfully sold “Organic” eggs from our roadside stand for three years. We raised them from chicks. We talked about adding to the flock to increase the egg production and debated whether to raise chicks again or buy quality 6 month old layers. After calling around and asking every quality question I knew of, we decided to purchase 22 Rhode Island Red Layers from a “Professional Hatchery” with over 1,800 chickens of varying breeds who claimed to be reputable, professional and knowledgable growers with a stellar reputation.

    Within two days, the new hens had full-on pneumonia killing two. They feather-picked constantly and cannibalized every egg laid even though there are two feeders, scratch and left-over garden vegetables. Even though our flock was isolated in another pen some 300 yards away, our hens showed signs after four days and became equally as sick. I have been giving them all antibiotics trying to save them. We lost 8 in total, four which were culled.

    In a series of emails we learned that we were the first buyers and they resold us another farms birds. They blame us.

    We can no longer sell Organic Eggs, nor sell the birds for meat. It has cost me over $200 for a vet, medication and supplies to clean the pens constantly. I don't know what to do with the remaining hens. I WILL NOT give them back to the irresponsible sellers who might sell them again.


    UPDATE - August 12, 2010:
    After all what happened, these are our last two emails;

    As far as the refund goes, I'm following the advice of my Lawyer, Mike Longo. I'll expect four (4) payments of $50 starting this Monday and start the Small Claims Paperwork as a precaution. Any missed payments constitutes a breach of contract and I will file for the maximum amount allowed ORS Rules.

    The obligated to tell you the Better Business Bureau stated you need to inform any other person of theses circumstances you sold chickens to. Again, I have not disclosed any personal information because I'm honestly hoping this "mistake" will be a lifelong teaching tool. If this goes any further, I will demand full disclosure and inform the people myself and let them take whatever action they deem necessary.

    If I may, show your Pastor all emails and ask him what he thinks. I have. He gave me Proverbs 14:8 as a starter along with about 10 others.

    Her reply;

    I will make the payments, but Monday will not work. I will just be bringing the birds to the auction, where no disclosure is necessary. But we don't get paid till Thursday, by the time I get it to you it will be Sunday. And don't worry, we will have no more customers, I'm closing the farm. We were trying to help people, but I don't want to help people anymore, so were closing the doors. Thank you for this life long lesson, I assure you it will never be forgotten.

    I honestly don't know how to take this. She's never apologized or recognized just what her unethical behavior has cost us... in heartache alone. But after all this, she's going to sell the remaining birds at auction "where no disclosure is necessary." OMG! I will search CraigsList with her phone number every three days as a precaution and create a listing if they try to sell any livestock. I really don't have the time to find and inform the auction and believe it's beyond my responsibility.

    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  2. cluckcluck42

    cluckcluck42 Songster

    Oct 4, 2009
    I would cull all the birds and start over. If you dont know what disease they have, or even if you do, dont eat the meat or feed them to your animals. Just bury them. I am so sad for you, that is terrible. How dare the hatchery say it is YOUR fault. Wow.

    I would get chicks or if you want laying hens now buy birds from a reputable breeder (not a hatchery). You can not 100% know the birds will be healthy, there are always illnesses that can show up but you're safer then getting from hatcheries.

    Good luck with this whole process, this is very unfortunate [​IMG]
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Sorry for your losses. Perhaps you can take them to small claims court.
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I'd have some of the dead or sick birds tested to see for sure what you're dealing with.
  5. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Songster

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    I believe you can tell us the name of the hatchery so we do not get into the same bind.

    So sorry for you. Do get the birds tested to find out what is what.
  6. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    I'd either test them to see whats going on..(if i had the money to do it at the time)
    Or i'd cull them all and start over.
  7. Boring Farm

    Boring Farm In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2010
    Thanks so much for the wonderful & kind responses. Burt what can I do with all of the layers?

    I believe it's pneumonia. Most of the hens have responded well to the antibiotics but some are trailing. I now have them all together and the cannibalism has EVERY egg gone right after they are laid. Besides the poor hens who now have to be culled, our biggest disappointment is having to explain to our neighbors and buyers. I don't think we will be able to ever sell again, that's for sure.

    Tatlock Farms is the Hatchery and I honestly wonder if they even have a facility. Here's one of the responses in an email we received;

    "You purchased birds of craigslist and were told to quarantine them for safety purposes, you did not do that and your flock became sick..... this is not our fault. As for underfed, our birds have constant access to high quality food, scratch grains and grit. Which you would know if you bothered to ask before making all these un-fair accusations."

    Even though I DID quarantine them, can people see what I'm up against? Unfair accusations?!? They sold us someone else's mismanaged and diseased hens and with no first-hand knowledge regarding their health nor characteristics all the while claiming they were bred and raised by a high quality operation. They presented themselves as a reputable, large operation with established business practices. If they would have told me they belonged to someone else, I could have checked into their operation and avoided losing everything I have. Here's their un-edited response;

    "Wow, very interesting. Here's how this will go, prove what birds I sold you, prove they had disease. Show the bill of sale and the health guarantee. There is no such thing, I sold u birds presumbed to be healthy in my knowledge, the next time I hear from you or see an ad on craigslist I will file a harrasment suit against you for this and the damage to my business."

    I want to take them to small claims court because they have no idea how their unethical behavior has done to my wife and I. For us, chickens are more than a hobby... it's a "Micro-Business" we are very proud of and became closer as a couple since we started this three years ago. We took pride in the feed and care of our hens which we raised from chicks we hatched. We document the quantity and quality of the eggs we sell and account for every penny. We sold the eggs faster than we put them on our stand which, by the way, our neighbors rely on. Now what?
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Unless you have them tested there's no way to know what disease you're dealing with. Some resperatory diseases they will recover from but remain carriers and infect any birds you get in the future. If you find out what they have for sure, then you'll know whether you need to cull the remaining birds or not.
  9. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Have you thought about contacting Craigs List or your local Attorney Generals office for advice? I would not be put off by the response. If you feel what you did was right and have proof. Documentation, witnesses, etc. will prove your case. If not, chalk it up to experience. What goes around comes around. They will get what is coming to them eventually. You and your wife are reaping the benefits of a deeper relationship and renewed commitment. As the commercial says "priceless."
  10. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Sadly.. the guy is right...
    You have no proof that his birds got your birds sick... So... I think you are SOL.
    Sorry. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by