Really frustrated!!! Email from breeder...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by speakup4kids, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    I'm feeling frustrated over this situation with some chicks I purchased from a silkie breeder in my area and am looking for some input from all of you. On July 5th, I took my 3 daughters to pick out some chicks from a breeder that's about an hour away from where we are. We ended up taking home 6 chicks, 3 silkies, a cochin, and 2 sizzles. I noticed when we got home that one of the silkies (the one my 9 year old daughter picked out) was real little and scrawny but decided to just keep an eye out on him. I put them all in a new brooder with all new bedding, feeder and waterer. My two daughters did handle their two quite a bit but then that's how I generally raise all my chicks so I was not too concerned. Wednesday night I noticed my 9 yr old daughters chick not doing well. It's crop was empty and it was chirping a lot. I went out to feed the older chicks and get a container to quarantine it and when I came in the other chicks had buried it almost completely. I quickly removed the chick from the brooder and spent all night making sure it got water and vitamins. It did sound like it had a crackle in it's chest but made it through the night. The chick died about 7:30 am the next morning while my daughter was watching it. When I notified the breeder and asked if I could come get a replacement chick for my daughter because she is just devastated, the breeder commented that she wanted to wait to make sure no more chicks died. I was ok with that even though I was fairly certain this chick was just weak and anything the chicks had any new chick would have also been exposed to at HER property prior to coming to me anyway but whatever. Fast forward 1 week. Today I get an email from her saying that she doesn't feel comfortable giving me any new chicks because she is just CERTAIN that the chick died because my daughter handled her too much and that she is upset that I didn't intervene and set some boundaries for her. REALLY??? She goes on to state that if I can assure her that I have told my daughter she can't handle the chick when it is young and set some limits and make sure she will follow them and only let my 9 YEAR OLD have supervised play time with the chick when it's old enough to handle then she will consider selling me another one. I'm sure some may disagree but I really don't think the chick died from overhandling. It certainly wasn't cold in the heat we are having and I didn't allow her to let it get too hot. It's not like I have never done this before for heavens sake, in fact one of my projects for my vet tech/poultry and livestock man. class was a study on animals and growth rate/health with and without human skin/skin contact. The ones with more human contact were by far the healthiest and had the best growth and development.
    I haven't responded to her yet because I am still too angry. I want to get my daughter a chick but I don't want to deal with this lady.. I am so mad! [​IMG][​IMG]
  2. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Is the breeder the one with the full page ad on CL with the 4 pics of Silkies at the bottom?

    ETA- I let my 3 year old handle our day old chicks, not a ton, but a little bit. But my older kids handle the new borns as much as they want, gently, but no real time limits. I dont think handling the chick was the issue. I think youre right, and it was just a weak chick- it happens, thats nature, not every chick is meant to survive. It sounds like you are VERY responsible and were monitoring the situation and know what you are doing. I feel a free replacement chick is in order in this case, especially since all the other chicks you got from the same place are fine. I think good breeders know some chicks are weak, and if they want repeat business, or good word of mouth, they should do all they can to make sure the customer is happy (within reason)

    I really dont think the holding made the chick die, like I said, my kids handle the chicks all the time, and we have NEVER lost a chick that was healthy to begin with to 'overhandling'.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  3. whillo

    whillo Songster

    Mar 6, 2009
    Willamette Valley
    Wow. If that were the case, then all eight of my chicks would not be here. They were snuggled constantly. Even got nosed by the dogs and played a little game of monopoly. [​IMG] (I might have to post that pic.)
  4. SeaHen

    SeaHen Songster 9 Years

    Mar 14, 2009
    Springfield, OR
    I agree with the others that you were very responsible and did nothing wrong. Sometimes little ones are compromised from the start and just don't make it. My kids and grandkids have always handled our baby birds and animals, and I believe that's what helps them thrive. I respect the breeder's concern that the chicks she sells go to good homes, but she is out of line on this one and I would not want to deal with her again either. I hope you can find find another chick and ease your poor little girl's grief soon.
  5. crazy chook

    crazy chook Songster

    Apr 8, 2010
    Langwarrin, Victoria
    Quote:I agree, what a rude woman! Hope you can find another chickie for your daughter.
  6. friedeggs

    friedeggs Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    well they can get stressed. But it just sounds like a chick that was weak from the beginning. And over run by much stronger chicks. If I got the gist of your posting.
    Frankly I would have just handed over a new chick. Or at least told you let them grow a week or two to get stronger and then hand over another one to replace it. You don't shun children. They are the future of everything...
  7. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chirping

    Jan 19, 2010
    i am going to play devils advocate alittle here. from the breeders view point she is probaly certain (in her own mind) that the chick was well and healthy! also YOU picked the chick not the breeder. so i exspect from her view point it must be something you did! also none of us was there so we have no idea how the chick was handled.............. now before i get flamed............... HOWEVER!!! as a breeder she has made a HUGE ERROR of judgement. if i was faced with her situation i would see it as follows. i sold them X amount of chicks and one has died pretty soon after, this happens once in a while and 1 chick out of a bunch is no big deal. so the next step in my mind she did right by telling you too wait, i would also do this incase anything nasty was about to show its face! after a week she should have called you up invited you over, spent 30mins with your kids showing them a few tips etc maybe give them a bit of a tour. then let them Choose a COUPLE more chicks free of charge.
    by doing this as a breeder you pass on a little education and experiance but also you do your business alot of good and gain something that is priceless GOODWILL and REPUTATION. too many businesses underestimate the power of word of mouth.
    waiting a week etc would have allowed her to be certain nothing "bad" had happened because of anything you did. most good breeders would see is as a opputunity to shine above the competion, i know we certainly would
  8. speakup4kids

    speakup4kids Songster

    Apr 3, 2010
    Yuba City , CA
    suzettex5 yep that's the one. I feel badly about this in part because I probably should have spoken up when we were picking out the chicks. To be perfectly honest I was kind of in a state of shock because I had never seen that many chickens housed in such close quarters. The whole time we were there I was being spoken to like I was a complete idiot that I had never seen, let alone raised a chick before. I'm a ranchers daughter for heavens sake. My parents own 2100 acres that is primarily beef cattle but we also raise and train horses, the odd cattle dog, and the home ranch has always had chickens. In fact I trained as a vet tech and specialized in small/large livestock because my parents asked me to so I could come out a couple times a year and doctor their stock. Everyone out there calls my chickens "the backyard divas" because I spoil them so much.

    I asked this lady how old the chicks were. No answer. I specifically told her that my daughters wanted chicks to show for 4-H and then she sold my 9 yr old a silkie with 11 toes! ( the one that died) I was curious about her "coops" and how she kept predators out and was told they have a big predator problem up there but don't lose chickens because their (open 2-3 feet on top) coops are safe ? The chick starter was in open bins all over a building full of old furniture which kind of made me concerned. I don't know how she can be possibly selling all the chicks that I saw, there were at least 200 in the brooder room I was in, in containers of about 25-30. That doesn't even count the adults and juveniles in other places. How can a chick be better off in those conditions? And actually the breeder picked the chicks she felt were "ok" and put them in a bucket for the girls to choose from.

    It really is a shame that this breeder decided to react this way, it would have been nice to have someone that I could refer people to in the area. For any business person the most important thing to remember really is to treat your customer well. I have had emails ignored, been treated poorly, and pretty much had "the slight possibility" of a problem with a chick deemed more important than my daughters feelings. I have been told not only how to raise my chickens, but also the proper way to parent them. I'm thinking I may be looking for a replacement chick elsewhere.

    FYI- I sent in specimens from all remaining chicks to be tested the day the silkie chick died and added ACV to their water and fed grated apple in the meantime. Remaining 4 chicks all tested positive for cocci.
  9. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing 9 Years

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Wow, it sounds like you'd make a better breeder than her
  10. crossedwires

    crossedwires Chirping

    Jan 19, 2010
    again just to balance both sides here are my thoughts..........
    large numbers of chciks together in adequate brooders is not a problem, from a business perspective you have to do it. open food bins NEVER EVER would a legit responsable and preoffesional hatchery have open feed bins. main reasons are cost! you dont want to waste precious feed and the big one CONTAMINATION! rats and mice in particular pee as they walk almost continously it harbours all kinds of stuff amongst wich is weils virus wich can be a problem in the uk. apart from desease to the chickens weils virus in feed can pass to humans who handle the feed tho often not fatal it has caused fatalities. so that alone says to me its a unproffesional badly run hatchery.
    putting chciks in a bucket is ok but putting chciks in that you feel are ok that by implication are with some you feel are not ok is again a sign of bad practice. if you have any doubts as to the health or condition of the batch of chciks a proffesional hatchery imediately quratines ALL those chicks. the risk of spreading desease and all the cost that entales just isnt worth risking.

    last point is cocci testing positive for it isnt neccesarily a bad thing, there are many arguments for and against eraly exposure to it and its one of those choose your own side of the fence arguments, personaly a positive test for cocci isnt something i worry about. as long as the chicks are healthy.
    i didnt wish to imply in my earlier post that you didnt know what you are doing. i have just tried to put my hatchery owners hat on and take a non biased rounded view! for what its worth i think you have done all the right steps except for not being more rigid about walking away from such a setup, but even thats easy to say when your not standing there with kids who desperately want to take some chicks home.

    should the breeder ever get to read this (unfortunately unlikely) i would merely say please close down your business your giving us proffesionals a bad reputation wich we have fought hard to build up over many years. our industry has no place for people like you!

    p.s its a shame your not in the UK we would welcome you and your girls over to sample some of our chicks and give you guided tour,
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010

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