Review--Estes Hatchery


10 Years
Mar 3, 2009
San Martin, CA
I ordered 50 chicks of a wide assortment of breeds from Estes this March. Many of the breeds I ordered were not breeds I normally raise, so I can't comment on how true to the standard they are, but I will give it a shot.

My primary mission in ordering from Estes was to get some Marans, Welsummers and Easter eggers.

The marans were listed in the catalog as "black", but the photo included appears to be a black copper. I called and asked if the photo was one of their breeder birds and if it was black. They said yes. I ordered 11 Maran pullets. I received 12, but they were all Cuckoo colored. A bit disappointing as I was expecting either black or black copper. However, of the 12 seven were feather legged and 3 are developing so nicely that if they weren't housed in my egg pen, I wouldn't be able to tell the difference between them and my Kelly Cratty show stock two pens over. They are still too young to lay, so I can't comment on egg color. I will try to update this post once I get eggs.

I ordered 7 Welsummer pullets. They seem to be nice birds with good size and type, but 4 had feathers on their feet so I culled them. The three remaining I will keep to see what color of egg they lay.

I ordered 10 Ameraucana. I also had 5 ameraucana eggs from a friend's show stock and 10 supposedly pureblood ameraucanas eggs from ebay hatching the same day that these chicks arrived, so I can compare. The Estes Ameraucanas are really "easter eggers" as most hatchery stock is. However, the birds have good muffs and tuffs and all but 2 were an actual Ameraucana recognized color. They have good size and body type, but are noticably bigger than the SQ stock. The ones from ebay, though I paid SQ prices and the eggs were a nice blue, not green, were a motley assortment of crossbreeds and not half as nice as the Estes stock. When I placed my order I had originally planned on selling all of the Estes birds, but have ended up selling the ebay birds and keeping the Estes. I hope they lay a nicely colored egg.

I got 5 assorted polish. The goldens feather color was not to my liking, the lacing was not well defined and the color muddy. The silver one was better. The white crested black was very nice. It had a nicely shaped crest, but still had a fair bit of black in the crest.

The rest were breeds I am not familiar with. I did sit down with the standards book to try to cull disqualifications out of the other breeds I got and only found one. The jersey giant I got had yellow soles on its feet not pink.

I have ordered from a number of hatcheries in the past (Cackle, Welp, Privett, Ideal, MM and Sandhill) I would say that, though the selection isn't the greatest, the quality of the birds I received was the best of the hatcheries. I would definately order from them again.
Ordered 11 ducklings from Estes Hatchery. Runners and Khakis- Hatchery sent email that babies shipped on 5/17/17 and will arrive by 5/19. 5/19- never received-Called the hatchery spoke with them and they said-since we are so far you will get them late afternoon. 5pm no ducks. Called again- Hatchery closed! Emailed them and asked for tracking# their reply was" postal service fault-they shipped them on time.Never gave me a tracking#. Called them 5/20- message says closed for weekend. Emailed again, and their response,"we'll ship another batch out on Monday 5/22? I replied with,-Cancel my order and refund. Today Sunday 5/21/17 received call from USPS , which they usually are closed on Sunday- but when they saw a box of peeps, which they usually do not get on Sundays- they opened box- all 11 dead! USPS claims Hatchery is at fault and did not ship on specified date- but too late to arrive in time to save their little lives. Postal employees were flawed and upset, as I am.
I live about 30 miles south from Estes Hatchery and never have I bought anything from them because I've heard they are bad and not very good quality.

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