Review of McMurray hatchery standard chicks and My Pet Chicken Bantam assortment (sexed)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Brigabart, Aug 13, 2016.

  1. Brigabart

    Brigabart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2015
    Just figured I'd put this up, since I was looking for reviews when I was buying chickens :) Short answer.... so far very happy with both places.

    McMurray:

    We ordered 25 chicks in June 2014, Marek's vaccinated. We got 26, and one died about 3 days after shipping (seizures, probably either genetic or travel trauma). The rest were happy healthy little gals. We ordered pullets and only got pullets. Shipping was prompt - we live in NC and got them on a Sunday morning after a Friday hatch. (yep, the USPS called us at 9am on Sunday morning!) They refunded the money for the chick that died. Customer service was prompt and courteous.

    We got several breeds and have been fairly happy with them all. I will list them and what we have found. Really none are show quality, but we knew going in that we would not get show quality birds from a hatchery. We just wanted eggs and nice hens.

    Buff Orpingtons: thrilled with our two girls. One has a large floppy comb and is a head hen, but a gentle leader. One has a standard short comb and went broody her first spring. Best. Mother. Ever. We had several broodies, and this one was amazing. Both of our girls are lap chickens. Lovely fluffy golden girls. Great layers.

    Easter Eggers (Araucanas/Americaunas): These are nice birds. We got great variety - 4 are more standard browns, one is a black/dark brown. We got one with muffs, one with a beard, one with a beard and muff, and two without either. Two lay blue eggs, three lay green eggs. One has gone broody. One enjoys laps, one is very very very difficult to catch lol, and the others are friendly but not lap girls.

    Delawares: Nice friendly healthy birds. Ours lay huge brown eggs. One is a total lap chicken.

    Golden laced Wyandottes: gorgeous birds - always get comments! Tough but sweet, some of our highest in the pecking order, but pretty much leave everyone alone. Great foragers. One comes and visits my lap :) Nice medium eggs.

    Columbian Wyandottes: so pretty, with such fluffy pants! Not very friendly, but not scared of us either. Small cream eggs.

    Salmon Favorelles: Well, the birds were fine. A little extra black, but gorgeous. Unfortunately, we didn't realize they are cute as a button, dumb as a rock. This is not a comment on the hatchery, just a comment on the breed. We sold them at a year - this breed is shy and not too smart, doesn't do well in a mixed flock.

    Cuckoo Marans: One was standoffish and skittish, the other a lap chicken. Nice darker brown eggs (not a deep brown, but darker than the other brown eggs). One has an issue with her pigment machinery, resulting in the most gorgeous speckled eggs. One died at a year - we believe she was an internal layer, just one of those things. The other lays about 6 days a week. These girls lay our largest eggs.

    Light Brahmas: Love these two. Great personality, one of these is my all time favorite girl and lap chicken. One is standoffish, but very docile. One lays large eggs, one lays tiny eggs. Brahmas are not known for large eggs. We got them for their easy natures, and have not been disappointed. Love the brahmas!

    Barred Rock: Just one, but such a personality! Total lap chicken and head honcho. Love love love her. Her bars are not very straight - looks a bit like the cuckoos, but wouldn't trade her for the world. Interesting note - she is my one hen with spurs!

    Black Austrolorps: this is the only breed we got that I would not order again. We got 5, thinking they were tough and good egg producers. Unfortunately there have been issues. One keeled over at 8 months, never having laid an egg. She was our biggest healthiest looking girl, but she must have had something wrong and just died. Of our four left, two are tiny - almost bantam sized. They all went broody in the spring. I broke two but the other two wouldn't break, so I gave eggs to one. She sat on them devotedly, but when they hatched, she was a very scatty mother. One chick almost died from neglect, so I gave them all to my other broody austrolorp, who adopted them all at a week. She was a very devoted mom, but at about 4 weeks (when the chicks were 5 weeks thankfully), she abandoned them. Two of them also went broody this fall. But they are scatty broodies also. I think these are not very good representations of the breed, but perhaps we just got unlucky.

    At 14 months, we are getting about 15 eggs a day (with 20 girls laying)
    I will put some photos of the girls, then after that is the my pet chicken review.

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    My Pet Chicken:

    This is an early review, since they are just a week old. The chicks were hatched on a Monday and we got them Wednesday morning (the post office actually called at 1am. I got them at 6am. I needed more sleep.) One was dead on arrival. Another kept falling on its back and limping. I informed them within the 48 hour period. They emailed once a day to give condolances and assurances of a refund. They also emailed to check on the other chick. After a dose of vitamins and then vitamins in the water, the second chick was just fine. Customer service was great.

    We ordered 18 chicks (ended up with 17 because of the one dead one.). I ordered sexed bantams. I really wish they would vaccinate, but I think for bantams, you don't want to do too much. With the sexing option, I was content. We've tried bantams in the past but I'm just too good at picking out roosters LOL. The pullet option is expensive. As in $12 a chick expensive. But worth it for me - I'm tired of getting rid of roos and I want a bantam flock. We got an assortment, so it was exciting to open the box to see what came. Very happy. We ended up with 4 buff brahmas, 4 easter eggers, 3 mille fleur d'uccles, 3 polish, 3 wellsummers. Very satisfied.

    The girls at 6 days old seem very happy. The brooder is a "mother hen" set up with a heating pad. They seem to be feathering out very quickly. A few pasty butts, but nothing too bad. All seem to be clearing up nicely. Also, having watched many chicks growing up now, it is looking good as far as sexing goes. Each breed is growing out in a similar fashion, lots of wing feathers, everyone has tail feathers except the brahmas (who are slower growing in general anyway.) On a side note, the Easter Eggers are a gorgeous mix. One is quite dark, one is a gorgeous grey and black, one is grey, and one is cream. Can't wait to see what they end up looking like!

    I'll try to post more as they grow to let you know if we get any roos, but so far it's looking great!
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