"Small order fee"

Alex S

Chirping
Nov 20, 2020
248
295
83
Kirkland, Washington
I agree about getting a couple more than you think you want. I bought the minimum of 3 (originally wanted 2), and one turned out to be a cockerel. So now I'm down to 2 who don't get along, and I REALLY don't want 5! So I will split an order with another person, but it's sort of a pain, and I will end up with 4.

I bought a prefab coop, because when hubby finally agreed to chickens, I did everything as fast as possible. It required a LOT of souping-up (I added vents, extra latches, paint, roosting bars, and other stuff), but it will hold together for now. I agree with going bigger than you think, because 3 birds is pretty much the limit for that coop, and I'll have 4 in there! (They claimed 6, I believe!)
Duly noted!
 

Awakening Forest

FreeBird
Premium Feather Member
Aug 14, 2020
645
1,920
246
North Central Florida
So at Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, I was looking at the cost of chicks. I liked the prices until they told me about their "small" order fee. Does anybody know any good hatcheries that have fewer order fees? View attachment 2420301
Do get the MArek's vaccine but you do not need to trim their beaks for a backyard flocks. Beak trimming is done at large layer and broiler facilities when the birds are highly stressed from being too close together. You wouldn't have a problem like that with a decent set up. It is inhumane to mutilate them.
 

SuZieCoyote

In the Brooder
Nov 10, 2020
6
21
18
Holy spit — $10 per chick before the order fee? I hope they lay golden eggs! ;)

Meyer hatchery has Orpington for $3.78 each. But their small order fee is steep too. Shipping 4 chicks (especially in winter) is very risky, hence the fees.

possible alternatives:
  1. wait til early spring and pick them up at a feed store
  2. Split an order with someone else so you can make up the minimum
  3. See if there’s a hatchery within driving distance from you. Some will waive small order fees on pickups.
I ordered six chicks from Meyers Hatchery the end of October. I didn't see a small order fee, but shipping was expensive - cost more than the birds. I should never have ordered in the winter. As luck would have it the day they shipped was a fluke - brutally cold with snow. Though they were packed well, with a heating pack, and I picked them up as soon as the post office opened, I lost two within the first 48 hours, which is the refund period, and one a day later. I am not down on the hatchery. They did their best, I think. Of the three others, two are big and healthy and one is small and lame with a deformed leg and foot. Something happened to it on its way here or it had a birth defect. I tried all the cures for straddle leg, splinted the foot, etc.to no avail. She's just deformed. But she has a strong will to live - can get around, eats and drinks. So far the other chicks haven't attacked her, so I'm giving her a shot. I call her "Scootch" because she scoots around. I will never order in the winter again. That was my bad. Baby chicks are just too fragile.
 

Rosebud25

Chirping
Aug 23, 2015
30
64
97
So at Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, I was looking at the cost of chicks. I liked the prices until they told me about their "small" order fee. Does anybody know any good hatcheries that have fewer order fees? View attachment 2420301
I bought a large order of female Light Brahmas from them years ago in the early spring. Price was cheap! The color of the chicks didn't look right on arrival. Very yellow not the light smokey color I was use to getting when ordering from McMurray's and Strombergs. As they got older they did get the silver grey coloring. Some more white, some more grey silver. Feathering on the legs was not consistent. After a year and a half with no winter eggs and very few eggs in the warm weather I got rid of most of them. I did keep 2 that were laying a little bit and they are now about 4 years old. I'm lucky if I got 10 eggs over this summer from both. Now they aren't laying at all. Dog stew pot is where they are going. I love my White Leghorns for the quantity of eggs and I love TRUE Light Brahmas and have never been disappointed in chicks ordered from McMurray's or Strombergs. The last 4 White Leghorns left from McMurray's are about 4 years old and I still get 3 eggs a day and they are starting to look like they are about to go through a molt. Already got my McMurray chick order in for March delivery. Hope this helps
 

Hermits Garden

Vintage American Featherless Biped
Premium Feather Member
Oct 8, 2018
63
184
126
Pinetop-Lakeside Arizona
I ran into this with Cackle hatchery. Ideal and Meyers dont seem to have these fees. It cost me about $12/bird in total for a straight run of all cockerels. I am still happy though as I have a breed I didn't before and they are of a better quality than I expected from hatchery stock.
Ideal has a $7 small order fee for under 25 standard chicks.
 

countryladyNH

Songster
Feb 22, 2016
423
962
177
New Hampshire USA
My Coop
So at Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, I was looking at the cost of chicks. I liked the prices until they told me about their "small" order fee. Does anybody know any good hatcheries that have fewer order fees? View attachment 2420301
Hi~ We know what you mean. When we got our first chicks about 5 years ago, we searched and searched online. We only wanted FOUR Buff Orpingtons, and everyplace had 'minimums' that we had no room for. We've ordered from Murray McMurray. We have later ordered 2 chicks only. They were well packed, had food, and arrived great---no additional fee. A couple years ago we ordered 2 ducks and one gosling and again, no special fee and they came in great shape. That was the only place we ever found where we were able to order just a couple chicks, etc. of sex we wanted. We have always had good luck and all arrived quickly and in good condition. Shipping was steep as expected, but we NEVER paid any 'small order fee'.

https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html
 
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janiedoe

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
May 7, 2017
1,456
4,152
477
East Texas
I've bought from the TSC on three different occasions. All pullets every time. Twice they have mislabeled a breed or color that I purchased but all my chicks have been healthy and female.
I've bought from Ideal Poultry & drove to get my chicks. (I'm afraid to entrust chicks to the post office.) All were healthy. All ordered as pullets are pullets.
I wish you the best with your chick order!
 

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