So many choices!! (hatcheries)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by KDOGG331, Dec 31, 2014.

  1. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I apologize for all the posts but I'm trying to learn as much as possible as early as possible so figured I may as well ask everything.

    Anyways, I've been looking at various hatcheries and on here and I think I have a few in mind but am still unsure.

    Initially, I thought I liked Murray McMurray but now I'm not sure after hearing stories and how the people are nice but the birds are mean (don't know if that's true and I know all hatcheries will have horror stories) and they're kind of far anyways so I started looking at others.

    I know all hatcheries are probably basically about the same but I'd like to find a good one.

    I was initially unsure about Meyer but after hearing great things about them and Ideal, I'm now looking more into those two.

    One thing that I have heard a lot is that you should choose the hatchery closest to you but what I'm wondering is... what if none of them are too far from you?

    I went to each of the hatcheries I've seen mentioned a lot (Ideal, Meyer, Murray McMurray, Cackle, Dunlap), found their addresses, and entered them in Google Maps, directions to the nearest post office.

    What I concluded is that while some are obviously further than others, none of them are THAT far.

    Just went back and looked again and the results are:

    Ideal: 29 hours

    Murray McMurray: 21 hours

    Cackle Hatchery: 21 hours

    Dunlap: 40 hours

    Meyer: 11 1/2 hours

    So, as you can see, the main 3 are essentially the same distance, Dunlap is really far away, and Meyer is the closest, by a lot I suppose, but the others are all relatively the same distance.

    So in a case like that, does it really matter where I get them from?

    I would probably end up going with Meyer just because they're really close and I've heard a lot of good things (if I didn't, I'd go with a better one further away) but I guess my question is would it really make a lot of difference in my case?

    I'm hopefully also going to a poultry show in January but that's more to get breed info that buy anything, but another option is either a breeder or a good feed store (aka not just TSC, not that they're bad), which there are a few of fairly close. I guess I should also see if they do special orders or at least what they'll be getting.

    So I guess just.. 1. which of these do you think is the best, if any, or are they all relatively the same? 2. since the difference in distance is almost non-existent for most of them, will it really make much of a difference? and 3. Should I even go with a hatchery? Would a breeder or feed store be better?

    Thanks. :)
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The difference between 11 1/2 hours and even 21 hours (the closest and second closest, forget the 40 hour distance) is close to 10 hours which can add a day to your transport time depending on how the birds are shipped.
    Oven a many year period (starting when I was a kid day old peeps were shipped in boxes of 25 from Sears) I had never had a chick arrive DOA or die on me. If they arrived alive, they lived.
    Then last year for the very first time I reordered from a hatchery I had had great luck with. The chicks sat in Philadelphia for a full day (at least 24) hours and arrived two days later than the shipment the year before.
    Some of the chicks were DOA.
    I don't think I will ever order from a hatchery again. If I absolutely had to, I would order from the closest one.
    And this one wasn't that far away. The previous year the peeps hatched and were shipped Monday and arrived Tuesday afternoon at the post office.
    This year they hatched and were shipped Monday and didn't come in until Thursday morning. From Tuesday afternoon all day Wednesday we were calling trying to track the box. We knew where it was but it wasn't moving and no one could tell us anything.
    You can go to Dave's Garden and read reviews on most of the hatcheries.
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    That's a really good point I hadn't really thought of much. I guess a few hours, or extra day, to a baby chick is a long time.

    Really? wow that really sucks :/ why were they so slow i wonder? :/

    I'll definitely go look at that site, thanks for the info :)
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I've ordered from all of the hatcheries on your list on multiple occasions except for Meyer Hatchery, so I can't speak from personal experience on it. Dunlap is my personal favorite of the four. They are a smaller family oriented hatchery, are very friendly and helpful, and I've never lost a bird in shipping from them (I can't say that about the other three). I've been satisfied with the birds and service of the other three hatcheries and would rate them about the same. I've received chicks from Ideal as far away as Hawaii. I've lost a chick or two in shipping from Ideal, MM, and Cackle, but since they've always put 2 or 3 extras in the box, I've gotten what I've paid for. If you were closer to Idaho, I would suggest ordering from Dunlap, but I agree with dekel18042 that it's probably the wisest to shave 10 or more hours off of the shipping time if you can, so you may want to go ahead and order from Meyer. Whichever hatchery you decide to go with, good luck in getting your chicks.
     
  5. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I believe I saw you mention them (Dunlap) on another thread, which is why I decided to look into them, and they seem great so it's really a shame they're so far away. Although to be honest, I really didn't think Idaho was that far but I guess it is.

    Yeah, I think I might end up going with either Meyer or a local store or something, still have to think about it.

    Thank you :)
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I truthfully don't think that the distance from Dunlap to you would be a problem, however, it's probably better for the chicks if they don't have to travel so far. I have almost always ordered from the hatchery that was closest to me (assuming that it was considerably closer and had the breeds that I wanted) for that very reason. When I lived in northern California, Dunlap was not far away at all (relatively speaking). I would have ordered from Dunlap in Hawaii, but unfortunately, they don't ship to Hawaii, so I ended up using Ideal instead.
     
  7. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    Perhaps I could try them in the future maybe, once I have more experience and stuff, not that it would necessarily be an issue. Really? wow that's awesome and they were okay? I guess it will depend on who has what available too.
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Chicken Obsessed

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    I looked it up and Ideal is cheaper and has like no shipping charges, or very minimal (mostly just a few fees rather than shipping), but Meyer's closer but also, I figured it out and, at least for my state, if I order 15 instead of say 8 or 10 or something, shipping is halved. So I want to do that because it's way cheaper ($19.99 as opposed to like $40) but.... 15 chickens is kind of a lot, as we've established. I mean, I figure I might as well get 8 or 10 now but 15 might be sort of a lot. But shipping would be way cheaper. I don't know. Decisions, decisions.

    Edited to add:

    Actually, looking at it, it's really not thaaaattt much more because yes it's $20 more in shipping but if I got more birds, I'd have to pay for those birds anyways so either way, I'm paying the $20 somewhere I suppose aha I didn't really think that one through xD
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  9. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    If you are planning on going to a show, it might be a good idea to pick up some chickens there. Especially if you are already prepared with housing and all other needs. If you buy at a show, you will be assured of getting the sex of bird you want, eggs will come sooner, and you won't have the heartbreak of recieving a box of dead chicks because the PO 'lost' your box of chicks.
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    P.s. if you decide to go with a delivery from a hatchery, order sexed chicks. If you buy straight run thinking you will get 50% male and 50% female, you will probably be disappointed. There are lots of stories on this site of folks ordering straight run chicks and actually receiving 20 cockerels and 5 pullets!
     

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