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Tips for ordering chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Lil Chickie Mama, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Hey all, I have a newbie question! I looked up the archived questions about which hatcheries people like to order from and who they'd rather avoid, but it's all speculative. Does anyone have any tips on ensuring the most chicks in your order will live? I plan to order between 20 and 30 and I am liking Welp Hatchery. What are your suggestions? Order more? Less? Give them the GroGel? You tell me, hopefully other newbe's can benefit from this too!

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    In response to your specific question, Does anyone have any tips on ensuring the most chicks in your order will live? I'll give my opinion. Balance this against your common sense and what you learn or hear from other resources and make your best effort. Ir will probably be good enough. Chicks are really pretty rugged little individuals as long as their basic needs are met.

    Don't order where a shipment will leave around a postal holiday. Shipments can get delayed.

    Try to get a shipment leavingthe hatchery Monday or Tuesday so weekend shipping doesn't cause delays.

    Wait until warmer weather to order so the chicks don't have as much stress due to the cold weather. Don't wait until hot weather in your area, also to reduce the stress. Most shipments do well in any weather, but this helps your odds.

    Talk to your post office and find out how the chicks are actually routed. You may be able to pick them up earlier at a regional or central post office instead of waiting until they arrive at your local post office.

    Talk to the post office where you intend to pick them up. Let them know you are expecting chicks and leave your phone number with them so they can call you when the chicks come in. The shipper usually gives instructions for them to call you, but occasionally there is a slip-up.

    Talk to the post office where you will pick them up. You will probably get a call very early before the post office is open. Find out how you can get their attention if the main door is not yet open. Many times that call will come before 6:00 a.m.

    When the post office calls, go get them.

    Have your brooder set up and the heat stabilized before the chicks arrive.

    Dip each chicks beak in water when you put it in the brooder. You just taught it to drink.

    For the first two days, do not use a feeder. Put the starter on the paper towels, small lids, whatever on the floor of the brooder. Many people use the lid off the shipping box as long as it is not slick.

    Do what you can to reduce their stress. They are already pretty stressed out due to the rigors of hatching, let alone shipping.

    Go to the hatchery web site and read the instructions on what to do. Most of them are very good.

    Relax and enjoy.
  3. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Songster

    Feb 6, 2009
    I don't know where Escalon is, but another tip is to order from a hatchery nearest to your home. It wouldn't make sense (to me) for someone to order chicks from CA if they live in NY.
  4. grullablue

    grullablue Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I ordered a few extra just in case there were losses. I wanted 8, ordered 10. I still have 10 (they also threw in some packing peanuts). But I went in with other people, so we had an order of 28 total. From McMurray. Overall was a good experience. We got them when we were told we would, and I had the brooder ready/proper heat the night before the chicks were due to arrive. I picked the chicks up within 15 minutes of the PO calling! (I only live 5 minutes away).

    Some chicks may just be weak, as you'll read on here, there is absolutely nothing you can do. We also included with our order the gro gel (the chicks loved it!!!) and gro chick I think it was called, the supplement you put in their water for the first couple of weeks. Our chicks are now 8 weeks old, healthy and happy, and living in the coop. Beautiful little miniature versions of their adult counterparts they are!

    Have a thermometer...it sure helps to know what the temp is....rather than guess why the chicks are acting the way they are....and make sure the flooring they are on is not slippery. Shavings, paper towels...something, but not newspaper or something that can be slippery. They need some grip. And watch for pasty butt.... with our chicks we raised last year, we didn't have ANY pasty butt whatsoever, but they were hatched chicks, not shipped, which may have made a difference. This year's chicks, I was cleaning butts all day long for a few days, they were pasting up faster than I could clean them!

  5. HilltopFarm

    HilltopFarm In the Brooder

    Apr 3, 2009
    The Garden State
    As a newbie myself, I just recieved an order on wednesday. I ordered 12 chicks from meyer hatchery. They are in Ohio and I live in NJ, they were the closest hatchery that I liked and that didnt have a minimum order of 20-25. All arrived alive and well. They will be a week old tomorrow and they are still doing great.
  6. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Songster

    Apr 1, 2009
    Thanks to all who have posted so far! I am learning and enjoying it. My husband thinks I'm crazy as I check this site at least 10 times a day- I wish I was joking but I'm not... I'm addicted. I look forward to reading any more advice that rolls in, but again, thanks.
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:You're not fully obsessed yet, because soon you'll be unable to pry yourself away, and will fully panic when the server dumps connections for 6 minutes, like I did earlier today...

    Welcome to the addiction, and [​IMG]

  8. paulpig

    paulpig Songster

    Apr 4, 2009
    Newbie here too!!! I too am enjoying the information!!! My question is which hatchery is close to SOuthern Indiana!!! It makes total sense to order from the closest hatchery............Paul
  9. JessaLynn

    JessaLynn Songster

    Aug 7, 2008
    Sandusky County,Ohio
    This is my second year ordering from Welp and had much success from them last year (healthy & happy to date) I didn't lose any and we are expecting 26 chicks next week from them. Highly recommend Welp Hatchery! They don't charge you shipping and there cost is lower then most and great customer service! I get my chicks in no time at all!
  10. Slywoody

    Slywoody Songster

    Mar 18, 2009
    Quote:I used to play poker online everyday for about 4 yrs. I decided to get some chickens. I found this site (BYC) and forgot all about poker,,,,,, The folks here are very helpful and very nice. I now have 10 Buff Orpingtons in a box on my porch and they are doing fine. Now all i do is take care of them and hang on here,, What a blast!!!! I'll soon be building a chicken tractor and remodeling part of a shed into a coop,plus i'm building a cage in my house to keep my layers in over the hard winters here.

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