To ship or not to ship... a great debate in my mind.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by dutchlion, Sep 16, 2014.

  1. dutchlion

    dutchlion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! So I'm thinking ahead to next year when we get more chickens [​IMG]

    I have a very specific list of breeds that I want (based on personal taste probably more than anything).

    Some of them I know can be bought online and shipped from hatcheries... however I wanted YOUR opinions on purchasing online vs. picking them up from a local farm. (or I will drive to get them)

    I am concerned because of the outbreaks of disease at some of the large hatcheries and also the travel stress on the chicks.

    I DO NOT want to hatch them at home... I'm no where nearly ready for that.

    Pros and Cons to each please! Your help is appreciated!!!!! [​IMG]
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Picking them up personally is the preferable option as you can inspect the birds firsthand, and reduce the stress that is caused by being shipped through the mail as you will reduce their traveling time and handle them with TLC. Also, you purchase chicks in very low numbers locally, whereas hatcheries usually require larger orders as less chicks don't ship well. However, you may not be able to find the breeds you want within driving distance. Also, unless you can sex them yourself, you can order sexed birds from a hatchery. I have ordered from four different hatcheries, Murray McMurray (https://www.mcmurrayhatchery.com/index.html), Ideal Poultry (http://www.idealpoultry.com/), Cackle Hatchery (http://www.cacklehatchery.com/), and Dunlap Hatchery (https://www.dunlaphatchery.net/), multiple times each, over the years, and I have been satisfied with their birds and service. I have never lost more than one or two chicks in shipping (none from Dunlap hatchery), and since they all put 2 or 3 extras in the boxes, I always got what I paid for.
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    P.S. One other thing, hatcheries will offer Mareks vaccines for your chicks (definitely worth paying the few cents each for), whereas the local farmer's birds may not even be vaccinated against Mareks. Just one more thought to consider.
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Pros for hatchery...

    sexed birds
    wider range of breeds available
    decent pricing

    cons of hatchery...
    shipping stress and expense
    birds not as well bred as a good breeder's.

    Pros for breeder...
    can get smaller number of birds
    Breeders often offer older birds than day-old
    May offer pullet guarantee
    can get better quality birds if the breeder knows their birds.


    cons for breeder..
    some "breeders" are unethical and won't stand behind their birds, taking advantage of newbies
    chance of disease or parasites.
    usually smaller number of breeds offered.
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:
    I agree with donrae totally regarding a "good breeder." A "good breeder" is always the preferable way to go when feasible, but there is a huge difference between a "good breeder" and "picking up chickens from a local farm." Often, local farmers know far less about breeding chickens than even hatcheries. I've read a lot of posts from BYC from members who have bought chickens from "local farmers" only to find out later that they were not getting the breeds they were told they were getting, or sometimes not the gender they were suppose to be buying, and occasionally the birds even turn out to have some kind of illness. None of these things would ever happen with a good breeder, and even the larger hatcheries give guarantees against such things happening.
     
  6. dutchlion

    dutchlion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would only buy from a good breeder. I am looking at several heritage breeds; plus some non heritage breeds. The new flock will have a separate coop and run; but my hope is (after they are grown up and ready) that they could free range with our current flock.


    Any more advice is welcome... so far these are some GREAT points to consider!!!!! thanks so much!!!!!!!
     
  7. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    Some breeds are not easily found from a good breeder, so a hatchery is the only route with them. Do you know what breeds you are looking for seeing how you are also in NC, I might be able to help you find some.
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Just a caution about "heritage" breeds--lots of folks just buy traditional type breeds from a hatchery and sell them as heritage. While technically a hatchery barred Rock is a heritage breed, it's not a good example of the breed and if you're wanting a better quality bird, you'd be sorely disappointed. We see folks all the time on the What breed or gender board that say their chicks came from a mixed flock of heritage breeds---they think it's something special, but it's just a barnyard mix.
     
  9. dutchlion

    dutchlion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]so i have a 'wish list' that includes many breeds... i do not expect to get all of them next year; but i would like to have a nice mixed flock... i am looking at another flock of 20 ish (i reserve the right to call "chicken math" !!) ... so if, out of this list, please let me know what you think (they will only be layers and pets)... our current flock is in a large run for the morning and is let out to free range in the mid afternoon until they want to go to bed... our new flock will follow the same pattern... i'm still very new to all this so i really do appreciate insight!
    - Lakenvelder (both silver and golden)
    -Barnevelder
    -Welsummer
    -Exchequer Leghorn
    -Langshan
    -Sebright (would like a golden
    -Sussex (speckled)
    -Easter Egger (s)
    -Wyandotte
    -Icelandic
    -Blue Andalusian
    -Holland
    -Hamburg
    -Araucana
    -Campine
     
  10. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Those are all nice breeds. Just be aware that many of these breeds are too high strung and flighty to make good pets. This includes Lakenvelders, Leghorns, Icelandics, Blue Andalusians, Hollands, Hamburgs, and Campines. The best pet breed on your list is the Speckled Sussex (my children made lap pets of ours), followed by the Wyandottes, Barnevelders, and Easter Eggers. Other breeds, not on your list, that are very friendly, calm, and gentle, and which make good pets are Australorps, Orpingtons, Silkies, Cochins, Brahmas, and Faverolles. Of this list, the Australorps are the best layers.
     

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