What do hatcheries do with chicks that hatch, but are not purchased?


In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 15, 2014
What exactly happens to them? I've wondered about this for a while, so I thought I'd see if anyone on here knows.
I've wondered the same thing, I had just assumed that they had sales on them until they couldn't take the price any lower, then euthanized the males, and possibly kept some females for their breeders? No idea!
Depends on the hatchery the breed and the gender of the chick. Some hatcheries sell "started pullets", so a female chick of the breeds they sell as such would likely be raised up and then sold. Some chicks are most likely "disposed of". Some chicks are used as "packing peanuts" for orders of chicks that did sell (from there it is up to the recipient to decide what to do with the birds - chicken pass the buck). Those are just a few of the things that *can* happen to an unsold chick
I've seen references that people go to the retail location for some of the hatcheries and get amazing bargains on chicks that have passed the time where they can be shipped. I also see occasional threads here and on facebook from several hatcheries that have "over hatch" and "emergency" sales.
Thanks for the responses! This morning I read all sorts of horror stories about what hatcheries do with them. So, to put my mind at ease I emailed Meyer Hatchery, which is where I purchase my chicks from, and asked them about it. Honestly I hadn't expected to hear back from them, but a few hours later I got this response...

Quote: After reading it I was quite relived to find out they have things in place to responsibly get rid of the extras.
I keep finding myself liking Meyer more and more.

Anyone know what Ideal's policy is on this? I ordered my Ducks from them, so I'd be interested to see what they do with them too. I'm planning to email them tomorrow and ask about it.
Some hatcheries also offer a grab bag. For example, Cackle Hatchery has their Cackle Surprise. For $60.95 they fill your box with all kinds of goodies. I ended up getting 54 chicks, 2 ducks, and a turkey.

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