What I learned about the Small Order Program (Meyers, MPC, etc.)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by texas_chick, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    If you have a lot of time on your hands you can read the whole thread here
    If you don't here's my summary: [​IMG]

    We wanted to get just a few hens and after calling the local feed stores it seemed we only got to pick from straight runs.
    Since we live in a subdivision that was not an option.

    I liked the idea of buying them close though to limit time in transit.
    Since we are in Texas I placed an order with Ideal Hatchery.
    They called me back though and said that the survival chances for just 5 chicks (I had requested no packing peanuts) were really slim and so we canceled the order with Ideal.

    I then contacted Meyer's since they use heat packs and ship Overnight Express. I figured it's fast and safe and warm and worth the extra $30. I verified with USPS that the service commitment to the nearest large city was noon the next day. We used delivery to that post office rather than to my home address because that would have added another day to the trip.

    On hatching day Monday Meyer's called to verify the Post Office address and also told me the chicks had already been packaged.
    I expected the Chicks on Tuesday based on that info but they did not arrive.
    Postal records show that the chicks in fact did not ship until Tuesday afternoon.
    One extra day in transit due to Meyer's.

    I expected them Wednesday morning but the chicks did not arrive because they got left at the hub in Memphis.
    One extra day in transit due to USPS.

    The chicks did arrive on Thursday. The heat pad was cold as a rock at that time. Two chicks died the same day they arrived.

    I called Meyer's asking how long the heat packs were good for and was told they held heat for only a day.
    That means by the time they finally shipped heat pack was already obsolete.
    Disappointing since live reptiles are shipped with 60 and 72 hour heat packs so longer lasting ones do exist.

    Meyer's issued a credit for the two dead babies.
    I could not file a claim with the Post Office for the Express Delivery Service Guarantee because only the SENDER can do that and Meyer's did not agree to file for me because they said live shipments were not covered under the same service agreement. This statement has not been confirmed USPS.

    What I learned from my experience is this:
    * the heat pack doesn't last as long as an extended travel.
    * delays are possible on both USPS and Meyer's end and Express Shipping cost is virtually unrefundable.

    I am not mail ordering again but if I did in retrospect this is what I would have done differently:

    I would have ordered 10 pullets from Ideal. Transit time would have been the same. The chicks would have warmed each other past day 1. I could have rehomed the other 5 pullets using Craiglist.

    I am not telling anybody what to do. Lots of shipments turn out great.
    I just wanted to share my experience so that the people getting ready to order can make an informed decision [​IMG].
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  2. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2009
    SE Connecticut
    Having chicks die is a risk we take when ordering chicks. I could have waited until my local Away got their chicks but they don't have a lot of variety. My sister wanted Dorkings which are hard to get on a good day. I don't know of any feed type store that would carry such a rare breed. I want to know I'm getting pullets too, don't want to cull a half dozen roos.

    I understand wanting small numbers but sort of being forced to order more to ensure the ones we want will stay warm. Its a bum rap. However, maybe next time you can go in on a bulk order with a couple other people. My sister and I went in on an order with a local lady near me and we ended up with 106 chicks total. (What a lot of noise that must be!) I have a dozen, my sister has 4, and the third lady, Ruth, took 90! I actually met Ruth here at BYC. I am grateful to Ruth because I would have had to wait to order chicks otherwise.

    I have learned in the last week that a local feed store will custom order what we want when they place their order. Now I know for the next time and of course I've already got chicks picked out for the next order! [​IMG] [​IMG] If you were closer to me we could order together!

    PS: Mother nature isn't flawless and people make mistakes too. Don't let this one order sour you to mail order options. Think of it as something learned and maybe try to book with other people next time.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2009
  3. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2009
    fort ashby, wv
    order 25 pick the best sell, the rest
  4. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    I am sorry that his happened - to you and to those chicks.

    Meyer is in the frigid Mid-west. It is just too cold to ship chicks. Period. I wish these hatcheries would either ship better or not at all.
  5. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Its not too cold to ship chicks. I just got a shipment last week in to upstate NY coming from the other side of the country. The issue is that for some reason hatcheries are allowing people to order a small amount of birds- resulting in the buyer assuming the hatchery has some sense or believe that the birds will magically keep warm until they arrive- when this simply isnt the case.

    Shipping reptiles cant be equated to shipping chicks. Reptiles by nature can survive cool and certain degrees of cold by shutting down their metabolism and body function- birds absolutely cannot do this.

    Always buy 25 chicks, always. And dont buy from a hatchery that doesnt fill the order to 25 with "extras".

    Ordering chicks through the mail is a great idea, provided you are prepared to order enough to ensure their warm arrival. Always insure the package.

    The excess birds are great for your freezer or for selling on craigslist or to neighbors.

    I've ordered through the mail plenty of times, and never had an huge issue- just because I keep those two things in mind. Quantity and insurance.

    Dont get burnt out- your next time should be much better.
  6. CrzyChknLdy

    CrzyChknLdy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 25, 2009
    This is my first time ordering online ....others were bought locally. All the research I did before I ordered advised to be wary of ordering too few because of the warmth issue. I have more then I really wanted ordered but I figured I could eat or sell the extras. Of course for me the amount I have on my property was not a concern with city ordinances. From everyone I have spoken to I guess the majority of mail orders go well but threads like yours have me worried. I figure now all I can do is wait. But I am very sorry about your poor experience and I hope everything goes well for you in the future.
  7. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    [​IMG]I just got 12 Crested ducklings from Ideal, no packing peanuts, and they were fine. They are thriving right now in my brooder and growing like weeds. I am very happy with my orders from them. They have excellent customer service too.
  8. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    Quote:I agree with you but I did want to clarify why I even mentioned reptiles.
    My point was that when I had reptiles shipped to me they used a much longer lasting heat pack than what Meyers used with their chicks. For just a couple of dollars more they could have sent a heat pack that would have still been warm on day 3 instead of cold as a rock on day 2 and I would have gladly paid for a better, longer lasting heat source. That's all. [​IMG] Not trying to compare chickens and reptiles but rather wanted to point out that longer lasting heat packs ARE available.
  9. sugarbush

    sugarbush Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 24, 2008
    Lexington KY
    Sorry your experience with Meyer was so bad. Shipping is the only issue I have ever had with them and it is extra tough this time of year.
  10. texas_chick

    texas_chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    I think I would be less disappointed in the whole transaction if somebody at some point had said:
    Sorry. This is not how it's supposed to work. The chicks should have shipped the same day. The overnight express to that zip code should have arrived the next day.

    Instead I found Meyers to be rather unresponsive. In fact I got more help from the USPS customer service people than from Meyers. Every time I talked to a customer service rep from Meyers the response was: not our responsibility/ not our problem. The story changed a few times from rep to rep but ultimately no assistance either way.

    USPS even said according to their service guarantee I would be due a refund - but the sender has to file the claim and Meyer's customer service reps said they wouldn't do it.

    So with them insisting that shipping them a day late and postal service delaying another day on top of that is NORMAL for them I would not put any chicks through that again.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by