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Hatchery reviews

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by Lazy Gardener, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    I'm doing homework for 2020!!!

    I'd love to hear about your experience with the various hatcheries, especially when dealing with mail order.

    What hatcheries have you used? Feed store? Cooperative?

    What was your experience with each hatchery? Include breeds and numbers ordered. Gender accuracy. Time elapsed from box leaving hatchery to arrival at your post office. (also, general distance between your home and the hatchery.) Month of shipment. Any unusual issues pertaining to shipment. (storms, delays, excessive cold/heat) Vigor of chicks received. And long term outcome.

    Comparison of your favorite hatchery with others you have used.

    Would you use this hatchery again?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  2. Aug 15, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Any one have experience with Ideal?
     
  3. Aug 16, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    I ordered Cornish Cross chicks through the Tractor Supply web site, they were shipped to me. There were dead, stinking chicks in the box, chicks continued to die. Out of FIFTY chicks, only 23 survived, 3 of those were stunted, I killed and buried them. I butchered 20. NEVER, EVER, AGAIN will I EVER order chicks through the TSC site again. By some oxymoron, the CCX chicks I bought at the store, TSC, were healthy and I only lost one to heat. Go figure.
     
  4. Aug 16, 2019
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses Super Self-Sufficient

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    :clapI've gotten from only a couple hatcheries over the years. Last was a few years ago @ MyPetChicken. Some specialty breed :rolleyes:so expensive.

    BUT service was great! The continually notified me of hatch, ship, etc. The chicks arrived in wonderful condition. Their packing box had the coconut (coir?) pad in bottom and under that was a heat pad -- like the hand warmers -- as it was early Spring and chilly. I still have those adult birds today, going on 4 and still laying well. Two have actually been broody each year and good moms-- although broody was NOT part of their review as they were leghorn cross.

    I use my broody hens to hatch bought or home eggs. OR buy young pullets beyond the heat/light ages. May do differently next year when home to monitor them.

    In my area many hatching eggs go for $35 a dz. If you figure the 75% hatch, you paid more than buying the pullet chick. Add feed and electric...buy a started pullet :idunno If I can catch a mgr discount on pullet chicks, have a broody hen "become" an instant mom...I'm in! :clap
     
  5. Aug 16, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Murray McMurray: 1983: Mail order CXR and Mini Leghorns. Excellent results. 25 of each, split with a neighbor.
    M Mc. About 6 years ago. Chicks special ordered into a local hardware store. The 3 Dominique pullets I ordered were actually cockerels. How they got that wrong, I'll never know. I'd never laid eyes on a Dom chick in my life. But immediately knew they were cockerels! One developed Vit E Encephalopathy. MMc offered credit or replacement. I chose replacement, and they were willing to ship to hdw store the following spring. Fast forward to the following spring: The store was under new management, and they had no clue what was required to keep chicks alive and healthy. Chicks mis-handled at store. One comatose, and died on the way home. After this episode, I determined that I would NEVER do a special order of chicks to any where other than my home. ?able if I would order from them again. My understanding is that they usually ship on Wednesday. Not acceptable given my distance from any major hatchery.

    Cackle: About 3 years ago. Chicks missed every stop along the way, resulting in sitting at airport dock at least 12 hours each time. If I did not hunt them down via telephone and with help of my local post master, then sweet talk my way into the locked down regional postal hub, my birds would have sat there over the weekend, resulting in a box of stinky death. Extra chicks sent. Several died due to mushy chick dz. I would order from them again.

    Feed store chicks: All are shipped from somewhere! They don't magically appear at the feed store. Whether I would buy from this source depends entirely on my confidence in the store management, quality of the birds, whether the chicks are housed in such a way that the customers can NOT handle them. I have bought a few birds from feed store in the past, and always insist on knowing what hatchery sent them. In my area, Blue Seal has the best care, management, and verified selection. Tractor supply is a joke here.

    I also prefer to hatch from my own flock. Have 2 home built incubators. Had a broody hen several years ago, and 2 last year. Apparently, the girls are taking a break from maternal duties this year.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
  6. Aug 17, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Power Conserver

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    I think you'll get just as many horror stories as positive review.

    I used Murray McMurray this spring.
    Box of 15 ordered plus 1 surprise chick.
    They arrived at the edge of the shipping timeframe, was getting concerned for sure. My post office can't get my mail right, but were excellent in calling when they came in. I recommend informing post office ahead of time.

    Of those 16, 15 were supposed to be guaranteed pullets.
    3 died, and one is crowing.

    I do think the deaths had to do with out of control coccidia. I was told to give my chicks a lump of sod to enjoy. Turns out we have cocci, lots of it I guess. Inexperience here, killed 2 hatchery chicks and a few chicks from elsewhere.
    The very first death was refunded by hatchery, died under 48hrs. 2 birds happened to be same breed and the 3rd of that breed isn't as robust (avoid Golden Lace Wyandotte?)

    Otherwise these birds are lovely and I do think I will stick with this hatchery next spring. Still a bit miffed about the extra cockerel I did not need, but I rest my case.
     
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  7. Aug 18, 2019
    baymule

    baymule Sustainability Master

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    Ideal is a good hatchery. The local feed store buys from them and I buy at the feed store.
     
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  8. Aug 18, 2019
    FarmerJamie

    FarmerJamie Mr. Sensitive

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    Meyer is about 75 minutes away. Never mail ordered, always pick up. I know that doesn't help your question
     
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  9. Aug 19, 2019
    Lazy Gardener

    Lazy Gardener Super Self-Sufficient

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    Thanks for the endorsement, @baymule . IF... I order birds in the spring, I think I MAY try Ideal.

    Thanks also for sharing your experience, @DellaMyDarling . What is the distance between your home and the hatchery? How long was your package in transit? I'm sorry you had such a bad experience with coccidiosis affecting your chicks.

    The cocci protozoans and their oocysts exist in all soils. Many of us have started our chicks off on soil from our yards, and even from the chicken run (which should have PLENTY of cocci, given that this organism is a normal flora of every chicken's gut.) I can say this: I've had 3 broody raised clutches of chicks. All were on my native soil. I've raised chicks 6 of the last 7 years. The ones that were not raised by broody hens were given fresh sod within the first week.

    The chick's yolk sack is a means of providing nutritional reserve during the time elapse between hatch of first chicks, and completion of hatch of the last chicks in a clutch. When a chick is sent out from a hatchery, the yolk sac IS NOT DESIGNED to meet all of the chick's nutritional needs through hatch, packing, transit to the first of (sometimes many) postal connections before she arrives at her final destination. At this point, she may have used all of her yolk reserves, and her body may be so depleted that her gut is not able to function to even absorb the nutrients from the feed she does eat.

    In a natural setting, the hen will have her babies out on the soil almost immediately. They will be snacking on the soil (and incidentally, chicken poop) which is laden with cocci, other microbes and fungi. (Including beneficial AND pathogens). In such a setting, the chick is taking beneficial fungi and bacteria into her gut, along with the pathogens. She has an adequate supply of maternal antibodies to enable her to fight off any pathogens. Those pathogens she does encounter will activate her immune system so she develops a healthy immunity, (including cocci). At the same time, she is EATING, while she still has a healthy yolk reserve. The following article notes the interaction between yolk absorption and gut digestion when both are occurring simultaneously. (This is similar to the multi system shut down seen in Anorexia Nervosa patients. Even if such a person does start eating, their body is so stressed that they can not absorb nutrients from their gut.)

    https://www.researchgate.net/public...rition_and_Its_Importance_in_Poultry_A_Review

    So, I urge you not to beat yourself up over the loss of your chicks. Nor, should you blame their demise on the likelihood of coccidiosis picked up from your soil. I'd be more likely to blame it on illness caused by inability to absorb nutrients from the feed they do ingest during those first few days. An excellent way to combat that is to give Poultry Nutri Drench to all chicks ASAP after hatch and to continue that during that first critical month. PND is able to be absorbed directly into the blood system, not relying on a gut which may not be functioning.
     
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  10. Aug 19, 2019
    DellaMyDarling

    DellaMyDarling Power Conserver

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    Oh, I can see you are actually north of me. I'm in Western MA.
    I think Murray is Midwest like most hatcheries? The shipping notice was Monday eve, arrived Wednesday early AM. Quite a haul.

    Our TSC around here are total jokes. I won't buy chicks there, so that leaves me at hatchery mercy. May the Goddess bless us with a broody ;)
     

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