Experiences with Hatcheries

Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

I have read quite a few forum sites and gotten mixed reviews on hatcheries especially one in particular but I won't mention the name.

So, I have not asked anyone on DG and I am wanting to order Delewares for delivery in May.

Tell me about your hatchery experiences (mail order ones).

Thank you,
Susan in NC

(AnjL) Fremont, CA(Zone 9b)

susan you may want to check the garden watchdog link
not sure if they rate hatchery's there... but in case they do :o)

Sue, RI(Zone 6a)

We all should keep in mind that the best way for the ratings and comments to be accurate is for everyone to take the time and add comments when buying through the hatcheries.
Sue :)

(AnjL) Fremont, CA(Zone 9b)

and, even if someone does post something bad... there also may be alot of posts that ARE good for the same establishment. I just ordered from a site that had good and bad reviews, I figure I'll take my chances, and if they do provide good service to me, then I will post a positive on the site. Some reviews are just from people being finicky, etc. :o)

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)


I ordered from Meyer Hatchery in Ohio and I was very happy with them. When I'm ready to order again, I'll most likely order from them since everything went so well the first round.


Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

Michele and Susan, check out www.mthealthyhatcheries.com We used to buy from Meyer and while they are good, these guys are better and the chickens are much, much healthier. It might be www.mthealthy.com

;) Kathy

Yes, they are in Ohio, as well.

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

Hi Kathy,

Thanks for mentioning Mt. Healthy. I think Melissa has bought from them before or we discussed buying from them. It would be a big advantage to pick them up and see what you are getting, where they have been, etc. :)

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

You are welcome; we have been so pleased with them.

Triad(for a few more, NC(Zone 7a)

Thanks Kathy, I will check them out too.

Falls Mills, VA

I have purchased from Murray McMurray several times and have always had a good experience. They always send extras and the chicks arrive exactly on the date they promise.

Angleton, TX(Zone 9a)

We have always purchased from Murray McMurray and always had great results with the chicks and just like Keith said they arrive on the day they promise.

Our main home is just south of Houston. Our ranch in Groesbeck. When I make the permanent move in the next year and get a chicken house and yard built (we have an abundance of Coyotes) I'll run down to Cameron and pick up my chicks from the Ideal Poultry. A friend of the family has order chicks from them and they were very happy with the chicks. When my husband purchased German Shorthairs the chickens had to go. Our ranch is big enough to keep the dogs from going nuts over the chickens.


Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

Everything i have gotten from Welp Hatchery this year has been outstanding!

And lot sof folks in the P&L Forum have had great reviews for Ideal. there is even a video on youtube about Ideal Hatchery.

My STate tester advised me to always buy from Hatcheries within my own state because TExas has the highest standards and laws where chicken health is concerned. Ideal is in Texas, and so is www.xtremegamebirds.com I have order from them and been VERY happy, even won at the fair the first year!


Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

One thing about purchasing your chicks that I would like to say. I know that many of the hatcheries say that these chicks can live 72 hours in transit. When purchasing your chicks, you really SHOULD get your chicks from a reliable source that is closest to where you will have them shipped. While they can survive for 72 hrs it is not a good idea to do that. If you live in the Northeast, you should not get chickens from the west, etc. There are many reputable hatcheries in Pennsylvania and Ohio that I know of. On the same token if you live in the Northwest, I wouldn't recommend getting chicks from these PA or OH hatcheries.

Shipped on one day and received the next morning is the best way to go all the way around. You get a chance to take care of them almost as soon as they were hatched and give them the best possible care you can.

I'm not saying that they can't survive, but it's likely you will have more casualties the longer they are in transit. Give them the best chance you can give them.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

MM, VERY good point, thanks. xtreme in TX always sends overnight, but that took TWO days to get here [i'm rural], and only ONE to get to the rest of the nation. but recently some chicks sent from Ideal were delayed due to flight cancellations. it was devastating. all chicks had to be re=sent. some folks on the P&L forum have found hatcheries in DRIVING distance.... NICE ^_^

I recently pre-ordered May chicks from a breeder in TN,and I am paying the extra to have them sent Express instead of Priority...

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

We have a rule of thumb, if we can't get them in two days, we can't get them. I wish we had hatcheries here in KY. We looked into Ideal, but we felt they were just too far for us. The same with Welp and I know both of them have great track records.

As far as the flights being cancelled, etc. I would think that the companies would know ahead of time that the flights were not happening and contact customers and let them know. I have never had chicks arrive via UPS and only USPS. I think that mail including chicks does go on commercial flights.

Boy I wish we could drive to a hatchery. Actually we did a few years ago; drove to Ohio to get 17 week old Comets. We went to this rural Amish farm where there were many, many people and trucks lined up to pick them up. We got home with them and started unloading them (they had many guys there loading up these chickens). We picked up 170 of them. The first thing we noticed is that they cut the tips of the beaks off of every one of them and we were so irate. These poor chickens could barely defend themselves or eat right. They need their beaks to be able to pick up their food. It was inhumane and sad and we will never get t hem again.

You ask why did we buy 17 week olds? Well, our reasoning was that we would have eggs ready in time for the market, as opposed to our other ones we got as chicks. Our findings? I think the 17 week olds were stressed out from the long ride (chicks can handle it, full grown chickens aren't very good travelers) and the fact that their beaks were chopped off. They started laying the same time as the new chicks. Lesson learned.

And now....we have meat chickens (cornish rock) that are big enough to be processed; they are doing well and growing faster than expected and we can't get an appointment to have them processed. Our farmers market starts Tuesday and we hoped to have chicken to sell and we can't get them in :(

We love to do the chickens, both meat and egg chickens, but wonder sometimes, why..... Losing one is like losing a child, even though we do raise hundreds at a time. We have about 150 older laying hens and over 200 layers on their way (about 2 more mths and they'll be laying). We have about 300 meat chickens right now. Gotta love em, that's all I can say.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

that's gotta be tough, to not get them processed in time. exp since when those are ready, they are READY!

DH must love me, he puts up with the chicks. and keeps building pens. I hope to get our stock re-established and then close it for a few years to develop our own lines. But it takes a lot of stock and breeding pens to do that!

I am really sorry about those Comets... how dissapointing ;-(

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)

IF I had one word of advice for anyone, don't cut their beaks! Some people say it's good, keeps them from fighting with each other and pecking each other. I say that if you let them run around as intended and not cooped up in a barn, they will not peck each other. We have chickens with wonderful personalities and once in a while a few roosters will start sparring, and the dogs go crazy barking at them, as if to say "Stop that, we won't have any of that at this farm!" The roosters stop and go on their merry ways....but they have to get that once in a while.

Fritch, TX(Zone 6b)

simple theory.... if you are an INDUSTRY, use their methods. if you are a FARM, DON'T!

Payneville, KY(Zone 7a)


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