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On Apr 12, 2011, Iriseyes Morris, IL (Zone 5a) wrote:
I have ordered chicks from Murray McMurray many times over the past 3 years and I have only had great outcomes with my chick orders. Of over 300+ chicks of varying breeds, I have only ever lost 2 chicks! My orders are only 25-30 at one time. My two chick losses are because 1 died from failure to thrive- I think it had an impacted crop after eating. It was a meat bird type. My second was a banty chick that came with in a mixed order of banty, standard layers, and meat birds. I think the meat birds stepped on it since it was smaller, naturally banty's are much smaller. If one researches typical chick loss from ANY mail order hatchery it can run up to 5%, so losing a few can be expected, though I have never lost anywhere near that much. As I read many of the negative reviews I can only speculate that the losses were by first time chick buyers who most likely failed to meet the specific needs of the chicks. If you do not keep them at the warmed (access at ALL times to at least 90-95 degrees for the first few weeks), draft free, well fed and well watered then of course your chicks will die. Unfortunetly most people do not realize that even a little chilling can kill a chick. They are babies after all!
My most recent order was placed for 25 mixed layers plus the one free rare breed chick. My shipping statement said they sent me 27 because they added one extra to one breed that I ordered (black australorp- I ordered 5, they sent 6). When I counted them they actually sent me 32 chicks, only adding extra of what I ordered (they did send the rare breed chick, too). They have included extra chicks in the past, though not with every order. It always is a pleasant surprise to find extras! Who doesn't like a free gift, esp. when it's something you wanted anyway??
I highly recommend Murray McMurray hatchery, just please do some homework on chick care before placing an order, and have your chick enclosure ready to go BEFORE your order arrives!! Especially if this is your first time!!
Posted on April 11, 2011, updated April 11, 2011
Posted on March 25, 2011, updated April 11, 2011
I have ordered from MM for years. Sometimes my own 25-bird order (chickens, geese or turkeys), sometimes I placed my order with my local feed store (Livingston Feed-GREAT service) when I wanted fewer than the minimum order. Occassionally I'd have a loss of a bird,but, that was negligible. I have my own 'method' of caring for new chicks and have had many, many ROBUST, healthy birds of which I am VERY proud to own. I have even received some VERY nice show-quality birds from the orders. Thank you Murray McMurray.
On April 11th, 2011, gracesplants added the following:
WOW!! This year I placed my order through Livingston Feed here in Howell (truly the BEST and friendliest feed and seed around) as I didn't need a full order (25) of chicks. MM has done it again...AWESOME chicks!!!! I will state how I start chicks for those that seem to have huge losses. I start my chicks in about 18 in x 18 in cardboard boxes with pine shavings in the bottom about an inch deep. I cover the shavings with a smooth-material rag (old pillowcase, never a towel) covering the shavings. Be sure there are no valleys around the sides of the box. Silly chicks will get stuck. I use a quart waterer with 1/4 teaspoon vitamins/electrolites. I sprinkle chick starter or broiler starter all over the bottom on the rag along with a small feeder, uncovered with food. The box is 18 inches below a heat lamp that is placed so that it only shines on 1/2 of the box. First day, I dip the chick's beaks in the water every two hours while I'm awake. Their pecking instinct will help them find food. I change the rag for three days before removing it (chicks nail will get stuck in it.) After third day I do put the cover on the chick feeder. I decrease the box temp five degrees weekly (by heightening lamp or lowereing box) and increase box size until chicks no longer need a heat lamp. When fully feathered, I acclimate chicks to the outside if the weather is warm, otherwise I use dog crate's to keep them in until the weather is warm (no frosts). I have about a 98% viablity level doing this with chicks, geese, and tureys for 20 years. This is just my way. If another way works for you-kudos and share in please. On April 11th, 2011, gracesplants added the following:
We ordered the Heavy Breed Brown Egg Layer Assortment and specified no extra or free birds. Minimum order is 25 chicks but we received 27. Thinking that a few were awfully small and this was a way to insure a successful delivery. Of the 26 that survived, 11 were sex-linked chicks and 15 were various other breeds. After 4 months we discovered 5 roosters in our mix. 5 out of 15 is a 70% accuracy rate. When I complained to the company, their customer service was not apologetic and only after a second email asking about the status of our first email, I received a terse email that they were doing more than expected by refunding me the minimum cost of the roosters and nothing more. The customer service is less than helpful as far as I am concerned and when I posted a less than complimentary comment on their website, they didn't post it. Beware, only GOOD comments get posted. I love the chickens I have, but now I will have to purchase additional chicks, from a local feed store, to replace the roosters I GAVE away, after feeding and caring for them for four months!
First of all I don't think people should post a Negative Comment if they have never even ordered from MM.
As for greekbecky from Pittsford, NY,
1. They do not throw male chicks in the dumpster! They sell them as these bargains: Collection Cockerels, Fly Tyer's Special, All Heavies, Frying Pan Special, as well as many Straight-Run offerings which are not sexed, but they are cheaper than if you order females. Also they put them in replacement packages, like if someone loses a couple chicks and they want them replaced then they fill up the rest of the order with the males, and when the males get to 6-8 weeks you can butcher them and have fresh home-raised meat!
2. MM guarantees 90% accuracy on sexing, which from what I know and read is remarkable.
hedgwytch from Tulsa, OK, you say instead of having your own home raised meat you are stuck with 2 dozen roos that you can't do anything with when the reality is the roosters are home-raised meat!
That is all I have to say for now...
On Feb 15, 2011, equineplanner La Grange, KY wrote:
Ordered some 43 chicks of various breeds. They were all dead on arrival. Somehow it took 5 days to travel 300 miles. Turns out the chicks started their U.S.P.S. journey at 3:38 a.m. on a Saturday morning Minneapolis, sat in the postal facility in Indianapolis all of Sunday and into Monday, went through a time warp of some sort and arrived in Louisville (two hours from Indy), Wednesday.
McMurray's explanation is that the Postal Service says they will have more outbound opportunities if they ship on Saturday. What does that matter if they all arrive dead? Why not ship Monday through Wednesday like the rest of industry? I've ordered from half a dozen hatcheries over the last two years, some as far as California, and never had a mortality rate even close to this disaster.
Finally, how vital can your chicks be if you receive them when they are already five days old? I'm no poultry expert, but what I've read says they need to have food and water by the end of the third day to have a shot of developing into normal birds. Some will survive of course but how much has their growth been stunted?
My family just received our shipment of chicks over the weekend. They were brought right to our house on Sunday and when we opened the box all 41 chicks were alive and doing well. we got a mixture of different breeds and we were given 2 extras. We are on day 2 with our chicks and all are doing very well.. we had to fill their food feeder already!! I think this company Murray McMurray Hatchery is a great company and we will buy from them again. I suggest if you have not bought from this company yet please do so and have a great experience as we did.
I ordered 10 White Rock pullets, 10 Partridge Rock pullets, and a straight run of 6 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. My order came this morning with an extra White Rock and the freebie rare chick--a White Crested Black Polish. All of the chicks were fine when I opened the box despite the unusually cold night for travel. Everybody started eating and drinking within a few minutes. I mixed up the water with the vitamin powder and added the Gro Gel to the food. All was fine when I got home from work but I swear the buggers were twice the size as when I picked them up this morning.
i have ordered from mm 2 other times, once beginning of summer 09 and again late sept 09....both orders jumbo cornish x. experienced 3 losses 1st time upon arrival and non in 2nd shipment. it was a good experience, tasty birds, however difficult to watch the un natural growth rate. bought 40 jumbos again end of march 2010 and am now down to 24 @ 5 wks old. i live in the sierra foothills and we had some unexpected cold weather but once i remedied the situation i continued to loose birds. have called the hatchery twice, and they were not much help. "take it to the vet" or "give antibiotics". i did the latter of the 2 and still they continue to die. did a necropsy on 2 birds and they were full of fluid and one had a giant heart. have email mm twice and they have not responded. my neighbor also ordered jumbo cornish x at the same time and she also has unthrifty birds that dont grow and die. she has recieved no help from the hatchery. was thrilled with the first 2 orders, but this time around......not so much. 1st, i will never buy jumbo cornish x again, and 2nd am not sure i will order from mm again. this could be a freak thing, or the horror stories i have heard about the jumbos. im also wondering if these birds are safe for consumption when it comes time to butcher, providing i have anything left to butcher that is.........
Two years ago, about this time, I ordered 36 chickens of 6 specific breeds from Mc Murray, some pullets, some straight run. I received, on the appointed day, 39 chicks, all apparently healthy, if slightly stressed due to a 1000 mile trip to mountain elevation. Of those 39 chicks, one died fairly soon, a week or so. One escaped a cat and lived, one failed to thrive. We culled five, mostly cockerels, at butchering size, and killed an aggressive rooster, when we had three left. Of the rest, a few (white-egg-layers) were taken by hawks, some (including an already- doomed rooster) who strayed too far were killed by the neighbor's dogs, and the rest, all but one true to breed, are still laying jumbo eggs, under the supervision of the 'free exotic chick', a Sicilian Buttercup rooster, and his handsome son from a Dark Cornish hen. The only 'mavericks' I could discern were one 'amaurucana' who must have been part white giant (we culled her for aggression) and my single remaining white-egg layer, an 'ancona' who is more white than black and has a droopy comb, like a minorca. Whatever she is, she still lays an egg almost every day.
Last fall, I ordered through our feed store from a local hatchery, with very disappointing results. No extras, wrong breeds, lousy breeding. (They all did grow up, however, and they were all pullets. It just depends on what you want.)
For true-to breed, strong, healthy birds, McMurray IS the man!
On Apr 14, 2010, sunnybritefarm Naalehu, HI wrote:
So far I'm very satisfied. I've been ordering several small shipments over the past 2 1/2 yrs. While not every chick survived, almost all of them arrived here in Hawaii in good shape. I usually have 1 dead chick per 25-30 (some shipments none are dead, some have 2 dead chicks). Out of the several hundred chicks we're received, almost all survived. Only once did we lose a couple the next day. Often we find extra chicks in the box, so it more than makes up for the loss. Our orders have included assorted brown egg layers, leghorns, and a variety of banties. All chickens. So far, so good. So I'll continue to order. One other thing... they always arrive on the day I'm told that they would. That's a real plus for me.
Ordered 18 Cornish game hens and 22 layers. All chicks arrived alive and VERY active. I noticed that they had been shipped with gro gel in their box which I think is a great idea so they have nutrients and liquids en-route. They were all drinking, eating and zooming around within a few minutes of coming out of the shipping box. It also looks like Murray sent us extra Cornish although it's hard to count them as they are too full of energy to sit still. They are at about 32 hours now and all are happy chicklets.
We have ordered several times from this company and will certainly do so again.
Simply the best. I have used them since 1980 and have found them to be great people to deal with for all my poultry needs. When dealing with day old birds, problems with shipping can come up and birds lost, but the few times a problem has come up, they took care of it at once. Chicks need warmth and so shipping during the winter months is always a risk that because of needs on the farm I must take. It is good knowing that should there be a loss all it takes is a phone call. I have ordered chicks, ducks, geese, and guineas and the quality was excellent. I have tried others and must say that the quality and customer service was just not there. I have found that bargain chicks cost far more in the long run then starting with top notch stock right from the start, so this is now the only poultry company we deal with. Our last order of Rhode Island red bantams and barred cochins arrived healthy with 0 losses due to the cold. They shipped extras and a gift of a blue silkie. Thanks to these people my poultry needs are one less thing that I have to worry about.
My daughter just joined 4H so this was our first experience in receiving poultry through the mail. We ordered ducks from McMurray and chickens from Cackle Hatchery. Our 4H leader got all the orders together, placed them, and had them shipped. The first arrival was my daughters ducks from McMurray. There were 15 animals in the box and only 4 lived and now a week later only 2 remain. We think the runner ducks had something wrong with them because 2 of the ducks just did not grow. McMurray didn't care the animals died.. they would just reship them. Each shipment took 4 days to arrive and the second shipment only 5 lived out of 15. I conisder that just cruel.
Our order from Cackle was much much larger, close too 100 chickens and I believe 2 died. I will never order from McMurray again. I think its cruel to put children through what my daughter went through.
On Mar 10, 2010, farmerfitz Philadelphia, TN (Zone 4a) wrote:
My experience with MM has been good so far from a customer service standpoint and disappointing on the receiving dead and dieing chicks. I received my chicks yesterday and had things ready for their arrival as I was hoping to get them the day before, but we all know how the post office works. When I arrived at the post office and opened the box 7 black stars were dead and most others were feeling poorly. I attriubuted this to hard shipping I had ordered Quick Chick, Gro-Gel, and Broiler booster just incase something like this happened. I mixed the Quick chick and Sugar and water and started them immediatly and transfered the chicks to the brooder with heat lamp. I ordered 20 white leghorn and 20 black star. I called and they said call back when it has been 48 hrs, thats tomorrow and I'm glad they did because I'm down to 7 black star and 16 white leghorn and a couple more of each dont look healthy. I have been at this since I was about 7 to 8 yrs old I'm 32 now and this was my first MM order but not my first mail order by any means, and this is the most chicks I have ever lost. Its like the Black star were not healthy when shipped or had a harder time in shipment than any others I have seen ,and the White leghorn are headed down hill, and I cant figure out why. Temp is fine, set up is just as it always is, and was sanitized 4 days before arrival. All but 1 White leghorn took to water and feed from the start but know some of them have died and the Black star were so far gone on arrival it was like pulling hens teeth to get them to drink and none seemed to want to eat, none would attempt to drink on their own and had to be given water every little bit to keep them upright and then most have died. Frustrated is the keyword here. I will turn in my losses tomorrow and order enough to fill up the remainder with the same breeds. I think I'll place a couple orders with a couple different hatchery's and see if the results are any differnet will post those on the other pages in a few weeks. I need a 150 more pullets anyway. I have another order of Araucana coming from MM at the end of the month and will post about them at that time.
On Mar 4, 2010, lotsapaints Paso Robles, CA wrote:
ordered 36 chicks (12 Delawares, 12 Partridge Rocks and 12 Marans all ST run) on 2/3, 2010 delivery scheduled 2/28 thru 3/2. Post office said if they were delivered Sunday nobody was there to call so I hoped they shipped them Sat. Called Post Office Monday morning ask them to check and yes the chicks were in so to town we went. This winter has had some cold weather and I wondered how they would be...chirruping because they were cold opened box in truck had heater running free chick was not looking good warmed it up on the way home the rest looked good put them in warm brooder with warm sugar water helped them all drink and put food in they were all eating. Had 2 other extras was one short Marans, missing one pkg of quik chick but had one. Lost one Partridge Rock and one Marans had some pasted up but no biggie they seem fine now. These chicks are very vigorous have chick races all the time the Delawares looked like they were a day older than the others and they eat like pigs. The chicks are doing like all babies eat sleep and play. The free chick is a polish and I thought it was a goner but she's a tough one. The 2 chicks I lost were feather light so I figure just something wrong from the beginning. This is the 2nd time I've ordered from them and for sure the earliest and the chick loss is about the same and they've always sent me extras of what I've ordered. I did this all online-called them about the errors and was credited right back. I would order from again.
i have had nothing less than outstanding service from mc murray hatchery and i will always buy my chicks, ducks, or pheasants from them in the future! my last order was for the week of february 1st 2010 and consisted of 10 jumbo x rocks and 15 mille fluer bantams. because of un-forseen cold and blizzard, they had pretty rough journey to north carolina and the attrition rate was jus a wee bit high, i lost all of the bantams during the first 24 hours and 3 of the x rocks during first 48 hours. i reported my total loss to mc murray on wednesday of the same week as i was instructed to do and arranged a re-ship for march 1st. i am pleased to say that i just recieved my replacement chicks and all of them seem to be very active, eating, drinking, peeping, lively, lil happy chicks. there were however, one dead upon arrival and two struggling to make it, one that was struggling seems to have bounced back and so only two dead at this time, i find that very acceptable and see the rest of them as extremely healthy and hearty little birds that should make it! thank you mc murray for your outstanding services and professionalism! i'm completely satisfied with your customer/company service relations, thanks again!
I ordered 25 assorted females for delivery the week of President's Day. We had a severe snowstorm over the weekend, but the chicks still showed up at the post office right away Tuesday morning. We got them home and found 7 chicks dead and 17 chicks struggling. After dipping the live chicks beaks in water and giving them a few hours under the heat lamp they were all acting fine.
I called Murray McMurray the next day to report the dead chicks as well as the inaccurate delivery (25 ordered, + 1 'free exotic chick', + 1 'free extra' female white rock). They allowed me to choose 10 total replacement chicks (7 dead and 3 unaccounted for) in any amount from the extensive list of chicks I had ordered. They are filling out the order with assorted males to provide extra body heat. The replacement order is set to ship this weekend for delivery on Monday or Tuesday.
I understand the difficulties with shipping, and while it was unfortunate that 7chicks died, they were very responsive and helpful in offering free replacements. I can understand how a complex order like mine (1 and 2 of many different varieties) can get messed up, and again, they were very understanding and eager to make it right.
ordered the brown egg layer special, and was surprized when i recieved the them,.because there were 36 chicks, three of which were white crested grey polish,and it turned out that there were 4 rhode island red roosters, all others were a mix of R.I reds,N H reds and some red stars. all are doing exceptionally well. started laying at 21 weeks and today averaging 23 eggs per day (in the middle of winter) was pleasently surprized that the roosters are especially friendly, past experience holds red roosters tyrants. this is my third order from mcmurrays. and have only lost one chick. i would not hesitate to order from them again.
I highly recommend Murray McMurray Hatchery--just do not try to order chicks in February if you live in New England!
I foolishly tried ordering in February of 2009 and got a box of dead chicks, and when I had them replaced, I got a second box of dead chicks. I ordered second replacement, wanting to give them a another chance. The second replacement arrived in late June because I finally realized what I was doing wrong and all of those grew up to be healthy chickens!
Things to Know about Murray McMurrary (good and bad):
-great customer service and quick replacements if something goes wrong
-they have a wonderful selection of birds
-you can order one of a kind without extra cost, so if you want a single Jersey Giant cockerel or just one Barred Rock, you can get one
-they gave me a free rare chick on each order/replacement order (an Ameraucana, a d'Uccle, and last but not least a Cochin)
-although there is a shipping cost, it's very simple and you don't have to add 20 cents per bird or 25 cents extra for each bantam if you live in Massachusetts or anything silly like that. For my area, it was fourteen dollars for shipping 25 birds and that's all
-you do not have to pay shipping for replacements
-they ship on weekends in the first part of the year
-they are expensive compared to other hatcheries
I am happy that I tried them out, and suggest you do the same.
I received 27 chicks from MM in April 2009. They sent one extra, in addition to the free rare chick. One died the first week and another about the 9th week. The remainder thrived. MM was 100% right on the sexes and requested breeds. Overall, the pullets are now laying reasonably well. I'm interested in breeding SG Dorkings and the birds MM provided appear to be pretty true to the standard. They certainly have good size. I'd recommend ordering from them.
On Dec 20, 2009, Debbieduck New Concord, KY wrote:
I have ordered from mcmurray hatchery for years ..
my last two orders in 2009 were fantastic as well..
I ordered silver laced wynadottes 25 of them they added a extra and a free chick all made it to me alive and never lost one they are now 5 months old and doing great!!
I also ordered 10 ducks in a separate order ,
I lost 1 a week later but they added 1 extra so I did good..
Mcmurray hatchery has before in the past replaced dead chicks that I had lost but now thinking it may have been me since now I have educated myself on the proper care as soon as they arrive.
I think the reason there are so many negatives on here versus the positives is because I think happy buyer don't normally leave feedback and unhappy ones are wanting to vent.
I have heard a a lot of people complaining about cackle hatchery and am afraid to order from anyone other then mcmurray and will be ordering again for some silkies in 2010.
We ordered a batch of 25 Jumbo Cornish Broilers from MM hatchery. As it got closer to butchering time we realized that they were not growing like they should. We called the hatchery, sent pics and they agreed they had sent us the wrong birds. They had agreed to give us a store credit for the cost of chicks and shipping, only.
Today, we find out that they credited the credit card for less than the cost of the birds, and no shipping. They were gracious enough to offer us a 20% discount on our next order...which won't be happening!
We are waiting to hear from them about refunding the full purchase price plus shipping.
In the meantime, instead of having our own home-raised meat, we are stuck with 2 dozen roos that we can't do anything with.
The customer service has been less than helpful and the attitude of the place implied that it was our fault for not knowing sooner. This was our first time mail ordering chicks. We will not be ordering from McMurray ever again.
Also, they advertise a "Free Rare Chick" when you order 25 chicks. Ours was a red sex-link hybrid chicken. Not even a standard breed of chicken. I guess I was lucky it was a pullet, and not a rooster.
We are extremely upset by the way we have been treated by McMurray, and how long this is taking to resolve.
We are posting wherever there are reviews of McMurray. Hopefully enough people will see this and realize that they are not what they are cracked up to be.
I have been raising chickens for over 40 years, and have ordered fequently from MM over the last 30 years. I have regularly ordered butchering chickens and occasionally layers of asst. breeds. This year I ordered 25 Cornish, which turned out fine - no casualties and 12 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, which were straight run. In the past, straight run has come out about even on the sexes, but not this year. They sent me 13 BLR Wyandottes, only 3 are pullets & 10 are roosters. I had tried their Silver Laced Wyandottes some years ago, but they were horrible quality. I would say buyer beware with this company - if you choose straight run of a rare variety, be prepared to get nearly all roosters. 3 pullets won't lay enough eggs to supply my needs. I called them and was basically told "it was my tough luck," not the best customer relations. I won't be sending my chick order to them next year, that's for sure!
I've never ordered from MM and I never will. They throw male chicks in a dumpster to suffocate as other males are piled on top of them. I like buy my chicks Sandhill Preservation. They don't sex them so you get an unknown ration of male/female chicks. If you get more males than you want, keep one to protect the flock and have someone "process" them for you. At Sandhill, they treat life with respect, not as a commodity.
On Sep 8, 2009, ciccareb Wakulla Springs, FL wrote:
First I need to tell you I am a novice in rearing chickens. My grandmother had them and I have always wanted some. I ordered 25 chickens from McMurray Hatchery this year to arrive on July 15th. They arrived on Sunday the 14th, and because McMurray suggested that I call the post office and tell them I was expecting them I got a call on Sunday to come and pick them up. I followed all the instructions in their catalog on getting them started and I must say all are doing well. I did have one arrive dead but I had expected many more and all of them are thriving and now 6 weeks old. 15 of the chicks were red leghorns and they are beautiful. Very lively and growing so fast. It is a bit much to have to order 25 but in the long run it is so much fun to have that many. I did contact McMurray Customer Service and told them of the dead chick and was refunded right away. In addition I have called them with questions and they have always been helpful. I would recommend this company to anyone
Great experience. Ordered 12 Brahmas, 6 Black Astralorps, 3 SL Wyandottes, and 3 Buff Orpingtons, and received an extra which appears to be a Hamburg. All birds arrived at the end of March and appeared to be healthy. Lost 2 Brahmas the next week. Just didn't seem to want to eat. Remainder of the Birds have done extremely well and the Males went into the freezer today. Look forward to doing business with in the future.
I've ordered guinea eggs from them in the past, and they were fine. This year the chicken eggs they sent didn't hatch at all. We followed all directions and were careful about sanitation. The CS rep finally agreed to refund half of the money, but only after a battle. I ordered more eggs and an incubator. ( I emailed asking if these had shipped, and they said yes). Wrong. They sent the eggs but have no info on the tracking of the incubator, saying it should arrive next week. The CS message pretty much was "too bad". This company used to be reliable, but no more. Never again.
I have raised poultry for 50 years,past director of American Bantam Association Ohio/Kentucky district.Have not ordered from Mcmurray for years(didn't need to)but am sending a small order as a test.(June, 2009) No cold weather, brooders ready: some with other hatcheries' birds and some hatched show birds myself. Let's see what happens with shipping, and vitality which DOES drop off from inbreeding closely!Will keep adding to this blog.Mark/ Cleveland,Ohio airmail
On May 16, 2009, cjparker Kennewick, WA (Zone 7a) wrote:
I ordered a Chick-N-Hutch from Murray McMurray, that is suitable for about 4-6 chickens. I paid about $180 including shipping, which is half of what I have seen similar items being advertised at locally. The hutch arrived in about 10 days and was very easy to put together, as it is panelized. The only tool required was a Phillips screwdriver. The exterior-grade plywood makes for a sturdy hutch. My hens are happy!
Received ten goslings from McMurray apprx three weeks ago. The birds have developed an illness that even a Professor at Auburn University can't figure out. One has died, and the others are going through the signs and symptoms. Called this company to tell them I had dying geese, and all the lady said was sorry....we don't have a vet on duty, can't help you. I can give you a name of a book. Big help! I really believe the birds came to me ill, since none of my other geese, ducks, chickens or turkeys are not displaying and signs of sickness. But of course, McMurray would not listen to me and cut me short. Buyer beware! I will not be using this company ever again!
On March 28, 2009 the special assortment bargain package for day old chicks arrived. They arrived on Sat morining and the Post Office called to pick them up. It was snowing and blizzard like that day. The birds were alive. It was two hours before they were finally setup at home. Within a few hours we had lost 3 birds and over the next few days we were down to 11 of 25. I am not blaming McMurray or the Post Office for my loss---it was just circumstances--too cold and too much delay in getting them to proper temps.
The day after I placed them in a coop, a pack of dogs broke into the pen and now I'm down to 3 birds.
I also ordered the minimum ring neck pheasant package and it arrived on March 31, 2009. Still cold and snowing----all arrived alive. A friend of mine who has successfully raised pheasants offered to take care of them for me. Again it was cold and 2 hours of travel time to get home. The next day the losses started--by the end of the week only 2 birds survived. Again, there is no blame, just circumstances.
I am placing another order today for more birds--I will be better prepared and now that the daily temps are in the mid 70's, we'll have better success.
I placed an order March of '09 and got the call from my PO on a Monday morning. MM had a real run on chicks this spring so I had to fill up my order with many breeds I didn't even want. One of the 'fillers' were Red Leghorns. They were out of so many breeds that I had to take 8 of these RL's. Right off the bat, one of the 8 was down in the shipping box and it didn't live for an hour after it was placed in the brooder. I called right away to inform MM that I had lost the one and they told me to wait 48 hrs and give a total of losses. I informed them that the rest appeared OK but the RL's did seem more listless than the others.
Now for the people on here that 'have never had a problem' and acting like those of us that got chicks that died were too stupid to show the chicks to food and water; I am in my 40's, have had animals of many different species all my life, I Work with animals in my career and have for the last 27 YEARS, so for you who posted comments assuming those of us who lost birds are idiots, all I can say is that you need to go through this yourself to fully experience what it feels like to get birds that fail to thrive NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO! In the next 24 hours ALL of the RL's slowly gave up, laid down and died!
My Buff Minorcas, which I also didn't want, were happy, lively and thriving, eating and drinking and climbing all over the RL's who had to remain in the brooder for heat even though they were obviously dying, I didn't want to compound the suffering by removing them from the comfort of the heat lamp.
My Silver Gray Dorkings ALSO did Great! Stayed lively and happy, not near as hyper as the BM's but very happy and thriving. My Blue Cochins did great for two but one did try to die but I caught it in time and helped him to remember to eat. My Frizzles were doing great on night two, only for me to wake and find 2 dead and one dying! 2 others were doing great. I force fed the one who was trying to die and he lived in spite of himself but he is way behind in feather development from the two thrivers and I thought he may even have some defect in his crop. Who knows, he is alive today and nearing 2 weeks so I am sure he will be fine if he doesn't develop the 2 week disease.
Because they force you to take 25 birds whether you need them or not, it kind of forces you to go into the chicken selling business and to read that comment about the "2 weeks and dead" disease is very nerve racking and I Hope they figured out where that was coming from and were clear of the problem this year. I would not want people coming back to me telling me their chicks died.
Anyway, the remedy that MM wanted to give me was to ship out new chicks immediately. After having a brooder full of babies lined up in every stage of death, I just couldn't deal with more chicks and I felt that the survivors had been thru enough stress and that I would not invade them with either 25 more chicks or more dying chicks.
My big problem with MM is that IF I want to fill the order with more breeds that I would like to try, they will charge me full shipping! Otherwise, they will send males that I will either have to cull or to hold onto until I can find takers for them. I don't want to see another dead chick for as long as I live.
I also had a sneaking suspicion that since the birds dropped off by BREEDS instead of just run of the mill, I theorized that maybe it depended just where in the hatch they were born as opposed to the shipping time. I wondered if the RL's had been born very late, just before shipment, or else very early and had to wait longer than the rest to get to food and water. Of course MM would not say when each breed had hatched opposed to the other breeds.
So since I had 14 dead bodies, I can either get 11 roosters or if I want the extra breeds that I want, then I have to pay all shipping. To me, this is not fair since I paid shipping already for birds who had no life to ship. Why should I have to take birds that I may have to cull after experiencing that much loss already?
I had a great experience with this hatchery. This is my first time ordering, so I have nothing to compare it to, but there hasn't been a single hiccup so I don't know if a comparison would be warranted. The birds arrive on time, were healthy and active, and they sent me two extra birds in case any were lost in shipment. The only question now will be how accurate was the sexing? I ordered 25 female pullets; I'm crossing my fingers there isn't a rooster in there, but they did say sexing was 90-95% accurate.
Received 51 rainbow layers yesterday. I didnt loose and of the babies in shipping.
They were in very good condition and started drinking water and eating as soon as i showed them the water and food.
36 hours later no babies lost they seem to be getting more active everytime I check on them.
The only bad thing I would have to say is the policy of shipping on saturdays, lucky for me the postmaster called me Sunday morning to tell me the package had arrived and would wait for me to pick them up.
All in all I have a very good experiance and will order from McMurray again.
On Mar 7, 2009, DrDoolotz Oxford, NS (Zone 5b) wrote:
This was my first ever hatchery order. I ordered 25 of the brown assorted layer pullets and 25 of the ornamental layer pullets. They arrived a few days late but I had received a phone message telling me that would be happening due to some low hatch rates, and advising me if I had a problem with it to call them. I didn't have a problem with it. I chose McMurray partly because they are in Iowa and I knew the chicks would have a short trip. The label on the package said they were hatched on Friday evening and the post office downtown called me Saturday to pick them up. They were all healthy and well, and it is now 1 week later and they are all still healthy and well. There are quite a few really cute Polish in the ornamental mix. There were lots of birds in the mix. I am not intending to show birds, but I do want them for eggs. I think the chicks I received are excellent and seemed very healthy and all are developing well and feathering well. No splayed legs or bad feet or any other sort of issues. I am very pleased.