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I was a first-time chick orderer this spring after wanting to have my own flock forever and pretty much ordered off the first site listed in Google. I realized later that there were many choices.
I have worked on farms for years, but never had enough property to keep my own flock until this year. I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing, but also picked up Storeys Guide to raising chickens just to be sure. I followed the instructions exactly when they arrived.
I picked nine different breeds (heritage except for the barred rocks) and did a ton of research about them on their site to choose them. The site is very informative.
I took the day off of work on the date they were supposed to show up and they were ready for me a 5am on Monday. Everyone was healthy and it was May so it was fairly warm here in Michigan. The Salmon Favorelle roo was a bit weak, but perked up with sugar water and extra dippings of electrolyes and a couple of forced feedings of chick feed. The shipping over the weekend really worried me, but they did fine. I have to say that that was really the only thing I really wish they would change. From my research it appears they are the only hatchery that does that. It seems to worry other people two.
I orderered 25 chicks and got 27. I am down to 22 as of August. I lost 3 as chicks, one failure to thrive 72 hours after hatching, one to me accidently setting the feed tray on her, and one to some sort of deformity/failure to thrive six weeks later. 2 have been picked off by predators as pullets and cockerels.
The only thing I would want to make aware for other people is that something may be off with their Sicilian Buttercup stock. My two chicks that died (outside of my error) were Buttercups. I have heard in the US flock of Buttercups of general problems with chicks and low production as adults, so that may be a nationwide issue with breed. My remaining Buttercup pullet is one of the friendliest and most beautiful of all the birds. I will probably order Buttercups from another hatchery during the next two years to see what my experience is with another hatchery as it could have just been bad luck. The chicks are pretty fragile creatures.
The breeds are mostly correct. They are going through their first molt right now, so I can't tell if anybody is show quality or not, but some may be promising. The Anconas and Silver Laced Wyandottes look very correct to me so far. You can't expect breeder quality from a hatchery, so I am pretty pleased with that.
I may or may not be ordering from Murrary and McMurray next year, but it isn't due to any fault of theirs. Overall I had a great experience.
On May 29, 2014, Pitcom Avondale, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:
I placed an order for an assorted variety of hens in the summer of 2013. All arrived healthy and exactly as we ordered. My chickens are doing great. They all started laying around 5 months of age. Was very pleased with my experience.
On Nov 30, 2013, woodsstalker Albemarle, NC wrote:
To date I have received 5 orders from McMurray Hatchery - chickens, guineas and ducks - and plan to be ordering more from them next spring. I have been well pleased with orders received (they generally over fill the order - in other words, if I order 30 chickens they will send 35). The loss ratio has always been with in acceptable range.
Their service as well as communication as been excellent., always responding within a reasonable time to any e-mails I sent.
Over all I am well pleased with McMurray Hatchery and, as mentioned, will be ordering more from them next spring.
On Jun 26, 2013, theawesomestkat Austin, TX wrote:
About 1 1/2 months ago I put in an order for 15 chicks of all different kinds. They all arrived at the post office right on time, a couple days ago, alive and well. They were much healthier than I expected and there wasn't a single casualty. This morning, I woke up to find one of my Golden Polish dead. It wasn't unexpected, considering it was the runt out of the 5 Goldens I ordered. Also, the Polish were the smallest of 8 breeds I got. When I called Murray McMurray to tell them of my loss, they graciously refunded my money, not only for the chick, but the vaccinations I had paid for on it. I didn't think they'd do that. I will definitely order from them again.
Late April I'd made a order to Murray McMurray hatchery for 2 African goslings(females), 2 packages of electrolytes/vitamins, and some chick grit.
Now, these were meant to be pets, not your typical geese meant for laying/breeding, etc. I'd done a lot of research and followed a pool of knowledge to the letter. Heat-pads, starter specific for goslings w/ niacin supplements and 18% protein in it, clean water at all times, etc.
They both arrived alive. One did not make it, unfortunately. Upon review of a photo I took upon arrival, I believe she may of suffered a neck injury during shipment. I'd mistaken the dried blood for poop(they took two days to arrive, so by then it'd dried and hardened).
I'm still very happy, though! The other is growing like a weed and is a total sweetheart. Very inquisitive personality, she gets into anything she can. Loves her baths! Also loves my keyboard, biting away at it as I type. She sleeps with me and my husband, at times. Other times she's content to sleep beside the matress. She'll follow me everywhere. She'll wait at the door until one of us returns home. Does well with a diaper to catch her sometimes messy poops while cuddling with us. She is just the sweetest little goose and she's extremely healthy! Feathers are also coming in well at 1 1/2 months. Her name is Matilda.
I saw a lot of negatives on McMurray, so I am posting my experience. Two years ago I ordered 14 mallards from McMurray, and in the box that arrived, there were 15, but one had died in transit, so I did net 14 birds. Prior to receiving the ducklings, I read Storey's Guide to Raising Ducks, and I followed the instructions to the letter, including temperature, feed, replacing litter/bedding, and how long to wait before introducing the birds to the outdoors. As a result of good quality birds from McMurray, and following Storey's guide, all 14 mallards lived to maturity, and they (well, the remainder - see below) now live on our pond, and give us lots of pleasure every day as we watch them flying around. From what I read of the negative comments, I think some of the people who lost birds did not understand all the food and temperature requirements and the absolute need for 100% protection from predators at least until the birds can fly. After moving the birds to the pond where they live freely, I have lost half the mallards to foxes and raccoons almost at once, but frankly, there is nothing you can do about that if you are not going to lock the birds in every night. Some will figure out how to avoid predators, and sadly, some will not, but that is how nature goes. The ones that do figure it out are generally okay from then on; I have not lost a bird in a year and a half. I have ordered six more female mallards this year from McMurray to replenish my little flock, and I expect as an good experience as I had the first time.
As a first timer ordering chicks from Mcmurray, I have to say I am very impressed. Upon departure from the hatchery, I received 2 emails as well as a text message notifying me that they were on there way. I also have to give kudos to Michigan's USPS. The post office called me at each checkpoint to let me know that they had arrived safely in Kingsford, L'Anse, and Baraga. This was especially good as the chicks were shipped during a snowstorm (which has yet to let up). My order consisted of Red stars and Pearl Leghorns. I ordered 35 and received 38- an extra of each breed plus our free chick, which we think may be a blue Andalusian :). Upon arrival at home yesterday, they were all little bundles of energy doing exactly what baby chickens are supposed to do. Unfortunately we lost one of the leghorns last night, but that's exactly what the extras are for. I cannot blame Mcmurray for that though. Even though the chicks were packaged extremely well for conditional weather, being shipped during a March snowstorm would be very stressful, and I honestly expected a much higher mortality rate. Other than that, the rest are doing amazing and are very hardy eaters. Overall, I have to give the hatchery high marks and we will definitely be ordering from them again.
I ordered the rainbow layers from McMurray last May (2012). I received an excellent assortment with over 8 different breeds! I ordered 25 and got 26 total. All were healthy and only 2 ended up as roosters.
I also wanted to share that the leghorns, (white, brown and red that I got) all started laying eggs at 4 1/2 months old and were laying JUMBO sized eggs by 7 months old! I couldn't be more happy with their leghorn chickens and have recommended them to many people.
I will be getting more this year and want to thank everyone at McMurrays for the great job they do with their chickens :)
Last year was my first time personally ordering from McMurray Hatchery (though my parents have ordered from them before). I wasn't sure what to expect. I had ordered quite the variety of chicks, though in retrospect, I should've made more logical decisions, as I had about half bantams and half full size chickens. Over the first week, we sadly lost about half of the chicks - all the bantams except for my little golden laced Cochin bantam, now named Coco, who is quite the adorable little roo. I will not blame McMurray as we are a very long way from the harchery and it was still really cold. Despite the losses, I didn't lose hope, as some of the chicks will little bundles of energy upon getting out of the box, the most energetic being my dark Brahma hen now named Ashley. Today, the bunch are doing very well. From that order, I still have my 3 beautiful Brahmas (one of each color), mottled Houdan who's a wonderfully energetic gal, golden laced Cochin Bantam, speckled Sussex, silver laced Cochin, black star, golden laced Wyandotte, white Cochin (who my sister now owns). Because of the loss, we got the same order (I probably should've learned from the first batch and gotten all bantam or full size), but this time, we got different survivors: my adorable golden laced Polish Shadowcrest, another golden laced Cochin (this time a hen abd the only banty to survive, again - I'd say McMurray's golden laced Cochin's are some of the finest and hardiest), a golden laced Wyandotte (who my sister owns), a white Cochin, 2 red stars in place of the one black (wonderful layers by the way), a light Brahma and a speckled Sussex. Now, despite my rather bad luck with survival rate, I really couldn't be more pleased with my beautiful birds. My Sussexs are both beautiful. One is the normal dark brown with white tips, and so is the other, but her white tips are much bigger, making her seem like she's white with brown, which, although probably not normal, I do find to be a nice contrast (she also lays beautiful dark brown eggs rather than the typical light brown, not complaint there though). The Brahmas are all very beautiful and gentle, and the hens are amazing layers of very large eggs, sometimes beating my stars! The older light one lays a nice brown speckled eggs, the younger lays a nice light brown, and my dark lays huge eggs that are almost pinkish in color (quite beautiful and eye catching if I do say so). The golden laced Cochins are adorable and very loving. The hen lays very large eggs, when she isn't broody that is. My sister's white Cochin and golden laced Wyandotte are very prolific layers of rather large eggs for show birds. My silver laced Cochin is a very big boy (and although he was supposed to be a hen, I have no complaints) and is a very good guard for his hens. My Houdan and Polish, who live together, are an amazing pair, both laying nice medium sized white eggs. The Houdan is an amazing flyer, very full of energy, yet relaxed when in my arms. My Polish is a sweet little gal and often comes when I call her. Both follow me when I let them out. My stars are all very beautiful, though it's interesting as the smallest, Comet, lays the biggest eggs, and Raven, the biggest, lays the smallest (they're still big mind you). My white Cochin is a very gentle and adorable girl who is an AMAZING layers of nice, medium, light brown eggs. And finally, my golden laced Wyandotte, oh she's a sweet heart. Everytime I enter her cage, she immediately jumps on my back and gets all snuggly, just like the other golden laced chickens. Despite the losses (which were very sad and hard to watch), I do love and appreciate my hens and roos, and regret nothing. The roosters are great protectors of their hens and the hens are tremendous layers. I will try other hatcheries to see what they're like though.
After reading some of the negative reviews of Murray McMurray I was worried about the chicks I would receive. Im happy to say my worrying was all for not! I ordered 42 chicks for delivery Feb 18, 2013. This date was a holiday so the hatch was delayed and I received 45 happy chicks on Feb 20! My free rare or exotic is a buff Cochin and i also was sent an extra rooster of two breeds I had ordered. I dont need the extra roosters but im not worried about finding homes for them. At the end of my 48 hour guarantee period I still had 45 live chicks. Unfortunately I lost 2 shortly after the guarantee period and a third wasn't doing good. I called McMurray and told them about the dead and dying birds and the customer service rep was very courteous and immediately offered to refund the cost of the birds even though it was several hours past the guarantee period. As I really wanted my Salmon Faverolles hens I asked if they would instead add the replacements to my order next month. Again, the gentleman was courteous and added them to the next order. Granted, those 3 will be a month later in laying for me but better late than never as far as im concerned. My experience with this company was exceptionally good and my surviving chicks are all large happy, healthy babies! The chicks I lost were all small which makes me wonder if they were from a young hen or one past her prime. I'll never know but I expected to lose a few so I definitely dont blame the hatchery or hold it against them! I'd surely recommend McMurray to anybody getting mail order chicks!
Posted on June 27, 2012, updated January 14, 2013
Ordered 25 Buff Orpingtons from McMurray's and received 27 June 18, 2012. They are 10 days old now and not lost a single chick. My guineas are a couple weeks from being shipped. I expect they will be as successful as the buffs and several other orders I have received from McMurrays. I have always been pleased with McMurray birds and I have been ordering from them for over 20 years.
Do yourself a favor and stay away from Cackle Hatchery. I thought I would save a little money ordering from Cackle and they sent me an order of sick turkeys that died and contaminated the rest of my birds they came in contact with.
On January 14th, 2013, CSFarm added the following:
Ordered another 50 Buffs (25 S/R and 25 Pullets) in Oct of 2012. They are out in the big lot now, weaned off heat and look great. I have always been pleased with the birds I have recieved from McMurrays. I had one issue several years back with early mortality and they were very helpful and the problem was resolved with more birds than I had lost.
On Dec 7, 2012, csr326 Catalina Foothills, AZ wrote:
I ordered 25 of the heavy assorted males, I got 27 + 1 rare bird a total of 28. All the chicks arrived in good order, one died about a week later I wasn't concerned about that, I've had that happen when I've hatched my own.
The shipping was super quick and their costumer service helped me out in trying to determine the breed of some of the chicks. I received 3 Americana, which where not on the list of assorted chicks that was advertise. I wasn't concern too much about the mistake since these were going to be meat birds and not too mentions those 3 were the largest one so far. The mistake didn't bother me this time.
The cockerels are now 10 weeks old and thriving, they have good form and color. I even sold one Black Australorp as a breeding rooster. The rest are growing fast and should be ready to process within a few weeks. The rare chick I received turned out to be a Buff Brahma Hen, she is beautiful and is going to join the egg laying flock.
Overall I was satisfied with the product I received, the mystery bird is a nice treat for customers I havent seen another hatchery offer that yet. I would do business with them again.
I can understand why people post negative reviews, but when you are dealing with live animal products there is always a chance of something that's not going to go according to plan. Just be tactful when you deal with companies, maintain a calm demeanor when speaking on the phone. Tell them that you'd like to continue to do business with them and that's why you want them to fix the problem at hand. Ive learned this and used it and and it has served me well.
We ordered 15 "top hats" and 15 "assorted feather footed bantams" for my children's 4H chicken raising project, we are experienced chicken keepers and have an established triple breed, egg laying flock of 35 birds(33 hens, 2roos)
Our chicks were shipped priority, but we still received them in ONE DAY-incredible! We did have 3 casualties out of the box and another 2that had "stuck eyes"(but they WERE pecking each other so that is to be expected to a point). There were another 2 that seemed a bit "droopy."
I called McMurray immediately and told them that while I would normally be happy with a credit, I really needed these chickens for my children's 4H project. Since it was the end of the season(order shipped 10/31), they offered to send me 10more chicks just in case we had any more casualties since it was SO important that my kids had these chicks survive and we were out of "ship dates" after 11/5(the next week). This also helped ensure that they weren't sold out by the time we had a full casualty count or if we had any "replacements" die. They also could only replace with feather foots since there were no "top hats" scheduled to hatch until next year...but you can only offer what you have to your customer, not their fault that we were JUST told that we had to have 10-14mos old chickens by next October :-)
Well, out of our droopy and eye chicks, we only lost one thanks to gro-gel and A LOT of TLC(I truly believe that with most chicken keepers they would've been written off, they were in BAD shape)...another was VERY close(she was laying on her side for about an hour breathing shallowly and I was SURE she was a goner, but she somehow pulled through-we aptly named her zombie chick, born on Halloween and came back from the dead :-)
Honestly, I couldn't be happier with our McMurray experience, the fact that they replaced our chicks that were "dying" and not just dead to be sure to accommodate our 4H project says so much about their customer service.
Our 31st free "rare chick" appears to be a salmon faverolle, such a neat breed, my daughter was thrilled! We have been playing "name that breed" all week with our assortment-assortments are great for kids(not so much for us where we occasionally hatch chicks and have no use for "mutts")
I have replacement chicks arriving this week and ducks arriving next week, will report back further when the rest of our babies arrive!
We purchased some Easter egg chicks from them and they all came fine with extras. Everyone of them made it. The chicks were quite healthy and vigorous. They just started to lay their first eggs and they are very colorful!
They do a great job hatching and shipping chicks. I have also ordered many times from them in years past, they are always great.
I received chicks from Murray McMurray, and the experience has been entirely positive. The chicks arrived quickly (2 days after hatching), the post office called me at 8am on Sunday to let me know I could come by to pick them up, and they were all healthy and happy. The weather was warm, and the transit was fast, so they were not overly stressed by shipping. The company was very good about communicating with me via email and by phone. I only wish that they put a sign on the box indicating my Quik Chick and Gro-Gel packets were included under the litter in the box the chicks were mailed in. I ended up throwing the box away in my excitement over the chicks' arrival.
Posted on May 3, 2012, updated May 3, 2012
I've ordered birds from MMM for my egg business several times, as well as ordering from other hatcheries. I've found that MMM hens seem to lay sooner and more eggs than other hatchery birds. I've also had great luck with them--out of 150 birds ordered, I've only had two chicks die. Those two came from this year's order; they just never were quite as active as the other 50. I called MMM not knowing quite which breed they were, since I ordered several breeds that look extremely similar as chicks. I expected MMM ask me to call back when I knew which breed they were, since each breed was a different price. Instead, the CSR said she'd just refund the price of the most expensive chicks I ordered so I didn't have to call back. This was going above and beyond, and much appreciated.
On May 3rd, 2012, GardenRiot added the following:
To the person whose vaccinated chicks came down with cocci--did you feed medicated chick starter? You have to do one or the other; feed medicated feed OR vaccinate. Feeding medicated feed will cancel out both the medicated feed and the vaccination, so it's just as bad as doing neither.
On Apr 16, 2012, marvinshelley Prairie Grove, AR wrote:
Lighten up on McMurry just a bit. I have ordered 100s of chicks the past few years and mostly there were no problems. Did have a recent order take 5 days and lost some, but they made them good. That was the airlines' fault. Has there been some mistakes as to breeds or sexes? You bet! Always will be, don't matter what hatchery you buy from.
Imagine - 10,000s (maybe 100,000s) of chicks to be sexed, sorted and packaged - 100s of combinations of sexes and breeds, and it all must be done within 24 hours. There's gonna be mistakes.
Occasionally you will get some wrong sexes and breeds, ACCEPT IT ! Or, hatch your own. I can't figure out how they do it with the degree of accuracy they maintain.
They are good folks and if you advise them of a problem with a decent tone of voice, you'll get a positive response. However, if you act like an irate horse's behind, you may get treated likewise. Just be nice.
FYI - I suggest that you do not order bantams and larger breeds in the same order. The larger birds may crush the smaller bantams. That's been my experience with several hatcheries.
As of today, I have orders with them to be delivered thruout the rest of the year, usually 50 per order every 2-3 weeks.
Rural Real Estate Broker
[From a New Chicken Herder] I received my first-ever order of 25 chicks in mid October of 2011 from a hatchery. One was dead on arrival. I did not have my chicks vaccinated for anything. I fed them quick chick, put shop towels over the pine shavings for the first 24-48 hours, fed them Purina starter grower, dipped their beaks in water right out of the box, put a heat lamp at 18 inches - I followed all the instructions I was given to care for chicks.
Every one of them thrived. Now, at almost 13 weeks, they are beautiful birds, maturing very nicely - as best as I can tell.
McMurray hatchery credited me for the one dead chick without question.
My order was to compliment the hens I already acquired in June of 2011 from the local feed store, which kicked off my chicken raising adventure. The order consisted of males in 4 different breeds and a straight run of a fifth breed. The straight run was 7 to 6, male to female (single comb brown leghorn clearly differentiate by appearance after 8 weeks), and the rest of the males LOOK like males, but I can't be sure. I have no reason to believe otherwise.
I have been extremely satisfied with the McMurray hatchery, I enjoy their web site, their catalogue, their customer service, and I can't get enough of their 5 minute behind-the-scenes video online.
I have another order of mostly dark cornish and three other breeds coming at the end of this month. I have another order for geese coming in May.
I respect their mission of watching over chicken breeds, I think their operation is comprehensive, orderly and transparent to the customer. I will continue to do business exclusively with Murray McMurray hatchery for the forseeable future.
This is my favorite hatchery in the business. Their costumer service is impressive, and the their birds are even more so. I have ordered chickens from them each year for many years now, and their birds are always the healthiest and most beautiful in my whole flock. My birds from McMurray are very good egg producers, continuing their production all throughout winter and even into old age. Each shipment has arrived with all of the chicks healthy and lively, and I really love how they give you a rare mystery chick for free. I have never had any problems with them, and I would highly recommend them to anyone looking to have handsome quality birds.
Ordered twice from McMurrays. 2 x 25 birds. Competent and professional when i rang to notify them of 4 dead on arrival, they credited my account. Poultry now 3 months old and very healthy. I'll do business with them again, no doubt.
I bought 30 pullets from our local feed store and ended up with 15 roosters. I found McMurrays online and ordered Barred Rocks and New Hampshire Reds in Nov. Of 25 pullets, I had one rooster. I was so pleased with my order that in March I ordered Sussex and Wyandotte pullets from McMurray's. This company is very professional, the chicks are shipped when they state they will be and I highly recommend McMurrays to anyone looking for chicks. The chickens I received are healthy, and beautiful stock. Recently I ordered a pair of Chinese geese. I am very satisfied with every order and I will stick with McMurray's for any birds I need in the future. This company definitely deserves 5 stars!!!
On Jun 18, 2011, mattinca Mckinleyville, CA wrote:
i have ordered from mm for over 10 years and will continue to do so...for all the nay Sayers and people writing these horrible reviews i wonder if they really fallow the procedures needed to start their birds. I have had a rooster or two in an order of all female birds...what do i do? post it on Craigslist under farm and garden for free....boom...its found a new home...I don't see how it ruined my life or my experience with this hatchery. As for my birds and their survival rate.. almost all have lived and had only one order with substantial mortality's. i called had a replacement order. If its over the amount that i want (being 25 as a minimal shipment order) I post of Craigslist again, pick the birds i want to keep and give the chicks to some one who wants them. People are ecstatic to get free chicks instead of having to order them, or purchase them at the feed store. As for the quality of the birds, no order of birds will all be show quality. For those who see chicks that die in shipment as cruel, I ask have u ever had a broody hen hatch her own chicks? That can be much more cruel to watch. Hen can reject one and peck it to death, or if its here first brood hatch out chicks and then decide the baby thing isn't for her and abandoned them. Nature is beautiful and cruel all the same. As for how mm runs their hatchery i believe it is top of the line. do birds die? yes! its a part of life. Do i believe that mm purposely ship birds with the intent of having them die...NO....if u believe in any form of luck then u would know that there is bad luck. And it happens. Last point i would like to make. The post about the vaccinations and the illness's that occurred. If your birds became ill and became infected its because the property the birds were on had to have been contaminated with the disease. I will honestly say that to have had all your birds vaccinated and to have all been infected and dieing is just not realistic nor believable. well thats all i have to say.....peace....
We have ordered 6 times over the past several years from McMurray Hatchery. They have always been very professional & more than willing to do what it takes!
We received a call from our Post Office 6:30AM Monday morning- all 27 chicks we alive. Today is Wed. & they are all doing well.
I want to share this for any new comers - there is stress involved when the new babes have to travel long distances via mail to reach their new homes. It's been my experience that, it has no reflection on quality.
We had 4 babes Tuesday straining to get things moving, and we heard their cry (which is a distressed cry) and immediately took action by warming some water and using a q-tip very gently until it completely cleaned their bottoms from the hardened stool - they are all fine today Wed. afternoon. Also had one not eat or drink - but watching them closely is really what it takes the first few days. This is what we did, we mashed up some chick starter, added a tiny bit of warm water and hand fed her with a syringe 5 times over a period of a few hours yesterday. She took right to the syringe. She is now eating and drinking on her own today-
All 27 babes are gettting along great now.
Thanks again McMurray!
We recently ordered 50 baby chicks from MM. When the babies were delivered, 4 had died enroute. I didn't know that I was supposed to let MM know about the demise of the babies until almost 2 weeks later. I sent them and e-mail and received a response shortly thereafter letting me know that my account was being credited for the loss. No problems. We have already placed our order for 25 more.
On May 27, 2011, bigbobmissouri Mindenmines, MO wrote:
I order 25 rhode island reds pullets and 2 cayuaga ducks (male & female) I recieved 26 red pullets and both my ducks as order (and my rare breed chicken which was a beatiful rooster)My ducks grew fast and strong and they are still thriving I did not lose 1 chick they also grew very fast and stong They are 3 and a half months now and are as big as my buff hens that are year I recieved my chicks the 2nd week of feb I just kept them warm, fed, and watered I wanted to thank MM Hatchery for sending great chicks they will even eat right from me and wives hands it has been great fun for us THANK YOU
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:
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...
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.
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.
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!