I have been ordering from Murray McMurray off and on for more than 35 years with no problem until last year. Last year more than 50% of my chicks died within a few days, and the ones that didn't were not the robust birds I was familiar with from McMurray. This year, my first order was a 100% loss and I have lost more than 50% of my second order. I have to say that McMurray's representatives are always pleasant and helpful. They either reship or reimburse without question. My first shipment this year took 5 days to reach me and the second took 4 according to the ship date on the box. McMurray replaced my first shipment, and it arrived in 2 days with no losses.
McMurray ships to me on Saturdays, and I believe that this is the problem. My Postmaster says that the shipment will just sit somewhere on Sundays and move on Mondays. I know for a fact the USPS personnel have no idea how to handle chick shipments. I have driven to my distribution center in Roanoke, VA and found a rolling cart full of poultry shipments sitting in a drafty hallway.
I must say that this year's surviving chicks appear to be much more robust than last year's.
I would say my rating is more positive than neutral but there was one thing that didn't sit right with me...
I have ordered from MM twice. The first time, I got 25 chicks: EE's, bantam Mille Fleur d'Uccles, and bantam Golden Sebrights. All arrived in perfect condition and all lived, grew, and thrived.
The most recent order was this past spring. I ordered 15 (super rare) Silver Gray Dorkings, 15 Barred Plymouth Rocks, and 3 Cuckoo Marans. MM included a"bonus" rare chick, which I knew would be male and he turned out to be a gorgeous Partridge Cochin.
When my chicks arrived, they were all alive, but one had a broken leg. My theory is that it leapt from the packer's hand, landed on the floor, was scooped up and plopped in my shipping box without being looked over. It was dead the next day and its leg was black and withered.
On the second day I noticed also that there was one chick (another Dorking--blast!) who was small and lethargic. Next day, it was the same size when everyone else was already bigger. Next day: dead. Now, I understand this kind of thing happens--that would not move my rating to neutral. I also think maybe its hips were deformed a little--it was kind of spraddle-legged.
What changed my rating to neutral was the broken leg. I contacted MM and told them how sad I was that the thing obviously had been suffering and that I thought it had been dropped on the floor at the hatchery and that maybe the staff should be coached to look over dropped chicks. The only response I got was an email saying my credit card had been credited the amount of the chick. I felt like they just didn't give a $h*t.
I won't be ordering from them again, but not because of the broken leg. It's because next spring I'm ordering breeds they don't carry.
I've ordered Cornish X's from MM for years, and a few always die from causes unknown. In an order of 50, I just expected 4 or so not to make it. The last order, however, the number was closer to 10, and this time I've lost 30 out of 50, not all at once but over the course of a month.They're still dropping off. I had them vaccinated for Marek's, but their symptoms are classic Marek's. MM said they'd replace the ones I lost and asked for a pathology report, though if I insisted they might replace them without it.
I've liked their service and the quality of their birds before, but I'm wondering whether they're having some quality control problems over there recently. I suspect this time I'll order 25 from MM and 25 from another company, just to compare.
On May 3, 2011, coloradomama Colorado Springs, CO wrote:
We are first-time chicken raisers. We ordered 50 combo meat and egg layers from McMurray (I know, probably ambitious, but we are excited). Anyway, we got them yesterday morning and already have lost 7. They came alive and seemingly ok. From everything I've ready I think that they may have gotten a little cold. It's been chilly here in Colorado, so I adjusted the height of the heat lamp and they are doing better. It hasn't been 48 hours yet, so I haven't called MM about replacements. I just can't figure it out. So far our experience with MM has been good. I guess we'll see after I call them about the chicks we've lost. Regardless, we're excited about raising chickens.
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.........
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.
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
A month ago, i ordered 25 straight-run barred rock and 25 Straight run rare breed special chicks. I was told that they would arrive Mar 3 and at 7:30 AM on Mar 3, i received a call from my Post Office saying that my chicks were ready to be picked up. I picked them up at 7:50 AM and found them to be in perfect condition. They were packed in a sturdy little box that had litter in the bottom and a cardboard shield around the inside to protect them from cold drafts. The chicks were bright and healthy and warm.
I had them vaccinated for Marek's disease and coccidiosis at the hatchery. Also, i ordered Quick Chick vitamins and minerals and Gro-Gel Plus to get them off to a good start. They were ready to eat and drink are really chowing down. I haven't had chickens in 30 years and am delighted to have such a good experience with McMurray Hatchery.
I must admit that i was worried about the Postal Service getting them to me in good condition. Some postal staff are less than caring about the quality of job that they do, in my experience. However, this time the Postal Service did a fine job.
Thank you, McMurray for your job well done! :-)
On October 4th, 2008, Oma2 changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
Update October 2, 2008.
Well, my flock is raised and laying. I ordered 25 straight-run barred rocks and only 11 turned out to hens. They are good yard birds that really go after the bugs which are abundant in FL. Two of the roosters had crooked feet, a genetic defect. The roosters are quite aggressive and rape the hens instead of courting them. Had to separate ALL barred rock roo's from the hens. The roo's are much larger than the hens. (The barred rocks we had when i was a child and teenager were gentle and the roo's and hens were close to the same size and were heavy birds.)
The other half of the order was the mixed-breed-special. The ad said that i would receive at least 6 chicks of each of 4 different breeds plus a surprise rooster. The real surprise was that 8 of the birds turned out to be bantam breeds instead of the full size birds that i ordered. Though the mixed-breed-special was supposed to be a straight-run package only 7 of this group turned out to be hens. All the chick deaths were in this group. Also, one of the roo's in this group had a cross-beak and was blind in one eye. McMurray did include 4 extra birds but 1 did not live 24 hours and 2 more died the next 2 weeks, 2 others did not live past the first month. (Normal attrition rate is 5%.) This current group consists of:
3 blue cochins: 2 roo's and 1 hen;
2 black cochins, both roo's;
8 bantams, 6 roo's and 2 hens from 3 different breeds;
3 hens with lace-pattern feathers;
1 five-toed roo with a beard and feathered legs (there were originally 4 chicks like this but 3 died before they were 2 weeks old);
5 roo's all different breeds.
I lost 2 birds to predators and have eaten 2. What i have learned: Barred rocks are hardy, healthy chickens and the hens are good layers. The black cochins are shy, gentle, very large birds; the blue cochins are also large, quiet, gentle birds; 5-toed birds aren't hardy and not worth the trouble to raise; the other 3 cochins are aggressive but meaty (one was the cross-beak which i destroyed). I think i will try a different hatchery next year and order hens only.
I work in a post office and have seen chicks mailed "Priority" (3-5 days until delivery). This is outragious! I started to raise chickens, because I did not want to contribute to factory chicken farms. PLEASE! Pay the extra money and only order an animal "Express" delivery. Animals should not needlessly suffer.
On Feb 11th, I received my first McMurray order. I was disturbed to see a flattened dead chick at the bottom of the box. It appears they must have either miscounted or knew this one was going to die since they sent 26 plus my free rare chick. The very next day, another chick died off. I don't think sending them Priority as opposed to overnight is a good idea. I noted these chick have EXCESSIVE rear end pasting. This is caused by the stress of transit according to the web site. I don't think this is healthy for them as it plugs them up and I have to constantly pull doodie from their rear ends.
I have more babies coming this week and I am very nervous about the way these will arrive. Monday is a postal holiday and I am afraid my babies will be dead when I get them. Not so good practice. I am curious as well how many roos I will end up with. I bought them all sexed so only time will tell. McMurrays prices are outrageous if you ask me. This is a sad price to pay if you want early birds I guess. I don't think I will be purchasing again from them in the future. This was a definate learning experience for me.
Local hatcheries are recommended if you have any in your area.
On February 15th, 2008, coolshadz added the following:
Oops. Sending them Priority as opposed to overnight IS NOT a good idea. Typo, sorry.On February 15th, 2008, coolshadz added the following:
On February 22nd, 2008, coolshadz added the following:
ON Feb 19th AM, I received my 100 chicks ordered from McMurray. The 75 large breed birds were all perfect, we did lose 2 in 24hours but had 2 extra for loss purposes. My 25 (plus 2 extras for loss purposes and free rare chick-total 28) bantams were not well at all. The post master told me, Tuesday morning, there were a lot of casualties in the box when they arrived. They were only there 15 minutes before I picked them up.
Monday was a holiday and we did have a post master at the post office that holiday day. I made her aware my chicks were coming in case they showed up on a non postal day, she promised to call if they came. They did not arrive until Tuesday, count them folks, 4 days!!! Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues!
I opened the box when I got home and was devastated to say the least. 12 dead on arrival and 3 more barely clinging onto life. Several others looking not-so-well either. I called the company right away and they told me to wait 48 hours and call back. Glad I did. I lost a chick every 15-20 minutes. 48 hours later, I had 6 left. It was not only VERY sad, but very sickening as well.
McMurray was very good about giving me a replacement. They are honoring an entire new order at no cost. I am, however, VERY concerned about having them shipped again. 2 days is too long without water, food, and heat. I was told they would ship out on Saturday for Monday arrival, EEEK! I have my fingers crossed for a no loss shipment this time.
I do give McMurray applause for fantastic customer service. I just wish they would ship EXPRESS mail since the package is precious cargo. VERY IMPORTANT. I will be dealing with my local hatchery from now on.On February 26th, 2008, coolshadz added the following:
On Feb 25th, I received my replacement Bantams for all the loss on my Feb 19th arrivals. As I feared, there were dead ones in the box and a few clinging onto life. I have since lost approximately 13 total out of 28. A few of them appear they may "check out" as well. I do commend McMurrays customer service. I have told them of the loss and they are going to replace, refund, or credit. They do guarantee the first 48 hrs. I am pleased with the customer service this company offers. They have an outstanding customer service center, and I appreciate how easy they are to do business with. Their representatives are very professional and compassionate. I will keep my rating at a neutral however. I think the shipping method seriously needs to be reconsidered by McMurray. It is very sad to watch these innocent little babies die off from chill caused by delay in arrival :(
I ordered 36 chicks, 2 straight-run, 34 pullets. I received 40 chicks (1 free rare bird, and 2 extras). Two died within the first week. We had 6 roosters of the surviving 38. The rainbow layers mix included a lot of barred rocks, a few cochins (which I didn't think were great layers?) and quite a few americaunas/auracanas (yay!). So overall a few more roosters than I might have liked but the chicks are wonderful!
We have ordered a couple of times, and have been happy with the health and quality of the chicks, but we did get some birds that didn't seem to be the breed we ordered. We bought straight run, so I can't speak to the sexing of the chicks.
I ordered 25 pullets + 1 free "exotic" breed chick. They all arrived healty and hungary!! However, of the 26 chicks, 6 of them turned out to be roosters (including the "exotic" breed). I am very dissapointed with that average. I wish to order more chicks, but I'm not sure if it will be from McMurrary.
McMurray's has a wonderful selection of rare breeds and a sexed choice in many of them. I love their website it's very informative and colorful. The user reviews of the chicken breeds are great. I haven't ordered their chicks, but I am rating them neutral at the moment, because I called them to ask a simple question about how they ship and the lady whom answered the phone was very rude to me. Others have had good experience there with the customer service. I will probably end up ordering from them anyway this spring as they're the only hatchery I've found who sells Blue laced Red Wyandottes and sexed Lakenvelders.
On August 10th, 2006, dingydoo added the following:
Since I've ordered from Cackle Hatchery where I was treated with professional respect. Why pay to get treated terrible from some jerk on the phone? After working with Cackle I will never order chicks from the rude receptionist at Cackle.On August 10th, 2006, dingydoo added the following:
I MEANT the rude receptionists at McMurray Hatchery. I was treated great at Cackle Hatchery, where I ordered from instead.
On Apr 25, 2006, Zeppy Shenandoah Valley, VA (Zone 6b) wrote:
Have heard many good things about this hatchery, and my experience has now confirmed them for me. We ordered 25 chicks to share with another family. All are absolutely thriving.
You can cancel almost last minute with no penalty.
On December 28th, 2006, Zeppy changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
While I'm still pleased with the health of my birds, it does seem as though McMurray's sexing is a little shoddy: I paid for (almost) all females, and 4 of my hens turned out to be roosters. A real pain.
On Apr 3, 2006, Melissa_Ohio Southwestern, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:
I ordered my first set of Chicks from McMurray in early March of 2006. We were so pleased with them, that I decided to order another batch of the more "exotic" breeds for delivery a month later.
I lost two from the first order, one was doa from the second order, but, that is to be expected, the rest of them, however, are happy, healthy, growing like crazy and chatting up a storm.
I HIGHLY recommend this company if you're looking to get chicks!!
On June 3rd, 2006, Melissa_Ohio changed the rating from positive to neutral and added the following:
I have to change my rating to neutral... Now that my first batch of chicks is almost to adulthood, I'm really not satisfied at all. I paid extra to get all females, and I have 4 roosters in the batch besides my "free" exotic that is a rooster as well. Not happy with that rate at all.
Of the second group of chicks, I've lost a total of 8 of them, and several that I ordered are not what I ordered. Many of the chicks looked the same or similar when they were babies, but now they all have their distinctive markings that make them what they are supposed to be, and they're not what they're supposed to be. I'm not looking forward to seeing how many roosters are in that bunch. :-(On December 29th, 2006, Melissa_Ohio added the following:
Now that all of my chicks are adults. I will say that I do love my chickens, however, of the second group that I ordered, about 50% were roosters (paid for all females) and many were not what they were supposed to be. The mortality on the second batch was horrendous, perhaps because they were the more "exotic" birds, but regardless, I will be looking for a different supplier come this spring.