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Comments regarding Cackle Hatchery

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  Feedback History and Summary  
106 positives
6 neutrals
31 negatives


Negative 123Sunny1
(1 review)
On May 1, 2019, 123Sunny1 Eccles, WV wrote:

I have ordered chicks from cackle hatchery on two previous occasions with no complaints. I have had no complaints until this last order. I ordered 300$ worth of chicks, around 40 chicks total. I picked the chicks up one day earlier than expected since the main post office called me instead of my local post office. There were 2 dead chicks when I picked them up. No biggie it happens. I have been raising chickens now for 10 years so I always order with the expectations that a few will pass from natural causes. The next 24 hours they were dropping like flies. I had everything ready for them previous to there arrival and I always order the chick care package that includes electrolytes and all that. By the second day I had lost 9 chicks. It did seem to be breed specific. I lost a lot of Easter eggers and 2 of the three olive eggers and the salmon favorelles. I emailed after I lost the first four so quickly and they responded pretty quickly. They just asked for my order number and I never heard from them again. I continued to email with no response and waited to call until closer to the 48 hour period to see how many chicks would pass. Long story short I never heard back via email and when I finally reached customer service the representative seemed to have one job and that was to prove that I had done something wrong. Like I was calling to go over the rules of raising chickens. Then after a lengthy conversation that was accusational at best she said that I would receive a call on the following day to get a final death tally. I carried the phone around with me the next day and never received a phone call. I emailed but no one got back to me. Shocker. At that point I did not want anymore chicks from them anyway. I had been through a lot trying to help these poor babies but I just had to watch them all die one by one. By the first week I had lost 11. I lost another 2 the second week and I lost another one today. The rest of the chicks seem to be flourishing but my flock will have to be a lot less colored egg layers which sucks because my customers love the blue eggs. I will be ordering elsewhere from now on and hoping for the best. I never write reviews but I sent a lot people to cackle to order chicks and so I want to warn everyone that this could happen.

Negative Dnic2007
(1 review)
On Apr 18, 2019, Dnic2007 Elgin, IL wrote:

This company has little concern with packaging, weather or if your order of LIVE birds will arrive dead or alive. We ordered our small order for our local 4H fair, hoping to get a bird to show. They first take the initial step of collecting your astronomical fee ($82 for 6 chicks) and only guarantee the chicks pricing which is marginal compared to their $20 small order fee, $20 shipping fee ect. Then they ship them with little or no concern to weather. Our small chicks were placed in a 11x9 inch box, 1/4 straw bedding, 1/4 inch cardboard depth or standard box thickness with enough room for them NOT TO HUDDLE. They state that each box has a heater in it, but what they do not tell you is that these heaters only last an hour or two at most. Shipping from neighboring states in the method of only offering Priority Mail not Priority Mail Express it took a total of 16 hours from shipment to receiving. The big hint on how this company operates is that this SMALL ORDER left their facility at 4:30 PM traveling through the coldest night. Our shipment was received in Kansas City MO at 12:58 AM (temperatures now at 47 degrees) reaching Illinois temperatures at night at 38 degrees). Mind you that they daytime temperatures in MO. that day reached a high of 78 degrees and Chicago 66 degrees. Shipping a small order at this time and KNOWING that these small birds HAVE TO MAINTAIN a 98 degree body temperature otherwise HYPOTHERMIA and PNEUMONIA will occur. The box size and construction did not offer any protection from these elements as our complete order arrived DEAD on ARRIVAL. Their bodies sprawled all over the place. During night hours there is also no light for them to detect each other than by sound. The struggle portion of a chick would have been loud but as they freeze I am certain not much sound is produced. I only wish I could show these readers the body positions as not one was next to another and their small collapsed bodies showing they just gave up. One chick peeped when we picked up the box but I opened it to give water and heat as our car was at the highest temperature, blankets brought and to find this one's body contoured to know it was trampled, wing broken and could not raise it's head. It did not even survive the ride home. It's feet were beyond cold as I rubbed my hands to give as much heat to it placing it on my hand still within the box. This place should take better effort to have staff monitor weather conditions and only ship during the daytime hours for periods of low temperatures. It is fun going to the stores to pick up your chicks but Blain"s purchases their chicks from this company as well and I can tell you on several occasions I have seen mass amounts of dead ducks, chickens and turkeys. If they do not take them out prior to showing off their inventory. Remember one sick chick CAN INFECT them ALL! Big R and Tractor Supply Plus order from Townline Hatchery which shipping is free and they WILL NOT ship in COLD weather without the support of a 15 minimum order. Also, MY PET CHICKEN, Meyer Hatchery and Murry McMurry have special designed boxes to reinsure huddling which is the only way these birds can MAINTAIN their REQUIRED 98 degree body temperature without experiencing HYPOTHERMIA. Cackle Hatchery still states that their box design is adequate and does not see a problem shipping at night.

Negative kim_k
(1 review)
On Jul 5, 2018, kim_k Pullman, MI wrote:

Don't trust this place. I typically only provide online reviews for exceptionally good customer service experiences, preferring to give the benefit of the doubt when I have a bad experience. However, in this case, I want to be sure others don't fall into the same trap I did. I paid $600 for ten birds that were marked online as "available now." After one week, I receive my ship date, three weeks out. The day after the scheduled ship date, I called to confirm shipment and they promised me the birds had been mailed, but were unable to provide a tracking number. Two more days went by and the birds still hadn't arrived. I didn't sleep that night, fearing the worst had happened to the birds. When I called Cackle Hatchery as soon as they opened the next morning, they were forced to admit that they lied about the shipment and that they had completely lost my order. That being said, they had already been holding onto my $600 for a month. As you might imagine, I demanded a refund. They complied, and two more weeks later I received a portion of the refund. Even though they misplaced my order, lied about it, and neglected to provide anything for the money paid (which they held onto for six weeks), they still saw fit to keep a 10% order cancellation fee. Not only did no one apologize even once through this entire debacle, but the representative on the phone told me that it doesn't matter why the order was refunded; their policy is their policy. My advice is to stay away from this place. My husband and i were ultimately able to get ten chickens from a local farm for less than the $60 these people took to give me nothing but lies and hassles.

Negative goldenrodfarm
(1 review)
On Apr 17, 2018, goldenrodfarm Sherman Station, ME wrote:

I ordered 30 Cochin Bantams, 10 each of 3 different varieties. The day the order came one there was only 20 birds plus 2 dead ones that I guess were extras in the box. Looking at the order someone wrote on sorry no white ones hatched, you can reorder. Well first thing the minimum order is 25, something they did not adhere to shipping me 20 birds so to reorder I would have to order 25 birds, 15 more then I wanted. Reordering was also not a possibility in a bunch of chicks I wanted to raise together. Most hatcheries I have dealt with would have held the order for the next hatching.

As the birds grow I was very disconcerted to realize that my straight run order was apparently behind someone that wanted hens, out of 20 birds there were only 3 hens. The next blow was the poor genetics displayed in the birds. The Birchen Cochins had some that were missing the silver laced breast feathers, they were just black, many had poor neck feathers with poor lacing, the birds that had plenty of feed and water areas, were all different sizes, particularly noted in the Splash Cochins. I have never seen such poor genetics in one group in my over 50 years of raising all kinds of birds. The final blow was the poor livability displayed in the hens, at about 8 months the first one died. The two remaining nested together and started to raise 6 chicks. Within a week of them hatching another hen was dead and the final one just 3 weeks later. I have had Cochin bantams for years, they live for years and rarely die. No more orders from this company for me, it was a totally bad experience with an order over $100 that resulted in no hens a year later. I sold the excess roosters and only have 2 left with no hens.

Negative Dolphins33
(1 review)
On Feb 9, 2018, Dolphins33 Casstown, OH wrote:

I bought 23 chicks and had them shipped. We received 24 chicks. Two were dead within minutes after arrival one of which was one of my 2 males. I called the hatchery and spoke with Jessie who was great and told me to call them again in 24 hours because he pointed out that there had been no heat pack included when the chicks were shipped and itís been 7degrees out. I called after 24 hours and gave Jessie a live count. He said they would be able to ship me replacements but to call after 48 hours with total. He said usually they only do the live count after 24 hours but since they knew why these chicks were dying that they would do 48 hours. I called after 48 hours and spoke with Kathryn and told her I only had 12 left out of the 24 they shipped us. She said they would only replace 11 of them because there had been an extra one. She then told me that their policy was that they canít ship less than 15 so I would need to purchase 4 more chicks to get my replacements. I refused to purchase more when this had been their fault. I told her she could ship 15 if they needed to but that I shouldnít have to buy more due to their negligence. I asked to speak to a supervisor and spoke with Chelsea who said she was the office manager. Horrible example of customer service skills!!! She refused to ship us our chicks and said she would only do a refund. I told her I just wanted our chicks alive and she told us they ship over 100,000 chicks and they would take a huge loss to ship us less than 15 chicks. I will never buy from this hatchery again! It would not surprise me if I lose the rest of the chicks too after being shipped in 7 degree weather for over 24 hours with no heat. Buyer Beware!!!

Negative tbombadil7
(1 review)
On Feb 28, 2016, tbombadil7 Cascade-Fairwood, WA wrote:

I placed an order though Crackle Hatchery and when I pickup my chicks from the post office all but one chicks was either dead or dying, and what were still half alive I have been trying to nurse along to no avail over the last 24 hours. I called and they told me they would refund me for all the dead chicks after 72 hours, less of course shipping cost. I am very disappointed and in the quality of service from the hatchery and also the handling of fragile cargo by the post office. I will not order any more chicks from Crackle Hatchery, and after talking to several of the local feed stores that sell chicks I understand why they do not order from Crackle Hatchery.

Negative Aamanda
(1 review)
On Nov 2, 2013, Aamanda Linn Creek, MO wrote:

I ordered 15 Heritage Rhode Island red pullets from them in early August. I called first a few weeks before to verify that there were indeed Heritage and not "Production" Reds. They all arrived on time and spunky. However after a short time it was obvious they were not Heritage. I decided to wait a bit to see if they would darken up. In the meantime I could see that one was defiantly a rooster. No worries. They sent an extra and was just one. Then a few more started looking like roos. Pretty soon it was clear I had many more roos than should ever be in a all pullet order. I called and was told to email the pics. So I did. It was only september 17th so I know I could be wrong but they only give you a certain number of weeks to report a problem. I wanted to get the report in on time. I waited for a call or email but never got one. I called after a few days and not hearing back and was told to email again. I sent another email on September 27. I explained in the email as I did on the phone that I needed to know what they were going to do. I was sent a straight run. I needed pullets. That is why I paid extra. If they were not going to fix it I needed to know. That way I could get some ordered before shipping stopped for the year. Never heard back. I called one last time and sent one last email. NOTHING!! I ended up with 7 roosters that several judges have told me were "Glorified production reds" Sure..they are in great health. But I had to get rid of 6 of the roosters because they became very aggressive toward each other. So now im stuck with 10 chickens that are not the right kind. And no one bothered to even call me back. Not even to say I was wrong or to wait a little longer and send new pics. NOTHING. They are all nice and courteous when you order but God forbid they get something wrong and you want them to fix it. Now I have to wait till spring order the correct type from someone and feed them all summer when I should be getting eggs. I will never order from them again. And I belong to many Chicken forums and will continue to warn anyone considering purchasing from them not to do so. I live in the same state in the hatchery and tell anyone I can any chance I get what they did and will continue to do so until (like it will ever happen) they make it right. The feed store I go to all the time buys from them but I have convinced them to use another hatchery. If you want mutt poultry with no customer service than by all means order from them. I also went back and looked at their web page. I looked at their production red pic and the Heritage pic. Im not 100 percent sure but I think its the same rooster but different sides. And after reading more I don't think the pics are from their birds but rather a "Representative of the breed"

Negative brysonjohnson65
(1 review)
On May 2, 2013, brysonjohnson65 Springville, UT wrote:

I ordered 22 chicks. After waiting several months i was so happy to get them but when i opened them there they are just laying there dead all 22 of them. And it said they ship extra chicks in case one dies and they didnt .However i did get my money back .I will neverrrrrr order from there again and neither will anybody I know.

Negative CSFarm
(3 reviews)
On Nov 26, 2012, CSFarm Ronda, NC wrote:

Posted on August 8, 2010
Oh how I wish I had found this site sooner! We will never order from Cackle Hatchery again. Ordered 100 Blue Slate turkeys from them a few years back. They sent 102 and some were dead on arrival with several sick. The post office even made a written statement of this. I made numerous phone calls to the hatchery and over a few days, all but one of the 102 turkeys died. After several phone calls (many resulting in a busy signal) and e mails they would do nothing about the problem. With cost of birds, shipping, medication and long distance phone calls I ended up with close to $500 in one turkey. Buyers beware, Cackle Hatchery took advantage of me! They were very rude but maybe that is just how they act in that part of the world. I told Nancy that I would be satisfied if they would split the loss with me and send 50 turkeys replacements for the dead ones. I even sent them pictures of the dead ones. I tried to be decent and she said there was nothing that she was going to do. The last words I spoke to her was that I was going to do everything in my power to make sure I cost her more business revenue in the future than what Cackle Hatchery had ripped me off. By the comments I have just read, they are still at it. Years later, I am still bitter about the way I was treated. I have kept my word to Nancy and still seize the opportunity to tell anybody I can, just as I have done here. Murray McMurray hatchery is a little more expensive to purchase birds but their quality and customer service is miles ahead of Cackle Hatchery.
Chad Sale

Negative gweierheiser
(1 review)
On Oct 31, 2012, gweierheiser Houghton, NY wrote:

last year I ordered 6 americanas one rooster and 5 hens, along with 10 wellsummers(SP) for their dark brown spotted eggs. chicks grew up good no complaints their, once they got to be about 6 months old I am loosing them one at a time first it was my americana rooster, I also noticed that all but one of my americana hens had deformed beaks from an arch that is to high to criss crossed beaks which in return makes it hard for them to eat/ cant eat, which in return they die. Yes I did email them and got a story about how they will have to look into their breeding program and that this only happens 10 percent of the time,,,ok so I had 5 hens and all but one was deformed that is by no mean 10 percent more like 80. I am now down to 2 americanna hens one black one with a crissed cross beak and a white normal looking hen. Now on to my welsummers... I am down to 4, 6 have just died , slowly over the last year,( always nice to go to the coop in the morning with my 2 year old daughter to find dead hens!) out of the 4, three of them are blind in one eye. It's a shame that their breeding stock is so weak. cackle can not say that its something that I am doing because I still have hens from my first batch of hens(NOT orderd through them) and 2 americana hens that I hatched myself over 2 years ago, they are doing great. I agree with the people with a negative feed back...their is something wrong with the breeding/ housing program at cackle hatchery...I chalk it up to BAD breeding/inbreeding in my case. This is my first time and last time using Cackle hatchery.BE AWARE !

Negative MCosme
(1 review)
On Aug 14, 2012, MCosme West Chicago, IL wrote:

We bought 15 Silvered Penciled Bantam Cochins in the spring only to be told by the Judge at the Fair that they were mixed... called Cackle got some lame excuse, denying the possiblity. We took the mutts to an auction, only to be told by everyone under the sun that they were a mixed breed. Highest bidder paid $.50 a bird, what does that tell you. We (and everyone we know) will not order from Cackle again.

Negative r0zeep0zee
(1 review)
On Feb 10, 2012, r0zeep0zee Durham, NC wrote:

We received 50 (plus the 2 extra) Cinnamon Queens in the mail yesterday morning. Over the next 30 hours, we lost 15 of them. Now that I've read this negative feedback, I have no doubt that we will lose more. I will not use this company again.

On Feb 10, 2012, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

"On Apr 26, 2012 3:45 PM, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

Did you call us to discuss this issue? The only way we can handle a problem is if you phone. Thanks"

Negative rainbowsilkies
(1 review)
On Sep 4, 2011, rainbowsilkies Fenton, MI wrote:

I called before I ordered and asked if their Delaware met the APA standards as far as leg color and markings. I was told yes, definitely. I ordered and the Delaware chicks all had green/gray legs. Many died on their way, the rest were weak. I worked them for a day, then that night put them with my 4 day old silkie chicks so the silkie chicks could continue teaching the Delawares to eat and drink. All of my silkie chicks became ill within a couple of days from Cackle's chicks and died too! Cackle's chicks have a nasty something, most likely a mycoplasma because it had to be egg transferred, and it killed my chicks. Their chicks continued to die off and on, and were not worth the silkies they killed! I would never recommend ordering from Cackle to anyone. I've raised poultry for 48 years and never had hatchery chicks kill my chicks until Cackle's. I'd avoid them at all costs. Cathryn

Negative ruthann1
(1 review)
On Aug 18, 2011, ruthann1 Potts Camp, MS wrote:

we ordered a total of about 40 golden comets and 15 bantams and some of the sex links. all the bantams died within 2 months and i have lost all but 6 of the comets. the 2 roosters died and i am now having the checked by my vet to see what is going on. when all the bantams started dying, and i talked to them, they couldn't send me any replacements, but credited me. we have ordered for a few years from cackle and never had problems until now. We have lost $300.00 worth of chickens. When I first told them about the chicks dying, it was said, i must be doing something wrong.I was raised on a farm and know what to do. then i was told i had them to hot or to cold. Been doing this many years. The few I have left are not growing and I was told they would lay eggs early. Well, still waiting.
The vet says depending what is going on with the ones I have left, it may affect my pet goose and my peacocks and some of my older hens that are the grandkids pets.
I will not order from them again. My peacocks I paid 500.00 for.

Negative dstireman
(1 review)
On Apr 28, 2011, dstireman Grawn, MI wrote:

I so wish I had visited your site before placing an order with Cackle Hatchery. Never again.
I placed an order, cancelled the order, they called and said they would have to charge me a 10% handling fee (for what, they had not even given me a ship date). A week later
they charged my debit card the full amount AND shipped the chicks. I got an e-mail a day AFTER they shipped.
These people are desperate and unethical do not buy from them

On Apr 28, 2011, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

"On Apr 28, 2011 7:58 PM, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

would you please contact Cackle Hatchery. I want to discuss this with you and see what happened. Nancy Smith owner"

Negative OrangePower
(1 review)
On Mar 26, 2011, OrangePower Fletcher, OK wrote:

I ordered 25 Golden Duckwings,25 Wheaton, 15 Red Cochin, 15 Buff Cochin and 15 White Cochin chicks from Them Last Year in April. Every Single Golden turned out to be so far from Golden Duckwings that it is laughable. The hens looks like a cross of BB RED AND White and Roosters Look like a RED Pyle & Silver Duckwing cross. Wheaton Hens all have black stripes on their necks and the roosters are so so. The Red COCHINS have almost zero feathers on their feet and sharp pointy tails. When I called them about the Golden and WHeatons they were rude and the Supervisor told me to deal with it and that they knew their Goldens had a problem last year but will not offer any kind of discount or refund. Cackle is a Joke and they should not be in Business. DO NOT USE THEM

Negative LEF3
(1 review)
On Sep 17, 2010, LEF3 Eugene, OR wrote:

If you care about your delivery date, pick a different hatchery! I ordered $200 worth of chicks on Sept 1. They charged my credit card immediately and said they would ship them Sept 13. So I spend all this time and energy getting ready for them on Sept 14 and warming up the brooder house overnight, but they don't arrive Sept 15, so then I have to make arrangements for someone else to go get them and settle them in on Sept 16 when I have jury duty, but they still don't arrive. So we call Cackle and find out that they didn't have enough to ship on Sept 13 (but didn't bother to call or email and let us know) so then, without asking us, they were going to ship on Sept 15, but they didn't have enough then either, so now they were just about to call us and change the ship date to Oct 4. I say, "What, are your chickens taking a 2 week vacation?" They say, "no, it is just too complicated for us to change the ship date on all the orders that came in after yours, so we are just moving you to the end of the line." They thought they were being so generous to offer me a full refund! Which I took after I placed an order with Ideal Hatchery today for a Sept 29 ship date. Cackle Hatchery's IT is obviously not up to speed if they can't notify customers of actual shipping dates and ship orders in the order they were received like all other online companies I have ever used. In the case of live chicks, the customer NEEDS to know and approve of the ship date more than for almost any other item you might order online.

Negative 2940lisa
(1 review)
On Aug 17, 2010, 2940lisa Kansas City, KS wrote:

I ordered 2 types of Show Chickens for my daughter. The chickens were to arrive on July the 28th. We went to the post office and asked if our chicks had arrived Thursday,& Friday, we called Friday to see if they had been shipped, they said "yes" Saturday morning we went back to the post office, still no chicks. We then called the hatchery again to see if they had been sent. They said "yes". We were so upset that maybe our baby chicks we dead somewhere we started calling post offices in between the hatchery and our house. We spent hours on the phone. I called on Monday and they said "oh, sorry we are out of your chicks and they were never sent." I was relieved to find that my chicks were not dead. They were to be shipped on Wed. I called Wed. morning to see if the chicks had been shipped and the girl said "I don't know, the paperwork is not in this office." That is when I got angry. After telling her how unprofessional I thought things were she put me on hold and found out that my order had been shipped. The chicks arrived the next day and one of the chicks had a broken beak. We tried to keep it alive, but it died. They turned something that was suppose to be fun into something awful. Don't buy from these people, they don't have it together. I usually buy from Mcmurry and will continue to do so from now on.

Negative tcaudle
(1 review)
On Jun 27, 2010, tcaudle Lexington, NC wrote:

Posted on June 10, 2010, updated June 27, 2010
Posted on June 10, 2010, updated June 10, 2010
Posted on May 25, 2010, updated June 10, 2010
I have ordered from cackle hatchery before with great outcomes but this last order has been somewhat disappointing. I placed a order for 25 sultans, 10 white silkies, and 3 female African geese.
I opened the box at the post office to check for dead chicks, none, that was great. I took them home and seen that they have sent me 3 extra of each chicken breed. great!! Then I examined my geese and seen one of the three was small and a different color and has difficulties eating and drinking and wobbles more than the others. I could not get in contact with them the day of delivery due to phone lines are never open. So I elected to email them, well we had emails exchanged and it came out to be that they sent me a African goose but it was from a small egg and would "likely" grow to be the same size as the other two. I don't think so, from my experience (6 years to be exact, 5 years with geese) they die before they get grown. Well this means they will send culls out, that should have been discarded and hatch small eggs knowing this would be a cull. I find this wrong and not fair. I paid nearly 10 dollars for a cull. If they sent her as a extra then I could overlook it but I paid for her.
well today she is still alive but has not grown much since I have had her. they are 14 days old now. As far as the chickens go they are doing okay I have lost several but I find this with all polish breeds I have had. I do not think I will order geese from cackle again and likely will not order anymore chicks. If I do it will because they either make this right or the poor gosling grows to be full size and healthy and all are females, as I paid for them to be females. Beware of them sending culls instead of the best quality they have. Their customer service before they get your money is great but after it quickly will change to somewhat rude or they will ignore you altogether. They also can improve their email responses, not professional.
Needless to say my order for some bantams and more geese have been put on hold till I decide for the next hatchery.
My neutral rating is for the fact that they have some of the best looking birds and great price of all i have ever ordered though mail but this order is changing that.

On June 10th, 2010, tcaudle changed the rating from neutral to negative and added the following:

I HAVE CHANGED MY STAND NO LONGER NEUTRAL: As I read the latest comment on Ecoli in the hatchery I will stand behind that 100% because many of my chicks have died off and all the chicks/turkeys I have hatched have been dying off since I introduced them with the few remaining Sultans I ordered from Cackle in MAY 2010. My weak goose I got (cull) has died and my other two will likely follow. This hatchery will soon be closed down because of their lack of customer service and lack of making sure they have the best quality. I have learned that maybe cheaper means cheaper and not a hatchery trying to help consumers have healthy flocks that produce and and live a peaceful life. I was very upset to find that they send geese that they KNOW are weak/sick and now to find that they will send a whole order knowing they are weak is very discouraging. DO NOT BUY FROM A HATCHERY THAT IS CROOKS AND WILL NOT HELP ITS LOYAL CUSTOMERS (USE TO BE LOYAL) WHEN THEY ARE AT FAULT. TO THIS DAY I HAVE NOT HEARD ANYTHING FROM THEM ABOUT MY PROBLEM. WILL NOT EVER ORDER FROM AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!
On June 10th, 2010, tcaudle added the following:

Sorry I did not say that the goose that died did not grow much maybe 1/3 the size of the other two when she died; she never put weight on and would lay around. Also all of my silkies have died one by one till they were all gone. I know something is wrong with the chicks from cackle because my friend got 5 of the silkies I ordered the day they came in and his all die like mine along same time mine did. He was only raising those five with nothing else first time ever raising chicks. I have 2 geese (sick) and 12 sultans (sick) and all of my new hatched turkeys (8 of 10 eggs hatched and they all died with in 3 days of contact with sultans). I could not treat with any antibiotics, did not help at all.
On June 27th, 2010, tcaudle added the following:

I have contacted my local agricultural extension office and they were helping me with finding why my birds were dying. Before we could get information on a necropsy I suffered from all of my grown chickens and about 80% of all my young ones dying. All of my turkeys but 1 has died and the ducks and chickens have died. All I have left are my emus and a few SICK birds. I am taking all of my live birds to get tested except the emus to find out what happen and to start over next year after a long process of disinfecting my premises from this horrible disease from cackle. I got a phone call from Nancy, but I ignored it due to being advised not to make this situation worse by the state AG office. And the fact I am not happy and it is not advisable for them to get me on the phone. If they would have been more help and have more concern I would not feel this way. STAY CLEAR OF CACKLE. If my findings from the test are negative I will humbly apologize and back down.
Negative ChickenFarmer20
(1 review)
On Jun 13, 2010, ChickenFarmer20 Perryville, KY wrote:

Posted on June 11, 2010, updated June 13, 2010
Posted on June 8, 2010, updated June 11, 2010
BEWARE: This hatchery is shipping ecoli contaminated poultry and it is highly infectious to all poultry in your existing flocks. I ordered 15 turkeys and 40 chickens (all chicks); rec'd them in very bad packaging and they immediately started dying. Couldn't get Cackle on the phone, finally did and they said that they knew the birds were shipped 'weak' and that I needed to give them vitamin supplements. Did that and the birds continued to die and then members of my adult flock (they were not mixed) started dying. Sent birds off for necropsy and just got results today: Birds were shipped with a type of ecoli that is ONLY found in hatcheries. The state department of agriculture and USDA are looking into this issue. I just got off the phone with this hatchery, and they did not even ASK me to send a copy of the necropsy report to validate my claim (which I was prepared to do). All I got was 'too bad, so sad'. Purchase your birds elsewhere. My kids are devastated as we lost several family 'pet' chickens in this incident. All I can do is warn you, be careful. The costs of now treating the remaining flock is going to be very expensive because i have to buy "industrial" grade antibiotics...the kinds they use in big hatcheries! UGH!!!!!!

On June 11th, 2010, ChickenFarmer20 added the following:

Interesting that Cackle Hatchery can take the time to make comments on this posting, which are untrue. I called on 6/8/10 at 2:29pm and spoke with Alisha (don't know if I'm spelling the name correctly). Explained the situation and requested a full refund. Was put on hold for nearly 20 minutes, and Jeff answered the phone. I explained the situation again, his response "TOO BAD, we DON'T do refunds" and hung up the phone as I was responding, "Good, will be more than happy to let you hear from the state and fed folks on this issue." YOU CANNOT SHIP SICK BIRDS, period. It is completely irresponsible stewardship to ignore a customer's repeated calls. Neither of these employees said or indicated anything close to "Hey, wow, we're sorry, we need to know about this." The attitude was TOO BAD SO SAD, WE GOT YOUR MONEY WHAT DO WE CARE? At least train the staff to ask for some sort of documentation when a customer calls in with dead birds. I was VERY clear that I had a necropsy report IN HAND and read what it said. The fact that I could tell the hatchery exactly what the problem was should have been an indicator that maybe I had some sort of proof and maybe they should ask. I was SHOCKED when they did not ask me to fax the copy, as I was ready to do so immediately. I have paid a lot of money to figure out this problem. I have raised poultry and bought from other hatcheries and NEVER NEVER had a problem. I've actually had hatcheries call and make sure all arrived OK. But these guys, good luck. And...I REALLY REALLY like the fact that they can comment in a public forum, but can't pick up the phone and contact me directly. But maybe so many people have had problems, they don't know where to start!! But as many calls as I've made, they ought to have a clue. It goes to professionalism and the lack thereof. And yes, they are very good at sales, which leads you to believe that you'll get good, healthy poultry. It's the slap on the other side, once they have your money that I didn't see coming. But, I am turning the matter over to the appropriate folks who can stop the shipment of sick birds. I am glad for all you who got good, healthy birds, luck is a good thing. But DO NOT buy from this hatchery.
On June 13th, 2010, ChickenFarmer20 added the following:

This is my last follow-up message to my original posting, but Iím trying to respond to everyone who has contacted me with similar issues, including sick and dying birds as well as the most recent hatchery posting.

What was sent with the chicks we got from Cackle is a parasite that causes Blackhead disease and associated ecoli and hepatitis. Like many of you, after trying to get some guidance from this hatchery, I chalked it up to bad stock and poor business practices and took them off my order list. When all that was dying were the chicks from the hatchery, we decided to isolate them and we tried vitamins, we tried wormer, and we tried antibiotics; nothing stopped the death. But, when members of my existing flock that had shared the chicken house with the sick birds, then we knew we had more than just weak birds or bad stock. It was my vet who insisted that I send out for a necropsy. My vetís immediate concern was the health of my domestic animals and most importantly my children who are highly interactive with the birds. While most bird diseases donít transmit to humans, some can, and that thought was enough for me to spend the time and money on a necropsy. My kids were going to show poultry this year and had spent a good deal of time getting ready, but we lost all but 2 of our show birds to this outbreak. Not only that, but I would not show birds that had been exposed to an unknown illness. Yesterday, we had to put down the rest of the flock that had been exposed to the sick birds. See, thereís no cure to this, the only way to stop it is to kill the hosts. I had isolated the dying birds (all from the hatchery), but had previously had them together, apparently long enough for the parasites to move to the those birds, so those that did not die, I had to put down. Now, I have to track down the only approved preventive for these parasites and treat part of my outside yard (and itís not inexpensive). I had moved the sick birds outside before we knew the problem, thinking that might help. So, I have to treat the ground because we have wild turkeys that come to the part of the yard I put the sick birds in. Now, the concern is spreading the parasite to the wild turkey population. While the parasite can live briefly outside the host, if it finds an earthworm to host it, itís good to go until the next bird host comes along, or it gets ground up for feeder. My farm was happy and healthy and humming along just fine until these ordered birds showed up, and then it was daily death. It was hard to know we had to put them down, but it was such a relief this morning not to wake up and have to deal with more death. The kids are safe, and back interacting with what we have left.

To respond to Nancy: Things happen for a reason. Yes, I am more irritated than you could possibly know about having this introduced onto my farm from your hatchery topped off with the completely absence of concern on your employee and sonís part for the situation. We can play Ďhe-said/she-saidí all day long. But at the end of the day, your hatchery handled my situation and those situations of many others very irresponsibly. I posted the information on this site and others at the urging of several local experts in poultry who felt that the poultry community needed to be warned about this situation. One of your posts indicates that there must not be a real problem because youíd hear from Ďthousandsí. The bottom line is that I called with a necropsy that points back to your hatchery and informed Alisha and Jeff of that fact. From a liability perspective and good stewardship perspective someone should have been all over it and bending over backwards to solve the problem and to alert other customers on a voluntary basis, regardless of who ended the phone conversation. You have my records and they are computerized because I can hear the typing on the keyboard every single time I call. But even if you have to search through handwritten records, seems to me that this situation would be enough to merit just a search as soon as possible. But, Iím not in here to teach you how to run your business or be a good steward of farm animals what's done is done, and you should already have that down. The reality of this situation is that NO ONE cared at your place until I made this posting, and the two initial responses provide confirmation. I guess by the time you posted your third response some common sense kicked in, I donít know. But, what I know is that other people in other states are having the same exact issues with the birds received from your hatchery and were treated the same way I was. What makes me different than the other negative postings, the people who chalked it up to a bad experience , and the people who donít even know this rating forum exists (a friend told me about it after I got the necropsy back), is that I have proof. Not one other person who has posted a negative response has received a posted response or apology or even an offer to fix the problems from you. ..and you know what? Neither did I. All I got was called a liar, and then a couple of days later, martyrdom because I had not responded how you expected. The only reason I am taking the time to post today is to directly respond to people who have contacted me, it was not to respond to you. But, I have chosen to respond to you in public because this seems to be the only forum that gets your attention. Iím sorry for my kids and my farm that this has happened, but the good that has come out of it is that a lot of other people arenít left in the dark wondering what happened on their own farms and I can do something to stop this from happening again.

On Jun 13, 2010, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

"On Jun 8, 2010 6:42 PM, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

This customer was being transferred to a company owner who started to talk to her and she hung up on him.

On Jun 8, 2010 6:45 PM, Cackle Hatchery added:

We do need information to pass along to our state office. If we had Ecoli in our birds , customers by the thousands would be having trouble, which is not the case. I have never heard of it, so we will have to talk to our state office

On Jun 12, 2010 12:28 PM, Cackle Hatchery added:

I asked for more information and have not received it. Alisha is out of the office for a few days. And in her defense, she is young and new and had to get an owner to talk to you. When my Son, Jeff, (50 yr, old) took the call, you told him some of the problem and he started to talk to you and YOU hung up on him. He kept saying hello, hello, and no one was there. Anyway, Alisha didn't leave the paperwork with your name where we can find. it. Will you please give me your name and I will be glad to talk to you.....Nancy Smith, owner. You may send me an email if you are more comfortable with that. "

Negative Hiriqnu
(1 review)
On Jun 12, 2010, Hiriqnu Coeur D Alene, ID wrote:

I have had a previous positive experience with these folks, but something has happened over there and this company is now not fun at all to deal with. First my order was delayed because it contained pheasants, not really a big deal, except that when my order arrived there were no pheasants, just a note saying "sorry". And they still have my money 6 weeks later as well. I also ordered specialty breeds that were not included and if you order 10 of something, you will get 10...maybe 9, but forget packing a couple extras like other hatcherys do. Shipping was a hassle, birds are sub-par, "rare" breeds are common, order delayed for birds never shipped. Money being held. Just a bad, bad experience across the board. This news about shipping infected birds is the last straw for me. I'm back to my old hatchery.

On Jun 12, 2010, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

"On Jun 13, 2010 2:11 PM, Cackle Hatchery responded with:

send me an email with your Name and information and we will see that you are reimbursed for the pheasants. and will visit with you on any other concerns you have. Nancy"

Negative liens
(1 review)
On Jun 1, 2009, liens Buckingham, VA wrote:


We placed a web order with these folks on the 7th of May, and NOW, June 1st, they have finally gotten around to telling us that they don't perform the tests required for shipping to Virginia.

There was nothing on the website at the time to indicate that there would be a problem. The checkout process went without a hitch. Then, three weeks later, we were notified.

As of today, if you follow the "Message to Customers" link on their front page, or go to their FAQ page, there are notes about not shipping to VA; however, there is still no conspicuous, up-front warning -- hence this comment, which we hope may save someone else the frustration we have experienced. The breed we wanted (and were allowed for three weeks to believe we had ordered) is no longer available in the foreseeable future from any other hatchery. Thanks, Cackle!

Negative stumpyhillfarm
(1 review)
On May 16, 2009, stumpyhillfarm Bridgewater, ME wrote:

Our experience with cackle hatchery has not been the most pleasent of experiences, and we're not here to badmouth- just to share our experiences and let you decide whether or not to order from them.
In the spring or 2008 we placed an order for 5 Ancona and 5 Cayuga ducks as well as 25 cockerels and 10 hens of the Barred Plymouth Rocks. We were going to use the cockerels for meat and the hens for a small batch of layers. Our location in Northern maine is such that even with overnight shipping, it takes 2 days to deliver. Because they were the only ones that had all the breeds we wanted we went with cackle. When i placed the order I made it explicitly clear overnight shipping takes 2 days and 2nd day takes 3 days, but by that point- some of the babys will most likely not make it, and we will pay for the overnight. They said that was not a problem and gave me a delivery date of July 7th. So i took the 7th off from work and went to the post office that morning to wait for them to come in. Post office opens- No chicks....So I waited till cackle opened to call them to find out what happened. When i finally got through all the busy signals- over and hour of calling- they looked it up and told me that some of the ducks hatched late and they decided to ship it out 2nd day, not overnight. When i told them that 2nd day took 3 days to get here and we needed overnight to get them all here alive, i got a very snarky response of 'you'll just have to wait and see' and when i asked why i wasn't notified, it was 'we don't have the time to do that' When i asked for a tracking number so i could find out where they were i was told 'we don;t have any of that information'. Needless to say it was not a very productive phone call. So back to the post office. Luckily, we live in one of those small northern towns where people are helpfull an bend over backwards to help a fellow neighbor. Our postmaster Trudy found the situation unacceptable and called just about every postal revieving warehouse in the state. She was finally able to locate them 150 miles away. So we hoped in the truck and went to get them. Luckily all were alive, so no complaints there. When they finally grew to be old enough to visibly tell the sex, we discovered they misread the order or didn;t sex them right becuase we wound up with 25 hens instead of 10 and 15 cockerels instead of 25, but oh well, we can live with that. Its now the spring of 2009 and all the hens are doing fine, but the ducks we ordered, out of the 5 females we recieved from them, 3 have prolapsed and we've had to cull. So I'm starting to question the genetics in their breed stock. All in all, I'm not very impressed with cackle, and will not order from them again, but again this is only my experience, so take it for what its worth. Hope it helps

Negative dowlaf
(2 reviews)
On Apr 26, 2009, dowlaf Ville Platte, LA wrote:

I made an internet order for 25 Delaware pullets from Cackle Hatchery in late February of 2009. My credit card was charged and I received an invoice for the order, with an April 1st. shipment cited on the invoice. 2 days before the shipping date, I received a telephone message that my order would be delayed and that I would receive a notice when the order was ready to ship. On the 23 of April I was to leave town for over a week and half, so before that day I started trying to call the Hatchery to ask that the order not be sent until after May 5th. Their telephone lines were constantly busy, so as a last resort, I sent them an email asking to postpone the shipping to May 5th. Luckily, my trip got canceled at the last minute, because on Saturday, April 24th, without notice, the post office called saying that my chicks were in! It all turned out fairly well, but, only by chance. Had I not been there, I don't know what would have happened to the chicks. 5 have now died already (these 5 were not looking good when they arrived), but I'm not about to call for a credit because I will not order from that company ever again. I notice that they are still using the same excuse...they've hired more help, but, they're swamped with orders...

Negative chickenman25
(1 review)
On Apr 19, 2009, chickenman25 Bowbells, ND wrote:

First time I ordered from Cackle and am not pleased at all. I ordered chickens and turkeys in February and said I wanted them the week after Easter. Well I got a call and was told that they would be here the 2nd week in March which was good. Well I took the time off and no birds showed and I called and they told me that they would not be here till April 15th and 17th. Well I took the time off again and once again they didnt show so I called again and then they go on to tell me that I would now be getting the turkeys and the chickens on the 29th of April. This has been the worst service, and I wish that I would have gone with my local feed store and McMurry Hatchery. I had to waste 2 days of my vacation time and the birds didnt come. If they give you a date they should stick with it or have the courtsey to call the customer a day or two before and let them know. Hopefully they will show up on the 29th!!

Negative merinos
(1 review)
On Jul 26, 2008, merinos Monroe, WI wrote:

In July, 2008 I placed an order for several baby chicks. I later found a different hatchery that had available some breeds I originally wanted to purchase from Cackle Hatchery but was told were sold out for the year. So, I phoned to cancel my placed order (phone lines were busy AT LEAST what seemed 20 times.) When I finally got through, I was told office staff was operating at just 2 persons and staff was doing their best to keep up. I waited and WAITED on hold (long distance) at least what seemed 20-30 minutes (with my paying the bill) on two different days. I was told my order had been misplaced and that I would get a return call when they found my order slip.I did not hear back from them and I did not want the chicks sent in the mail, so I phoned AGAIN! And, again, I was put on hold (long distance) and again waited and WAITED. Finally, I was told I would receive a call later the day confirming my order was cancelled (it was already charged to my credit card.) Though I was frustrated beyond belief at what seemed like a lack of care for customer service, the person I spoke with on the phone from Cackle Hatchery was very nice. She must be a saint to be able to be friendly given the working conditions that seemed put upon her. I doubt I have the confidence to order from Cackle Hatchery again, for I would fear not receiving the right breed of chicks. My theory is if they can't find my 1 order with about 10 days of searching, how can they keep hundreds, if not thousands in order? And, a note to others who may be put on hold long distance for extended periods of just may be cheaper to receive the chicks as the cost of long distance phone calls out-of-state during peek calling hours likely will be more expensive than the order. I was quite disappointed with this experience, but am VERY pleased with my chick order from WELP Hatchery in Iowa. They sent me 8 extra chicks. All are doing well.

Negative pinion
(2 reviews)
On May 23, 2008, pinion Eminence, KY wrote:

Ordered 47 birds. Several were sick on arrival. All 47 died within a week. I've ordered birds several times before from MMCM and never lost a single bird. Called the day the birds arrove to inform that they looked ill, busy on dozens of attempts. I have since called almost daily and been unable to get through, I gave up last week. I emailed daily for a week, no response. Filed a complaint with the bb, no response still. I did everything by the book, sanitized litter, appropriate temperature, electrolytes, etc.. The birds were experiencing convulsions, lack of coordination, congestion, no response to antibiotics, looks to be aspergillus. They don't even have the respect to email me back and say sorry about your luck. They aren't allowed to ship to VA, Hmmm...

On May 28th, 2008, pinion added the following:

I attempted to call three times yesterday at 9:30 am EST, 12:30 pm EST and 3:45 pm EST. Today I have called at around 10:30 am EST and 12:30 pm EST. Busy all 5 times. If you have time to check daves garden, shouldn't you have time to check your email? I just received this from the BBB today.

Complaint ID#: 112426
Business Name: Cackle Hatchery

You recently requested our help concerning a problem with the company named above.

The company has not responded to the Bureau to date. If you have heard from the company please contact the BBB at .

We encourage you to use our ONLINE COMPLAINT system to keep up with the progress of this complaint.


Shirley Daves
Director of Dispute Resolution
BBB Complaint Department

I would like to resolve this. I will not call anymore, I feel I have made every reasonable effort to get through via phone and email and attempted to resolve this consumer to business, in good faith. If you would like to review your email and respond to me via email, this forum seems to be my only means of contacting your company. My email address begins with Jonathan.Garrison, I sent emails on 05/12/08, 05/14/08, 05/15/08 and 05/16/08.
On May 23, 2008, Cackle Hatchery responded with:


On May 24, 2008 7:15 PM, Cackle Hatchery added:

Sorry you have had a bad experience with us. This year has been an unusually high demand for chicks. We added staff and phones but are still unable to keep up . I know the phones have been busy, they ring as soon as you put down the receiver. I've been unable to keep up with emails also. I'm not aware of the b.b. complaint. Were the chicks a day late arriving? would like to discuss this with you . Please try to contact us by phone again. The state of Virginia requires a test that our state office is not equipted to test for, because of the volume. I know this must be very aggravating for you, but we do want to be able to talk to you. Please try to call again."

Negative poultrymom
(1 review)
On May 13, 2008, poultrymom Boyceville, WI wrote:

I placed my order for some heritage breed turkeys on April 19,2008 and it has now been almost 2 weeks NOT COUNTING WEEKENDS! I have NOT received a confirmation email or a phone call or my birds. I do have a order number from when I placed the order. I have also called numerous times as it states on their sight to "refrain from calling until 10 business days have passed",but the line is always busy even at non- business hours HMMMMM? I wonder. I know they must be extremely busy, but to leave their customers in the dark is just bad business,also I cannot cancel my order because they will charge a fee for restocking because that could have been sold to another customer!? I am not very happy with this experience hopefully I will hear something about my turkeys so I can get the turkeys I ordered and take my business to another place that may appreciate it .

Negative RMaxll
(1 review)
On May 1, 2008, RMaxll Bolivar, MO wrote:


One month ago I placed my order for some pullets. I asked when I could pick them up and was told May 1. The girl behind the counter had stated that I should either email or call ahead of time to be certain that my order arrived. For the past week I called every day five to six time a day and only got the busy signal. I also sent to emails during the past week to which I received no response. This morning (the morning of the First) I called five times before leaving. The one time I did get through all I heard was "Hello" followed by the person immediately hanging up the phone.
So I drove the two hours to Lebanon to pick up my order. At first the girl behind the counter said that I had misunderstood her and that my order was not to arrive until May 28. I pointed to me receipt and show her where she had written one month before that my order would arrive May 1. She then tried to say that I should have called first. When I explained the number of phone calls that I had made along with the two emails she finally admitted that they had forgotten to place my order. All she was willing to do was refund my money as she didn't think that they could possibly fill my order.
I have had four previous experiences with Cackles that though they weren't pleasing they were at least acceptable. This was the first time I had actually visited their facility. The girl behind the counter was walking around with a dead pullet in her hand, and the rest of the staff was sitting around eating donuts not answering the phone. Had I actually been able to see their facility online I would have questioned making a purchase with them. The local feed store that sells Leghorns is more sterile than Cackles showroom.
Thank you.
Ruth Maxwell

Negative cdenny21
(2 reviews)
On Mar 4, 2008, cdenny21 San Antonio, TX wrote:

I will never order from Cackle hatchery again. Last year I ordered a batch of 25 pullets and what I received was far from that.

I ordered a mixed batch of pullets and got what looked like their top hat special which consisted of mainly Sultan cockerels and mixed Polish.

They actually had the nerve to tell me they were going to charge me more when I called and told them what I had received because there were 10 extra chicks!!! They did not offer any creative solution except to finally say I could keep the useless chicks that I had received and we "could just call it even". What do you do with chicks that have already survived the trip? They would die if they were sent back without food and water. They said I could send them back, but I told them I would not let them die because they messed up.

What a waste of time and money. I will not order from Cackle ever again. I ended up giving away a years worth of chickens to a 4H student that I met through the feed store who was looking for Sultans and Polish .

I ended up ordering a fine batch of Pullets from McMurray after this traumatic experience.

Negative jduncan
(1 review)
On Apr 21, 2006, jduncan Kevil, KY wrote:

I ordered 100 pullets on 4/12/06. I received an e-mail stating that they would be shipped on 4/19/06 and I should receive them on 4/21/06. I called the office on the morning of 4/21/06 because I didn't get my chicks. I was then told that they would not ship till 4/24/06. I received an e-mail later the same day--apparently they use post-it notes to notify employees of ship dates, and mine got lost. So, i will not get my chicks until 4/26/06. What upset me the most was the girl I spoke to on the phone who said that their company does not send ship dates over the internet. I felt like she was calling me a liar. Once I get my chicks, I will never order from this company again.

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