A Suburban Farm of 6th Happiness.

The season for chicks

by Alan - February 20th, 2011.
Filed under: Chickens. Tagged as: , , .

Its almost spring time! We know this because of the cheep-cheep-cheeping of baby chicks.

First, we have a tiny little Bantam, the year’s new addition to our ‘mutt’ Bantam family, headed by the best rooster I’ve ever known, Pasquale, and his most beloved of the hens, Sylvia.

Baby Woo!

Next we have eight chicks from McMurray’s hatchery: not 100% positive but it looks like 1 dark Brahma, 1 male cuckoo marans, 1 unknown, and 5 Black Jersey Giants.

This is actually my first time shipping chicks, so it’s been quite a learning experience.  There originally were 36, but most of them were dead on arrival from the cold, many more died the following day as they were too weak from the experience.  I had ordered them to be sent as soon as was possible, which between their explanation that a minimum of 25 were needed for warmth and safe shipping, I assumed they had the experience to know what was safe and when.  Well that was a mistake!  (If you want to see a photo of the dead chicks and the box they were in, click here)

Unknown chick breed from McMurray’s getting their first taste of spaghetti, yum!

I don’t know how one stays in business if they have to refund orders that arrive dead like this, but even if they can, it doesn’t really reflect good on the company when the customer opens a box of mostly dead chicks.  Granted, they refunded me- minus the cost of shipping and the surviving chicks (even though we don’t know if they are actually ones I ordered or “extras” that they threw in (I ordered 32, they sent 36)).  Given the unpleasant experience and the it reflects on them, I’d expect them to have done a bit more: expression of being sorry about the loss, and a full refund instead of nitpicking over the cost of 6 chicks (is approximately $10 worth loosing a customer over?).   Unless I have equally substandard, or even worst experiences at other hatcheries, I doubt I’ll go back to McMurray, let alone recommend them.

Male Cuckoo Marans and Dark Brahma

My next try will be Cackle Hatchery.  I’m already disappointed in their shopping cart software:  its bulky, the text is so large it is hard to see your order without scrolling a lot which makes it hard to read, and its just, well, not  visually pleasing;  but most frustrating- when I would forget to use the link to return to shopping and instead use the back button on the browser- the next time I’d  click to order something, it would order that item, plus re-order the previous item.  I was ordering breeds in quantities of 5, but I kept finding them bumped up to 10!  It was a pain to have to keep going back and correcting this- and it couldn’t just be corrected by typing in the correct quantity, you had to delete the item, go back and re-order it (sometimes inadvertently causing another error on another breed order while trying to fix one).

Why did I not say “to hell with this” and cross Cackle Hatchery off the list after finding the site so frustrating to use?   Well, there seems to be a lack of quality store-fronts for hatcheries.  Hard to navigate, hard to edit cart contents, and even worse bugs than that at Cackle (one hatchery would just periodically delete my entire order!).  A few places are sent up pretty nice, like My Pet Chicken, but they either don’t carry the breeds I want, or they are sold out for a long time on those breeds.

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1 Response to The season for chicks

  1. How sad about all the dead ones! I was in the post office last week, and they had a box full of cheeping chicks waiting for pick up. I dont know if those were yours. There was a small box with air holes strapped to a larger box. Im not sure which box held the chicks and if one of the boxes was a heat source or what. But it sounded like a lot of them.

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