Going to get the 'barnyard special'....

mersiepoo(6)February 26, 2009

Hi! I was going to order the barnyard special from McMurray hatchery, which is 10 chickens, 2 ducks 2 geese and 2 turkeys. Has anyone ordered this from them before, and what species of ducks, geese and turkeys did you get? They say they sell straight run with their choice of variety.

I notice that they recommend keeping turkeys away from everyone else to help with disease control. Is this applicable with 2 turkeys that I'm going to end up eating this year anyway?

Thanks for any advice, as I never raised geese or turkeys before. I just have raised ducks, chickens and guineafowl.

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Hi mersiepoo,
I have never ordered the barnyard special from McMurray before-I usually pick and choose only because I have something specific in mind. I like to mix things up!

Have you ordered from McMurray before? Last year and this year I had trouble with my peeps dieing. Last year first order all but 2 died and this year 11 in 2 days. Now don't get me wrong they are good people and they made everything right, and I did get my vaccinated---so that could have been the problem (vaccine failure)This year McMurray did tell me (finely) that they had had a problem w/hatchery last year re disease I honestly can not remember which what! Then Like I said problems again this year. Just wanted to let you know about it, I am not slamming them-because I truly like them and their hatchery and have never ordered from anybody else---but after going through this 2 years in a row-I will be looking for another hatchery for next year. I have a friend who raises chickens and turkeys, they live together and sleep in same area-none are vaccinated and she hatches her own eggs---then the turkeys will take off for parts unknown--they do come back-usually with their babies.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:02PM
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Oh wow, that is a bad experience...2 years in a row! I'm surprised they didn't tell you what diseases they had. :( I never get chicks vaccinated for disease, I think the vaccines don't really work. I also never use antibiotics in feed either anymore. I think it made the birds I used it on less healthy in the long run.

I had ordered chickens from them about 4 years ago, and the birds were really healthy. I hope that they got rid of whatever problem they had. I'll give them a chance and keep a close eye on the chicks. I heard that giving them yogurt helps them colonize their gut with 'good' bacteria, so maybe I'll buy that gro gel they sell. I'm surprised they are selling chicks if they have disease outbreaks, ya know?

I'll let you know what happens when I order them, if my chicks are healthy or not. I'm like you too, I love the variety of birds and am going to get a bunch of different chicks and the barnyard special too.

Ha, that is so cute, the turkeys come back after they raise their young, that is so cool! Does she have a lot of turkey? We have wild ones around here. They are the only birds that intimidate my guineas, lol! Thank you for your imput, Nelda! :D

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 1:30PM
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Years ago had problems with McMurray. The big hatcheries many time will compensate by giving large amounts of 'extras' for the possible losses that may occur when they have problems with disease outbreaks. I like the smaller hatcheries that are near by. Ma and Pa business that depend totally on their good name to maintain their business usually are the best. But it is your choice and you can have a very good experience with your purchase.

I try not to use medicated feeds, and would recommend that anyone that uses the medicated starter feeds for only 5 days at a time, any longer it will cause the probiotic bacteria to become to low in numbers to perform the good digestive duties they have. These same 'friendly bacteria' keep the bad ones in check.

That gro-gel is very good, plus chicks hydrate better if their starter is moistened (not more than 50% starter-50% water). Most feed stores sell a water soluble vitamins/electrolytes powder that is very good to add to the water their first 17 weeks (during the important growing time). It will ensure that they get all the nutrients that their growing bodies need.

Be sure to maintain the proper temperatures especially the first 4-5 weeks.

Here I'm going on like you never did this before, forgive me, maybe someone who hasn't did this before may glean some good from this.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:01PM
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My editorial is that there has to be a disease present for a disease to be transmitted. A healthy chicken is not going to give a disease to a healthy turkey, or vise/versa.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:03PM
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Your very welcome, I bought the grow gel also--They did tell me this year about last year sorry just can't remember what it was I want to say cocc.(can't spell it)!!I also have vitamin mix for their water--you might do what Velvet suggests, and that is giving them pedylte (in the babyfood isle). On the ones that died 1st time around they replaced (this year)I had 3 die in 2 days--the last one to go I was so desperate(guilty,upset) that I was using a syringe to feed and water it--but alas just not meant to be--i tried and that was all that I could do. I am a clean freak when it come to my chicks, so I know it was not anything that I was doing wrong. Hopefully, when you get yours and w/o vaccines and they are later in their hatch things will be better for you---yes PLEASE keep me updated on your new peeps, I am sure yours will be fine. Yes My friend has alot of turkeys since she incubates her own ckn eggs and the turkeys (if she can keep them there long enough to get eggs--she has several people who buy her chickens and turkeys on a weekly bases--I do believe she said the hispanic community comes alot to purchase both and get mostly roos. (20 turkeys)When the mom comes back with the babies she corrals part of the babies and lets mom keep the rest!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:05PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Coccidiosis? Its an intestinal disease caused by little round (cocci) spore forming (hard to kill outside the animal) protazoan's called Coccidia; Coccidia are almost everywhere in the environment and keeping birds healthy enough to fight off such infections is vital.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:14PM
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When using a syringe to feed a sick bird might I suggest tubing them. Any pet store that carries birds will know what you will need. This way you can feel the tube in the crop before feeding them.

This way there is no chance of the bird aspirating food into the lungs cause mechanical phenomena and sure death. Plus their is nothing better to feed a sick chick than the tube feeding feeds used for parrots-full of veggies, fruit and proper proteins for fast recovery of the sick chick(s). These forms of feeds are designed to easily pass through the tube with out blocking it.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:01PM
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Thanks seramas, I wish I had had that at the time it was rough--as sick as it was I do not think in this case it would have helped. BUT--now that I know about the tubing I will go out and purchase one in case I need it in the future. I did not know that you could get tubing to feed-you said that any pet store will have them? What about places like Tractor Supply? and do they carry the food for the tube feeding or is that something that I can do myself?

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:09PM
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TS-no they are not that specialized. Best to go to pet shop that specializes in birds. They are the best for information on tube feeding also.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Brandon I don't entirely agree with your post.

Coccidiosis can be very easily controlled so it can't multiply beyond the animals capability to overcome the oocysts. Keep the area dry. Damp, moist bedding is the perfect breeding ground for coccidiosis-in as little as 3 days the oocysts can multiply and overcome the natural immunity of the animal. Animals overcome have a hard time thriving, as their insides have irrepairable damage (in severe cases). Coccidia is species specific, and considered man-made.

Change/overlayer/remove animals from soiled bedding/wet feed and the disease known as cocciosis does not have a chance to take hold, and the animals can build a natural immunity to reasonable levels. Think DRY. We have never used coccidiastats in our chicken house, we use prevention.

I don't consider Coccidia a disease, but rather a parasite similar to worms but they are not worms and treatment is different. The final effects of coccidia are damaged intestines affecting the health of the animal & the inability to uptake nutrients, oftentimes with death occuring if not treated quickly.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 5:46PM
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Brendasue, I agree 100% with you. Cleanliness is the best preventive tool that any one can employ. That coupled with proper nutrition can not be beat!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:05PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

I did not mean to imply that cleanliness was not important, I would consider cleanliness vital for keeping an animal healthy. An unhealthy animal kept in a reasonably clean environment can still develop Coccidiosis (the disease caused by the parasite Coccidia) a well fed and generally healthy animal kept in a reasonably clean environment is highly unlikely too, that was my point.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:30PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

The reason you don't really want to mix turkeys and chickens (don't let them run over the same ground) is that turkeys are very susceptible to Blackhead, a disease that requires input from chickens to progress. More here, scroll to the bottom and read about 'Histomoniasis':


However, I've know lots of farmers that had a flock of chickens and one or two turkeys, or even a single tom for eye candy, mixed together with no problems. When I was a kid we had a chicken flock and a few turkeys mixed with no problems, too. It could be that Blackhead is a bigger issue with larger poultry concerns...? Or takes repeated mixings, over years, to really become an issue...?

As for the Cocci issue, sometimes wet, warm conditions are unavoidable--two years ago we had a NASTY warm, wet winter that sogged down everything and kept it that way for months, and a had a real issue with outdoor mold & spores around here. Disgusting! Keeping my coop dry was absolutely impossible that season, yech!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:39PM
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brendan_of_bonsai(4b AK)

Sometimes disease itself is unavoidable. Life is an arms race, and sometimes the other guys get the upper hand.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 12:05AM
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Nelda, I will definitely keep you updated as to what happens when I get my birds. :)

I'll avoid coccidosis by getting them real early in the year and letting them outside to graze when the days are nicer. That has worked before with my other birdies. :)

I probably won't have turkeys every year, so I pray that it'll keep them from getting blackhead too. We do have wild turkeys that come around sometimes though, hopefully that won't be a problem.

I shall let you know what happens, thanks everyone for your imput.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 4:35PM
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I talked to 2 people locally who ordered from McMurray recently and they said they had no problem with their order. In fact the easter egger I just brought came from them

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:06PM
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Hi again MsJay! :) Whew, that is a relief, I hope that mine are okay! I'm going to put both orders in on Monday! Woohoo!

Have you ever had aruacana (how do you spell that,lol!) before? I love their eggs! They are the best flavored of any eggs I have had before. About as flavorful as guinea eggs. I love the colors..I had an aruacana hen that laid the most beautiful pale blue egg. Much nicer then the army green egg the other gal would lay. Green eggs...no ham! :D

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 6:18PM
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No I have never tasted anything fresh but brown eggs. The day is coming though...

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:06PM
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Okay, I put my order in, so I should get my chickens at the end of this month, and the homesteaders delight first week of April. :)

It's easier to tell the difference between the eggs if they have been hard boiled first. It makes it easier for me to taste the difference, anyway. :)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 9:00PM
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