Mcmurray or Ideal Hatchery?

nelda1234October 12, 2008

Hi Jenica,

Read your post regarding Ideal Hatcheries and wondered if you had ever purchased Cukoo Marans from them and have you ever had a Dorkin?

I would like to only have hens that that lay large brown eggs, but I think the Dorkin is pretty cute!

Do you or anybody else have any thoughts on this?



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We purchased 8 chicks from Ideal and have been very satisfied with both the poultry and service we received. We didn't have them shipped, since Ideal is just a few miles down the road from us, but the instruction sheet included helped us get through the first few weeks. Also, we were assured three times that if we encountered problems or questions, "just call us". Mcmurray is likely a very good supplier also, but we can vouch for Ideal.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 1:09PM
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I have over the years ordered 100s of chicks from McMurray and have no complaints what so ever. I got what I paid for.I began breeding standard bantams & large fowl and the larger hatcheries do not cater to breeders. Some of their and Ideals chicks do come from the better quality flocks but most are commercial grade and satisfactory for most backyard hobbyists. If you arent interested in birds for show, then almost any hatchery can give you satisfaction. I feel the closest source of what you want is the best way to go.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2008 at 7:47PM
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many of my friends have ordered chicks from mcmurray that were supposed to be all pullets and they ended up with at least 25% cockerels. so if youre concerned about gender, id go with ideal.

and as said above, depends on if you want good show birds from quality stock.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 11:48PM
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I've ordered from McMurray Hatchery and was really happy with the birds I got. I didn't get too many extra cocks, only 2 out of 30 birds...not sure what percentage that is.

I'm planning on getting more next year. Their white egg layer (The Pearl leghorn) are the best egg layers ever.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 7:10PM
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This isn't helping but I ordered from Ideal and was over-all pleased with them. I lost several chicks, which is to be expected. Both of my Cuckoos were lost, though :( Their customer service was excellent and offered to send replacements or give a refund. They have worked with me through-out the year as I had thoughts and wants and replied in a timely manner just for advice. I would definitely order from them again. The reason I chose them in the first place was that some of the breeds I was interested in only came as St runs at McMurray. They were offered as pullets at Ideal. There is always room for error but I got exactly what I ordered. Hope this helps a bit. Lori

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:43AM
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I don't have any experience with Ideal.
Here is my one-time experience with McMurray. I ordered the Rainbow egg layer special which was supposed to include 25 pullets of varying breeds + 1 exotic chick. However they only included 25 chicks total... I am not sure if they shorted me one of my pullets or the exotic chick. They all arrived healthy and active. I am not sure yet how many are pullets / cockrels yet. My other complaint is that one of my Barred Rock pullets only has one eye and a very crooked beak!! she is growing and eating as well as the others, but I don't want to pass this defect onto into my flock's genes. I tried to contact McMurray thru the email contact, but they never got back to me about these two issues.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 10:30PM
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Thanks for all the info on both hatcheries. the reason I was asking is when I ordered 50 from Mcmurray this year 40 of them started shaking there heads and all of them had immediately become spradle leg. I started first aid with vitamins in water (can't remember the name) also started the "bridge" with band-aids on all 50 for 3 or more weeks to no avail lost all but 10 and those are all ok now except that all of them have the same foot problem (somewhat twisted) and my poor Roo has a really hard time "staying in the saddle" gets up on the left, slides off on the right. He is starting to get the "hang" of things!

I did call them and they did replace all, but when I did e-mail them to ask if they had a genetic defect or did they have Poultry Pox (I don't think that is the right term) they never returned w/any information.

thanks to everybody for your imput on M vs I. I just don't want that to happen again - it was heartbreaking to put the babies down, I just thought that I was going to be sick.


    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 11:40PM
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Did McMurray never tell you what the problem was? Here is an email from them that someone on my local poultry message board got. Keep in mind, this was early spring this year.

*Sent:* Thursday, March 27, 2008 12:24 PM
*Subject:* McMurray hatchery

Thank you for your email.
Most of your question are answered in the statement below. Turkeys and
Pheasants are grown and hatched in separate facilities from the chickens and
are there for not affected.

If you have any additional question please contact us.

Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE) is passed from the infected hen (the only
symptom being a drop in egg production) through the egg into the chick. Chicks
from infected hens display AE symptoms within two to three weeks of age.
Those chicks are infectious and should be quarantined until well after
symptoms are no longer displayed. All equipment and housing should be
disinfected and litter disposed of properly. Surviving chicks will be
immune to AE in the future, will not shed the virus, and will pass this
immunity on to their offspring.

In February one of our larger breeder flocks had a well water quality
problem. We took corrective action and treated the well water. There was
also a reduction in egg production as well as poor hatchability at that
time. We falsely diagnosed the egg production problem as being water
related. A few weeks ago we had reports of mortality in some birds and
recently we have had a confirmed report of AE, for which our flocks had been
vaccinated. As you can imagine this left us in a quandary as to how this
could have happened.

By consulting with veterinarians we confirmed that AE runs it course in
adult birds for 1 to 2 weeks and the surviving birds are immune. That
period of time has elapsed; *eggs and chicks from our now immune breeding
flocks will not be infected.*

We are sorry for any inconvenience and problems caused and thank you so very
much for your patience and understanding of this most trying time for
McMurray Hatchery. Just as we done for the last 90 years you can again
expect the same high quality chicks in all future orders.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 11:11AM
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No they never returned the 3 e-mails that I sent. By then I had my replacements and had made them aware of the problem. At the time I felt that I had done everything that I could and also let some of my chicken farmers know of the situation. This was the first time I have ever had a problem with Mcmurray and was really disappointed that they never responed. One of close farmers had some feet problems the same year, same time. (this year).

    Bookmark   October 16, 2008 at 12:10PM
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Save your money and use Ideal! The people at Ideal are wonderful and their poultry are healthy. McMurray is another story altogether; arrogant nasty people who do not listen to complaints, they hang up the phone!! No customer service and a shocking attitude toward customers and birds alike. I ordered chicks, ducks geese,and turkeys (over $700.00!) Got my first birds. More than half were dead, the remainder died within days. It was horrible. I called in tears and was treated badly. I got my replacement shipment; ALL OF THE BIRDS WERE DEAD! The people at the post office were truly shool up and said they get lots of birds and this was the first time they received a ship. w/ all birds dead! No sympathy from McMurray's; they didn't care. Got next ship but none of the gels or electrolytes (I had used them trying to save the birds in batch 1. Called and got"You're lucky the nbirds are alive, you should have ordered more and paid for it." I sent an angry response. Got dead goose and ducks. Called for replacements and asked for the gel and electrolytes. Got replacements and no gel or electrolytes and I was CHARGED for the replacements!! Called and without raising my voice and I NEVER Swear (beyond a rare O Sh^*, I said that I was very upset and started to go through the history of my problems with the company and Carlene said Why should I help you you are unhappy? I was shocked " You took my money how's that for a reason?" She said to call back and talk to a supervisor as she didn't like my attitude. As I asked why she couldn't transfer me she hung up on me. Called back the next woman was just as rude. When I told her all of the above listed problems as well as the fact that the ducks came with bands on their ankles. I asked my husband to call McMurray's and find out what to do with the bands and they told us they meant nothing and we should ignore them. Well they sent their catalogue (I'll use that for litter training my puppy) and in there it said to remove the bands. By this point the birds legs had engulfed the bands and I had to cut them out ! I rescue animals and felt awful hurting the babies. Well I told the McMurray woman about that and she said I was a liar. I told her I'd like to see Carlene wearing a band around her neck and she said You are threatening us and hung up on me!! My husband called and spoke to Doug the alleged President. This guy said that his people are instructed to hang up on anyone that they consider "rude" so apparently they only talk to happy customers. No wonder they always can answer the phone and don't need to use hold! The man said he absolutely did not care if we or any other dissatisfied customer took their business elsewhere. You tell me, with that attitude what is their incentive to provide good service? None. My husband said that Doug's "frickin" attitude stunk. Doug immediately said ahhha! that's why they hung up on you you swore!! Ed said that wasn't a swear word, frickin' Doug said you said "the other word." We record our calls so Ed offered to play it back for Doug and Doug shut up! Did they do anything to help us? Only one thing, let us know that they have no concern for the animals that they handle or the people that are their customers. Do yourself a favor, Satan would treat you better than the people at McMurray, call them up, pretend to be unhappy with their performance and you will quickly find out exactly what I mean. DON'T GIVE THEM YOUR HARD EARNED $$$!!!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 12:56PM
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zootjs(zone 5 MA)

I prefer Ideal to McMurray. The birds seem a bit better quality, and I've gotten an occasional wrong variety from McMurray. That said, McMurray has been acceptable.

But my absolute favorite source is Their customer service is just unbelievable; you get the feeling that they live for people to call them and ask a million inane chicken questions. And you can order fewer than $25 by paying a bit more for a heating element, which I've done and works perfectly.

For ducks and geese, I am pretty loyal to Holderread Farms. They are not a huge operation, but their stock is just first rate.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2010 at 9:55PM
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littledog(z7 OK)

I second the Holderread farm recommendation. Great people, wonderful, 1st class waterfowl.

I never had a problem with McMurray birds; all have arrived alive and healthy, and were pretty good representatives of their breed. Never had them send the wrong breed, but I was buying twenty five of a kind. Although I've never ordered directly from Ideal, they're the biggest supplier to the local feed stores in this area, and the chicks that I have bought were also fine.

You can always skip the Big Boys altogether and order from one of the smaller hatcheries. three good ones are: Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, Missouri
Southside Hatchery in Seminole, Oklahoma
and Country Hatchery in Wewoka, Oklahoma.

They've all got websites, good customer service, and most importantly, healthy birds.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 7:25PM
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I can't help but wonder if your birds were being mis-handled during shipment? You know, like loaded/packed wrong in the truck? They could possibly over-heat, smother, or chill. I do know of a neighbor who ordered 200 chicks last year(not from McMurray, BTW), and the postal worker dropped one of the 2 boxes! I don't think he lost many chicks, maybe not even due to the dropped carton, but mis-haps, and, unfortunately, just plain carelessness, do happen. I'd probably do some investigating. Think of how a lot of other parcels look when they arrive after shipment. I ordered from McMurray, and had no problem. 2 were DOA and 1 was near. I got re-imbersed for all 3. Sorry to hear about you losses, though. What a bummer!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 2:02AM
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flowerchild59(z6b IL)

I have ordered several times thru the years from McMurray and have been satisfied each time. I can only think of one lost chick a few years ago. I just received an order of 30 brown egg layers and they are all spunky and healthy.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 12:03AM
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I was thinking of ordering chicks this year, but as I was standing in line at the post office one Monday morning a man ahead of me picked up his order of chicks and opened the box at the counter. All the chicks were dead. Checking the post mark on the package, the chicks had been in the mail system for four days w/o food, water or heat. In my opinion the post office was partly to blame since they probably left the package in an unheated space when it was clearly marked 'LIVE CHICKS' and the hatchery was partly to blame since they had shipped on a Friday. I figured I can get chicks from the feed stores in January/February around here and keep them in the house until it's warm enough to put them out in the coop. So that's what I did. I feel the same way about mail ordering lots of things. It's a hassle just I don't need. If you can see it and it's what you want that's the time to buy it.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 3:20PM
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I have only ordered from Murray McMurry but i have ordered from them 4 or 5 times now over a period of about 4 years.
the chickens i purchased last time from Murrays were not the purebreds that i paid for. they were supposed to be 25 black Austrolorps and 25 Road Island Reds. the Black Austrolorpes were definitely "off" this year ( have ordered that breed several times before and they make excellent layers plus great mothers they will go broody) and they had many chicks with yellow beaks and legs that were supposed to be all black so thy are not IMO keeping the chickens separated as well as they used to. in the past i have gotten great chickens from Murrays but I"m going to try another hatchery for my chicks this year. there were a lot of folks complaining about the quality of the chicks on another garden web site don't remember which one I'm sure you could google it. Also we got a few that had badly curved toes which I've read is a sign of inbreeding and the chicks were Obviously Deformed, they should not have sent chicks like that out but they did.....

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 9:17PM
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I have ordered several more times since my original reply to this thread. I have always used Ideal for mail orders and have always been very pleased with both the chicks and the customer service. Again, I choose them because of their option to buy pullets on many of the birds I want that McMurray only offers as straight runs. I've heard very good things about both places so I would think either one would be acceptable. Ideal is also a tad cheaper. The few times I've tried to buy chicks from the feed store didn't always end up so great. The pros were that I got to pick the chicks I wanted and therefore you could see what kind of shape they were in, generally. The downside was that I had only a 50-50 chance of getting a pullet even when the cages were clearly labeled as pullets. If someone knew enough about days-old chicks to sex them on the spot, obviously they would have better odds. I thought maybe the people putting them into the cages got some mixed up or the chicks jumped into other areas, not sure but I ended up with a band of roosters when I should have had pullets. In the end, I still use Ideal and if I happen to see something at the feed store I really want I might just get it :) Lori

    Bookmark   December 9, 2010 at 10:29PM
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Have ya all tried Meyer Hatchery? I have ordered from Ideal, they are very easy to deal with. I feel Mcmurray is higher priced. There are a few other hatcheries I have ordered from, but ideal adn meyer I really like.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2010 at 9:33PM
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I have used ideal and never had any problems with their chicks and have never lost any out of 500 chicks. I also have use meyers hatchery polk ohio with no problems out of 700 chicks and meyers are cheaper.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 1:45PM
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luke_oh(zone 5 NE Ohio)

I have used Meyer Hatchery in Polk OH. for many years. They are about a 45 min drive from me so no experience with their shipments. I know that they ship in very nice heavy duty boxes and include a green gel type supplement for the chicks during shipment. All the chicks have been healthy and correct.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2011 at 7:26PM
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I am a commercial chicken farmer and I've tried every possible hatchery over the years. I've never had problems with birds dying on me but I must say ideal and mcmurray have equally healthy birds BUT mcmurray is FAR overpriced. I would recommend ideal to anybody. Wonderful customerservice and just a great atmosphere. I would also recommend mt healthy hatchery and Meyer hatchery as well.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 2:10AM
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FYI: Murray McMurray sells some of their orders to Ideal Hatchery late July. I'd ordered from Ideal in the Spring and wanted to try the same breeds from Murray McMurray in the Summer. It repeated the order out of Cameron, TX. I knew immediately what had happened, since the box didn't originate out of Webster City, IA. Murray McMurray assured me that Ideal had sent Pearl White Leghorns for that part of the order. Ideal assured me that only Murray McMurray has Pearl Whites and that all whites had been substituted. The order was clearly marked "No Substitues", so Murray McMurray lied.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2011 at 9:55PM
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