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Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Posted by terryboc z5 NH (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 19, 07 at 22:23

I'm thinking of the best selection of chicks to order for a May delivery and I thought I'd ask the forum for advice and experience with the 3 above mail order sources.

Here's what I wantto ultimately end up with-all hens:

several Ameraucanas/Araucanas/EE, whatever's for colored eggs
a silkie or 2
a buff orp or 2
several other unusual colored bantams

The balance of a 25 chick order would probably be either split with someone else or given away/sold.

The issues that I see with all of these guys is getting the least number of cockerels in the order and not having to order 25 silkies (McMurray) to get the couple hens that I'd like.

I checked Garden watchdog and they ranked Ideal/Cackle/Mcmurray best to worst.

What has been your experiences? Who would you recommend?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I can't really say a lot but like u I didn't want to order 25 of 1 kind just to get a couple I wanted. I just place an order with Ideal an are to arrive next week. Shipping cost was to bad either. McMurray wanted like $75 for shipping, that IMO was to high. I've never dealt with Cackle. trudyjean


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Hi Terry,
I've ordered from Ideal before and I know our feed store Dodge Grain in Salem NH does too, I was very happy w/their birds and service. DG will also order chicks for you upon request and only require a 6 chick minimum.

The downside to ordering bantams is they aren't sexed but the standards you shouldn't have a problem ordering pullets. We were lucky and got %100 accuracy w/ordering pullets.

Another option w/obtaining bantams is you could go through breeders and other chicken people in your area and buy young adult birds, you might be surprised at the resources around you.

I recently ordered some silkie hatching eggs from a gentleman in VT and just this weekend picked up 4 silkie chicks from a breeder in SE Mass. Just a thought.

Let us know how you make out, welcome to the farm forum :) I think we may have met at one of Annie's swaps a several years ago?

-Sheila


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I like Ideal quite a lot and have been really happy with their customer service. They don't have a bird minimum order, just a $25 minimum. This is the second time I've ordered from them, and I just placed an order for 3 americaunas, 2 buff orps, 2 cuckoo marans, 1 blue cochin, and 1 barred cochin (all pullets). Order total with shipping was $36.


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ps: standard

I should say that everyone is standard and not bantam :-). Ideal says they are 90% accurate with vent sexing.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

McMurray does not own a single chicken, they buy all their eggs from breeders. Nothing wrong with that, but you're banking on the breeder's honesty. As a child, my uncle ordered some polish from them, and to this day I've rarely seen as good quality lacing on the goldens and silvers that he received back then. I received two orders back in the 80's, of multiple breeds, and received few of what I actually asked for, and there were 2 or 3 mongrels in the group. Customer service back then was less than responsive. Recently I've seen a Narragansett tom that came from there that is as nice as any I've seen.

$75 to ship a 25 chick order anywhere in the continental US seems to be a mistake. I would question that.

Ideal offers some mixed breeds that it tries to pass of as pure. None of the crested duck breeds which it sells are pure, they are all crosses between the white crested and the plain headed version of the breed which they're passing it off as, except their white crested of course. They do have some amazingly rare breeds for which they're the only commercial source. I don't know the quality or purity of what they have, but I like seeing a commercial hatchery that promotes nankins, kraienkoppes, Saipan jungle fowl, and others.

I don't know anything about Cackle.

Very few hatcheries will sell mixed lots of bantams and largefowl in the same shipment. The minimum is usually 25 bantams or 25 LF. They claim that the bantams are too small to ship along with the LF.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Ideal has excellent customer service. I was well pleased with their cochins.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Thanks all-
I will call Dodge Grain to see what they can get for me; I'm pretty familiar with them and they are close to me, so that may be the way to go.

Sheila,
Yes, we probably did meet at Annie's-I go to most of them. What color of silkies did you get?

The more I hear about Mcmurray the less I'm inclined to buy from them, so that narrows down the mail order choices somewhat.

Patrick-in largefowl, do you mean standard sized chickens? That may put a crinkle in things if I will now have to order 50 chicks to get the 10 or so that I want :(. I may have to come up with a better plan than getting all of the chicks from a sole source in one shipment. I did want to do that so that all of the birds are the same age and hopefully more likely to form a friendly (non-fighting) flock. I have one chicken already and I'm worried about how to integrate her. But since she is a pretty wild free-ranging chicken, it may not be too much of an issue.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I am new to oredering and I just recently bought from Mcmurrary. The chickens I have to say arrived on time and I drove 40 miles to pick up so they would not sit untill Monday. No problems they packed 28 though in a box. I orderd 26 all females but one and they marked him. I also ordered 11 ducks. They arrived today after two days of shipping. One was Dead on arrival stepped on. Another had a bum foot since birth and stands on one leg. The bands that were puit on legs were so tight my husband had to but clippers and cut off.No clue what sexes were what as the bands I guess told colors and well we had no clue nothing to indicate that. Untill we called. We did get a credit for 2 ducks. I was bummed the other day to find out I could of drove 45 miles one way and picked up the same types of ducks for a 1.50 each or even had them shipped. I paid anywhere from 3.50 to 5.00 plus for one from them.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Yes, largefowl = standard chickens. Check with the hatcheries that you're thinking of ordering from, but I've yet to hear of one that will mix the two. They use the excuse of bantams being smaller, and therefor more delicate, and susceptible to being being trampled in shipment by largefowl chicks. IMO it's an excuse to get you to buy more. In my experience, they are no more delicate than largefowl chicks, with maybe a few breed or variety exceptions. They are simply smaller, but not so small comparatively, especially at that age, that the bigger ones would do any real damage, intentionally or otherwise. I wouldn't want to brood the two together longterm, but a few days in transit or in the brooder together in a pinch isn't going to do much harm, again IMO.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

My very first order was for 25 bantams.Well wouldnt you know it -they shipped 3 LF lt brahmas and 3LF partridge cochins with my bantams.The big peeps trampled all but 3 bantams.I cried my eyes out-they were 3x as big as the mille fleur chicks.:( ps that company is out of business.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Cackle's shipping rates depend, in part, on distance from you to them. For an example, I live in one of the cheapest zones (very close, about 125 miles), if I order 15 to 25 birds (15 is their min, and they allow mixing of kinds, but not specie or size) I pay a base of $8.00 plus .10 per chick. If I order 26 to 50 it is $6.00 plus .10 per chick. I figure if I order the 25 chick Frypan Special (25 Heavy Breed Unsexed Chicks or all Cockrels) I will pay around $21.00. If I order the 25 chick Frypan Special plus 5 Heavy Breed Pullets (my choice) I will pay $29.50. (The five pullets alone in the last shipment is the same price as the 25 chick Frypan Special, $10.00. The difference comes in the S&H.) They also offer a live delivery guarantee and say they will stand behind it with three days notice after delivery of any fatalities.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Hi Terry,
we have two blue's and two blacks, just about one month old. I've also got 6 growing silkie eggs in the incubator :)

They do require more care than other breeds but I am hoping they will be worth the effort, they are actually my son's birds (he's 8 yr.'s old).

-Sheila


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I used to order hundreds of chicks per year of different varieties and resell them as started( a mostly monetary loss). McMurrays & Strombergs were where I ordered mostly and I had a complaint but 1 time when all of the Buff Rocks were lost before 4 weeks of age. I find that qualkity is usually quite good , some breeds better than others, but rarely are they up to standards set by APA or ABA. They are good enuff for most back yard poultry keepers.I feel its best to order from the nearest hatchery which has what you want.
Large fowl and bantams can both be standard, or they can be just common chickens which may resemble a standard breed. Standard does not refer to size, it refers to conforming to the standard set by the American poultry Assoc. or the American Bantam Assoc. This require a minimum & maximum weight, a set color pattern, type and comb type.
Large fowl are the big ones, bantans are the small size! My bantams are all standard.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

You're right. I never really thought about it, but it's true. Maybe that's the reason that I usually try to use largefowl rather than standard, but it has to be subconsciously. Still, most experienced poultry breeders use the terms interchangeably, and usually understand what is meant by each, even if one is incorrect. Just like bison and buffalo, which I always use correctly even if it sometimes seems like the rest of the English speaking world does not.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

So Patrick, does bison or buffalo come up frequently in your conversations :) Seriously, thanks for the input. This has given me a lot to think about. My initial plan was to mix large fowl and bantams from the start, but I gather from Patrick's comment this may not be the best idea. Since some of my primary goals are to have blue/green eggs (a must) and to have uncommonly colored chicken pets (secondary), then I will re-think my flock combination. I see that Cackle has ameraucanas in bantam size, so I could go with all bantams in various breeds, or easier and still meet my basic goals, order LF ameraucanas pullets and an assortment of LF cochins from Ideal. That way I'd get my colored eggs and cute puffball chickens as well. I'm going to take a ride to Dodge Grain this weekend to see what they could get for me and that may solve all problems. Wish me luck!

BTW Sheila,
I love your coop and chicken yard! I found pictures on another thread. What an attractive setup you have. I showed the pictures to my DH and asked if we could build something similar and he said yes. (anything to distract me from horses, in his opinion!)


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Thanks Terry, I am facing a similar issue w/mixing bantams w/LF chickens as well. Installing the pocket door was the very best thing we did. I am now working on DH to build some mini pens with in the front coop to house my son's bantams. I have talked to many folks who keep them together successfully but I am not banking on it.

Let us know how you make out :) the egg color you mention above has become my obsession! Have you ever seen a Marans egg? you'll want a few of those too lol!


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Yes, bantams and LF can be kept together in some situations, but there are some variables to consider. In general it's best to seperate, but not absolutely required.

And yes, bison and buffalo are discussed with some regularity in my circles. There's a herd just down the street from me.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Habitual lurker here. Just had to speak up about Mcmurray hatchery. I've orderd from them for several years and never had a lick of trouble til this year. The other day I sent an email to let them know they botched my order back in February. Now that my chicks are a month old it's obvious I got a ton of males that should have been female ( I paid xtra for that). Boy did I get a nasty email back from them. I didn't ask for money back or anything, I just wanted them to be aware of what happened. They flat out insulted me. I will never order from them again. What ever happened to good customer service? My local feed store orders from Ideal, I can order what I want thru them and only have a minimum order of 6 chicks!!


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I'm sorry to hear that about McMurray-I'm a professional buyer and I know how important customer service is. I have solved the mail order issue however. I ordered 12 chicks from Dodge Grain in Salem, to arrive mid-May. I am getting 6 Ameruacanas and 6 Cochins (hopefully silver laced or penciled, but if not, then a variety). I'm also hoping that they are all pullets. Now I have my DH engaged in designing and building an appropriate coop in time for them (he's excited to find my attention diverted from the horse sites I've been spending a lot of time on!)

Sheila, can you post your page that has your coop pictures? I remember seeing them from another thread and now can't find them. I'd like my DH to see them.
Cheers,
Terry


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Hi Terry,
I'm glad you were able to put an order in w/Dodge Grain, they are very nice.

You'll love the americaunas, they are one of my favs. Cochins are really wonderful too!

Here's the link to some of my coop pictures.

-Sheila

Here is a link that might be useful: Sheila's Coop


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Thanks Seila,
That's just what I was looking for.
cheers,
Terry


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I have always ordered from McMurray, but not for a couple of years. Their chicks have always been excellent quality with no losses. I had some Araucanas from them, and they were quite plain partridge colored birds but laid very nice eggs. I loved their New Hampshires. Those were the best hens we ever had.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Just wanted to add some feedback regarding McMurray. I ordered (25) chicks several weeks ago, for delivery on 04/09/2007; this morning at 5:13 AM the postmaster called to inform me my chicks had arrived, I immediately drove to the PO and picked them up.

They were peeping up a storm and rustling around the box. Upon arrival at home I woke up my children and we unpacked the chicks as we had discussed. All but one were clean, dry, healthy and vibrant. I helped each with their first drink and sprinkled some starter crumbs on the newpaper and they all began to scratch for food vigorously.

One simply stood off to the side with eyes shut and peeped incessantly; this one I reintroduced to the water several times and am unsure what I will find when I get home.

The distribution of similar looking chicks matches exactly the assortment I ordered, one chick is bright yellow which I presume is the "extra rare breed" they promised.

My experience with McMurray has been first rate thus far. They were a little on the expensive side but this was not a factor in my decision, availability of precisely the birds I wanted was.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

i have ordered from Mcmurray for several years now, and have never had a problem with them. all my chicks have been very healthy and exactly what i ordered. when i call in my orders, the operators have always been friendly and helpful. AND, my mailman brings them right to my door.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I'm glad to hear positive responses to McMurray. I've always felt that customer service could make or break a company.

More to grow-how is your chick making out?


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

It is doing fine! Poor little thing looked exhausted from the trip. They are all doing very well.

Last night it got pretty cold down in the basement and they began to pile a little bit, so I added a second heat lamp and came back to check on them a short time later and they were all sprawled out under the lights and completely sacked out; they are so adorable.

I just love watching their antics.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I too ordered from McMurray and my chicks will be here on Monday the 16th.
I am sooo excited, but some of the comments above have made me a bit apprehensive.
I ordered all females, and one roo.... hope the order will be right.
I am glad to hear that someone really loves their NH Reds, I got several of those. In my opinion, they look nicer than the RI reds.

I guess I am partial to NH also since my ancestors settled that part of the New World in the 1600's.
I always wondered what life was like for them back then.
What did they raise?
What were their favorite crops or farm animals...
What was life in Exeter and Rockingham Co. like way back when.

I am glad I live now, with all the modern conviniences and how easy things are today, and in the same breath, it was a lot simpler, slower way of life.

I think these chicks will be good for my kids... get them involved in something outside of their normal day.
We do not have TV in our home so that they can focus on homework, musical instruments, sports, scouts and other things.
I am prepared for the day when the novelty of chicks wear off, the care will fall to me, but they have been real good about the other animals we have had, so it might not happen. I hope!

Anyone want to share their experiences of their kids involvement with chicks?
I would love to hear it... maybe start a new thread, this one is getting long!


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

A friend and I shared an order of 25+ chicks from McMurray last year. Two of the sexed pullets she ordered were roos. I ordered four black Japanese. Knew they should not have white earlobes, but did not know why until dd and I went to the big poultry show in Indy in the fall. They were Dutch! Anyway, I've ordered from Ideal, too, and have had minor problems with both. Nothing to keep me from ordering again. Our local feed store often orders from Cackle. They don't have the selection and sexing I want, but he has good success with their more standard breeds.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Hey Terryboc :) I have ordered from Ideal, mainly because I could order 4 or 5 chicks at a time. I have ordered a few times and my chicks always arrived healthy and perfect. The last time I ordered Americanas (they have a tail) but I have Silkies too. The silkies are soooo tame. The Amer's will eat out of my hand but that's as close as they want it. After having this mix for a few years, my personal advice would be to forget the Amer's,unless you just want the eggs. Mine are escape artists, tear up all the flowerbeds, get up on the deck and poop everywhere and last but not least are extreme bullies to the sweet gentle (follow me around the yard talkin to me, always let's me pick them up) Silkies. Hopefully I am getting rid of the Amer's this month. Let me say that I raised the Amer's just like the silkies and they were tame until they were about a year old. Anyway, If you just want to order a half dozen chicks or so, Ideal is great!


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Today I just received my first order from Ideal. It was shipped yesterday and in my local post office early this morning. Every bird arrived safe and sound. Kudos to Ideal,... and to the U.S. Postal Service!

George
Tahlequah, OK


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I am getting the Americauna (or EE-whatver) mainly for the eggs. I love the novelity of blue and green eggs. When I described them to some of the people who work for me one of the young women said "You don't eat those eggs, do you?" She had a strange look on her face as she said it. It was too funny!
I'm hoping the Cochins will be a little more "cuddly" as I'm interested in them as pets as well. If I end up with roos (requested all pullets) I will be hard pressed to cull it for the pot, but I will deal with that if/when the situation arises. I had a hard time splitting a live lobster for the grill, so I imagine I will have a hard time with a roo as well.

I really wanted Silkies, but I decided that mixing large fowl with bantums was going to be problematic, so I opted for all large fowl and hope that the Cochins will give me a similar experience. I'm starting to get brooding supplies together since I expect to get my chicks right after I get back from Florida in 2 weeks.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I ordered 25 Leghorns from Mcmurrary ... 5 arrived D.O.A., 3 more the next! Mcmurrary gave me credit for the 8 I lost, but I will order from Ideal next time. Ideal mails out durning the weekday, and Mcmurrary mails our on Saturday. If you have any problem with your post office coming in on a Sunday for you, then your going to have some loss. And, I do have problems with my post office!


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I live fairly close to Cackle and everyone says they are better than the other hatcheries in the area.They are Easter eggers so you might get a green egg.I have been tempted to call them and ask about blue eggs.I raised easter eggers and a banty type hen together.I also have 2 chicken tractors and a chick tractor.Last fall after culling I put all my chickens (14) together for the winter.That includes 3 banties and a second small rooster.They get along reasonably well but the older hens do pick on some of the pullets.Anyway,I think if they are raised together they do better.Oh,someone I know ordered from Cackle and they are backordered on the Ameraucanas til May.Posy Pet


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

Hi
I received a box of chicks from Cackle March 25th that contained 22 BB White turkeys (2 extra), 6 Americauna pullets (1DOA which was an extra)and 6 White Cochin bantams (1 extra). I was very impressed with their shipping. They included a heat pack in the side with the chicks and 4 poults on it. The Americaunas are all Brown red color and all have beards so they are by far the best ones I've gotten from any hatchery. I've ordered from McMurray and Ideal before too. I like Ideal because of their quick shipping, nice customer service and rare breeds but they book up fast. McMurray I don't like.
Call the hatcheries sometimes you can get an order quicker.
Aprille


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I have ordered from McMurray, once a few years ago, and then just this spring. I had gotten 25 chicks the first time, they were great birds, the white leghorns lay like crazy! Even years later, if I give them a break during the winter, they start laying like fiends. I don't like the taste as much as the araucana hen eggs though. Those are the best tasting eggs, as far as chicken eggs go, IMO.

This year, I got 27 chicks and the homesteaders delight. I learned to never order banties with full size chickens ever again. The 3 Japanese banties I got, one was DOA. Also the weather was very cold when they were shipped, which didn't help. :( The second banty wasn't looking very well, and died the next day. :( Another bird (a golden campine) had been acting funny, the poor thing would walk around in circles, and would twist its neck. The little one didn't eat and died 3 days later. Not sure if it was born with a neurological problem or what. None of the other birds have caught anything, so I'm guessing it was either a genetic defect or a neurological problem? So far I had one duckling die from the Homesteaders delight, not sure why. It had a closed eye when I got it, and it died from unknown causes a few days after I got it. Other than that the other chicks seem okay. I may try another hatchery because I want to try and find some different chickens and muscovy ducks. It's always good to shop around, IMO. Murray McMurray have good shipping prices however. Customer service is okay.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

We got our spring order from Hoover this year. We ordered 25, they shipped 27 :) They arrived last Friday and everyone is healthy and growing.

Hoover had really good customer service. I called to ask a couple of questions before ordering, the lady who answered was so helpful that I went ahead and made my order on the phone.

They don't have shopping cart online shopping but you can download and e-mail an order form.

They also have the best prices I found. So far, the chicks appear to be good representations of the breeds I wanted but we'll know more in a few weeks.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

When I read above about McMurray charging $75 for shipping I went to the site to see how much it would cost me to get a batch of day olds. You can put as many chickens as you want in your cart but they are not telling you the price of shipping until AFTER you put in your credit card information. I found that to be a bit suspicious.

I have heard reports on here of people getting DOA or nearly DOA chicks from them but a lot of people around here order from them and they seem pleased. maybe the Post Office is mis handling the chickens when they come in at some places??

Around these parts have not heard of anyone ordering from Cackle or Ideal.


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I order standard partridge Cochins from Ideal last year and I don't like them at all. They are small 4 1/2 when they should be 8 pounds. They are not a ball of feathers, their tails big legs not very feathery . I'm ordering from McMurray This year dos any know if they have better standard partridge Cochins


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RE: Compare Mcmurray to Cackle to Ideal for chicks

I've chimed in on this debate before. I've always ordered from Ideal and have found their customer service excellent, prices good, and like being able to order pullets of most everything they offer (in chickens, that is). My problem this year is that they have sold out of almost EVERY breed of pullets. You could get some meat birds or cockerels of some. I usually order a little earlier than this but I don't remember them selling out like this before. Hopefully business is booming for them and not that they are down-sizing. Lori


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