TGN Community members, we’d love to know:
What’s your favorite hatchery, and why?
Please let us know in the comments below. We’ll compile your answers into an article soon!
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I don’t know that is is my favorite since I’m new to poultry, but it is the closest.
Mt Healthy is within 2 1/2 hours of my home in the city. I can pick up the chicks and avoid the normal shipping trauma. They have a pretty good selection of pullets and the minimum pick up order matches the maximum number of birds we can have based on local ordinances. I was disappointed a little because they did not have any more Sussex available, but I was ordering rather late. We did end up with Rhode Island Reds, Barred Rocks, and Australorps. I was able to talk to real people and get questions answered.
We did check local sources, but they did not have the breeds we wanted. Pick up is at the end of the month.
http://sunnysidehatchery.com Why? Because they were NOT mail order. Seems that every time mail order was used, the ratio of survival was 30% to 70%. Since using a local hatchery that also drops off to local pet stores in our area, we were able to order directly from the hatchery. Chicks are dropped off early morning before the pet store opens and ready for pickup the same day. 100% survival rate each and every time! Sunnyside is even open for you to visit the operations.
“There have been many changes in the hatchery business since my grandfather, Oscar Wilke, started the hatchery business over 100 years ago. Our goal has remained the same through three generations; to provide the highest quality chicks at competitive prices with superior service.” – Mark Wilke
They also have top beak tip trimming. Some folks love this and others do not. It’s offered as an option. We had one group done this way. Interestingly, those hens can’t jab a beak into your skin to hurt you, yet they can eat like the normal birds without issue.
As for feed stores and coops, it’s hit-or-miss on how well any of those birds would survive to get to adulthood. It’s all in the transport, the containers, and the holding bins. If any are infected with ‘whatever’ your chances are low for their survival.
Mail order is like taking your birds thru a wash machine and dryer. Cold rain water, bouncing around in a truck among packages, tossed onto a cold cement floor, or in a summer 90F heat with no air, and when you go to pick them up, they are in transport shock.
Moral is, look for local and know the transport process. Do not go into this blindly.
For anyone with chicks or birds, see this link and PDF.
This has solutions for organic production.
My favorite is Sandhill Preservation Center: https://www.sandhillpreservation.com/poultry
Great selection and I have had a great survival rate as well.
Cowlitz Salmon Hatchery. Because it’s vital to restoring the salmon runs on the Cowlitz River in Washington. Second favorite is Skokomish Salmon Hatchery. Because our friend is the Chief Spawner.
Yes, I know that you’re talking about poultry, but Salmon is very important as well!
We love Cackle Hatchery. When we have used them for mail order chicks, we have had a good survival rate. They take a lot of care when they mail out the chicks. We have also gotten the chicks in person at the hatchery. The hatchery is clean and the chicks are well cared for. We have never been disappointed with our chicks from Cackle.