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Anyone else had problems with McMurray Hatchery?

14 years ago

This is my first time posting in the Farm area, but thought I would see if anyone else has had problems with this hatchery...

We ordered a batch of 25 Jumbo Cornish Broilers from McMurray Hatchery. As it got closer to processing time we realized that they were not growing like they should. We called the hatchery, sent pics and they agreed they had sent us the wrong birds. They had agreed to give us a store credit for the cost of chicks and shipping, only.

Today, we find out that they credited the credit card for less than the cost of the birds, and no shipping. They were gracious enough to offer us a 20% discount on our next order...which won't be happening!

We are waiting to hear from them about refunding the full purchase price plus shipping.

In the meantime, instead of having our own home-raised meat, we are stuck with 2 dozen roos that we can't do anything with.

The customer service has been less than helpful and the attitude of the place implied that it was our fault for not knowing sooner. This was our first time mail ordering chicks. We will not be ordering from McMurray ever again.

Also, they advertise a "Free Rare Chick" when you order 25 chicks. Ours was a red sex-link hybrid chicken. Not even a standard breed of chicken. I guess I was lucky it was a pullet, and not a rooster.

We are extremely upset by the way we have been treated by McMurray, and how long this is taking to resolve. Has anyone else had problems with them, or did we just happen to have a bad experience?


Comments (16)

  • 14 years ago

    Hello Sred98,

    Without going into a lot of detail--yes I have had two bad experiences with MM. Mine was the chicks I had ordered on two separate occasions were sick and one batch had Neur problems and another batch had that and serious feet problems.

    I have to say though they handled our problems with professionism and where not only nice but also credited our order and shipped many extra (which just means they expect some to die), unfortunetly--they did many! The ones that did not still had feet problems. We still have a medium credit with them and will use it to purchase supplies. We decided that we would give them a couple years to figure out the problem and we went with "MY PET CHICKEN" They were great and good great service and healthy chicks-they are all doing great and remain healthy. "Free" "Rare Chick" I have yet to see a truly rare chick in our order, we have gotten some pretty ones though! I was truly disappointed in them in recent years. the first year was truly great and with healthy chicks. Don't give up hope-you can still butcher or put them for sale on craigslist. Being a first timer you will learn as you go and this is a great place to start :)

  • 14 years ago

    What a shame! For first time poultry owners, you sure had a rough time of it. May I suggest that you look at Ideal Poultry's website? We live about 30 miles from them, and pick up our chicks directly, but others who have ordered are satisfied.
    The Black Australorps we got from Ideal are big, healthy hens, laying big brown eggs and enjoying life!

  • 14 years ago

    Thanks for the replies. To clarify, this isn't our first time with chicks...just the first time mail-ordering. I started with feed store chicks (they get them from Ideal) and have gotten from breeders before.

    This was our first time with the Jumbo Broilers. So, we really didn't know what to expect as far as growth or even what they were supposed to look like. When their legs stayed white, rather than yellow was what made me realize that they were the wrong kind of birds, and that we hadn't done anything wrong.

    I did some checking over at the Garden Watchdog and they've had about 6 bad reviews in the past 6 months. I am wondering if there was a change in staffing or ownership? We spoke with someone who claimed he was the owner, and he was less than helpful and couldn't care less if we were unhappy and not planning on ordering again.

    I guess our next step is the BBB. We feel we deserve a full refund on our order, including the shipping. Not including the $100 or more we are out on broiler feed. Of course, they won't do anything about that, but you would think they would try and make it right, not give us a partial refund.

    We ordered the most expensive broilers, and they sent us Pearl Leghorns. Basically a trash chicken, considering they are all roos. There's not enough for meat, and I don't want them breeding with my hens. No one will want to buy these. The only thing leghorns are good for is egg production. I'm stuck with all of these ugly white roos. UGH.

    As far as extras, they sent one but it was DOA. Not impressed.

    It is a shame that they have unhappy customers and don't care to do anything about it. They've been in business for over 90 years, but it doesn't look like they care to continue...?

    Thanks for the response! Curious to see if anyone else has had trouble...


  • 14 years ago

    Every hatchery has made someone mad at one time or another. I have ordered hundreds of birds from them, had 1 problem years ago which was resolved to my satisfaction. They all try to do their best but they all make errors from time to time. I can appreciate your discontent!

  • 14 years ago

    I had ordered from them two times. First time was about 5 years ago, and also ordered from them last spring. They did reimburse me for the dead birds and ones who died soon after receiving (about 3 died right away). The girl who was customer service wasn't the best as far as customer service goes, sort of an attitude, ya know? But I did get credited for the dead birds.

  • 14 years ago

    I've ordered my chickens from them exclusively for over 20 years and up until last year have not had any problems. I didn't receive the total amount and got a couple that weren't what they were suppose to be. I phoned them and describe the chicks and they asked me if I could tell which ones were missing. Some were more expensive then others and I could have told them whatever I wanted and they would have accepted it and reimbursed, however, the ones I didn't get weren't all the expensive ones. They had even sent several pullets where they should have sent straight run (I knew they shipped them as pullets and not straight run because it was hand mark on the receipt as such) and didn't charge me the extra for pullets. So some mistakes on that order we to my advantage and not theirs. Regardless, they happily refunded the difference I asked for and apologized for the inconvenience. I found them to be prompt and courteous. I have also order Jumbo Cornish from them with no problems. **TIP** With Jumbo's - make sure to order a Biotin Broiler suppliment or you'll have leg and wing bones snapping all over the place as they grow so fast the bones won't grow fast enough to support them without the biotin. (Jeffers carries the same biotin product but different name for a lot less then MM) In all the chicks ordered and I've order 50-100 at a time, I've only had one arrive dead and one die within a week after arrival.(My fault it got chilled) As for the free chicks, some I never could identify,(They sometimes send unintended crosses) while others were mates to some fancy ones I'd ordered The only one I gave away was a Turkin (so ugly I'm not sure even a mother could love it). But a little girl that came to visit fell in love with the bald headed little bugger so I gave it to her. If I'd had the trouble you had I may be tempted to try another hatchery, but I'm pretty happy with MM up to this point. Maybe you could donate the roos to an Ag program at a local high school to learn caponizing on or maybe you could caponize yourself and get something of a roaster or broiler size? Caponized roos will also sit eggs and mother chicks sometimes better than a hen will. Just a thought. Good luck!

  • 14 years ago

    We spoke with them again today regarding the refund. They said they would "check into it" and asked why we were unhappy! I guess they don't take notes or read their emails, either! This is insane.

    I don't think our FFA deals much with chickens. My daughter was the only one doing chickens (Welsummers) for her project. Everyone else does hogs/goats/horses.

    I'm debating getting some broilers through Ideal. They seem to have really good customer service.


  • 14 years ago

    I've never ordered from McMurray but have heard good things. I have ordered from Ideal on several occasions and would recommend them. On my first order several chicks died and they happened to be Cuckoo Marans, which I was most excited about getting. Customer service was excellent and offered to credit the birds since I mentioned I would order the next spring. I think there are almost always a loss when mail ordering, especially to rural areas such as mine when the mail certainly doesn't come overnight, LOL. That doesn't excuse you getting a bunch of birds of a completely different breed from what you ordered! I think you should get a total refund of your order plus shipping because they can't blame the mail or your care on this. Good luck and let us know what happens. I would still go ahead and butcher the birds and at least recoop a portion of the feed you gave them. Lori

  • 14 years ago

    I've ordered a couple times with them and had good service. Sorry for your bad luck. Hope you get your money back.
    Surely you can at least butcher the roosters and at least get a lot of chicken soup or canned stock, feed the dogs or something?
    I'd take them for feeding my dogs at least.

  • 14 years ago

    I received my chicks from them in spring of '09. The free rare chick was not well and died within a day, and 2 were DOA. I was reimbersed for both DOA's. I did notice that 2 had foot problems, I don't know what everyone else is experiencing, but the 1 toe on the inside left foot on both was bent severely outward, I thought they looked broken. Maybe they were. Other wise they're all doing very well. I had also heard that there's suspicion that their birds are getting inbred, but have nothing to substantiate the rumor. Maybe the bad service is all about "newbies" making mistakes and the owner trying to minimize the problems? It's sad that they screwed up your broiler order so profoundly. There's a huge difference between what you ordered and what you got. I may order from them again, but with reservation. For now, I'm happy, and have heard good things previously.

  • 14 years ago

    I ordered ducks from them some years back. I figured they'd ship from where they say they're located in (?) Iowa? Kansas? I'm in Maine. They shipped them from California. There were a disturbing number of dead ducklings.

    At this point, I'm getting ready to buy some birds, but it'll be from a hatchery in Pennsylvania, that I know ships from Pennsylvania.


  • 14 years ago

    I've ordered from them twice, with reasonable results. I think there are better quality birds to be found.

    I've also ordered from MyPetChicken, and I have to say, they were absolutely delightful at every phase of the transaction. Very good customer service, and they will ship fewer than 25. Much preferred over MM.

  • 14 years ago

    I've had good service from both Murry McMurry and Metzer Farm. Both are located in California and farely close to Washington State. I agree you should buy close to home if available.


  • 7 years ago

    I have had numerous purchasing/shipping experiences with McMurray. There were a few problems but they were resolved to my satisfaction. I wasn't happy when they changed their shipping procedures but they were always helpful the couple of times I had problems. It seems like McMurray has done all they can for you. You can still put the roosters you got in the freezer. They aren't as big as the Cornish X but they are edible. So for the cost of shipping (which is what $5?) you have 25 edible birds. It was a mistake which happens to everyone. There are other hatcheries but few of them are as good as McMurray. The only other hatchery I use is Ideal and that is when I just want standard chicks. Ideal is a half day drive away from me. Best of luck with your chickens. The Cornish X's will be yellow and will double in size within a week. You'll be able to tell the rare chick from the others because of the size. I'm surprised about you getting a hybrid. We've been extremely fortunate getting sicilian buttercups. Give them another try. I think you will be happy with them.

  • last month

    This purchase of 26 vaccinated layers didn't go very well. Upon getting the chicks from USPS, 1 was dead. Once home we immediately placed the rest under a heat lamp and provided food and water (using the purchased H20 additive). The next 2 days we lost 6 more. I called and were reimbursed for those. Over the next few days we lost an additional 6, leaving us only 13 of the 26 purchased. Losing 50% is not good numbers. We have been working with chicks/chickens for many years so we know what we are doing. We have never experience such a high death rate on an order such as this. We kept a close watch on the temp (and still are) and ensured they were watered and fed, so we have no idea why we lost so many. This will definitely give us pause before purchasing from McMurray again. This was our 5th purchase from them. We have experienced 1-3 deaths before but this is unacceptable.

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