Cackle Hatchery Review

Cackle Hatchery (Review)
411 W Commercial St
Lebanon, MO 65536
Phone: 417-532-4581

(It is ALWAYS recommended to check with the Better Business Buru if you have never done buisness with them before)

On 5/9/2020, I got online to order Turkeys more specific “Heritage Turkeys” I looked at the different breeds and decided to order the “Bourbon Red” turkeys. I checked Cackle Hatchery and Murray McMurray Hatchery after contemplating I chose Cackle Hatchery since it was in Lebanon, Mo 204 miles vs Murry in Webster City, IA some 445 Miles away. I lived in Missouri during my Jr High and into most of my adulthood., and if something really went wrong I could take a day and do 3 hours there and 3 hours back and the turkeys were $1.65 cheaper.

I was charged 55.75 for 5 unsexed Bourbon Reds, $21.35, shipping and handling and $20.00 small order fee (less than? birds) for a total of $97.10. Now all the turkeys on the page said “TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK” so I picked up the phone to inquire if they were all gone and was told just for now and that they would be hatching more so I could go ahead and order. I hung up and went online to order he 5 birds. I was given a hatch date of July 20th, 2020 which I really wasn’t happy with but hell, it gave me time to build a new brooder.

So, the day they were supposed to be hatched and shipped I didn’t get a phone call, I got a flipping E-Mail AFTER hours (8:07 am CST). As you see above they changed the new hatch date and shipping day from July 20th to Aug 5th, 2020 I called them, I wanted verbal conversation not an E-Mail that’s 90 days from the order date to received date.

On Aug 5th 3:33 Pm CST from phone number 417-532-2535 I get a call from Cackle Hatchery stating they don’t have my Bourbon Reds that they can send me Royal Palm, Blue Slate or Black Spanish (think that was the 3 breeds they told me). I told them I wanted the Blue Slate Turkeys, she told me I couldn’t choose that they would send me one of the breeds was that ok?  I was like no If I can’t choose just to put my money back on my card she said ok and we terminated the phone call.

Between 5 and 10 minutes the phone started to ring again, I answered, and it was Cackle Hatchery again. The woman asked me if I still wanted the Royal Palm Turkeys and I stated if you don’t have the Bourbon Reds then yes. She told me that as soon as the mailing label was printed I would get an E-Mail with a tracking number. Okay No problem, I begin to write this review letting anger feed in this review.

I looked at the Royal Palm turkeys and I thought they were pretty along with the Bourbon Red and Blue Slate turkeys, so it wasn’t as bad as it could be, I trigger pretty easy and when I checked the tracking numbers after the E-Mail and started tracking them and it says expected delivery date August 8 2020 by 8:00 am. I blow up contacting Cackle Hatchery because I’m concerned about food and water for 4 days. I did some research and found that newly hatched chick lives off the yolk the is pulled up into the chick just before it’s fully out of the shell. They inform me they have solid H2o in the shipping box and should be fine but call if something is wrong to call them immediately.



(in this case once the package is accepted it is a Post Office issue not Cackle)

Post office tracking text is screenshot off my cellphone from the USPS website










Cackle Hatchery delivered the baby turkeys to the United States Postal Service in Lebanon,M0.  The Lebanon, Mo post office took them to the Springfield, Mo distribution center (54 Miles Away) (54 miles away) again in the opposite direction than me. Springfield, Mo shipped them to the Kansas City, Mo distribution another (166 miles further away from me) arriving. The chicks leave Kansas City Distribution Center and (248 miles later) arrives at the St Louis facility the package arrives (43) miles in New Douglas, IL and I picked them up as soon as the phone rang while I was outside waiting. Then I drove home about 9 miles home.

Now as stated above at the beginning I am 204 miles away from Cackle Hatchery if I had gone to pick them up myself and had them home in less than 6 hours. These Birds could have gone from Lebanon, MO to their distribution center in Springfield, Mo (54 Miles) to St Louis Distribution Center (216 miles) then to my post office in New Douglas, IL (43 miles) then (9 miles home) for a total of 322 miles.

The way the post office routed them my birds traveled 520 miles had they went from Lebanon, Springfield, St Louis to New Douglas to my home would have been 322 miles a 198-mile difference. (at current prices contract freight of about $2.00 per mile would be about $1,040.00 vs $644.00 a $396.00 difference and we wonder why they are broke.


Now back to the Cackle Hatchery Review

I arrived at home and the 5 baby turkeys were active chirping. Before opening the box, I opened the attached paperwork with my invoice and care packet. The Invoice said 5 Bourbon Red Turkeys, but the 5 was scratched out and the bourbon Red was scratched out and said sub Royal Palm. I open the box and there they are 9 Royal Palm turkey chicks, ALL healthy jumping around the box.

24 hours later these little chicks all look good, active, drinking and eating fine. Now to my star scoring. While I had issues with them moving my hatch and shipping date from July 20 to August 5th with an E-Mail the day they were to ship I was furious. Calling me on the Aug 5th date in the afternoon saying that they didn’t have the Bourbon Reds if they could sub them with Royal, Spanish and I think Blue Slate aggravated me but when I said I would take Royal Palms and they said I didn’t have a choice of the 3 breeds I flipped out and demanded my money back however they called me back and gave me the Royal Palms. I Received my package late NOT their fault but the post office, I opened my package to be pleasantly surprised that there was in fact 9 healthy active Royal Palm chicks when I had only ordered 5 Bourbon Reds.


Even though it wasn’t 100% drama free they more than made up for it with about $50.00 more birds than I ordered, I am going to give them a 5 STAR RATING. I will without a doubt do business with them again because they did go out of their way to make it right and as someone saying they are sorry the 5 STARS says I accepted their apology. That’s the way I see it when a business goes out of their way to make it right, it says allot about a business. This is a family owned business and they need our support and I have no reason not to business with them again I’m 100% satisfied.

Five Stars


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Sexing ducklings and even baby chickens and geese aren’t always a black and white issue, sometimes in different breeds you can tell by the shades of colors. One of the easiest ways to sex poultry is vent sexing, and with a little practice you can do it 100%. Depending on your vision you may need a magnifying glass with light, and it should help you to make sure.

You can also use this same method sexing turkeys and geese, I learned to do this so that we could get a better price on the females and the males people buy for meat birds and even show birds since their plumage is so much prettier than the hens. The other reason I wanted to learn sexing is that at most of these farm supply stores, they sell baby chicks and ducklings. Imagine buying a dozen babies and 70% to 80% of them being roosters or drakes which 60% of a straight run will be roosters and allot of times hatcheries will sex chicks to sell at a premium price making the ones they sell to the stores a bigger percentage of roosters, DON’T let them fool you it’s a fact.

The video listed in this post can be used for Chicks, Ducklings and Turkeys for sure. This is a playlist of different ways and different types of poultry.

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Good Morning, we have acquired 3 Rouen ducklings from Buchheit of Greenville for $6.24 each. Unsexed we are unsure what we have yet but will vent sex them in the next few days. we are hoping for at least one hen. The idea will be to separate our Pekins, Black Swedish and Rouen ducks and sell fertile eggs from each of the 3 different breeds or the meat of the Pekin ducks.

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Pickles came back home today after being traded for another buck (Andre) He was traded to Mriscin Ranch in New Douglas, IL. On being returned home he practically ran to the gate to be with his girls and realized there was a new female in the herd. While he greeted everyone in the yard he especially paid special attention to the new nanny while she is still having to prove her dominance among the other nanny’s. Needless to say, he is very happy to be home, and we are happy to have him.

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One of the older residents of Metro East Farms “Pickles” has went to a new farm. Pickles has been on Metro East Farms since February 2018 as a 5-day old kid. We bottle fed him with another kid named Zoey both super friendly & house broke they would go out with the dogs and when they started pulling tablecloth of tables, climbing couches and kitchen tables and we had to evict them to the barn. He is a Boer and Kiko mix.


Pickles loves to play, and Justin played with him a lot with unintended consequences. He would grab him by the horns and ears messing with him so, Pickles likes to play a little rough. He doesn’t intentionally but if you remember watching goats on TV you would remember when you bend over to do something and yea he’ll but ya.

Sometimes walking out in the pen he will drop his head and but you, he is not doing it to attack or be mean he just wants to play. He has fathered many kids here and healthy kids and as a good father and surprisingly he protects them. We let him out on occasions, he never goes far, never goes to the road and comes running when you holler “YUP!!” (that means time to eat) and he does answer to his name Pickles, if you holler Frank, Fred, Billy or what ever he ignores you, and if he sees a yellow bucket he will follow you anywhere. Finally, he is leash trained and walks well on it.

He serviced 5 does and each spring the does birthed kids on the same day or on two consecutive days. So, he is proven and potent. This October I will be 55 years old and have many medical issues and he has knocked me down 4 or 5 times because I wasn’t paying attention so when offered the opportunity to trade him for another buck with good bloodlines the decision was made to do the trade knowing he will be taken care of because of his friendliness as long as he is with another goat he will be fine.

The trade is For a Boer, Nubian mix we named Andre (Andre The Giant) he is a good strong little buck, he is old enough to use as our lead buck. He is greyish and he has a thick body like his daddy shown below with Andre. It is our hope that Pickles enjoys his new home and he will be missed very much but as with any business and or farm decisions must be made to benefit the farm.

Below is contact information of Mriscin Ranch, good to deal with and good deals buy, sell or trade, Goats, Ducks, Rabbits and sometimes other small farm animals. Give him a call or look him up on Facebook he is easy to deal with and one you can trust.

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Art Mriscin came to Metro East Farms to look at two Withers (Castrated Males) that we had here and he ended up purchasing them. While loading we was talking back and forth and got about rabbits. Justin Hofer a co-Founder and member of Team Fat Boyz and Metro East Farms has two buck rabbits, and I had thought about it for a while and trying to justify getting into a breeding program and was looking for does. Justin and I went to Mriscin Ranch located in New Douglas, IL to see what he had, and agreeing on a price we bought 3 does.

Within the week we got on the discussion if he had or knew of someone who had anymore does and within a couple minutes we bought another 2 from him. Rabbits reproduce fast, they could have 12 litters a year but in no way is that okay or recommended. Personally, I would stop at 5 or 6 liters per years. Rabbits are in the rodent family such as Squirrels, Rats, Mice and guinea Pigs. Rabbits make good pets if you work with them at a young age, sit them on your lap, across your shoulder, leash train and even litter train them. They also double as Meat Rabbits; they are very good and taste like Squirrel or chicken.

Rabbits dressed out bring a good price as well as the furs, there is a great market for pets, meat and fur and are worth producing should meat prices go up, loose a job or something in a pandemic such as the COVID-19 Pandemic we are dealing with now. All 7 rabbits now in the breeding program have names and as always on the farm when you name it we don’t butcher it.

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Metro East Farms have acquired a female goat born in April 2020. As always when we acquire an animal that will be a permanent part of the farm. She will be worked with and also be breeding stock for new generations of therapy animals for nursing homes and physically and or mentally challenged birthday parties. REMEMBER THIS we do not charge nursing homes or the physically and or mentally challenged events.

We normally let someone choose the name of the animal for a level Platinum sponsorship of $100.00 to $150.00. We decided this time we would accept $5.00 donations; each $5.00 you donate you get another entry. August 15 we will add names of donators on on live video and the winner will get to name her with a FIRST, MIDDLE AND LAST NAME (must not be something totally ignorant or another inappropriate name), ALL donators names go onto the Metro East Farms donators page BUT, the winners name will appear as a Platinum Level on the page, a Platinum Level donor certificate, a 5 x 9 photo of your sponsored animal and a personal notarized letter of thanks.

Donations Must Be a Minimum of $5.00 per entry, donate as much as you want for as many entries as you want. You may donate for example $15.00, that will be considered as 3 entries. Deadline for entries is midnight August 14th and drawing at 7:00 PM CST.

With the COVID-19 virus our donations have went to almost zilch, regardless animals still need cared for. Normally Donations from the public is about 35% of our operating budget, small businesses around 32% and the remaining 33% from our members.

We could use your help! Hay for the winter this year for 5 1200lb round bales ($200.00), square bales of straw used as bedding around 40 bales at $5.00 each ($200.00) Sweet Feed, Cracked corn, Chicken/Duck/Turkey feed $400.00. Please help. Send donations to via PayPal using your PayPal account and as we are a registered business you can donate via credit or debit cards using our E-Mail We do appreciate your support. Drawing event starts when this in posted.

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Metro East Farms has acquired a new doe goat. She was born April 25, 2020 on the Mriscin Ranch located in New Douglas, IL. Her father is a pure Boer and her mother is a Nubian. She will be weaned in mid-August and we will then bring her to the farm for Quarantine then integrate her into the herd.

She will be entered the USDA Scrapie’s Eradication program so that she can be traced back to the breeder or farm where she came from. She will be part of the therapy animals we take to the Nursing Homes and Physically and or mentally challenged children’s birthday parties.

She is available to be sponsored by someone, for a donation of $100.00 or more you will get to give her a permanent name, a certificate with your name, Platinum level membership and picture of her and have your name put on the as a Platinum Member. Just contact us at

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Laying Chickens 🐔

Many hens lay their first egg around 18 weeks of age and then lay up to an egg each day, subject to breed, environment and individual bird. At 18 weeks, switch to a complete chicken layer feed to provide the added calcium laying hens need to produce an egg each day.

If raising a backyard flock was a treasure hunt, the ultimate prize would be a hen’s first egg. You started your chicks strong, moved them to the chicken coop and enjoyed their antics as they explored the backyard. Now you might be feeling a bit of egg-ticipation and wondering when do chickens lay eggs? The first egg often arrives when hens are 18 weeks old, subject to breed, environment and nutrition.

A rooster is not necessary for egg production unless you want to have fertilized eggs for hatching. When pullets are nearing their first lay, their behavior changes. They may spend more time with the rooster, crouch for breeding or investigate the nesting area. At this time, keep hens in the coop for short periods of time. Place golf balls or decoy eggs in the nesting boxes to help hens understand the use of the nesting boxes.

The first few eggs a hen lays may be irregular – possibly small in size, with soft shells, no yolks or double yolks – but, after a week or so, egg production should become more consistent, with peak performance at about 30 weeks of age and egg goals changing each year. To help hens lay strong and stay strong, keep the following #FlockStrong tips in mind.

Prepare chicken nesting boxes in the chicken coop. Create several comfortable, clean and cozy chicken nesting boxes. We built the nesting boxes into the coops we are working on modifying the nesting boxes with outdoor access for egg collection. We keep the boxes closed until the hens are 16 weeks old and then open-access after that. A general rule for nesting box size is one 1-foot square nesting box for every four laying hens. The flock will take turns using the boxes.

Line each nest box with a thick layer of straw, pine shavings or other bedding to cushion the eggs. Keep the nesting boxes up off the floor in the darkest corner of the coop with privacy to the hen. Each nest area should have a uniform environment. After a hen lays her first egg, it’s her tendency to lay in the same spot moving forward. If the hens decide one nest is preferable to the others, they may all try to use that nesting box, causing themselves stress, which can lead to egg breakage or egg eating.

Sometimes hens all use the same nesting box even though they are all uniform. As long as the birds aren’t fighting or harming each other, this is probably not a big issue. If you are concerned about it, consider blocking access to the preferred nest box and guiding the hens to use one of the other available boxes. Once the hens have decided the other nest boxes work just as well, allow them access to the original nest box.

Consider chicken coop light.

Age is the first indicator of first lay, but daylight hours are also critical. An increase in day length is key driver to encouraging hens to lay eggs. To do their best work, laying hens prefer at least 16 hours of light and 8 hours of dark.

If your hen reaches 18 weeks of age during the fall or winter when daylight hours are getting shorter, then consider adding supplemental light to the coop. It only takes about 25-watts of incandescent light per 100 square feet to encourage hens to lay eggs. You can also use an equivalent wattage fluorescent or LED light for your flock. Without supplemental light, young hens may wait until days get longer in the spring to lay their first egg.

Complete layer feed. If hens are not laying at week 18, you can still transition from a chick starter feed to a layer feed. This change may even jumpstart egg production. The earliest you should transition to a layer feed would be around 16 weeks of age. Do this if you are combining a flock of new hens with an older flock in the same coop.

Congratulations on your first egg! Shell-ebrate with a first egg happy dance. Ready to see the difference a complete feed can make in your flock? Sign-up for the Feed Greatness® Ch

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Metro East Farms on May 9th we made an order with Cackle Hatchery®. We wanted something different than most others and we also wanted turkeys that could mate naturally which some breeds have to be bred artificially, so we decided that heritage turkeys were the way to go and we chose the Bourbon Red Turkey.

The Bourbon Red Turkey is a rare breed of the heritage turkey and was admitted into the American Standard of Perfection in 1909. Developed in Pennsylvania and taken to Kentucky with the long rifle, this breed later was given the name Bourbon Red from its popularity from Bourbon County, Kentucky. The Bourbon Red turkey is another of the turkeys with a beautiful color pattern and makes a good farm and backyard turkey.

Since Metro East Farms began incubating eggs we have been successful in chickens and ducks, we will attempt to incubate turkey eggs. We are going to try and get eggs year-round by providing lighting and heat on timers to provoke egg laying such as we were able to do with our ducks. We had duck eggs all winter including the coldest month January and February 2020

Our objective is to grow the Bourbon Turkey Flock and then start breeding Bronze Heritage Standard turkeys. Right now our ducks are able to cross breed but that will be changing in 2021, where we will be segregating the different breeds so that we can sell them as the breed than not getting as much for a mix breed duck.

Our turkeys hatch and ship date is June 20th and have to pick them up at the post office early in the morning they tell me they will arrive.

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