Ordering From Meyer Hatchery: How Substitution Notes Are Used

by Linda F

Published October 3, 2023

If you’ve placed an order or are looking to place an order on MeyerHatchery.com at checkout you will have the option to add substitution notes to your order. Today we’re going to dive into how and when our shipping team and customer service department will use your substitution notes. The photo below highlights what you’ll see at checkout:

Screen Shot of Substitution Note Section on Meyer Hatchery

Why Add Substitution Notes?

It may not seem like it, but this is a very important area of the ordering process because not every breed hatches as well as we expect on every hatch day.  It is important to fill this out, being as specific as possible with your wishes in the event we would not be able to complete your order as you have placed it.  Should that happen, you do have some options, but please know that on hatch days we need to make decisions quickly.  If we have your wishes noted, we can proceed to pack or reschedule the order according to your desires and ship your chicks without delay.  We will do our best to please you.  Giving us options and information helps us to do that!

Substitution Options

So, what are the options? 

1. Reschedule for the next available date

First, if this is your dream order and you do not want any substitutions, let us know.  Please select: reschedule for next available date.  This will let us know you do not want any substitutions and we will do our best to get the order rescheduled quickly.  There are times when extended delays are possible.  Please use the note section to let us know what is acceptable to you.  Some sample notes are below.  

  • Please reschedule only if the order can be shipped within the next 2 weeks.  If it will be longer, please contact me.  
  • A long delay is ok, but I will be on vacation the week of October 23, 2023.  Please do not schedule the shipment for that week.  

Please also be aware that there are times when a reschedule is not possible.  Some breeds and species are seasonal layers, such as turkeys and goslings.  There are times when due to seasonality, it is not possible to get these rescheduled.  It is the nature of working with live animals; nature does what it does and it does not work on our timeline.  In such instances, we may have to cancel and refund your order.  Other times this may happen could include when there are a large number of breeds on the order and no common hatch dates are available, the order contains a large number of birds that are no longer available on a single hatch day, or the order may have breeds on it that have sold out for the season by the time your hatch day arrives.

2. Reschedule only if a specific breed isn’t available

Sometimes you may have an order that has a mix of birds with only a breed or two that are your must-haves.  In a case like this, you can select one of the substitution or reschedule options that are available and then also add a note.  Some sample notes follow:  

  • Reschedule only if the Exchequer Leghorn is not available.  You may substitute other breeds with similar egg color.  
  • Substitute any breed but the Exchequer Leghorn, as it is my favorite.  If it is not available, please do NOT substitute.  I’d rather reschedule.

Some orders will have females and a male of the same breed ordered.  If you select ship short or substitute, please note if the females of the breed are not available, do you still want the male?  We will send the male if he is available and the female isn’t unless you specify that we should not do so.  If we substitute the females for another breed, should we send the male originally ordered or substitute the male to match the breed of females used as a substitute?

3. Ship-Short

As mentioned above, you have the option to ship the order short.  There are times when we may have some of what you ordered, but not the full quantity.  If you are willing to accept an amount less than what you ordered knowing you will receive a refund for any chicks that do not ship, let us know.  If you ordered a larger quantity than you need to get the shipping price reduced, know that we will not increase your shipping charge if the order is shipped with a smaller quantity due to a less-than-anticipated hatch.  Sample notes follow:  

  • Please ship short as long as there are 15/30 chicks shipping.  If not enough, please reschedule.   
  • Please ship short, except if the Exchequer Leghorn is not available.  It is my favorite breed and why I placed the order.  Please reschedule if it is not available.

Meat Bird Substitutions

Finally, I’d like to mention meat birds.    If you order a specific breed of meat birds, we need to know your preferences for these too.  If we were to substitute another type of broiler than what is on your order, it may not be ready to process at the time you intended.  This could be a problem if you already have a processing appointment.  If you process yourself, for yourself and your family, it may not matter to you.  For those with appointments, you might want to allow another sex or straight run as a sub or opt to ship short, but let us know the minimum you need.  If those options don’t work, opt for the order to be rescheduled.  We will try to get orders to you as quickly as possible.  Once again, some sample notes are below:

  • Reschedule if needed, I can accept the order any time within the next 3 weeks.
  • Substitute straight run or females if needed, but please do not change the breed.  
  • I would allow another breed of broiler as a substitute if needed, but I pasture my birds, so I’d prefer one that likes to forage.  
  • I need a minimum of 30/50 chicks to ship.  If 30 are not available, please reschedule my order.  I do not want substitutions.  

Sample Notes

The more information you give us, the better we can help.  Make use of the note section to help us help you.  Other samples of possible substitution notes:  

  • I’m just looking for friendly chicks.
  • I’m looking a colorful flock.  Egg color is not important.
  • I’m looking for large or xl eggs.  I prefer white layers.
  • I’m looking for breeds that are friendly, good around children, and lay colorful eggs.  

We hope we won’t need to use your substitution notes, and usually do not need them, but in the event we do they are an important step to your order. If you have any questions, ask below in the comments or reach out to our customer service team. Happy ordering!

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