Murray McMurray officially started his chicken business in 1917. He had always been interested in poultry as a young man and particularly enjoyed showing birds at the local and state fairs. He was in the banking business at this time and sold baby chicks through the bank to area farmers and hobbyists. When incubators became available he was able to purchase several small Buckeye incubators to hatch and sell his own stock. In 1919 he sent out his first catalog and price list and continued to carry on both the banking and the hatchery business. During the early stages of the depression his bank went broke. It was then he decided to go into the hatchery and mail order baby chick business full time.
During the decades of the 30's and 40's, McMurray Hatchery continued to grow. The hatchery served two types of customers: the local area farmer and the mail order customer. One customer lived right in our backyard and the other may have lived a thousand miles away. The McMurray Hatchery catalog bridged the distance gap between the hatchery and the mail order customer. The arrival of the beautiful color catalog with its description of the birds was always anxiously anticipated as it still is today, many years later.
The decade of the 1980's and early 90's saw many changes at McMurray Hatchery. The days of the poultry flock on every farm were gone. Today, 99% of our business is done through our catalog, which serves the small farm flock and the hobbyist. Baby chicks have always been the main staple of the business. Today ducklings, goslings, guinea keats, turkey poults, peafowl, and game birds are hatched and shipped through the mail. Orders for poultry books, medicine, incubators, hatching eggs, equipment, and other poultry related products are shipped daily from our hatchery. Many of the items are shipped to rural areas where these products are sometimes hard to find. We are making every effort to be a one-stop poultry shop.