Murray McMurray Hatchery Serving Up Eggs to Iowans in Need

Webster City, IA, June 20, 2019 --( Iowa food banks and pantries are receiving more than 51,000 eggs from Murray McMurray Hatchery, the mail-order poultry business located in Webster City, as a result of limited mail delivery by the U.S. Postal Service during the Fourth of July holiday week.

“The vast majority of our business today is catalog-based with freshly hatched chicks sent by mail to small farm flocks and hobbyists,” said company spokesperson Thomas Watkins. “To ensure the safety of our birds, all chicks must travel from the hatchery to the customer in less than three days.

“The disruption of mail service during the holiday created challenges to our distribution process, so we embraced the opportunity to be neighborly and help feed a bunch of fellow Iowans.”

Eggs will be distributed to charitable organizations throughout the state. Direct shipments will be sent to the Johnston Partnership, All Cultures Equal, Upper Des Moines Opportunity/Hamilton County Food Pantry, and Lord's Cupboard in Jewell, as well as a dozen or so other small, local food banks. In addition, the Northeast Iowa Food Bank will help coordinate distribution of nearly 90 cases of eggs to area food pantries and other organizations in need.

“One of the most requested foods that the Northeast Iowa Food Bank receives from our network of member pantries, community meal sites, and from the clients we serve, are eggs,” said Barb Prather, executive director of the Northeast Iowa Food Bank. “These eggs provide incredible nutritional value, as well as expand menu options for households and organizations that use our services. We’re so grateful to the people at Murray McMurray Hatchery for their generous and compassionate contribution.”

To donate the eggs, the hatchery had to secure special licensing from the state and follow standard food handling and safety regulations. Representatives from the Iowa Department of Agriculture provided support and guidance to company officials helping make the gifts to food bank and pantries possible.

The incubation process requires 21 days. So, McMurray staff and volunteers have begun preparing eggs for the food pantries. To wash, inspect, candle and box all the donated eggs requires a significant investment of time and resources. During the first day of preparation, Watkins and approximately 20 others worked a full eight hours to process approximately 40 cases – about 1,200 dozen and more than 14,000 individual eggs.

“This is truly a team effort and a win-win-win public, private and not-profit partnership,” said Watkins. “We are extremely proud to convert this business challenge into a program that serves the fundamental needs of so many people.”

About Murray McMurray Hatchery

Since 1917, Murray McMurray Hatchery, Inc. has remained dedicated to preserving rare and exotic breeds of poultry and other fowl. The Webster City, Iowa company markets birds to small farm flocks and hobbyists, shipping freshly hatched chicks through the mail. Today, the company catalog includes the highest quality and largest selection of heritage, rare and exotic breeds. More than 120 varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, guineas, peafowl, pheasants and other birds are available, and each order is hand-packed and shipped with care. A complete supply of everything necessary to raise a successful, healthy and happy flock also is available through McMurray, including poultry supplies and equipment, organic feed, and health care products.

Murray McMurray Hatchery is your one-stop poultry shop. To learn more, visit the company’s website:

Editorial Note: Interviews and high-resolution photography available upon request.
Murray McMurray Hatchery
Ginger Stevenson