Here I am asking questions again, sorry if that becomes a bit cumbersome but I want to be sure I am ready before I get my birds as I want to make sure I know what I want and can accommodate them all comfortably. I have already asked questions and been informed about space requirement, breeds, purebred vs mix vs sex link, breeder vs hatchery, what to feed my birds and you name it.
A little background, my chicken craze started when my mother got some chicks from the local feed store "Australorps, RIRs and Barred rocks". Well, she asked me to come over and build a brooder as the rabbit hutch she had from my childhood was not up to par and my father was working. After a few hours we had something that would suffice and my father built her a coop over the next few weeks. I have decided that I don't want to go this route, I want to be ready with oversize brooder and a comfortable coop as well as being equipped with the knowledge necessary to allow my chickens to not only survive but thrive in comfort, at least until they reach the chopping block if that is to be their destiny. My initial goal is to start with 48 chickens of two breeds and expand from there, yes I want a lot of birds and yes I have the room for them, plenty of room. Paying for feed has been estimated thanks to the kind folks on this forum and will not be a problem but I can't wait for egg production and sales as the chickens becoming somewhat more self sufficient and being able to pay for their own feed at least to an extent is something I find exciting. I live in a good hillbilly town where auctions and flea markets are the norm and a great place to sell eggs, chicks, full grown chicks and you name it. I also live close enough to the city for street markets, eco markets, farmers markets and you name it.
Okay, that out of the way lets get down to my questions and why they matter to me.
I have been searching for the right place to buy chickens for my needs and have decided on a hatchery. From my research it is both much easier and a bit cheaper to go this route. It allows for sexing and no long waiting lists. After reading reviews here and checking the web Cackle seems the most logical to me as they have a pretty good reputation, have a decent website, have answered questions for me over the past weeks, have decent pricing and much more. That said, I am a little curious about their stock. From what I understand they get in fertilized eggs and hatch them. These eggs come from different breeders so your chicks may likely come from different bloodlines. However if you read their site they claim that their birds are purebred. Nowhere that I can find do they claim to breed to standard or that they have show birds. The seem to be open about the fact that they breed for production qualities. But this leads me to my question. I have read in other threads that it is likely in the past that many hatcheries add in the bloodline of a very similar but different breed of chicken to up the production qualities of a bird and then breed back for looks. So, by ordering from Cackle am I getting purebred birds or are they likely mixed?
Moving on but staying close to this topic; I have read on other hatchery websites that they offer awards, certificates and even gift cards if the birds you get from them win a show. From my understanding, this shows just how rare it is to get a show quality bird from a hatchery or I don't think they could afford to do that. However I would assume that if the possibility exists this does in fact mean that the birds are at least purebred even if not bred to standard. I am not looking for show birds I am simply curious if my birds will be purebred or not.
The reason I am so interested in making sure that I get purebred birds is that I intend to keep my breeds separate for hatching my own chicks. Their use will be for eggs and meat and possibly if I hatch some extra take a few to the market or auction but that is less likely as I have a lot of family and friends that are into chickens and would love to get some as a gift. That said, I would still like to start my little backyard poultry project to breed the birds that I have to sustain my flock and in doing so try to keep the stock as strong and true as I possibly can with hatchery lineage. I have no illusions that the birds will be anything other than close to their hatchery quality parents and grandparents year after year as I understand that it takes generations to make a difference but for me it is a possibility of a life long project, I am still young and this seems like a way to have fun passing the time while entertaining myself with chickens, filling my belly and maybe selling some eggs on the side.
Anyway, any general information that you can give me or information regarding the heritage of said hatchery birds would be much appreciated.
PS: I didn't add what breeds I am interested in. To start I want some Silver Laced Wayndottes and Buff Orpingtons. I want to add two breeds after each season eventually adding Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred rocks, Black Australorps and Dominiques to the mix.
Thank you in advance and I apologize about the lengthy round about way of asking a question. It is just that on other hobbiest forums they always ask to give the most details one can about your desire and why you are asking a question so I thought I would do that here as well.