Originally Posted by Oregon Blues
Top that all off with the fact that you've just told me you don't even keep the birds separated, so not only are you offering hatchery stock, you are offering possible mongrels.
First, as initially stated, I do not offer hatching eggs now and the point of this thread was that I'm considering building breeding pens in spring. I have ways to separate out a few of the breeds now but they are NOT ideal and I don't often fuss with it, to be honest, unless I want to hatch out some for my own use. Ideally I'd like individual large pens for all my roosters, then when I wanted hatching eggs I would separate out some hens with the rooster of choice. Since no roosters would free range with the hens during the hatching egg season, I would start collecting eggs for hatching within 3 days or so of separation. In the winter I'd let the roosters all back out with the flock, but I don't plan on selling hatching eggs during the winter, either.
I do understand that most people could just buy chicks from the hatcheries - and in fact, that's why I don't buy hatching eggs myself. But it seems to me like many people list hatchery stock hatching eggs and if I could have another outlet to sell eggs, then it may be worthwhile to us, esp. if buyer pays shipping costs and the drive to the post office is just a couple miles. I understand show breeders would avoid me - but in turn I avoid show breeder stock because while I understand breeding for show/conformation in many other species, it just doesn't make sense to me in poultry. I do like Sand Hill preservation's ideas that often include selecting for type/color and productivity, and have long considered getting stock from them, too. Maybe if this turns out to be worthwhile, I could eventually move toward higher quality birds that would be for hatching egg sales only and not bred into hatchery stock. That's a big maybe and they'd have to more than pay for themselves to be reasonable IMO.
ANYWHO, I do have a very large incubator as well and could probably do local sales of chicks out of my birds. Possibly if listed hatching eggs go unsold I could just pop 'em in my 'bator and go from there. I often hatch out Welsh Harlequins by putting clutches of eggs under Muscovy hens, too, which keeps me from being overloaded with Muscovies every year.
Getting some great info/advice from this thread, thanks for the info!