4H Incubation and Hatching project

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jdoane, Oct 20, 2013.

  1. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A friend of mine and I are just starting a 4H group for our daughters. We are thinking they would like to do an incubation and hatching project and likely sell the chicks (mainly because none of us have room to keep all the chicks - although I'm trying to rationalize it!) [​IMG]

    Our thoughts were that if they are pure breeds and not barnyard mixes that it will be easier for us to find homes????? What do you think? Does that make sense? At the same time we don't have a tone of money to buy expensive hatching eggs. So we wouldn't be necessarily talking breeder quality chicks. Considering cost and breed will our best bet be to get hatching eggs form one of the big hatcheries?

    Also if one of the girls does a project on feather sexing - can anyone tell me breeds that feather sexing works for? And doesn't work for?
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If you are buying from the big hatcheries (unless you are within driving distance), you are probably better off actually buying chicks, they are usually aren't much more than the hatching eggs, and they are already hatched. 50% hatch rate is considered good with shipped eggs. If you are planning on selling the chicks, I would look around your area (Craigslist, Feed Store, BYC BST Forum) for somebody selling hatching eggs of a popular laying breed like White Leghorns, RIR etc, red sex links would be really nice but be careful that the people are actually breeding first generation RSLs. The 4-H / County extension agent should know people who have birds from the past county fairs, so that would be another person to ask.
    Birds need to specifically bred to be feather sexed, it doesn't work with a specific breed as such.
    http://www2.ca.uky.edu/smallflocks/sex_linked_crosses.html
     
  3. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Kelsie. We don't want to buy chicks. The point would be to go through the whole hatching experience. We definitely will watch craigslist and talk with the 4H extension person.

    I know a couple people we could get free or very inexpensive hatching eggs from. They would be barnyard mixes. Do you think that really would make a difference in terms of finding homes for them?
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    If you sell chicks, straight run mixes aren't as popular and don't go as well as known breeds, especially bantams, bantam mixes are really hard to sell half the time (purebred fancies are a different story)... unless you are getting barnyard mixes that would be called something like Production Reds iow, a mix of known egg layers but not a purebred or named cross. If you grow them out to sexing age, egg layer type pullets, even of mixes shouldn't be a problem to sell, but popular breeds, esp layers will go faster since most people have chickens for eggs and that is what they want. I assume you don't want to get into shipping or breeding the more exotic breeds right now since they may be more expensive but can be harder to find buyers for. Roosters are going to be a problem if you grow them out unless you have a pretty heavy breed.
    It also depends on how many you want to hatch, if you are only talking a dozen vs 100.
    You could also consider getting some fancier breeds that are popular as 4-H birds (talk to extension agent)... or even hatch out meat bird chicks if somebody has hatching eggs in your area.
    But White Leghorns, Easter Eggers, RIR, NHR, Buff Orps etc, popular breeds like that.
    You might check Craigslist in your area and see what is for sale (Don't believe prices you see, take averages, people can ask what they want, often what they get is another story.)
     
  5. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - that makes perfect sense to me. We do have someone who will take roosters that we can't sell.
     

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