Advice on what questions to ask when selecting a breeder

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by bob869007, May 2, 2017.

  1. bob869007

    bob869007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    As I dive deeper into my desire to breed chickens it dawned on me that I have zero idea of what to ask about when conversing with breeders about their products. What are some of the typical question that you all ask? I like all people would like to make sure, as best as I can, that I don't waste my time and money. Pointers please. Thank you
     
  2. CityKidChickens

    CityKidChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 15, 2016
    Do you mean hatchers or breeders. Hatchers are really the only thing you have to but things for. I would ask if it is automatic or if it can be controlled from the outside. If you want them to breed, them just let it happen. Get a rooster and a hen of the same breed to strenghthen the strand and then breed that with others. Whatever you do, don't breed a sizzle and a silkie. It will come out with a sizzle which is a b ad chicken. It's feathers break easy and it is really ugly. it doesn't lay well or give a lot of meat either.
     
  3. bob869007

    bob869007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    The question is geared toward the purchase of chickens/eggs from a breeder so that I can start my own breeding program. I have some Old English Games that I got from a hatchery and I am currently breeding them. Just hatched our first ever clutch. We have Prod Red RIRs. I am getting chicks from Dick Horstman to replace the hatchery birds. I may breed the birds I get from Dick. I am also getting some buckeyes and want to breed them. The buckeyes I will breed. What questions to ask said breeder prior to purchase of their products (chicks/eggs)? For instance, with pigs I breed for 4 main things. Growth rate, body length, low back fat and muscle mass. I can look at a pig and tell whether or not its worth breeding, not so easy with chickens. I can talk pigs all day. But when it comes to chickens I am too inexperienced to know what to ask the breeder and am looking for advice on how to ensure that I am getting what I want. It is easy to make mistakes with livestock and the picking of future breeding stock. A mistake in breeding stock selection can set you back years. I would like to get it right the first time and I want to use actual Heritage birds not birds that are heritage breeds. So I am asking, what questions do you all ask breeders prior to deciding which breeder to get your birds from.
     
  4. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ashtabula, Ohio
    Finding birds from seasoned well-known breeders like Horstman is a good route, but not always possible. As for question, ask whatever questions you feel are most important. If you care about weight, ask them if they weigh their birds. There is nothing wrong with saying you are just starting, and asking if they can give you tips about raising, breeding, and culling these birds too.

    A few years back, the Buckeye came in with a force and attracted many people. I was one of them, and I bred them for three years. Now, once again, there are very few breeders left of this ultra friendly and productive bird. Coincidence?

    Buckeyes have large game blood ancestry. They require a high protein diet to reach full potential. Yet, this protein and growth comes with a cost. About 15% of my birds outgrew their legs, and had to be put down within the first year. Some of my birds hearts went out too. Because of this, if people want a nice winter hardy, meaty, egg producing breed, I tend to recommend Chanteclers, Rosecomb Rhode Island Reds, perhaps a Wyandotte.
     
    bob869007 likes this.
  5. bob869007

    bob869007 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 10, 2012
    Southern Oregon
    Thank you RhodeRunner. This is the first I have heard of health problems in buckeyes. I will keep an eye on that.
     

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