Are all hatchery birds pet quality?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by CHIC, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am about to order some chicks from McMurrays and want to do some breeding. I was wandering if all their birds would be considered pet quality. Does this make a huge difference? I know that some people feel that you should only breed for a better looking bird but I just don't feel that it is a huge deal as long as I advertise them as pet quality. Am I wrong?
     
  2. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    Personally I wouldn't advertise them as pet quality. Just don't say they are show quality if they aren't. A lot of people just want chickens for eggs or just to have and don't care anything about showing.
     
  3. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's where I am, but a lot of people seem to feel like doing this is unethical or something. Like breeding mutts or something. I pick breeds more for their egglaying reputation and personality/disposition. I totally agree with you that most people get them for their eggs and have no interest in showing or breeding. Thanks for the encouragement. I think if they are looking for SQ then they will ask and I will have no problems telling them and sending pics of parents etc. I want to do this and have fun with it. I don't want to make it like an uptight job. No offense to anyone who shows birds or breeds for SQ, I think you are great and have great dedication and love looking at your birds. I just don't have the time or drive for that. Thanks Randy.
     
  4. walkswithdog

    walkswithdog Overrun With Chickens

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    There are more problems with hatchery birds than just not looking like the standard very much.

    Hatchery birds are bred for egg production - to make hatchery birds. Egg production is not the same thing as going broody and raising chicks. Many breeds from hatcheries do not any longer, go naturally broody. Hatchery lined pullets/hens do also often suffer in the long term from becoming eggbound and die early - again because they were bred more to produce tons of eggs over short lives rather than a naturally productive lifespan.

    Hatchery birds are not bred for temperament, since no one actually has to live with them, they're caged til they die. You can get some fairly hard to deal with animals if the breeder never has to actual deal with what he's producing.

    That said. I have started with hatchery birds. Some actually went broody - really atypical for partridge rocks from hatcheries. I got TWO groups of 25 chicks - and culled them all before I did get a good group from Ideal. Of those 8 hens and two roos were worth keeping.

    They did lay well, some went broody and did raise chicks. But they are smallish, their colors are poor, their egg color not exactly brown eggs, more very light tan and I didn't like the quality of the chicks they produced.

    I'm selling them all. I got breeder delawares from eggs, and some young roosters from heritage lines and immediately saw a difference in size, type and over all quality, I also got hatchery dels for comparison. I culled all but two of the hatchery dels - too small, too poor in type. The breeder dels lay huge pink/brown eggs, are proper in size and type. The hatchery dels are smaller, lay smaller eggs, are more flighty.

    There are some drawbacks to hatchery birds for the home flock depending on what you want and how seriously you want to cull, and what you are willing to accept in things like temperament, size, life span, even egg color.

    They're fine for a start, to get a feel for what you do want. Don't be surprised if it changes over time. You learn what you can and can't live with.

    I'm kinda picky. And egg color matters in sales of eggs, though I don't do a lot - I find people prefer the better colors.

    And I LIKE a vividly colored egg better, they're more interesting. I also like a good sized bird in a dual purpose breed and you really won't get that from hatchery stock.
     
  5. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    I'll tell you how it worked out for me:
    I got the "Brown egg layer special" brom McMurray. At the time, I was just looking for some layers/bug control.
    I got :
    white rocks- small, but friendly....kept 1
    barred rocks- very small, good layers....kept 1
    cuckoo marans- not bad, but on the small side....kept none
    black australorps- lovely,... kept 1
    buff orps- nice size , all have smut....kept 3, 1 died (eggbound)
    rhode island reds- nice size & color, roo too agressive....kept none
    light brahma- very small, too much black....kept 1
    dark cornish- perfect....kept the only 1
    silver laced wyandottes- small, unattractive....kept 1 (too dumpy to give away!)

    So overall- the Orps, Reds, Australorps, and Dark Cornish were the only ones even close to standard. This is just my individual experience.
    They are all good layers- and that is what I sold/gave themaway as- "laying hens"
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    As walkswithdog said there are many more differences between hatchery and breeder birds than looks.

    I do think if you do sell eggs or chicks from them you need to say upfront where they come from and not wait for a potential buyer to ask.
     
  7. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I guess I will just have to experiment and find out for myself. My problem is that I'm picky as to what breeds I want and I can't find anything in my area that aren't complete mutts. I also want to get them all at the same time so they can grow up together. Sometime, in the future, I will probably venture other avenues, but for now, I think this is my best option.
     
  8. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    For the best, get them from a breeder.

    I agree with walkswithdog!
     
  9. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    You should see if MPC is still having that special. Rainbow layer package with shipping was like $42. Great deal.
     
  10. CHIC

    CHIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, yall are really making me want to change my mind. I don't want a bunch of crappy birds, and SLWs was one of my favorite choices because I think they are just beautiful. Holy moly this is messing me up! Any advise? Should I just be patient? I don't think I can. But I don't wanna be disappointed either.
     

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