Are big hatcheries true to their breed standards?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by ocaw, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. ocaw

    ocaw Hatching

    Nov 8, 2010
    I read a old Backyard Poultry issue and i saw a article about a young man who raised chickens for show and when he first started he bought some chickens from a "Well known hatchery" and it was disqualified from a show for being a "Unknown Breed" . If my memory is right he was saying that when you order a Rhode Island Red from a big hatchery you probably are just getting Production Reds. Im not sure what a Production red is but i know a Rhode island Red is always suppose to be a Rhode Island Red. So What im wondering is, is there alot of truth that a Big hatchery may just try to pass off certain breeds for others? Is it just a matter of the big hatcheries needing big quantities so they let their Quality lack, or is it that some start off with purer chickens to begin with or what?
    Also among all of the more or lesser known hatcheries (Some i know are, Superior Farms, Ideal, McMurray, Hoffman, Hoover's, Meyer, Mt. Healthy, Urch/Turnlund, Welp & Strombergs) Do any focus on the quality of their animals and the heritage or closeness to breed standards?
    Thanks for the insights!

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    If you want show quality, you'll need to stick with a reputable breeder. Most hatcheries don't sell you show quality birds.

    I've seen birds from various hatcheries that were close to show quality on some breeds.

    I've seen some from Ideal, McMurray, Cackle and Marty that were beautiful gorgeous birds. That said, I've also seen what looks like production reds that were sold as RIR.

    There are lots of wonderful, reputable breeders here on BYC... go to the For Sale threads and you'll find them.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2010
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    No hatchery, especially the big ones, breed to standards. They have poor quality birds, and the reason why is because all they want is production type chickens so they can get the most eggs possible, which allows them to sell the most chicks possible.

    The Rhode Island Red issue is that all sold from hatcheries are most certainly not true to type, and are now considered Production Reds. They're often still the same breed, it is just that hatcheries have bred them so far away from the Standard, so far away from their dual purpose origins of use, that all they are good for now is a chicken to lay a lot of eggs.

    This of course also goes for all the other breeds hatcheries offer, and of course, some "purebreds" aren't even so. Examples include Ameraucanas, Araucanas, Aseels, Shamos, Malays, Thailand Gamefowl, Madagascar Gamefowl, and often even your more common breeds such as Brahmas can be sold to you as mutts. Why? Because the original breed does not lay enough eggs, does not bear well to the terrible confinements hatcheries have, or goes broody too often.

    But, in most cases, the breed you purchase is the breed you receive - Just a highly modified version. [​IMG]
  4. jacksboro_red

    jacksboro_red In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2010
    u know i read the same thing about the rir's after buying 25 chicks off mt. healthy. the ones i bought were listed as rhode island reds and they had a seperate breed listed as "production reds". Some people are saying if your ordering from hatcheries its the same bird. im kinda confused as to why they list them seperately then. id love to read some answers on this too!
  5. The only hatchery I can speak for is cackle hatchery. I know one of the breeders personally and know for sure because he breeds show quality silkies, not the ones for the hatchery, and says the particular breed he is doing for cackle.will be show quality lines as well. On the other hand most hatcheries put out birds that are usually bred for production. They mY be a strain if RIR but not standard or show quality.

  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    If a hatchery sells "Rhode Island Reds" and "Production Reds" separately, then the Production Reds are likely either Sex Links or New Hampshire x "Rhode Island Reds."
  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    You know, I really do think some of the hatcheries do try to produce a nice looking breed, but truthfully, everyone will tell you to buy from a reputable breeder if you are looking for show quality.

    Now, I bought some rare Cream Brabanter eggs from a woman in Texas, and they are very sub-standard. Then I got a Cream Brabanter, around the same age as those, and the gal I bought her from said she came from Ideal, and she's my prettiest pullet! Beautiful coloring. Soooo, the hatchery won out that time.

    I do have a RIR hen, and she is kind of on the small size, and her eggs are also smaller than they should be. I do wonder if she's really a full RIR. I got her from the Meyer Hatchery.

    I think hatchery birds are fine though, especially for someone just getting into chickens, like I was. I was fortunate enough to be very close to the hatchery, so I picked up my chicks, already fuzzy and active, and they were vaccinated for Mareks, which made me feel better too. I've never lost a chick from Meyer. They all seem to thrive.

    I guess it's just how particular you want to be......Just MHO.

  8. math ace

    math ace Crowing

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    GO BREEDER if you want show quality - - BUT BE WARY there too.

    Ask to see photos of the hens and roos involved. Ask what type of breeding they do. Ask how far removed the stock is from the original breeders lines. Ask around for recommendations. . . Follow the threads of the breeds you are interested. Watch the members post pictures of their stock. LEARN the standards for what you are interested in.

  9. jacksboro_red

    jacksboro_red In the Brooder

    Oct 26, 2010
    Quote:Thanks! was curious about that! I mean im not raising them as "show" birds but i do want real RIR's. Ive raised hatchery RIR's for years and i guess until recently didnt realise there was anything different. I saw the heritage RIR post on here though and i dont remember any of mine ever being quite that dark in color

  10. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Slightly different, but along the same lines, when I bought some purebred chickens form 2 BYCers I asked about blood lines and documentation, etc - they said that chickens don't really, or very rarely, have "papers" documenting them. So my question is, when you are trying to do your best to get purebred chickens - what are the best ways of knowing that what that person is telling you is true? I often see people reply "do your research and make sure you're getting what you think you are". Well with chickens - how does one do that? What research? Just feedback and maybe references? Seems like often you are just trusting that if they say they are not hatchery birds, they aren't.

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