Breed sampling, breeders vs hatcheries

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by junglebird, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    This spring I want to try some new breeds of chickens, to decide which birds I like best for breeding up my homestead flock. (Last year I ordered one each: NH, BPR, BA, BO fro the feed store (Ideal)).

    I've narrowed the birds I want to buy this year, something like: Dark Cornish, WLR Cornish, Java, Ameraucana, Silver Grey Dorking, Buckeye, and La Fleche.

    If I buy all these birds from a hatchery like Privett or Ideal, I can raise them all at the same time - very straightforward. It's a simple way to sample a variety of breeds.

    However, I'm interested in heritage conservation. I'd like to have heritage birds, and spend my dollars to promote care and artistry by breeders who are working hard at the conservation.

    The thing is, if I get 5 chicks each from 5 breeders, I doubt I can coordinate getting them all within a couple of weeks of each other. I'll have 5 age classes of chicks going this spring ... won't that create a logistical nightmare?

    How did you get started in breed sampling? Would you share your experience and advice?
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    The only real advice I have on those breeds is that if you buy "Ameraucanas" from a hatchery, you aren't getting REAL Ameraucanas, they will be Easter Eggers. UNLESS you order everything from mypetchicken, they DO have blue Ameraucanas, though they "do not guarantee quality"... [​IMG]
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    As a suggestion, maybe start with 10 chicks of each breed and fewer breeds. You might be able to coordinate with just a couple of breeders within a couple of weeks I would think.
  4. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2010
    Anchorage, AK
    It's a good way to sample the breeds and see what you like, then pick one or two and start over with breeder stock next year. The hatchery chicks can be culled or just go into a general layer population.

    That's what I would do. But, I agree, buying "Ameracaunas" from the hatchery won't really give you a feel for what the true purebred breed is like.

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