Breeder versus hatchery

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by DownwardDog, Dec 31, 2012.

  1. DownwardDog

    DownwardDog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is only my 2nd post, so please bear with me. I am in love with chickens and can't wait to get a dozen layers in a few months. However, upon researching hatcheries, it suddenly dawned on me... Are hatcheries for chicks essentially the same as puppy mills for dogs? I am a CPDT with a sheltering background, so animal welfare is close to my heart. I would NEVER buy a dog from a puppy mill or pet store. It would take a lot of research to buy a dog from a breeder (I am way more interested in getting a dog with a great family temperament than I am for good looks). So it has suddenly dawned on me that I might be buying from a chicken "puppy mill". Am I right in this assumption? What are hatcheries most interested in? Normal chicken behavior? Production over health? Temperament? I understand that many may find my post ridiculous, but this is a very real concern for me. Is the answer to buy from breeders, but find ones that are breeding an overall good bird rather than ones for show?
     
  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hatcheries breed for egg production and meat for most of the breeds. It is about the money. They get their eggs to hatch from commercial breeders.

    Private breeders can breed for egg production and meat, but can also breed to the Standard of Perfection for show type birds.

    Commercial or Private breeders can be good or bad to their birds, depending on the person(s). If you really want to get birds that you know are not treated bad, research the farm or ask permission to visit. I would like to believe that most breeders on byc are good to their birds.

    I would suggest buying from a byc member or byc sponsor such as ideal Hatchery in the "sponsors" section.
    Private breeders may take a while to hatch and send you birds on just a few breeds.
    Hatcheries can probably get your birds to you faster and have many selections.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2012
  3. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Not ridiculous AT ALL! Temperament is VERY important....and from what I have read seems to be genetic related. So WHERE you get your birds is VERY important! I got my first birds from a "breeder". I put breeder in quotations because I found out later she is more of a private hatchery. I guess like a backyard breeder for profit instead of an actual breeder who is breeding for the success of the breed and attempting to better the breed. My Wyandottes have been wonderful but my Araucanas have had problems.....they have not been able to lay, when they get to laying age they egg bind on the first egg and I have to destroy them. I believe it comes from too much inbreeding in an attempt to get desirable traits but does not produce a sound bird. All of their temperaments have been wonderful! Even through all of that I still do not want hatchery birds. I am going to be more careful where I get my stock from. I am going to order hatching eggs this time instead of chicks and experience the hatching with my kids....can't wait!
    BTW [​IMG]
     
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    If you ask me, it is very much like a puppy mill. They are crowded and cramped. Chickens can deal with these conditions better than dogs.

    They probably look very similar to commercial broiler houses.

    Not caged, but cramped all the same.
     
  5. gg706

    gg706 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breeds are you interested in.....people can point you to GOOD breeders to get GREAT stock.
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

  7. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Sure they can be honest to a degree however they are somewhat of a better puppy mill kind of hatchery. Like Groundpecker said, they mainly want chickens who would in production, and LOTS of eggs! The downfall is this, since we all know that the hatchery stock birds have shorter lives due to egg impactations or egg production problems. Sad, isn't it? It is worse for the Leghorns and high production breeds such as the Sex Links and most of the girls do not live past two to three years, either from egg problems to early death such as burned out and heart failures. Over and over, many of the BYC folks recognized the problem these hatchery girls have and some of us are aware of the problems and be prepared for the worse if and when they start having problems.

    Meyer has limited amount of breeds...27 breeds so the other breeds not mentioned would have been contracted by other breeders locally within the 80 mile range. Since they live in OH, it is most likely it could have been from the Amish farmers who might have some of these chickens.

    Many hatcheries do have "contracted" chicken breeders outside of their business, they only buy the fertile eggs and incubate them, hatch and sort and ship the chicks out. They do not own flocks themselves. Mc Murray comes to mind, Privett and Welp. The ones I know that do carry some of their own chickens, getting the hatching eggs from their own facilities are Meyer and Ideal.

    I would recommend getting your birds from a reputable breeder. The birds last a lot longer, had five to seven year old hens and of better quality than hatchery. However if rarest breeds are not found in some breeders, sometimes hatcheries may be the way to go but choose carefully if you are to breed them because the hatcheries do not breed for SOP. Like my Ideal Hatchery Spitzhaubens, they are beautiful but you have to cull rather HARD and hope for the best! I will be getting some breeder's Spitzhaubens and see what I will get. Ask around, and you can get good and bad feedbacks from a lot of us. The bottom line, you are the customer and find what works for you!
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Though you forgot to mention that breeders would have a higher rate of infected flocks (diseases) so ensure that the breeders you are getting from are reputable and honest.

    I know many breeders that are just not good to their birds. I also know of many MANY people with hatchery birds in their sixth year and still laying in peak season.
     
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    I personally don't know of any breeders that has alot of diseases in their flock. I must be the lucky one! Research and talking to other breeders really do help zero on certain breeders to choose from. That is why I encouraging research and homework and taking your time finding the "right" breeder.

    Yes that is the exception that hatchery birds living a good life past their fifth year. I've had Ideal Spitzhaubens living their fourth and fifth year until they died of natural causes, no illness or sudden death happening. However they don't lay as good as the breeder birds after their third year, production dropped off dramatically after that. They make excellent pets for someone who don't mind caring for the elder birds who no longer produce anything but eye candies.
     
  10. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Around here, one has to be really careful who you purchase birds from. There are quite a few flocks with respiratory diseases.

    I avoid taking in any birds other than chicks (which I also will not do anymore). I have a few friends who had their flock contract the disease from breeder birds. Finding one that has testimonials to the health of the breeder birds is vital.
     

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