Breeding show quality (SOP) birds from hatchery stock?

ATeacherChick

Chirping
Feb 9, 2018
77
128
78
Hey all. I am in love with a breed that isn't bred in my area and, full disclosure, I don't have $200 to buy and ship a pair/trio to my area from a breeder.

So, I purchased hatchery chicks! My question is, is it possible/if so how many generations would it take to get chickens that meet basic requirements of the SOP standard?

I'm curious if anyone has had to start a breeding program from hatchery stock before?

Thanks for any helpful answers!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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To be honest, I have not tried to achieve show quality birds from hatchery stock. It is entirely possible though. Even if you buy from a show quality breeder, many may not be of extremely high quality even though that would be your best course of action.
Just as not every child is destined to be a supermodel or baseball hall of famer. It takes work. No matter what you start with, you'll have to hatch a lot and cull hard. Just a guess but in a couple years you may be up there where you want to be.
You may want to purchase chicks/eggs from two different hatcheries to give you more of a jump start on your selection/culling.
 

I Love Layers

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 25, 2015
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By the time you spend all the time and money on hatchery birds you will probably have put more money into them than what it would have cost for you to but BQ or SQ stock in the beginning.
Personally I would say invest the money right away, chances are the breeder you buy from will help you throughout all of it also.
 

Percheron chick

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 12, 2013
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It depends on how good the hatchery stock is. You can easily hatch out 100 chicks out of your seed stock and 99 should be culled. Is that in your DNA ? You are also talking a 10+ year project and you might not ever reach your goal.
$200 is nothing for quality. You will spend that on 25 chicks getting them to POL and you might end up with 3 to start working with that will never be great. Will the breeder sell you eggs? That would be the cheapest way to get quality birds.
 

3riverschick

Poultry Lit Chaser
10 Years
May 19, 2009
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Mind telling us what breed this is? Lots of folk here know lots of people. Maybe we can help you find high quality stock you can afford.
A superb cock will do wonders for your females.
Best,
Karen
 

X_and_Z

Songster
Feb 16, 2018
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SF Bay Area
My Coop
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No experience with chickens, but with Zebra finches and dogs starting from poor quality individuals and trying to breed towards show quality is significantly (as in several orders of magnitude) more expensive than starting with quality stock to begin with.

Showing animals is a labor intensive, money losing hobby - in most cases many generations of humans have lost money and spent untold amounts of time on perfecting their breed/variety of animal. By buying quality stock you are really taking advantage of other people's lost money and time - skipping directly to the end product. Or you can start with poor stock and put in huge amounts of time and money over decades just to get close to what you can buy from a quality breeder.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
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Long Beach, WA
You are going to need to order a LOT of chicks. And you are going to have to be really serious about culling those that aren't good enough. Then you have to hatch, hatch, hatch. About 1 in every 100 chicks hatched will be good enough to keep. That's a lot to take on. Is it doable? Sure. Will it save you money? No way.
 

getaclue

Enabler
8 Years
Jun 19, 2013
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Central Florida
What breed are you wanting? First off, be patient. It took me over 9 months to find the quality I wanted, and finally bring home my first trio. Find out when the APA shows are in your area, and go to them. OR Find out the names of the judges for your region, and contact a few of them. They will probably know who has what, and can offer good guidance for you to get started with some good stock. IF the quality is really good, hatching out 50 chicks from eggs should produce a decent trio to get started with. There is no guarantee, but normally that's how it works.
 

ATeacherChick

Chirping
Feb 9, 2018
77
128
78
Thanks!
To be honest, I have not tried to achieve show quality birds from hatchery stock. It is entirely possible though. Even if you buy from a show quality breeder, many may not be of extremely high quality even though that would be your best course of action.
Just as not every child is destined to be a supermodel or baseball hall of famer. It takes work. No matter what you start with, you'll have to hatch a lot and cull hard. Just a guess but in a couple years you may be up there where you want to be.
You may want to purchase chicks/eggs from two different hatcheries to give you more of a jump start on your selection/culling.
 

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