Buy from multiple breeders? 90%vs10%?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Intheswamp, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    South Alabama
    I'm 90% sure that I will be going with buff orps to start my flock. I've gotta leave the other 10% open in case I decide for something with more "markings". I like the dual-purpose trait of the BOs, friendly personality (thinking about my granddaughter here), laying ability, size, and the color...well, the color is where I get hung up at. I really like the BO color but then I look at some of the other chickens with the fancy etchings, multi-colored feathers...those "old timey" (OEGB?) feathered birds remind me of chickens the farms around here use to have. But...except for the feathering,all the other traits lead me to the buff orps. [​IMG]

    Whatever the case, at this place in time and the universe, I've decided on BOs. [​IMG]

    I'm planning on a coup that will house 24 birds at a touch over 4-square feet each of floor space along with a large run and plenty of free-range area when I'm at home. I would like to start out with 10-12 birds first. From reading here on BYC it seems I should calculate on roughly a 50% hatch rate on shipped eggs. Thus, I'm figuring that I need *probably* 24 eggs to incubate to hopefully get the 10-12 chicks. I'm hoping for more chicks than this, but...? Of course the wildcard factor is this will be my first time incubating eggs.
    My question is... Should I split the two dozen eggs between two different breeders or would it be better to get them all from a single breeder? The problem with getting them from different vendors would be synchronizing each batch's arrival so that they could incubate together. I'm thinking of diversity in the bloodlines...or does that really matter when I'm first starting out? I hope later to hatch some of my own eggs.

    So, anybody want to give me their 2-cents worth on this? Just another nerve-synapse firing in the old gray matter...

    Thanks for your help!

    Merry Christmas,
  2. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    College Station TX
    You do know that you can wait till spring and order all hens.. That way you won't end up with a bunch of boys that you must slaughter. Eggs are basically straight runs. I do love my buffy ginger tho. She has to be my favorite out of my flock of 11. She is sweet, and has a lot of personality to top off her cuteness. [​IMG]
  3. LeBlackbird

    LeBlackbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2009
    SE Pennsylvania
    Go with one breeder, you can add from other stock later on. Also remember that out of 10 or 12 chicks you will get mostly Roos, so you would probably end up with 3-6 hens. As for the OEGB, the tend to have an attitude, and I don't advise them for beginers [​IMG]

  4. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
    Well if you are going to go with the 50% hatch thing, and that gives you 12 chicks, you need to guess that only 6 of them will be hens. That would put you even further from your goal.

    If you really like the orpingtons temperment, but want more colors, there are also Black Orps, Blue Orps, Lavender Orps, and maybe more. [​IMG]

    It looks like you have done plenty of research, and are already on the right track. Good Luck!! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2009
  5. poultryhaven

    poultryhaven Addicted to Seramas!

    Jan 19, 2009
    Ocala, FL
    Just a suggestion, another gentle breed that fits that category and is dual puprose and has beautiful coloring is a Speckled Sussex. I absolutely love these birds and they are so gentle. They are sooo pretty [​IMG] Just a suggestion [​IMG]
  6. chickenwhisperer123

    chickenwhisperer123 Whispers Loudly

    Mar 7, 2009
    Lincoln, Nebraska
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    This sounds like one of those topics you can get a lot of different opinions on for different reasons and no one is really wrong.

    If I were to order eggs, I would probably get eggs from different breeders, but not so much for diversity of blood lines. Since they are shipped eggs, whether they hatch or not will vary depending a lot on packaging and handling. If you get eggs from two or three different sources, they will come packaged differently and receive different handling during shipping. I think your odds of getting some to hatch will improve if you get eggs from different sources. You seem to be kind of counting on a 50% hatch rate. In reality, your hatch with 24 eggs will be somewhere between 0 and 25 chicks. With it being your first time incubating, 50% may be optimistic, but you may get lucky.

    You might also look for breeders that have something other than Buff Orpingtons. If you can find them, Orpingtons also come in black, blue, and white. (I see someone else mentioned this.)

    I notice others are typing faster than me but I'll post anyway. I'm guessing you want to hatch eggs because you want to go with the better quality breeder lines of chickens instead of the hatchery lines. If it is for pets or eggs or meat, hatchery chicks will be fine but there is no comparison to a good breeder's chicks.
  8. TimG

    TimG Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    I think you're over thinking things.

    If you want to hatch your own chicks, get a couple dozen fertile eggs and get to it. You won't get 20-24 hens, but you'll get started. By the time you're ready for the next batch, I'd bet you will have changed your mind about something and will be glad that you did it a bit at a time.

    Also, remember that there are things like chicken swaps and craigslist if you find yourself with too many or two few of something.
  9. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    If your interest is to start a line and breed to the standard and produce show worthy stock I would suggest most breeders would tell you to start with one breeder and breed from there. Most will tell you that if you start mixing lines you can lose a lot of progress that other breeders have made. It is my sense that you are not an experienced breeder and your selection for keepers and culls will require a lot of skill if you mix lines. If you want two lines and want to breed them separately that would be your option.

    For those that suggest you should order pullets from a hatchery that can be done as well but you will not have stock that comes close to any breed standard. If you dont care about that it is certainly an option, but I gathered from your post that you were intersted in hatching your own and getting to some breeding stock.

    The difference between hatchery Orpingtons and breeder stuff is night and day to say the least.

    And I would agree that if it is your desire to have 10 to 12 hens starting with 48 eggs would be a good place to start.

    For what its worth buying hatching eggs is not the lowest cost way of getting into this. It is often the only way if you want stock that is bred to the standard.

    If you want 12-14 hens and you dont really care about the standards you will save countless dollars buy buying pullets from a hatchery in the spring.

    You may be lucky and have a house full of orpingtons next to you that will sell you for a few dollars per dozen and that would of course change the equation
  10. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln

    Order some from Jodi, I am sure she can work with you getting started in buying some of her chicks in quantity. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by