Demand that the hatchery you order your chicks from this year:

Are you concerned with the health and well-being of the breeding stock of the chicks you order from

  • No. Once I get the chicks they are under my care and I'll cure any issues.

    Votes: 6 7.2%
  • Yes. I want my chicks to be hatched from the healthiest eggs.

    Votes: 43 51.8%
  • No. They're poultry not housepets.

    Votes: 3 3.6%
  • Yes. I've received chicks that were so weak many were dead in the box or died later.

    Votes: 10 12.0%
  • No. I buy chicks from the same hatcheries every year with no problem.

    Votes: 25 30.1%
  • Yes. Last year my order was late and the chicks that arrived were problematic.

    Votes: 3 3.6%

  • Total voters
    83

Resolution

Chillin' With My Peeps
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
1,079
92
198
Ouray County, Colorado
It's almost that time of year where everyone in America is ordering chicks. You probably don't know this but hatcheries can barely keep up with the orders- indeed most can't. Nevertheless, their management of breeding flocks is not always what it should be. Indeed, it's often untenable and ironically counter-productive to the hatcheries.

If you've ever purchased adult stock from a hatchery you may know what I'm getting at. The birds will often arrive in a horrific state. It's not the hatcheries doing naturally- it's those they contract with to hatch that stock.

1. Demand to know what the breeding stock is being fed. Chicks hatched from nutrient deficient eggs are born craving feathers. Have you ever ordered chicks that arrived already picking at down and then went on to feather picking?
Demand that breeding stock receive ample animal protein and fat in their diet- not just soy derivatives.

2. Nutrient deficient breeding pairs produce weakling chicks even if they are not feather pickers and this effects their survivability.

Some hatcheries are in major need of a management over-hall.

Cal-Cruz Hatcheries is a rubbish heap of trouble.

Backyard Poultry Enthusiasts -let's not enable chick-mills.

Better food= better birds.
Better management = ethical consideration
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Resolution

Chillin' With My Peeps
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
1,079
92
198
Ouray County, Colorado
Resolution,
You don't have a button for me. I need a "I don't buy chicks from hatcheries" button.

Well there is that! I hadn't bought hatchery stock for decades but this last year I ordered hundreds of chicks for a friend's farm.
The meat birds turned out to carry avian leukosis and the wellsummers were feather pecking from the first day.
 

flyingmonkeypoop

Crowing
12 Years
Apr 30, 2007
3,592
170
271
Deer Park Washington
...and the wellsummers were feather pecking from the first day.

When we got welsummers in the past from a couple different breeders we had the same thing happen. For some reason the first batch just liked to break off the tips of the feathers and eat them but one of the batches was just horrible feather pickers, they were so bad that we ended up culling them
 

Resolution

Chillin' With My Peeps
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
1,079
92
198
Ouray County, Colorado
When we got welsummers in the past from a couple different breeders we had the same thing happen. For some reason the first batch just liked to break off the tips of the feathers and eat them but one of the batches was just horrible feather pickers, they were so bad that we ended up culling them

Wellsummers are well bred for egg colour and conformation these days- and genetically very closely bred- a good thing for consistency of egg size -egg shell colour and appearance of the birds themselves- they are going to be as popular here as in Europe as a commercial layer one day soon- so many small egg farms use them- but they have this tendency to feather pick starting as one day chicks- I'm thinking it's a nutritional deficiency in the mothers passed on through the egg. This is a very breed specific issue and perhaps just a generational one at that but the larger problem of poor management of breeding stock remains. Everyone purchasing chicks from hatcheries should call and or write their hatcheries and demand to know what nutrition the breeding stock is on. If they are rearing their breeding stock on the cheap- they are passing on damaged chicks. This is a new phenomenon as there have never been so many people purchasing chicks. The hatcheries appreciate feed back and rather than presenting them with a problem- present them with a solution- insist that all breeding stock have fish meal and or bone meal in their daily ration.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
265
273
Central Oregon
You can try it, but the person you speak to is probably a minimum wage clerk and just punching computer keys for your order. They are sitting in an office and don't have anything to do with breeding stock. They aren't going to know how it is kept or what it is fed.

Most hatcheries are hatcheries. They don't keep breeding stock. They buy eggs and hatch the eggs and sell the chicks. So they don't have anything to do with how the breeding stock is kept or what it is fed.

If a hatchery gets a lot of complaints about a breed and has to replace a lot of chicks, they might replace the egg supplier for that particular breed.Because they can't make any money if they have to replace too many chicks. Not because they don't like what the hens are fed.
 

Oregon Blues

Crowing
8 Years
Apr 14, 2011
5,531
265
273
Central Oregon
Just my opinion, but I suspect that the majority of the people ordering from hatcheries have simply never even thought about the living conditions of the brood stock. They like that quick and easy ordering. Hit a few keys on-line and then chicks arrive in the mail. So convenient.

I've seen dozens and dozens of people asking "where is the cheapest place to order chicks?". I have never in my entire life seen or heard of anyone asking "What hatchery provides the best living conditions and the best diet for their breeding stock?"

I interpret that to mean that the care of the breeding stock is simply not a consideration.
 

Resolution

Chillin' With My Peeps
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
1,079
92
198
Ouray County, Colorado
If I didn't know several hatchery owners I wouldn't have created this thread. The consumer should be educated about what they're consuming. The companies making money off of selling livestock need to do better by the birds and by the people. We know what there a few mega-hatcheries that drop-ship for everyone else. It doesn't matter. If you're reading this and planning on purchasing chicks this year- call and demand to know what they are feeding the breeding stock as your money is paying for immune-deficient stock that is only going to mature later than it aught to and may very well have underlying health conditions. Indifference, inaction, apathy- that's already well represented- wouldn't we all agree? How about some pro-activity? It doesn't matter to you because you have healthy birds and can't be bothered? What about the 12 year old girl that saved up babysitting all year to afford her first batch of chicks? There's tons of people on this site. If even 10% of them could be bothered to call their hatcheries and inquire- a movement will get under way.
 

mondotomhead

Songster
8 Years
Sep 22, 2011
354
5
101
Sturbridge
UGH! I feel awful now. I order 12 chicks from My Pet Chicken
sad.png
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom