genetic hackle eggs on Ebay

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by farmerChef, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. farmerChef

    farmerChef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern Georgia
    My Coop
    I just saw Genetic hackle eggs for sale on ebay! I ony wish I had the time and money to breed these bird.
  2. Thespoiledchicken

    Thespoiledchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Long Island
    I just saw them too, gorgeous birds. I believe his pic was a Blue Dun color but eggs could be any he breeds. I just purchased Ohiki/Fly Tie eggs from Onagadori (BYC), hers are BEAUTIFUL and will be barred genetic hackle [​IMG] Should be receiving those eggs soon and hope for a good hatch [​IMG]

    Maybe we can swap eggs in the future [​IMG]

  3. Soli

    Soli Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    Maybe it's just me, but those birds he has pictured don't look like very good quality at all. I would expect one would put the best quality photos they have, and if those are the best, quite frankly I think you're better off just buying the hackle if you want to fly tie, or a good quality Phoenix if it's just the long feathers you want.
  4. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 30, 2007
    Deer Park Washington
    I am also working on genetic hackle birds this year. I have some hackle stock from a couple local breeders that I will be combining with some other birds around the farmstead. I like the look of the hackle birds
  5. Fly Fisher

    Fly Fisher Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Genetic hackle birds are not just about the long feathers. I will give some more info after work
  6. trailchick

    trailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    The picture of that particular listing, I believe came from,
    & I dont think he claimed that picture was of his birds...

    Many of the pics from ebay sellers do not use their own birds to show what they look like.
    Some that do may have a watermark, or express that they are their birds.
    Then there is always photoshop to enhance what we want to "see".
  7. Thespoiledchicken

    Thespoiledchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    Long Island

    Good points trailchick! I love to look at what is being offered on ebay but I prefer to purchase eggs from BYC listings. I think being a member here lends more credibility to breeding and general chicken care. Also, people listing here usually post many photos of their birds and stock. I can also look at some of the sellers threads and responses on threads. I can see if they are posting on the genetics boards etc. I tend to stay away from Ebay but it sure is fun to read [​IMG]

  8. trailchick

    trailchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Trish, I also bought those Ohiki/Fly Tie eggs from Onagadori &
    they should be here in the morning!!! We will have to compare chicks
    when they hatch!

    I am on a list to get some hackle eggs this spring from a couple of BYC'rs
    but just cant wait. I may have to get some nice phoenix.....

    There is a guy in Utah that has 10 roos & 11 hens from the Darbee line that
    he wants to sell or partner up with, but he hasnt replied to my
    requests to correspond.
    He must be looking for a local younger person. [​IMG]
  9. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Those prices are a bit steep for even genetic hackle eggs. And for not so stellar parent stock, too. Usually you get close to a dozen for that, shipped, from reputable breeders of genetic hackle birds.
  10. Fly Fisher

    Fly Fisher Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    Upstate New York
    Hi all,

    I am relatively new to this forum. I just found the site recently and have made a few replys here and there. My main interest is in hackle birds and the ebay auctions are mine as are the photos. I have been in the fly fishing business for a long time and have been dealing in both standard and genetic hackle for several decades. When hackle started to get in high demand several years ago I decided to start a small operation growing hackle birds. When I started I sought out the finest quality birds that were available and made purchases from several breeders. I paid top dollar to get started. When planning this venture I decided that I would be selling eggs as well as the finished Capes,Saddles and spades. At this time my hens are laying well and my incubators are full. I will be offering these eggs for sale whenever this situation arises.

    When judging the quality of birds some are quick to point out as some did above that the birds might not seem of high quality. To the average chicken breeder this is understandable. This is because most are used to recognizing the standards of a particular breed. They refine by choosing type, size, feathering, etc. and are striving to improve the entire chicken. In short they are evaluating the entire bird.

    The hackle breeder is less interested in the overall bird because his final product is one individual feather that gets tied onto a fishing hook. I can assure you all that the birds in my photos fit this bill. The capes and saddles have a good range of sizes, thin subtle quills that wrap without twisting and high sheen and stiffness in the barbules.

    Below is a copy of one of my first posts on this site. This post gives an overview of fly tying and the uses for the feathers.

    For those who are unfamiliar with the fly tying industry I will give you a quick description of what fly tyers do.

    These are craftsmen and women who wrap fur and feather on fish hooks to imitate insects.

    Chicken hackles are by far the most used item in the fly tyers material bin.
    Fly tyers make their creations based on the sizes of standard fishing hooks which are even numbered. Most fly tyers will make the majority of insect imitation on size #10 through # 22 hooks. There is a standard hackle gauge that fly tyers use to measure chicken hackles and it parallels the sizes of fish hooks. Both the hooks and feathers follow the same rule. The lower the number the larger the hook or feather width. The higher the number the smaller the hook and feather are.

    The reason that breeders have had to genetically alter chickens is simple. Most all standard breeds of chickens have feathers that are the same size, more specifically the same width. While the cape may contain feathers of various lengths if one were to stroke the feather barbules to the rear there would be little variation in the widths of the feathers. In standard breed chickens most all of the feathers will gauge out between size #8 and #12 while most of the insects to imitate are smaller.

    Over the years a handful of very persistent breeders have spent decades and millions of dollars to produce chickens that will fit the needs of the fly tying industry and more recently the salon industry.

    What genetic hackle breeders are chasing is a cape and saddle that will have the largest diversity of uses from one individual chicken.
    Genetic capes and saddles will have a large range of different sized feathers. The top quality breeders will regularly put to market capes with feathers from size #4 to # 24 and saddles with a #12 down to #22 size range. Genetic hackle has stiff barbules and no web. The feathers are long with little taper. The hackle stems are fine and soft so they wrap onto a hook without twisting.

    There is no breed of genetic hackle birds. Instead many different breeds have been altered to fit the needs of this industry.
    Breeders of these hackles use a very narrow breeding selection to improve the desirable traits. The pioneers in this area of chicken farming will tell you that it takes 20 years to change a standard chicken to the quality of what is available today. This is why fly tyers will pay hundreds of dollars for capes and saddles and salons charge up to $20.00 per feather to put them in hair styles.

    The other issue regarding this type of hackle from the growers perspective is that it is hard to maintain the quality. The breeding selection is so narrow that only one or two farms in the country can produce any real numbers and even then the demand far out numbers the supply.

    Most all breeders of genetic hackle arrive with a similar product but through different means, all have their own secrets and they guard them well. Every Hackle farmer will have his breeding selection strategy, custom coop and cage design (most all roosters are housed in individual cages) and custom feeds to obtain their goals.

    The entire process parts from normal poultry production due to the fact that normal has the goal of producing a quality egg or meat bird for the consumer while the hackle farmers product is a single high quality feather.
    Breeders who have achieved this goal usually do not share their techniques nor sell eggs, chicks or mature birds.

    I hope that this sheds some light into the mystery surrounding genetic hackle birds and their lack of availability
    1 person likes this.

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