Great Hatcheries?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Rare Feathers Farm, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. So my husband thinks I should ¡§Save Up¡¨ and order 25 birds from a hatchery¡Xbecause with the eggs I buy/trade for, I seem to end up with way too many roosters and at this point, I¡¦m not even able to GIVE away Cochins, Sumatras, Faverolles, Brahmas, d¡¦Uccles, etc. and I¡¦m dreading having them processed by hubby. ƒ¼ My MIL will fill the rest of my order with meaties and/or EE¡¦s so meeting the minimum number needed for an order shouldn¡¦t be too hard.

    So far, I¡¦ve ordered from Ideal & McMurray and the birds didn¡¦t even come CLOSE to the breed standard at maturity. Of course, part of why I want to breed these birds is because they are very rare, but I do not want to stray at all from the breed standard, if I can help it.

    I do realize I may have to compromise with hubby and get GREAT birds from eggs from breeder¡Xand maybe some ¡§starter birds¡¨ from a hatchery and I realize that bantams are not sexable from most hatcheries¡K.sighs¡K.

    So is there a single hatchery out there that consistently produces GREAT birds? Even rare ones??
    I¡¦m specifically wanting:

    Crevecoeurs (nice pair or trio)
    Mottled Houdans (nice pair or trio)
    Golden Laced Cochin pullets (standards)
    Mille Fleurs
  2. lovemychix

    lovemychix Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Moulton Iowa
    I ordered from Welp just because they were the only ones still selling rare breeds. My choice would have been McMurray but they only sell at certain times. I think they have a good rep for producing good hatchery chicks. Mine from Welp all lived and are growing like weeds.
  3. LilPeeps

    LilPeeps Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    SE Mass
    Ideal has a very nice variety to choose from, and I believe they do carry the breeds on your list (I'm assuming that by mille fleur and porcelain you are referring to d'uccles). Just remember that you cannot expect quality birds from a hatchery.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2008
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I'm interested in this, too.

    I only have 5 BR that came from one of the major hatcheries, I'm sure, because I just picked them up at the feed store...but I'm interested in more and you all knew would occur once I was hooked...

    Shame on all of you!! Now I'M addicted, too!!!!!

    Anyway, I'm definitely wanting to have birds less watered-down by hatchery genetics. I have now read a lot of posts discussing the differences between real breed standards and hatchery-style...

    Any other hatcheries that offer good standards other than Welp?
  5. apukanski

    apukanski Songster

    Aug 30, 2008
    I like Meyer's Hatchery. I didn't have to have them shipped I drove an hour to pick them up.
  6. LilPeeps

    LilPeeps Songster

    Jan 13, 2007
    SE Mass
    If you're looking for quality, non hatchery birds, then steer clear of the hatcheries and find a breeder.
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I assume these are for selling eggs from, down the line... so it seems to me it depends, do you just wanna sell something that can be plausibly labelled a <whatever rare breed> in some way shape or form? Or do you want to sell GOOD representatives of those breeds?

    If the latter then I honestly think you have to go with stock from breeders specializing in those breeds, preferably SQ or close to it, because having so few birds of so many breeds, you yourself are not going to be able to breed up and improve the lines at all, and indeed may have trouble just *maintaining* them. Unless you're set up to produce lots of birds for your own selective use and cull them heavily then you pretty much have to rely on other people having done all those years and years of work for you (giving you birds that are not only good themselves but will produce fairly consistant non-bad offspring).

    I'd be real real surprised if a large commercial hatchery ever consistantly produced great representatives of any breed. Genetics, and the mechanisms by which hatcheries produce large numbers of chicks, being what they are.

    OTOH there may indeed be a market for eggs that are just sort of nominally <whatever rare breed>, for backyard owners who just want to say they have a <whatever> in their flock, and if so, and you can sell them, hatchery quality should be fine.

    Good luck,

  8. A hatchery that has great quality is Cackle hatchery. I ordered some chicks from them this past spring, and they are amazing quality. I was suprised at how great they look.
  9. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Songster

    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Ditto on Cackle hatchery. We ordered 80 chicks of various breeds including some Sicilian Buttercups and they have turned out beautiful!
    Very healthy and hardy too.
  10. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    i like ideal

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