Hatcery vs. breeder

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by big greg barker, Nov 14, 2008.

  1. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    I'm kinda new at this, so can you please explain to me the difference between a breeder and a hatchery that provides day olds and eggs.... Thanks
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    A good breeder has been breeding to improve his birds. A hatchery most of the time isn't too picky about who they've got in their flocks. They're more interested in quantity over quality.
  3. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    Hatchery birds: Bred for production. These birds usually have better laying abilities than those that have been bred for the breed standard. Fairly cheap.

    Breeder birds: Bred for conformation. These birds are bred to match the Standard of Perfection guidelines and are continuing the basis of the breed. These birds are bred for quality. They are generally larger and much prettier than hatchery stock, but can also cost a bit more than hatchery chicks.

    (You can get adult birds from a breeder, where as you can only get chicks from a hatchery.)

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Quote:Can't agree with this completely. There are people who call themselves breeders who simply reproduce stock they bought from hatcheries. They haven't studied the Standard, haven't learned about genetics & have done nothing to improve their stock. This description applies to many so-called breeders on this board. I regularly see photos of very poor birds that say "got these from ******" [named withheld to avoid flaming].
    I remember a fairly recent post which had to do with chicks received that were of poor quality. The poster was upset because they had already advertised that they would be selling eggs from these birds in 2009. Ready to sell from them before even seeing them. Is that person a breeder? Not in my book but they advertise as such.
    There are some small hatcheries that have very good stock: Urch/Turnland in Minnesota being one & Superior Hatchery in Oklahoma being another. Sandhill Preservation Center also has some breeds that are excellent, others reportedly not so much.
  5. mikarod

    mikarod Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2008
    I worked at Superior Farms this summer as an internship. Once they get the disease out of the flocks, they'll have some AWESOME birds for purchase!

    I agree. Many people call themselves "breeders" but then again. Only a quality breeder goes by the guidelines of the SOP. But remember...dogs are in the same line as the poultry though.

    Any person who has breeding birds can be called a breeder. A person who selects breeder birds for specific qualities are known as quality breeders.
  6. herechickchick

    herechickchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2007
    Memphis TN
    Quote:Well put.
  7. thecochincoop

    thecochincoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree there are breeders and quality breeders. The best thing to do is look at the breeding stock and see if they participate in shows and if their birds have won any awards.
  8. Black Feather

    Black Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2007
    I think a decent definition may be that a hatchery produces large numbers of chicks to buyers. Hatcheries are breeders, but have taken it one step further and have made it a business. Breeders tend to be on a smaller scale and do it as a hobby, not to make a living. Of course there are exceptions to these rules.

    Some breeders raise birds just to raise birds, which is fine. Some breeders raise show birds, which is also fine. It's not hard to raise poultry. Anyone can get a couple of birds and call themselves "breeders". There really is very little challenge to it if you have no purpose other than to raise chicks or sell eggs.

    I guess it depends on what you are looking for. I think the best advice I can give is to research the different breeds for yourself and maybe purchase a B&W copy of the Standard of Perfection (SoP). The SoP is the defining body of what make a certain breed of chicken that breed. To raise poultry purely for the purpose of production without paying attention to the physical characteristics of that makes a breed unique from other breeds would end up leading to the extinction of that breed as it is defined in the SoP. This is the same for raising birds purely for show without paying attention to the production heritage of the breed, as also laid out in the SoP.

    Anyone can raise a flock of chickens that lays well or is big enough to produce meat....just look at the mass market producers that supply our grocery stores. It's a lot harder to raise birds that look correct as defined by the SoP AND produce properly as well.

    To truly be a good poultry breeder your birds should look correct and produce well. Very few people in my humble opinion do this. They opt for production over proper conformation, or opt for looks ahead of production.

    Urban Coyote
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    It really depends on what you want the chickens for. Are you looking for a nice backyard flock that keeps you supplied in eggs and/or meat? Do you want to be able to hatch your own in the future to replace lost ones or to increase your flock size? You can do that with hatchery birds without breaking the bank.
    If you are looking to the future with ideas about showing or going into breeding yourself, then it's best to start with breeder quality birds.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008
  10. prariechiken

    prariechiken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2007
    Quote:Am I the only one that read this part...sure sign me up for some birds out of the diseased flocks, don't worry, these are out of the ones that survived.....

    Hatcheries breed for quantity of birds that resemble the ideal standard, most only come close, (for example RIRs that are actually production reds and no where near the deep mahogany that they should be.) Quality takes a back seat to quantity that equals sales/$$$.

    A breeder on the other hand raises very few birds, striving for excellence, culling any perceived flaws and if done properly, ends up with a line that is very close to show standard.

    So it all depends on what you are after. Do you just want some barnyard cluckers to provide eggs, or are you after a line that you can use to compete at shows.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2008

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