So can anyone explain why the folks that sell stock on this website (and many other private sites) like to specify "NO HATCHERY STOCK"? (usually in all caps) If you aren't showing your chickens, does it really matter? And if you are, does it really matter? Are show lines (with the accompanying price tag) really what a backyard hobbyist who raises for meat and eggs would need or want anyway, since they are raised for looks rather than productivity? All my girls are beautiful, in my humble opinion, and eye candy is great, but if she's not a good producer, into the pot she goes... I'd take an "ugly" hatchery hen who lays 5-6 eggs a week, over a gorgeous show hen of the same breed who lays 1-2 per week any day. Or am I missing some hidden point about the evil of hatcheries here? And FYI, I do have two ex-show hens - one is the best layer in my flock (a bantam cochin...go figure), and one is the worst (a golden laced polish...no surprise there). I also have one hatchery Rhode Island Red who should have begun laying by now (she's 28 weeks and nothing yet), and three private breeder "easter egger" hens who stopped laying and started molting at 8 months old...So I'm not sold on private versus hatchery either way. I'd like to get a dialog going here because it seems to be a pretty important topic to those who are involved in it. All responses are welcome and appreciated!