Hatchery Chicks

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by cottagechick, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. cottagechick

    cottagechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since lurking around the board I have see-sawed between elation and depression. I am really excited because I have several chicks on order to be delivered in about three weeks. They are Bantams. The breeds are: Barred Rock, Buff Brahma, White Wyandotte, Mottled Cochin, Welsumer, Patridge Silkie, and possibly a Quail D'anver. I already have two black Araucanas. I am considering adding a RIR or a Leghorn. I wanted some eggs for my family. I wanted to have some pet chickens. I figured I might as well have fun with the different colors and personalities. And I hoped that they might molt/go broody at different times. But so many people are so down on hatchery chicks. The Cochins aren't as fluffy. The silkies don't have beards... Are they REALLY THAT BAD? I am not planning on showing... Has anyone ordered any of those breeds from MPC...how did they turn out for you?

    Thanks, Julie
     
  2. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have hatchery buff orpingtons. their colors are a little uneven with some black ticking but they are delightful little chickens. if you aren't a perfectionist hatchery stock will be just fine. and probably cheaper to buy.
     
  3. bustermommy

    bustermommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For your purposes (and mine) and most people's, hatchery chicks are just fine. They aren't necessarily exactly what the breed should look like, but if you aren't going to show, it doesn't matter that much. And, for some purposes, hatchery chicks are better. For instance, they may be better layers than the show quality chicken, which is bred for its adherence to the breed standard, not laying.
     
  4. cottagechick

    cottagechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks....(bringing the drama level down a little) [​IMG] I think I should go to bed....The two that I already have are a breeders rejects...they are Araucana and one doesn't have tufts and I think the others comb is wrong. When I first saw them I thought they were a little homely...not a splashy color...no fluffy feathers... But they have grown on me. I like their shape and their feathers are getting a beautiful greenish tint to them. Now I think they are quirky. Especially the one with the tufts...lol. As long as they are healthy, and at least a few of them lay eggs I am ok. I just hope a few are half as amusing as the two I have.
     
  5. Oldhound

    Oldhound Chillin' With My Peeps

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    cottagechick ! Breeding for the betterment of the breed is my thing. That said I also have the animals, birds, that I am emotionally attached to ,for example a non show cochin bantam hen that lived for 14 years . There are millions af non show pet dogs, cats and other pets that are loved by their people . A pet's personality is usually what endears them to their owners , not the looks . I have a hen that I should get rid of , but every time I enter the pen she is the only one that runs up to me , maybe looking for treats , maybe not, following me even after I give treats. I will not hatch her eggs however. So enjoy your hatchery chicks lots of other people do too. Bill
     
  6. sjarvis00

    sjarvis00 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Shawnee, OKlahoma
    I tell everyone the same thing, teh hatchery birds will be great for layers, and general yard art and eye candy. Most of teh birds we raise are noy intended to be layers and have not really been selected for that trait production is lower but they conform more closely to teh standard and are intended for show purposes. A show line seldom has the breeds noted production capabilities, they also seldom have as strong an imune system.
    there are some real advantages to beginners and people who just want eggs with hatchery stock birds that a show line can never provide, I think each person has a bird out there that they can enjoy and will suit thier purposes and that is the joy in the birds. Enjoy them regardless of where they come from so long as they suit your desires and look good to you then then thats what matters.
     
  7. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i've had `MPC sussex and a silkie. the sussex turned out to be of questionable temperment and were given away but the silkie i kept is super sweet and pretty. i put her with a tiny serama chick the same age as her (four weeks at the time) and she adopted her immedietly! the silkies at least are very sweet tempered if not SQ [​IMG]
     
  8. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:For your purposes, hatchery birds will probably be just fine. If your goals are to maintain or improve a breed, or keep chickens like "grandma used to have," then you will be disappointed in hatchery stock. But if all you want are a few chickens for pets and eggs then you will most likely be happy with hatchery stock. So what if the cochins aren't as fluffy or the silkies don't have beards. Will a fluffier cochin or a bearded silkie make you happier with her as a pet? Probably not. So enjoy your chickens for what they are, and if the bug bites you and you change your mind about showing or breeding then you at least have the resources to find a good breeder to get you started.

    I ordered chickens from MPC last summer. So far they've been pretty much what I was looking for. My SLW isn't as pretty as a breeder bird (too small, improper lacing, incorrect single comb) but she lays a large egg almost every day and she's nice to us (not quite so much the other chickens but not too bad). My SS are too small and lay smaller eggs, but are reliable layers and have absolutely wonderful temperaments. If I could have only one breed, I would be hard pressed to choose between them and my EE but the SS would probably win out. I am a little disappointed in my exchequer leghorn because her eggs are small, but she's a fairly reliable layer and she has never caused any problems. I'm still debating on processing her this fall or not. The EE were my biggest disappointment, but also my favorite of the chicks I got from MPC. Of the three we kept, one is very friendly, good with the other chickens, and an excellent layer giving me a large green egg almost every day. One also gives me a med-large egg almost daily, but she has a cross-beak which requires special care. I don't think she'll be able to take another cold winter and we will be processing her this fall. The third is my favorite, very friendly and calm and almost seems to enjoy the torture my toddler dishes out to the chickens. But she lays sporadically and when she does lay they are almost always soft shelled and frequently break. She's just an egg bound hen (or a case of egg peritonitis) waiting to happen. So even though she's my favorite we will be processing her this fall [​IMG]. The EE are what has soured me a bit on hatchery birds. I'm not sure if the hatchery just has a lot of bad genetics that need to be weeded out, or if I'm just that unlucky to get two defective birds in the same order. I'm sure there are hundreds of people out there who have ordered from the same hatchery and ordered more birds than I and never had a problem. I love my EE, but I don't love the issues I've had with these, so next time I will be looking for ameraucana or araucana crosses instead of ordering from a hatchery.
     
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I all you want is a layer who can be replaced every couple years, no, hatcheries are not bad.Just remember, your prolific breeds like Brahmas will not be huge and fluff as the breed normally should be. [​IMG] Hatcheries breed solely for egg production, thus, all the "breeds" really don't differ s much as they should.
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Hatcheries aren't bad as long as all you want are "chickens" but if you are wanting a breed that looks like the breed should then a hatchery is not for you.


    Chris
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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