Hatchery/farm store vs breeder

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
I have a question, I don't really know how to ask it. I hate Pat answers. You know, pit bulls are vicious, assault rifles kill people, backyard chickens give salmonella. Common, off the cuff, easy answers. Which may be true, may be partially true, or maybe just repeats of things heard and repeated until they seem true.
I am a novice chicken keeper and I have no answers. But. I am a novice chicken keeper and I have a ton of questions. I began my chicken Journey last April. I had done a minimal amount of research. I knew it was an expensive, never break even, do it for the pet Factor Enterprise. And I opted for Easter Eggers, because why not, might as well get interesting eggs out of it. I went to my local Farm Store and bought six pullets. They're sub-adults now, one laying, 1 squatting and exploring nest boxes, and four Moochers. I know EEs are mutts and there's no standard. Subjectively, one is gorgeous, one is really pretty, 3 are so so, and one is homely. One of the so sos has given me 8 eggs in 8 days.
I don't know where the farm store got their chicks, but logic tells me they got them from a hatchery.
I have read SOOOO many times on BYC that if you want attractive Birds and / or attractive eggs ALWAYS buy from a breeder and that we should never buy Hatchery chickens. So, are all pit bulls vicious? I understand the economics behind these claims. Ostensibly, a breeder works on a much smaller scale, with a view toward turning out a quality product versus a hatchery, which has a view toward turning out a profitable product. Kind of like a show dog breeder versus a puppy mill.
BUT.
Nothing personal here, and no direct aspersions, but the overall feel that I get from byc is a kind of snobbery. A few vocal members keep asserting that chicken hatchery chicks should never be purchased. The counter of this never seems to come up. Perhaps because it's true. Perhaps because the rank-and-file don't want to challenge the "experts". Like I said, I'm a newbie and I don't know. I just can't believe that every Nursery out there is just a puppy mill. Nor do I believe that everyone who claims to be a breeder turns out exceptional product. As large as byc is, couldn't somebody establish a directory, with member input, on various breeders and hatcheries, and their experiences with said breeders or hatcheries? And no oh, it's not possible for some of us to visit individual breeders before purchases. If I want to upgrade to Marans, and I happen to find some in my local Farm Store for $2 or I buy from an online breeder for $10, I am still rolling the dice and taking my chances.
I suppose my question is twofold. 1, can someone explain in explicit terms why I should "never" buy Hatchery chicks & 2. Can someone establish a member-driven directory for those of us who want pets and not necessarily the best of the Best of the BEST, but still want quality Birds.
 

penny1960

Yippity do Da Yippity ay
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Dec 29, 2015
59,159
258,624
1,697
Mossyrock, WA
Hey no reason you cannot buy hatchery birds dogs I can get on a soapbox soapbox.gif so there but if you wanted to show you have to buy from breeder sop devil may.gif but nothing wrong with hatchery usually hatchery birds will not go broody it has been bred out of them they lay more but may not live and lay as long custom pop.jpg hope this helps a bit
 

Xerocles

Songster
May 22, 2019
171
533
102
Clinton (piedmont) S.C.
Hey no reason you cannot buy hatchery birds dogs I can get on a soapbox
Penny, let's pull out that soapbox for a moment. I know I may be hijacking my own thread here. But my best bird dog was a mutt. I actually saw her freeze in mid-jump, land on her side, locked in point on a Covey hidden behind a log. I also had a champion Weimaraner whose heritage was vastly more impressive than my own. And he couldn't find a bird in his food bowl:lau
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
6,517
676
Contra Costa county, Ca.
I'm not sure how you got the impression that folks here think you should never buy from a hatchery. Most of us on here have birds that came from a hatchery, either directly, or through a farm store like TSC. If you want a show bird, or breed to SOP (standard of perfection) then yes, we will recommend you go to a breeder. Some rare breeds you will only find from a breeder. It all depends on what you are looking for in your flock. One caveat with buying from a hatchery is shipping can sometimes be problematic, if there are delays, or extreme weather. Some folks recommend against it for that reason.
 

ShannonR

Free Ranging
5 Years
Sep 17, 2015
2,535
16,846
552
You can get hatchery birds from a feed or farm store without having to deal with any shipping worries. One local store in particular up here always has birds that are already 3-4 weeks old for a great price. This way, I can avoid getting any failure to thrive or chicks with any other sort of early issues. They had a heck of a deal on their meat birds this last spring!

I will say, that some hatcheries tend to be a little bit better than others as far as their chicks conforming (more or less) to a given breed standard.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,164
33,728
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
My birds are all hatchery birds (via feed store) and my dogs are mutts... they're just pets so I don't need anything fancy.

Oddly when I had pet rats they all had championship lines, but the difference there is I wanted to make sure to get them very young, with specific traits/colors, which is near impossible from a pet store.
 

Shezadandy

Crowing
6 Years
5 Years
Sep 26, 2015
2,395
3,099
407
Portland OR
Same as many- my birds all came from a hatchery originally, except three- who came from a local breeder and lay really small eggs - and not many at that!!! I hatch my own, and I also add hatchery/feed store chicks for fresh blood and the lottery-like chance at an excellent blue egg gene. There's the occasional "purebred", but the only purebreds are the hatchery chicks, and I don't care how closely the adhere to their standard. If they lay well, I might hatch their eggs. If they don't, they have a nice place to live out their lives.
As far as the "do hatchery birds go broody" … From my first 10 birds, I had 3 go broody and they all hatched and raised their chicks in excellent fashion.

My goal is healthy productive birds that lay lots of eggs of various appealing colors. I'm glad the SOP exists and that there are people who pay close attention to improving and preserving specific breeds- it's just not for me.

If you do breed-specific threads, you'll probably run into people who are serious about the SOP for that breed. If that's not your interest, just about every other topic has nothing to do with breed or why a person should never purchase from a hatchery etc.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,553
21,032
867
Western Ohio
1. Hatchery birds are often not the best if you are aiming to show your birds in poultry shows. If you want eggs and a variety of birds to choose from, then a hatchery is great for variety. There have been hatcheries linked to salmonella outbreaks (CDC reports generated), but this is not true for most hatcheries. Some hatcheries are smaller, and focus on fewer breeds, so may have better adherence to APA standards.

2. For a list of NPIP breeders and hatcheries go to NPIP website and you will find a map for locating every NPIP breeder and hatchery in your (or any) state. Anyone who is serious about selling chicks/birds will pursue NPIP bc it is needed for shipping (don’t think it is required to ship eggs).

Of course, some good breeders are not NPIP (cost involved), but sell more locally (no shipping) so you may find some of these people online via Craig’s List or Facebook marketplace. You can’t sell animals on Fb, so you might be looking for a farm page where you might find resources for chickens. You can try to find swaps in your area too, or attend a poultry show. Have heard that breeders that are showing at a poultry show often have many nice birds if a particular breed, just not show quality. Often they will sell birds after the show.
 

joydix

Songster
6 Years
Mar 20, 2015
565
400
192
West Sonoma County
I have a question, I don't really know how to ask it. I hate Pat answers. You know, pit bulls are vicious, assault rifles kill people, backyard chickens give salmonella. Common, off the cuff, easy answers. Which may be true, may be partially true, or maybe just repeats of things heard and repeated until they seem true.
I am a novice chicken keeper and I have no answers. But. I am a novice chicken keeper and I have a ton of questions. I began my chicken Journey last April. I had done a minimal amount of research. I knew it was an expensive, never break even, do it for the pet Factor Enterprise. And I opted for Easter Eggers, because why not, might as well get interesting eggs out of it. I went to my local Farm Store and bought six pullets. They're sub-adults now, one laying, 1 squatting and exploring nest boxes, and four Moochers. I know EEs are mutts and there's no standard. Subjectively, one is gorgeous, one is really pretty, 3 are so so, and one is homely. One of the so sos has given me 8 eggs in 8 days.
I don't know where the farm store got their chicks, but logic tells me they got them from a hatchery.
I have read SOOOO many times on BYC that if you want attractive Birds and / or attractive eggs ALWAYS buy from a breeder and that we should never buy Hatchery chickens. So, are all pit bulls vicious? I understand the economics behind these claims. Ostensibly, a breeder works on a much smaller scale, with a view toward turning out a quality product versus a hatchery, which has a view toward turning out a profitable product. Kind of like a show dog breeder versus a puppy mill.
BUT.
Nothing personal here, and no direct aspersions, but the overall feel that I get from byc is a kind of snobbery. A few vocal members keep asserting that chicken hatchery chicks should never be purchased. The counter of this never seems to come up. Perhaps because it's true. Perhaps because the rank-and-file don't want to challenge the "experts". Like I said, I'm a newbie and I don't know. I just can't believe that every Nursery out there is just a puppy mill. Nor do I believe that everyone who claims to be a breeder turns out exceptional product. As large as byc is, couldn't somebody establish a directory, with member input, on various breeders and hatcheries, and their experiences with said breeders or hatcheries? And no oh, it's not possible for some of us to visit individual breeders before purchases. If I want to upgrade to Marans, and I happen to find some in my local Farm Store for $2 or I buy from an online breeder for $10, I am still rolling the dice and taking my chances.
I suppose my question is twofold. 1, can someone explain in explicit terms why I should "never" buy Hatchery chicks & 2. Can someone establish a member-driven directory for those of us who want pets and not necessarily the best of the Best of the BEST, but still want quality Birds.
i have purchased from hatcheries. Yes, they are brutal. if you watch online video of hatcheries shipping babies it is horrible . and they way most cull the males because not too many want them....or add them as packing chicks so you are stuck with them to home or? its all sad. SO, if you dont mind occasionally supporting that....like i said...i have done and might again. feed stores get chicks from hatcheries. i dont know ANY that dont but thats not to say NEVER. so speaking of hatchery chicks they source out to suppliers. they have nearby farms who breed for them. some may even breed some on their own. but i dont think they give particular attention to refining a breed so the breed likely will be inferior to an actual breeder who takes pride in their breed. chicken shows are a big business so there is a market for show birds. some just like the idea of making the best of the breed as possible to keep it true. i have gotten some really GOOD birds and some really lousy birds that i still love but...sometimes they have egg laying issues or not gorgeous or whatever...i try now to mostly get from local sources....one reason is i dont like when your order babies and lose a bunch or even a few first couple days. feed stores take that part on but it still happens! just not at my house....i also order hatching eggs from eBay and have gotten some GREAT results but of course not sexed....rehoming roos is a pain. sometimes lucky, sometimes NOT. i have some GREAT local sources but sometimes i want something that no one has around here....hence the hatchery purchase.....hope this was helpful. you can google hatchery reviews but it changes..their sources change, etc. EVERY hatchery i have dealt with has been VERTY nice....sometimes i have had alot of deaths and sometimes none. you get a credit for next purchase..big deal. chicks are cheap thats not the point for me...for a chicken FARMER maybe it is...hope this helps some
 

Frazzemrat1

Free Ranging
May 8, 2017
9,338
16,152
697
Eastern Connecticut
Currently, I have three birds from a breeder, out of my current flock of 6. My first flocks were all hatchery.
Basically, if your looking to show and/or breed to the standard of perfection for a given breed, start at a breeder.
If you're looking for a chicken and she lays eggs.... go to a hatchery. Just keep in mind too, hatcheries are doing a lot of 'designer' 'breeds'. I use the term 'breed' loosely because they call them breeds, but really they're hybrids. Just like any of the 'doodle' breeds out there for dogs.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom