Hatchery or breeder

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by deChickyHen, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. deChickyHen

    deChickyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I ordered all of my egg layers from welp... Pretty and healthy birds... My neighbor got hers from a breeder, her roos are 2 weeks older than mines.. But My BO's Roos are really huge compared to hers. we buy our feed from the same store , 1 week I pick up for her and the next she picks up for me.. so I know they are eating the same food, and they free range the same amount of time... so why are my boys monsters compared to hers... I see on the sites that hatchery birds dont compare to breeder birds... I am not sur if this is true... even my hens are bigger than hers... [​IMG]
     
  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Because there's a difference between just the average neighbor who got theirs from a hatchery too then bred their hatchery stock to sell, and a breeder who got good quality birds and breeds for good quality. [​IMG]


    Not all "breeders" are what we talk about when the discussion of breeder vs hatchery comes around. For example, look at Craigslist and all the people who breed and sell chickens there. . . . At LEAST 70% of them breed stuff they got from hatcheries.
     
  3. deChickyHen

    deChickyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:ummm Ok [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Some further information is needed to properly speculate in an answer.

    First, are your neighbor's birds full grown, that is, a year old?

    Second, your hatchery stock may be actually GREAT quality. It does happen. The frustration I often have with hatchery stock is the inconsistency.

    Finally, I also would need to know what kind of breeder? A true quality breeder or just some breeder? If it is the latter, your neighbor could easily have gotten poorer stock than you did from Welp.
     
  5. deChickyHen

    deChickyHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    Some further information is needed to properly speculate in an answer.

    First, are your neighbor's birds full grown, that is, a year old?

    Second, your hatchery stock may be actually GREAT quality. It does happen. The frustration I often have with hatchery stock is the inconsistency.

    Finally, I also would need to know what kind of breeder? A true quality breeder or just some breeder? If it is the latter, your neighbor could easily have gotten poorer stock than you did from Welp.

    IM not sure.. tho the place is well known around here... they only breed BOs... from what I saw Very Pretty Birds!!! have alot of best in show from different fairs, I was goin to order from them but I wanted different kinds of birds, so I knew I had to get them at the same time.. I liked the way he had his breeding stations set up about 15 hens to a roo and she got to pic what station she wanted he chicks from... his roos are huge and hens are a very nice size... an you can tell all those birds was spoiled.. great living conditions ,,, fresh veggies and fruit layed out for them... Idk maybe I just got really lucky or maybe hers are just slower growers!​
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:IM not sure.. tho the place is well known around here... they only breed BOs... from what I saw Very Pretty Birds!!! have alot of best in show from different fairs, I was goin to order from them but I wanted different kinds of birds, so I knew I had to get them at the same time.. I liked the way he had his breeding stations set up about 15 hens to a roo and she got to pic what station she wanted he chicks from... his roos are huge and hens are a very nice size... an you can tell all those birds was spoiled.. great living conditions ,,, fresh veggies and fruit layed out for them... Idk maybe I just got really lucky or maybe hers are just slower growers!

    If they are young, then THAT is entirely possible. Sometimes better birds take longer to mature.
     
  7. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Do you have photos of yours and the ones you got from the breeder?
     
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hatchery stock will grow faster than good breeder stock. Most of the time. Reason is breeder stock is slower to mature being bred on older line that do not grow fast. Now as said some hatcheries you can get good stock from I did and I am breeding it up to the standard. I have seen the differance in my 2 lines one that is good and old and one that is typical hatchery. Yes, there is a growth differance between the two lines. My good line it take pullets to mature and lay 25 weeks or better. The other hatchery line it takes them 20 to lay. My goodline when they were 20 weeks old were smaller than the other but they grew up and were better and a bit large in the end.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Different flocks have their own characteristics. They may be purebreds, but they are a strain of that breed with their own traits and characterisitcs. With chickens, unless you carefully select for certain characteristics each generation, your flock will quickly lose those specific traits. Chickens have a lot of different traits you can select for: how fast they mature, color, patterns, size, conformation, skin color, number of points on a comb, egg laying frequency, egg laying longevity, age to start laying, broodiness, fertility, size of eggs, color of eggs, feed to egg conversion rate, feed to weight gain conversion rate, resistance to certain diseases, and many, many more. The traits any flock of chickens depends on the traits the person selecting the breeds uses as criteria, his breeding methods, his ability, and several other things.

    Some breeders carefully select one specific rooster to pair with one or two specific hens to tightly control what the offspring might look like, and they still have more that don't quite meet their standard than that do, but this is about as consistent as you can get. Others, hatcheries for example, use a pen breeding method to mass produce chickens, keeping maybe 20 roosters with 200 hens and having no control over which rooster mates with which hen. You really do get inconsistency here. The one you mentioned, with 1 rooster with 15 hens, will probably fall somewhere in between the first and second example in consistency, depending on how good he is at selecting the hens and one rooster and what his criteria is. But that consistency also depends on what traits he is breeding to be consistent.

    There are often hidden undercurrents in the flocks traits too. In a hatchery situation where the hatcheries select their breeders from their flocks, the hens that start laying earlier (early maturity) and that lay more eggs tend to get more of their offspring selected to the breeding flock. So after a few generations better egg laying and earlier maturity may become a characteristic of that hatchery breeding flock. If someone is selecting for other specific traits, early maturity or egg laying ability may not enter into the picture.

    There may also be some differences in how they are fed that you don't quite see. For instance, do either of you feed different treats in different quantities? Is the quality of forage the same? If she is letting them forage on a manicured lawn where all they get is grass, while yours get different grasses and weeds, grass and weed seeds, and lots of various creepy crawly, flying, hopping things, yours might actually be getting a better diet.

    Hatchery birds meet the requirements for a whole lot of us, and even that depends on which hatchery you get them from. Some people want something else in their chickens. They need to find a breeder that knows what they are doing and is trying to breed to the characteristics that the person wants.

    So I agree with the others. There is no real surprise that hatchery chickens may grow faster ad mature younger than a specific breeder's chickens, but the breeder's chickens may wind up bigger at full maturity. It just depends on the flock characterisitics.
     
  10. themenagerie

    themenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    If they are young, then THAT is entirely possible. Sometimes better birds take longer to mature.

    I think this is true since one of the hatchery's goals is to have a chick that matures quickly. I got some Buff Orpington chicks from my local Agway in the spring, then got a couple of Blue Orpington hens from a local breeder, one of them with week old chicks. The breeder chicks were much smaller to start and matured slower than my hatchery birds, but they're about the same size as them now at 21 and 17 weeks respectively.​
     

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