"Hatchery Quality" ?????

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by rachel1, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. rachel1

    rachel1 Out Of The Brooder

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    I mentioned on a previous post that my chickens are ordered from a hatchery.......replies are referring to "hatchery quality". Is the quality less? if so less than what?
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Less than the breed's standard of perfection. In other words, hatcheries specialize in selling for hobbyists. They sell birds that are generally healthy, but rarely, if ever, approach the correct feather color, leg coloration, body shape, size, weight, back posture, markings, barring, etc of what the breed "should" look like. Hatcheries say "they represent the breed". OK.
     
  3. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Hatchery birds are usually better layers, but they are typically smaller in standard breeds and larger in bantam breeds. They also tend to not be colored as well as the birds that are from breeders.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hatcheries sell birds less expensively. They aren't costly. It is in their favor to tilt toward higher egg production, as the better layers the parent stock is, the more eggs they hatch, plain and simple. Not likely a hatchery is going to keep a lot of parent stock that doesn't lay well. This is a kind of selection process that eventually effects the strain with higher laying tendencies. Again, usually healthy and decent layers, at an affordable price. That they often fail to "represent the breed" by color, personality, feathering or body type is, well, ..... it is what it is.
     
  5. purelypoultry

    purelypoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I basically think of poultry has having 2 different quality grades. I think of it as birds are either "hatchery quality" or "exhibition quality"

    I refer to hatchery quality to mean that the goal in breeding is to produce a bird generally resembling the breed but is not concerned with meeting the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection. The hatchery is concerned with producing the baby chicks as cost effectively as possible.

    I personally define exhibition quality as an alternative to hatchery quality. When Exhibition Quality breeding stock is selected the goal is to produce young stock that meets the American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection. The exhibition breeder is concerned with producing baby chicks as perfect as possible.
     
  6. Mr. Ree

    Mr. Ree Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That is very well put. The main thing to remember with hatcheries is: quantity is more important to them then quality. But as far as breeders go, they prefer quality over quantity. Hatcheries breed and sell birds for profit because they are a business, breeders do it for the hobby, enjoyment, and quality of the birds they raise. Breeders specialize in one or a few breeds ad hatcheries will try and raise anything they can. Thats not to say that it is impossible to get a bird of quality from a hatchery, but it is generally rare.


    ~Casey
     
  7. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my opinion, there are three types of quality in the chicken world.

    1. Hatchery. By far the worst, when it comes to standards. Though many hatcheries offer good pet-quality (synonymous with hatchery-quality) birds that lay well, they are usually quite off on the standards. They may not even be purebred. Hatchery birds may also have health problems because of disease outbreaks, or because the parent stock has been vaccinated (vaccinating birds will lead to weaker second-generation birds, and breeding for hardiness--even at the expense of losing some birds--is always better in the long run). There are a very small amount of hatcheries that do pretty well, when it comes to standards, but there are not many.

    2. Exhibition. To-the-t with standards. Perfect in looks. However, it's important to distinguish perfect in looks from perfect in purpose or perfect in hardiness. An exhibition bird may be flawless in appearance, matching every breed standard beautifully, but it may not whether disease well at all, and it may be weakened through inbreeding. It may also not fulfill its original purpose as a breed. For instance, if a breed was created for egg-laying purposes, it should be a good egg-layer. Should it look like the breed? Of course, but it should fulfill its purpose as a breed before it meets every outward standard for a breed.

    3. Breeder. From only the most dedicated chicken-breeders. These birds are not exhibition, but not hatchery. They have enough of the standards (looks, behavior, weight) to be their particular breed, but are not so perfect that they no longer serve their intended purpose. It must be understood that not everyone who calls himself a "breeder" is truly dedicated to a breed. One who is truly dedicated to a breed of chicken--and thereby a true breeder--will be concerned enough about looks to make sure his birds are pure and look pure, but will also be concerned enough about purpose to make sure his birds are good layers if they're supposed to be layers and good meat birds if they're supposed to be meat birds.

    These opinions are the result of experienced breeders here on BYC giving me advice, so not all of these ideas are "original" [​IMG]

    ~Gresh~
     
  8. OSUman

    OSUman GO BUCKS

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    Quote:I think that the third definition that you have for "breeder" is more a definition of the person who owns the birds. You have propagators and you have breeders. Propagators are people who keep birds and dont really select their breeders according to anything, set by them or others. Then you have people who are devoted to breeding their birds to a set parameter such as for their utility purpose, or towards a standard.
     
  9. Gresh

    Gresh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I think that the third definition that you have for "breeder" is more a definition of the person who owns the birds. You have propagators and you have breeders. Propagators are people who keep birds and dont really select their breeders according to anything, set by them or others. Then you have people who are devoted to breeding their birds to a set parameter such as for their utility purpose, or towards a standard.

    Yeah, I tried to think of a better word than "breeder" because anyone who has bred chickens could technically be called a breeder, but nothing was coming to my mind [​IMG] However, you hit the nail right on the head as to what I was aiming at [​IMG]
     
  10. Pony Trotsky

    Pony Trotsky Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks so much for posting this.

    [​IMG]

    I've tried several times to get answers on this point, but I think you're the first person I've come across who's even acknowledged this is as an issue worth mentioning.

    How does one identify the kind of breeder that actively works toward vitality, disease resistance and functional conformation, as opposed to just looks? (In the dog world there are "Working Dog" breeders and "Show Dog" breeders; in the horse world there are "Performance Horse" breeders, and "Halter Horse" breeders. You can tell the difference in about a nanosecond.)

    How about the chicken world?

    I've been reading this forum assiduously, looking for breeders of the sort you describe in your third category, but I can't seem to find any! If the things they write about are any indication, it seems that the vast majority of people are either concerned with maximum egg production in the short term, or in achieving purely decorative "SQ" looks for competition purposes. I'm sure there must be many people with goals more similar to mine, but I can't seem to identify them in searching for birds to buy.

    So. Is there a phrase or a self-description to look for when looking for the Category 3 breeder? Is there something specific to look for on their websites, or in how they describe their operations? I'm sure I'm doing something totally wrong here, but I can't figure out what it is.
     

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