hatchery vs. breeders (heritage breeds)

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by CountryFriedChicken, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. CountryFriedChicken

    CountryFriedChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2011
    Gainesville, GA
    I am just curious on other people's opinons on obtaining chicks from a hatchery versus breeders?

    I am looking for quality birds an I know hatcherys are a production line versus selective breeding, but there may be a chance of one or two really good ones out of, say a dozen. I have not been able to find a breeder in my area yet. I may ask the feed store people if they know anybody in the area.

    I am only looking fo heritage breeds - something that is unique.


    .(edited to say that I am only starting out in my flocks - thanks).
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  2. TaylorHobbyFarms

    TaylorHobbyFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 2, 2010
    If you are looking for show quality, breeder is the way to go and there are plenty of good breeders on here who ship. Just check their pictures, feedback and maybe even ask around. On the other hand, you may get lucky with a hatchery, but I have went that route in the past and have not always been happy with the results. If they are a big hatchery, they may outsource for their hatching eggs and may really not have a good handle on their breeding flocks. Just my opinion.
  3. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    That's if you can find a right breeder and it's hard... Most breeders only sell eggs and that's a gamble... I think there's a hatchery that sells show quality chicks, strombergs.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  4. DaughterOfEve

    DaughterOfEve Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2009
    Montague, MI
    Check to see if there is a poultry association in your state and if so when they host a show. You can see many quality birds in one place and meet their breeders in person.
    You can also check for clubs for specific breeds. Most will have a breeders list page.
    Call your local extension office for info, 4H leaders and clubs for poultry will be available through them. I personally like to see their set up and awards etc so local is recommended.
  5. CountryFriedChicken

    CountryFriedChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 26, 2011
    Gainesville, GA
    Thanks everyone!

    yes Daughtersofeve - I do agree. that is why I do prefer breeders over hatcheries. I have been writing down breeders and bookmarking websites as I go doing research. I know it does cost a little bit more and I have to wait abit longer for the chicks/eggs to come. But I think it would be worth it.
  6. aveca

    aveca Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Waverly, NY
    i have both , hatchery and breeders birds for different reasons.

    i show heritage breeds , have champions, BB, BVs,and english champion some Special awards at APA shows, but honestly if you want some eggs as my husband plows throu them..you cant beat cackles hatchery. we bought australorps from them. they are a bit smaller than my show aussies and clearly not show quality. but they are the most reliable winter egg layer we have ever owned. they do go broody which works for me i employ them to hatch for me. we have at one time owned just about every breed from leghorns to bantams and inbetween. none have been better than the ones from cackles at egg laying.
    the show australorps dont hold a candle to them thou good egg layers, .not sure why.

    at one time or another we have had
    murray mcmurray
    and an assortment of other hatchery stock
    cackles at least to us delivered better birds
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2012
  7. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    It really depends on what you intend to do with them. Hatchery birds are designed around egg laying ability. Breeder quality is designed around showing or selling to show folks and the breeder quality generally are not good layers.

    It really depends on your budget and what you will be getting them for.

    A lot of hatchery birds do not resemble the original breed type. I went to pick up a BLrW roo from a woman that thought it was the ultimate show quality bird and upon arrival it was not the bird in her picture, she got it from a hatchery and it was a very poor hatchery bird and too small and she got offended when I showed her the SOP description of body type.. It was a bad experience but she did learn something from it as I did.
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    [[[.....breeder quality generally are not good layers......]]]]]

    I wish people who stop repeating this like little parrots. Especially the people who don't have show birds.

    My show quality birds are each laying an egg a day. You can't get any more eggs out of any bird, no matter what hatchery you buy it from.
    4 people like this.
  9. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    My opinion, breeder birds are worth it. You can see pictures of the actual stock the chicks or eggs are coming from. The parents themselves rather than a generic picture of what you might be getting. And you can get breeds that no hatcheries sell. Icelandics, actual Araucanas, etc. and can help preserve a unique breed. Even if you get a bird from a breeder that hatcheries do carry, you can often expect them to be closer to SOP than any hatchery bird. Not always the case, but if you know what to look for, you can decide who has stock that best fit your needs.

    Yes, most breeders sell stock in the form of hatching eggs. A juggle, but a worthwhile one. At least with the rarer breeds, most people don't ship chicks, just eggs. I know I've had a very rewarding experience working with Araucanas, personally.
    Quoted for truth. All my birds are from breeders, and now that the days are getting longer, I am getting an egg a day from the layers. Sign of a bad layer? I think not.
    Vivid Hatchery and Ms Goosed like this.
  10. chickened

    chickened Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 2, 2010
    western Oregon
    I know some show birds lay very well. My Dark Cornish do not lay well never have but the hatchery ones I had lay much better. I have some show quality JG that once they stated laying they lay well. Now on the other hand I have a renegade white leghorn on her second egg cycle from a hatchery stock hatching and she will not not stop laying. She laid over 300 eggs her first year I know this because she is my only white egg layer... now that is a good layer.

    Hatcheries do breed leghorns into their stock to improve first cycle laying. Mediterranean breed show birds do generally lay well or at least so I am told.

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012

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