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High quality birds from big hatchery stock

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by joerogrz, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. joerogrz

    joerogrz Songster

    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    Through selective breeding, is it possible to get high quality chickens from chickens that were bought from a large hatchery?

    What I mean is, by selectively breeding the birds received, to acquire the characteristics defined for that particular breed.

    Would this be possible? If so, would it take long to accomplish? Would I be better off just buying high quality birds and keeping that line up to the standards?

  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Well, if you get lucky and start out with some good hatchery birds, which can, although seldom happen, you can breed up. However, even those with show stock can have 10, 20, maybe even 30 years in their lines and work, and if you start with breeders from those stocks, you're a decade ahead. Often to pick the best traits from birds, you have to wait till they are adults, meaning one year per full generation, and lots and lots of culling.
  3. Yes you can do this, some birds that you will get will have some good traits while arnt show worthy because of the other traits they carry. But if you breed well you can get some good birds. [​IMG]
  4. joerogrz

    joerogrz Songster

    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    I'm glad to hear that! I've seen pics of Speckled Sussex from big hatcheries and compared them to pics of better quality SS and noticed a big difference. I don't have any SS right now, but am looking to get some, however I'm not sure I want to pay a huge price for SQ birds just yet.
  5. blackred

    blackred Songster

    Oct 15, 2007
    Blue Texas
    You have better odds of winning the lottery than you do of getting workable birds from a hatchery. I am sorry but that is the hard truth. While you will hear of someone who actually got a show bird from a hatchery, it is extremely rare.

    When you say big money what are you talking about?

  6. Kanchii

    Kanchii Songster

    You're better off shelling out some cash and buying birds from show stock than putting tons of money into feeding hatchery birds for 10 years while you work towards something showable. Plus, do you really want to wait many years before you can show?
  7. joerogrz

    joerogrz Songster

    Oct 28, 2008
    Loretto, TN
    I've seen the prices of some of these SQ birds and I'm not that crazy about the idea of paying 100+ dollars for one or two birds. But, the more I think about it, I would rather pay that much and have some quality birds right off than spend so much time and money trying to breed my own.

    I'm still undecided on what to do as of now, but I am leaning towards buying breeds that are closer to the standards.

  8. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I suppose it all depends upon what you want.

    If you want to show birds, then get show quality.

    If you want good layers... go hatchery.
  9. Rusty Hills Farm

    Rusty Hills Farm Songster

    Apr 3, 2008
    Up at the barn
    I'm not that crazy about the idea of paying 100+ dollars for one or two birds.

    There is a middle road: Buy eggs from good show stock and hatch your own. Yes, you will have some culls, but you will have MUCH, MUCH better quality than anything from a hatchery. Plus you can buy eggs from a couple of different breeders and breed the best of one hatch to the best of another. You may be surprised at your results. Plus they will be YOUR results, not just a continuation of another breeder's line.

  10. BamaChicken

    BamaChicken Orpingtons Bama Style

    Nov 14, 2007
    Or another way to think of it is ,Pay the 100 or so and have eggs to hatch and sell and make back the money you put into them plus not starting at the bottom and like someone said spending all the money on feed to go through so many culls.

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