This is a difficult subject for me to grasp. If I buy from a hatchery (say Cackle, Murray McMurray, etc) there's a lot of talk about the product being poor quality or even not true pure breds. I've read here that they ARE actually pure bred chickens but with poor genetics (quantity vs quality). I can believe it since they have to crank out hundreds of thousands of birds. BUT theoretically, I could take hatchery stock and breed them for a generation or two, then start selling them and technically the buyer is getting birds from an individual (NOT a hatchery). Realistically, they are buying hatchery stock since I obtained the original breeding stock from a hatchery. So... with so many individuals out there, how do I know I'm not just getting homebrew hatchery stock a few generations later? I'm very confused as to how to find good birds. Side note from all of that... I butchered 16 Cornish X's today and at 6.5 weeks they weigh 3.5lbs dressed. I was pretty happy with the results. These were from a hatchery out east who drop ships from one of the big "byproduct" producers for the meat industry. They ate 1000 pounds of feed (110 birds) and I have $350 into approx 350 lbs of meat not counting costs of shelter, electricity, etc. That's with my own processing (no cost). Still cheaper to buy from the store at $1/lb whole or $0.38/lb for leg quarters. But it was a good experience and gave me something to compare with last years heritage breeds. Not to get too long winded, but related... last years meat birds were heritage breeds: Buffs, Barred Rocks, New Hamshires, and Red Sex Links. They were from Cackle Hatchery and weighed around 3 pounds at 18 weeks. Would I expect similar from good stock on say Delawares?