How to find a (good) breeder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Stephine, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2016
    Hi all!
    I am new to chickens, so I bought a good book (A Chicken in Every Yard) and did what they told me to do. I bought my chicks from a hatchery (Meyer). They are lovely, if a bit ferocious at times (they are eight and nine weeks old now), but some look different from how I think they should look and now, reading about how hatchery stock is not reliably true to breed I wonder if that was a mistake. When we add to our flock in the future I would like to buy from a breeder - but how do you find them? I have googled, but not with much luck. Thanks!
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2016
  2. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    Thats funny because i went from breeder stock to hatchery (Meyers) (Meyers birds are closer to standard) Unless you are showing and competing with your birds i have actually found hatchery stock to be better layers and stronger. Breeder stock cost 4 times as much as hatchery stock and unless you are competing with your poultry not necessary.ive gotten longer lives, less problems and better health with my hatchery stock. Also egg production has been much better. BECAUSE i dont show i realized i had just as much fun (if not more) from my hatchery stock. With my breeder stock (different breeders) my birds had some genetic issues, health problems, and very sadly shorter lives. I have paid up to 120.00 for a bird and its heartbreaking to loose them young. Ive just woken up and lost them, orhers had big issues ive had to treat such as wry neck (which can be genetic) they just seemed more fragile all together. My Meyer birds are just as sweet (if not sweeter) sit in my lap, come when called, learn quickly and thank God are healthy and strong. Some, like my silver laced Wyandotte are strikingly beautiful too!! If i was showing my birds i would buy breeder stock because they MUST be the standard of perfection. But otherwise i really enjoy the long stong lives of the hatchery stock. Also just because they are hatchery does not mean they cant be beautiful. Meyers Wyandottes are geourous! The showing standard of perfection can be EXTREMELY picky on very small differences not really noticeable to the average person. I have silkies (breeder stock) (not showing) and 7 barred rocks who look just like they are supposed to, a buff orpington who look like shes supposed to, a silver laced Wyandotte, who looks like shes supposed too, striking, and a silver penciled rock who is a little off but a beautiful bird still yet. So i dont think getting hatchery stock is a mistake, unless showing your poultry. I really hope this helps make you feel a bit better about your birds. Hatchery stock make excellent backyard pets! Enjoy them!! Only way i would go back to breeding stock is if i got into showing my birds. Best wishes.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Stephine

    Stephine Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2016
    Oh, that is very interesting and reassuring. I truely don't know much at all.... That does make me feel better. I guess I will just wait and see how my little girls and guy develop and take it from there... I am a tad disappointed that my light and buff brahmas have so much black in them, though... And both the light ones had a bout of droopiness, falling over, shaking when they were about two weeks but both recovered quickly with a bit of pampering....
  4. LilyandSparrow

    LilyandSparrow Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 29, 2016
    Centralia, WA
    Thanks so much for sharing your expe
    Thanks so much for sharing your experience!! I have been TOTALLY stressing out because I cannot find local breeders for the breeds I'm interested in (closest involves a 4 hour round trip) and was worried that hatchery birds would be subpar. I was interested, but hesitant, to order from Meyer, but this makes me feel very reassured!
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place True BYC Addict

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Eight week old birds are very juvenile, and won't ever look like the adults in photos. Enjoy them! As realsis says, egg production should be better with hatchery birds, they will be beautiful, and perfectly fine unless you decide to show them. I have in general been happier with hatchery stock myself. Mary
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I agree with Realsis and Folly's Place.

    Mine came from Meyer as well. So far no problems and we are going on 1yr this month. I think they are beautiful because they are mine. Won't win any blue ribbons, but that is not why I got them in the first place. I wanted healthy, vaccinated birds that are good egg layers and are a joy to be around. I wanted backyard chickens and that is what I have.
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I also am very happy with hatchery stock. I did not have the problems Realsis has seen with my breeder stock, but I’m happier with my hatchery based chickens. They better suit my goals. We all keep chickens for different reasons. Some people feel they have to have chickens from breeders for their own reasons. Nothing wrong with that if that suits your goals, but those goals are not mine.

    To find breeders that actually know what they are doing, you can decide on your breed and find the breed club online. Practically every breed that is shown has a breeders club or association with a web page. Go there and see if they list breeders. Or chat with them and ask for a breeder near you.

    Another very good way (and one I highly recommend) is go to chicken shows near you. You can see what the chickens look like, they will look different than the hatchery stock in many striking ways. If you see something you like, find out who is showing them and talk to them.
  8. chickcherry

    chickcherry New Egg

    Jul 4, 2016
    South Africa
    Guys I'm thinking of having my own flock but then I don't know where to start ...I've researched about it and was thinking on selling eggs please give advices from how to start and also about the maintenance of the flock ..
    Thanks in advance
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    Go to the Learning Center at the top of this page and read anything that interests you. If you still have specific questions, start your own threads and ask. Never be afraid to ask a question or start a thread. We all have to start somewhere.

    Two suggestions. Modify your profile to show your general location. That helps a lot with many questions. And when you start a thread, make your thread title descriptive enough that you attract the right people. A thread title of “Help” or “I have a question” doesn’t always attract the right people.

    Welcome to the forum! Glad you joined.
  10. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    There are at least several folk from South Africa here on BYC. Asking one of the moderators may help you fid them. The you can talk to someone form your area who is also doing chickens. At last count I think there were around 480,000 folk on BYC from around the whole world.
    Best Regards,
    western Pennsylvania, USA
    1 person likes this.

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