It has been a few years now since we first ordered chicks from Murray McMurray. We have gone through three different batches of birds. We now have 8 grown birds, all mutts, all well loved pets. We have 24 babies in the brooder for this year. We sold most of our grown hens to neighbors who turn them into pets and enjoy their eggs. My DD has earned a little income doing this and enjoys raising the chicks. She has swapped birds and had different breeds in her flock. We have hatched quiet a few mutts from her flock. They did fine and mostly found new homes with families wanting eggs. I don't know if they went into the stew pot. I kinda figured they did or will, given the nature of the business. None of these birds are destined to be in the show ring, and that is acceptable, given their purpose. My question therefore is about breeding hatchery quality. I would like to hatch my own chicks from this new batch and avoid the yearly chick purchase. I am worried that by using hatchery birds, I have no clue about genetic lines or the real potential of inbreeding. Therfore, I see the need to buy cockerels from other sources. I don't want to water down the genetics of the flock, but would like to improve the lines. The end result would not be show quality, but rather just an improved line for consistently healthy off spring. Should I be looking at a purebred line to mix into the hatchery lines, or should I be looking at simply getting birds from a different person or hatchery? Does it make any difference? I bought these chicks from Murray McMurray, as I have had the best outcomes from their birds. Three years in, their birds have not presented with crossed beaks, deformities, or illness. I just want to add genetic diversity going forward, but would also like to improve the genetics as I go. What would be the best way to do that?