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Looking for a hatchery for White Leghorns to breed

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by redbarnmeadows, Apr 19, 2012.

  1. redbarnmeadows

    redbarnmeadows In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
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    I'd like to get some hatchery-stock White Leghorns just for a backyard casual breeding project. I'm not interested in showing them or worrying about bloodlines or having "The Best" birds. I just want some nice healthy birds that are great layers and will breed true. Can anyone recommend a hatchery? I contacted McMurray's and asked if their White Leghorns are hybrids or if they will breed true but I'm waiting for a response and thought I'd ask around here for opinions as well. Thanks.
     

  2. redbarnmeadows

    redbarnmeadows In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Poland, NY
    McMurray's just replied to me and said theirs are hybrids. So I'd like to find either another hatchery that has non-hybrids, or maybe another similar breed that is a good layer of large white eggs. I have a small market locally for people who want good white-egg layers, but many breeds I'm researching are either not as good for feed-to-egg conversion ratio or their eggs are known to be smaller. So the White Leghorn seems to be the ideal. Thoughts?
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    McMurray's birds are strain hybrids meaning two separate strains of White Leghorns are crossed to get the hybrid vigor that such brings. Both strains are White Leghorns so you can successfully cross them and still have White Leghorns and they will still lay well if not quite as well as the original strain crosses. I keep them myself.
     
  4. draye

    draye Crowing

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    x 2
     
  5. redbarnmeadows

    redbarnmeadows In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Poland, NY
    Ah, good! So are there any noticeable or significant differences between the resulting chicks and their parents? Differences in appearance, laying ability, etc? If I were to order some of these and breed them, I want to make sure any chicks/pullets I sell are of good quality. You said you keep them as well. Do you sell chicks from them? If so, your customers must be happy with them and their production then?
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    No difference in appearance that I can tell at all. There will however be some slight loss in laying ability since the hybrid vigor will be lost. Regardless they'll still be good layers.

    The downside of hatching your own however is the roosters. You'll be hard put to even get your feed costs back from them. Pullets sell well, roosters mostly do not unless you have a strong ethnic market in the area.
     
  7. redbarnmeadows

    redbarnmeadows In the Brooder

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    Poland, NY
    Thank you very much. That's exactly the info I wanted. Now at about what age can you tell the cockerels from pullets with relative certainty? (I do have plans for the cockerels, but obviously the earlier I can differentiate them the better)
     

  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    At four weeks I can begin to tell. By six weeks I am certain.
     
  9. redbarnmeadows

    redbarnmeadows In the Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2009
    Poland, NY
    Awesome. Is that primarily based on comb size?
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Yes. Though you may could tell by the hackle feathers as well by then. I'll have to make a point of looking more closely at the ones in my brooder this weekend. I have fifty two of McMurray's at the moment, but haven't noticed any yet with combs beginning to grow larger than the rest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012

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