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Sep 4, 2019
My Coop
My Coop
You don't want to be a hatchery. You can do so much better than that! Hatcheries breed for mass chick production and ignore all the qualities of the bird, except laying. This leads to chickens that are poor in health and quality.

Breed for health, then quality. As long as you just do a little bit too go above the hatchery level and love your chickens, you are a breeder.

However, you can get a good kick-off by starting with good quality stock from another breeder. You can start with Cochins from a hatchery, but building them up to show quality will just take a lot longer. Not that that's bad though. I'm still working on my silkies, (some came from a hatchery, some from breeders), but I got my Faverolles and Hollands from breeders.

Be a breeder. They have much better reputations and it is so much funner!

I recommend sources on The Livestock Conservancy's website. If your breed is not heritage (I'm not sure if largefowl Cochins are or not) than they will not have breed specific info but will still have some good info on choosing which of your offspring to keep and breed.

Also, try The American Standard Of Perfection. It's sort of hard to read, but it's a well of knowledge!

If you think he would like it, look into joining 4-H Poultry! I joined when I was 9 or so and it has been one of the best experiences of my life! It gave and still gives me purpose, and other people really love supporting 4-H kids!

If you plan to go into a specific breed long term, I recommend finding a breed club!

Anyways, I rambled on for longer than I thought. I'll finish with a message for your son. I had a Blue Cochin bantam my first year in 4-H. She was so sweet and I have missed her every fair season since! Docile and beautiful. She was also my first bantam and one of my first exotics. They are a friendly and lovable breed!
There will be times when you want to give up breeding. Don't! We are the youth breeders of this generation and if we don't step up and preserve our amazing chickens, then who will? Besides that, it is amazing to see your flock grow and prosper under you. Just watch out for chicken math ;)

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