SOP vs productive Heritage birds?


8 Years
Apr 26, 2011
I didnt know what else to call this thread. Here is my question......I have access to quite a few high quality breeders of different heritage breeds in my area.....but I am not looking for a chicken to show. I want a productive chicken.......a heritage breed mind you that I can continue my own flock with and maybe even sell some extras chicks......But when I read about breeds its seems so much emphasis is held by breeders for this SOP....where in my mind sacraficing a slight color variation etc in exchange for keeping a great layer or a big rooster seems silly from my standpoint and goals....I fully understand why folks showing birds strive for such though.

So my question is are high quality breeders insulted by people more concerned by production or can you successfully find real quality breeders who also select for production over 100% SOP Just curious what others experiences have been
the best breeders for heritage breeds will select for show traits but also for economic ones too, you have to do your research and you have to ask a lot of questions to the breeder about what they select for. You will find breeders that only care about the sop, but you might be surprised by the amount of breeders who are selecting for early development and good laying. True heritage birds hatchery or breeder stock won't lay like the hybrid layers, but they will lay longer and still make decent table fare.
It doesn't cost any more to feed a top quality bird than it costs to feed a mutt.

If you want to sell eggs or chicks, it will be easier with quality birds.

Just a rule of thumb, but the dual purpose birds from breeders have been bred for size. Dual purpose birds from hatcheries tend to be much smaller, and keep in mind that dual purpose is supposed to end up on your table at some point. You want a big fat roaster or a scrawny little chicken for dinner?
I will say you are more likely to still maintain good production from breeder quality birds received from a Good breeder. Talk to them about the production of the hens, not just in quantity per week, and laying habits in heat and cold, bt also length of productive life.
many of the better breeders will wait past the first adult molt to determine the better breeder birds fo rthier flocks and will maintain good breeders so long as they continue to produce. The hatchery breeder stock are often rotated as pullets are much more productive and length of productive life is not a selection tool.
The process of raising and rotating new birds annually is very costly if you can postpone the requirement to replace to every 3-4 years rather than having to raise replacements every year for teh next year you actually win, even if they produce 1 or 2 eggs fewer each week.
I have Wyandottes that start laying 5 days a week, and at the age of 5 yrs still lay 4 days a week. I have avoided having to rotate and raise a great number of birds by having this very positive trait as part of the lines productive life.
I know that......I may have not expressed myself fully....I dont want a hybrid production machine....Just healthy good productive, reproducing birds.

My real question I guess was if breeders tend to breed with production in mind or are the majority of breeders in it for show birds?

Thanks all for the opinions and info
really they want both... the goal is to get a bird that does well in the show ring... so it has to look a certain way... and in order to get that bird you have to hatch out many that wont measure up, so from a breeders perspective if they want to get a good supply of chicks to choose from they want to have a hen that lays well, not a poor layer
A really good breeder should go for both. If you have access to quality breeders, you could pick up some nice cull hens who are, as you stated, a shade off color, or legs aren't quite right, etc. Things that won't matter to you, but she's still a very nice bird, probably much nicer than a hatchery quality bird, and a great layer. What a great oppertunity for you!
Yes! Talk to the breeder and let them know what you want, the culls maybe the way to go.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom