Survery: Would you prefer to purchase from a breeder or hatchery?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Urbanfarmerkc, Oct 2, 2010.

  1. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2010
    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Hi all,

    I had a chance to talk to a guy today who has started a new hatchery in my neck of the woods. He and I have been exchanging e-mails about hatchery v/s breeder. His stock chickens come from really great lines but he is selling his chicks for normal hatchery prices. This is difficult as maintaining a breed and bringing them up to 'show' quality is time consuming and expensive. I'm afraid he will NOT last unless he changes his tactics.

    So here is my question. If you were looking for chicks would you be more likely to go to a high quality hatchery or breeder like Sand Hill and pay a higher price for a better quality bird (one that attention has been given to perfect the breed and maybe even have documentation of that) or would you prefer to spend less for a lesser quality bird? Of course, Sand Hill's prices are $3 to $6 per chick depending on the breed. Hatcheries are often 1/2 that.

    Would you pay more for show quality? What if some of the stock birds had actually placed in national bird shows? Would you pay more if you knew the stock birds were free range or at least had access to pasture? Would you pay more if they are Organic? What about not organic but were only medicated when sick?

    I'm curious what everyone thinks of this type of venture. I am breeding 5 different breeds and have decided to really only focus on high quality so I'm definitely choosing the "breeder" route. I just wondered if he would be better off going the same way.

    Thanks for your answers to my survey.

    DAve
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    So it sounds to me like he is a breeder who is trying to compete (price wise) with the hatcheries... is that right?

    I agree, it will be difficult to do financially. It makes more sense to me to pick one road or the other; why would you put the work into improving your lines just to give away your chicks at hatchery prices?
     
  3. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
    Chautauqua County, NY
    I don't show so I don't really care if the are show quality or not. I would prefer to buy from a small local farm. I bought my first 2 batches of chickens at TS, but I won't be anymore. My main concern with hatcheries or even breeders who sell sexed chickens is what do they do with all the unwanted roos? I know some throw them in a grinder ALIVE (these are normally the ones that supply birds to large egg production companies) and I am sure that most are not so cruel, but even if I am going to eat them I like giving them a chance to grow instead of killing them as soon as they hatch. So I vote neither, if I can avoid it (I plan on either hatching my own, getting them at chicken swaps, from local people I know with chickens, or from the auction here on BYC and if I still can't find what I want I would buy from mypetchicken.com) and yes I would pay more for stock that is free range, only medicated as needed.
     
  4. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Quote:I don't believe he sexes his birds although I'm not certain. I really like the Sand Hill type policy of straight run only. I myself raise the roosters until they are 3 months old then sell them or give them to the hungry. I LOVE the taste of the heritage breeds but I absolutely refuse to do any more processing myself. But to be honest, I've struck a deal with an Asian family who are happy to do it. I give them half the chickens for doing the work for me. They do it here in my yard, we bury the waist and all is happy. WIN WIN in my book.
     
  5. Drk_Wlf

    Drk_Wlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2009
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    I will have to look into Sand Hill, although I plan on sticking with fertile hatching eggs instead of day old's as soon as I get an incubator.
     
  6. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

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    Jun 29, 2010
    I think it depends on your outlook, really.

    I can imagine for small family backyard flocks, they don't care too much if their birds are show quality. Your average person is going to buy from a hatchery because they are easy to find, easy shipping, low cost.

    Then there are the green/animal rights folks who are really concerned with the fate of hatchery chicks that don't get sold. Obviously, they would pay more to get birds from a local breeder who does humane culling.

    Then there are the people who love heritage breeds and would pay more for nice quality birds. I sort of fall into this category myself. I don't really have much interest in showing birds. I'm still pretty new to this, but I think it's important to support the continuation of heritage breeds. My current girls, all heritage breeds, came from a hatchery, but mostly because I didn't really know where to go otherwise. I intend to switch to small farms and breeders as I find them and decide which breeds I intend to focus on.

    Then of course, there are those who are very interested in showing and genetics. I'm not sure they would be really happy about his business model, because in their minds, it probably undercuts the true value of the stock and makes it harder for them to sell their chicks at the higher and more fair prices. I can compare to my industry. It's sort of like the guy that goes to Best Buy, purchases a camera and bills himself a photographer for a tenth of the price of a professional with a degree, license and business insurance. It drags the whole industry down.

    The difference of $3 to $6 is not huge, but it can be significant. If he's selling truly rare breeds for hatchery or near hatchery prices that are show quality that usually sell for significantly more, I would be surprised if it would be sustainable.
     
  7. Urbanfarmerkc

    Urbanfarmerkc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Raytown, MO (BY KCMO)
    Quote:I'm not sure he would continue to sell the animals at rock bottom prices if he went to the trouble of keeping the quality up. He listed the places he had purchased chickens and the lines are known as superior lines for the breeds. He isn't pushing for show quality but rather good quality and is selling his chicks at normal hatchery prices or in some cases below. I'm concerned that he is pushing himself out of business. I'm curious if a new hatchery wouldn't be better selling higher quality at higher prices. I think the show quality would just be a benefit but to be honest, anyone who shows birds will tell you that they hatch a LOT of chicks before the blue ribbon chicken is born. That is why it is so labor intensive.

    As far as undercutting, my theory is this. Heritage breeds are disappearing at an alarming rate. I think we have JUST begun to turn the tide away from complete extinction. The more people working to improve these breeds at WHAT ever price is doing a great service to this country. I believe that one day this country may need to rely on the diverse genetic pool from our heritage breeds of agriculture. We need more people breeding and distributing poultry. This keeps the genetics diverse too. (We live in a time that most folks don't let the old broody hen raise her chicks. We get our chicks from hatcheries.) I believe that even though we are seeing more of these rare breeds around the country there are still only a few breeding pairs of these birds around. So, it goes to reason we need more breeders. Of course, this is why I've jumped in with my little flock. I won't save a species but I might be able to help.

    So, thanks everyone for sharing your opinions on this. I think this guy is up to good stuff. Please keep adding your comments. I'm gonna forward them over to him.
     
  8. FF

    FF Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I personally would prefer a nice breed of chciken. Doesn't have to be show stock but I don't want one that looks like a dog chewed his feathers after the chicken came in from shy diving. I would just want something normal for that breed and not raggedy. I understand chcikens are chcikens and they do what they want to but doing the show chickens and those low prices will kill him in just a few hatches. It really will. It would be good for us but your friend will not be too happy. Try this.

    Have "show" quality birds that you could show say at a local fair. But not any that would proabably make it in teh bigger shows. If somebody wants very good show quality birds, most of the time they already have a good brreder of that preferance and won't go to another one. But if you have county fair show quality chcikens then you will have regular people wanting to buy off of him for his discounted "hatchery price" show chickens. He will make more money and he will have alot of happier people too.
     
  9. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

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    Bailey, Mississippi.
    When I buy, I normally have more intention than just putting them in a backyard to lay eggs and look at (not meaning that in a offensive way to those who do. [​IMG] ) Which is why I plan to buy around 50 Kraienkoppes from Sandhill next year, and had thought of buying close to or the same amount from Ideal just to compare quality. Either way, I do trust Sandhill more, so I may just stick with them.. After that, I'm picking the five best birds (or plan to) and culling the rest.

    Usually, I will look up some good breeders and make deals with them. But since there aren't really any breeders of the Kraienkoppes, or they have taken routes I would rather not. I am purchasing from Sandhill.

    -Daniel
     
  10. wildeflowers

    wildeflowers I suspect fowl play!

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    Quote:I happen to agree with you. Note that I didn't say that was my personal opinion, but I can see others, who might be his potential buyers, feeling that way. To get a nice, but not show quality, genetically diverse, chick, I do think many would pay a little more for, but of course, one must have the knowledge that not all chicks are even decent examples of the breeds or have genetic diversity. I think it is really unfortunate, and why I, personally, would pay a little more for a chick. I think he'd had to do an education campaign along with a marketing campaign, kwim?
     

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