What are conditions like in the hatcheries?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by nuchickontheblock, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    I've been reading so many threads lately about new chicks and wondered what the conditions are like in the large hatcheries that provide thousands of chicks within a short time in the Spring. Where do they get their eggs and how are those laying hens treated? Just curious, as so many of us care about the conditions under which commercial operations keep their chickens?

    Anyone have any idea?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Not all hatcheries are the same, just like not all us on this forum are the same. These videos show how they raise the parents of broiler chickens in a hatchery in Canada. It is probably not all that different from a lot of hatcheries, at least as far as the basics go. Some people love to bash the commercial hatcheries, but they are in the business to make a profit.

    Broiler Chicken Videos

    Here is something written by a Vice President at Ideal. She was responding to a lot of comments about hatcheries, mainly about breeding the chickens to the SOP. Hope it helps.

    Hello all, This is Teri from Ideal. It was said earlier that we were not commenting for 'obvious' reasons. That is not the case. We do come on the board about once a week and see what is going on. We do not have an employee that constantly 'monitors' the board.

    The video was of the hatchery operation itself because that is what Purina wanted for their television show. We have not done anything on location at the farm but will look into it. Back when I was in school at A&M, I did some very unprofessional videos of the farm and most people found it really boring.

    I am going to try my best to address the topics brought up in this thread. If I miss something, you are welcome to send a follow up message. I will subscribe to this topic so I will see your responses and be able to reply to them.

    Ideal Poultry has a very large breeding farm about 8 miles out of Cameron in Pettibone, TX. We have approximately 60,000 chickens, bantams, ducks, geese and guineas on the farm. There is a picture of the farm shown briefly in the video, as well as a photo of the farm in the about us section on our website .

    We have our own breeders for all of the poultry we sell other than the following: all turkeys, french guineas, chukar and pheasant.

    We have not purchased breeders from an outside source since 1999. 1999 is when we ventured into the 'rare' side of the poultry business. Since that time, each summer we start a new breeding flock by selecting our breeders based on the Standard of Perfection. In the late 90's when we were building our rare flock, Mr. Fuchs did go all over the country to try to buy the best of the best. He ordered breeding stock that was 'show quality, high dollar' stock. Even by purchasing the offspring of show champion poultry, many chicks we received were what you all would call, hatchery quality. It takes a lot of culling once the birds mature to even get close to the Standard. All three Mr. Fuchs' that are involved in the selection process hold a Poultry Science degree from Texas A & M, with the elder Mr. Fuchs holding a Master degree in genetics.

    There are times when we are sold out of a breed, that we might have an order drop shipped from another hatchery. However, it is a hatchery that has quality poultry and in most cases it is a hatchery that we sold breeding stock to.

    Our breeding stock is mated on an average of one male per ten hens.

    We do not claim to have nor advertise to have 'show quality' poultry. In fact we very clearly state otherwise in our literature.

    Anyone that is involved in showing poultry would know that our prices are not indicative of show quality poultry.

    The purpose hatcheries serve is to provide good quality poultry at a reasonable price, to the average farmer that wants to enjoy the beauty of the poultry or have farm fresh eggs. We do our best to provide quality poultry to all of our customers as well as provide excellent customer service. It would not be in our best interest to do otherwise. We have been in business since 1937 and will celebrate our 75th anniversary next year. We have not survived this long by providing an inferior product.

    Like another post said it's about knowing what you want for both the buyer and seller. Our primary customer is the backyard farmer. That is who our product is priced for and marketed for.

    Please respond with any other questions you might have and I will do my best to answer them.

    Teri Fuchs Adcox
    V-P Ideal Poultry
  3. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    thanks for the info. That particular hatchery seemed pretty good!
  4. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    My only issue with the commercial hatcheries is the way that the extra males are "disposed" of. I realize that if they control gender they would but because they can't, I feel that a better way to dispose of them should be entertained. Throwing them out with the garbage or grinding them up alive is not humane. It is a cruel practice that still continues. A reputable breeder is the route I take now because at least I can choose the sex, or if I buy straight run and get a boy I can raise it, treat it well, and if I choose to, kill it humanely for my family to eat.
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

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