What are differences between buying from a hatchery versus a breeder?

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by chickenannie, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are differences between buying from a hatchery versus a breeder?
    Forgive me if this is a naive question! But, I'd like an honest discussion on this. I'm assuming the breeders will say there's a huge difference, but I'd like to know why, and I'd like to hear from a hatchery's perspective as well. [​IMG]
     
  2. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Birds from a breeder will generally be better quality. They may be SQ, where as you have kind of a one in a million chance of getting a SQ bird from a hatchery. Breeders breed with the purpose of improving the breed, to continue good bloodlines, etc.
    Hope I helped!
     
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Hatchery - Better egg production, but for a short time, usually at 2-4 years the hens taper down to almost no egg production. They're generally cheaper and much easier to find too, but they're smaller, skinnier, and hardly matching the description of the breed they are. They're a great starter, and great general egg laying hens. They're not good for dual purpose though.


    Breeder - (and I mean a true, reputable breeder who does NOT have hatchery related birds) The chickens are much bigger, they last longer, their egg production isn't as good but it lasts longer, and they're of better quality. The chickens will actually look like what the illustrations or breed descriptions say. They'll actually have good color, decent meat on the bone, and good weight and size. Plus, there's more out there from breeders than there is from hatcheries. Good for dual purpose and showing.
     
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  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for your input! Is SQ, standard quality?
    So..here's my next question. why wouldn't a hatchery be concerned with breeding to a high quality standard? They can't just sell any old thing, right? Wouldn't they have just as much at stake as a breeder in having well-bred birds?
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    SQ means show quality.


    After losing hatchery hen after hatchery hen to internal laying/egg peritonitis, I decided that for all my standard sized birds, I would hatch eggs from a reputable breeder whose stock I admire. Longevity is not something a hatchery cares about--after all, their business relies on you buying more birds from them, right? They breed mostly for egg production and that's it. My best birds and most trouble free birds came from breeders. If you just want eggs and want a big turnover in your stock, then hatchery birds are fine.
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:Thanks for your input! Is SQ, standard quality?
    So..here's my next question. why wouldn't a hatchery be concerned with breeding to a high quality standard? They can't just sell any old thing, right? Wouldn't they have just as much at stake as a breeder in having well-bred birds?

    SQ=show quality

    A hatchery is concerned with quantity over quality. Selling lots of chicks rather than culling and only keeping birds that have the qualities the breed is supposed to have. Yes, they can and do sell "just any old thing".
     
  7. gumbii

    gumbii Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2010
    bell gardens, ca
    SQ is show quality...



    although, i've seen some hatchery's with pictures of people holding a chicken from their hatchery to win a price in a show... i don't believe that at all... lol...
     
  8. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    what katy said
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you. It sounds like you're saying that a true breeder is not concerned about eggs/reproduction as much as appearance/conformity to standard.
    More questions ... what is the difference in price? Do breeders make any money? Do they charge twice as much? Three times? Just trying to figure this all out. And how many years does a breeder have to be in business to be considered a true breeder?
     
  10. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    SQ means "show quality".

    Unfortunately, hatcheries only concern is that the birds resemble the description. Hatcheries main goal, first and foremost, is to make money. This means that they use the most productive birds that lay more eggs (and will hopefully hatch more chicks). These birds grow faster but stay smaller than show or exhibition quality strains.

    Breeders who breed towards the standard breed look for conformation first and foremost and with feather pattern/color coming second. Having a good quality strain that lay a decent amount of eggs can be done but no exhibition bird will lay as well as their hatchery counterparts simply because they are larger and take longer to grow.

    Edit to answer your question above my original post:

    Breeders will charge more, but it's because it takes much longer to grow out their birds. They have birds that they have put alot of time and effort into each and every bird that they have and hatch. Most breeders will not "make" money. In fact, they will lose money more often than not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2011

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