What do you think about hatchery (specifically Ideal) chickens?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by safarichick101, Dec 26, 2009.

  1. safarichick101

    safarichick101 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2009
    College Station TX
    I have gotten 12 Ideal chicks in the past 2 years. However, after keeping my chickens for so long and loving them to death, I've decided to try showing them. I think some of them may meet the standard but I sorta wish to start out with new stock. Basically my question is... Do ya'll think it would be wisest for me to get some more Ideal birds or something else? Where do you recommend that I get my birds?

    I hope to show Barnevelders and Buff Orpingtons as well as a breed of Turkey (Narragansetts, Bourbon Reds, Spanish blacks, or slates).
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    Hatchery birds are not exhibition quality. You will need to invest in some exhibition quality birds if you wish to show them with good results. Also, raising good quality birds means that the true breed standard is being bred towards for the next generation. Hatcheries do a great job in producing birds that have the same general look, but are more geared towards egg or meat production rather than meeting the standards.
  3. Boggy Bottom Bantams

    Boggy Bottom Bantams Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Hahira, GA
    If showing is you goal, you need to find private breeders who breed for show quality, with the breeds you wish to keep. No hatchery does this, they are in it for mass production, nothing against them, I have a few of Ideal's birds myself, but just for color projects, nothing more. List the breeds you are looking for and I am sure you'll quickly find some very nice breeders right here. Also you can check the various breeders listing in the forums here, there are quit a few. But hatchery and sho quality dont go hand in hand...Good luck
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Agreed. There is a huge difference in show quality birds and hatchery stock.

    Since it sounds like you are just getting into this, I'd suggest talking to your county extension agent's office, in the phone book under county, and talk to them about showing chickens. What I'd be looking for is someone in your area that judges chickens so you can ask them questions and maybe even get them to talk to you about your birds good points and weaknesses. Or find out about shows in your area. Go to these shows, talk to people, and see what is being shown and judged. You'll need to find out about health records, vaccinations, and inspections required to show birds in that specific show and for shows in general. And you can possibly make contacts with breeders in your area.

    If you are going to show chickens and improve, you need to have a bit of a thick skin. You can't get too overly attached and defensive about your chickens but have to be willing to listen to what the people that know tell you so you can learn and improve. If they tell you the chickens legs are too short or the comb has too many points, they are not personally attacking your chicken or have anything against you, they are just trying to help you learn. I have not seen anything in your post to indicate you may have a thin skin about this. I'm mainly mentioning it to point out it is a learning process and you have to really be willing to learn and maybe become a bit passionate about it to do well, but it can be enjoyable just trying it.

    Good luck!!!
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I agree that the odds of you getting a chicken that is show quality & meets the standards for that breed from a hatchery are almost non-exisitant. It can happen, but that is a very rare occurance.
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln

    Like my Spitzhaubens that I buy from Ideal and other breeders, none of them really came close to the UK standards however there are some acceptable qualities. The breeders are good but needs work. Ideal's Spitzhaubens do need more work however I was very fortunate to get at least 3 acceptable pullets out of 25 and the rest of them were culled out. Now I have only one while the other two sisters have passed on, now going at two years old, she was good as they go. Spitzhauben breeders are fewer and farther in between.

    So all is well!

  7. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:Why does this question keep coming up? I dont get it!! I would like to hear of one hatchery bird being even remotely competitive at a show outside of some very small local show, even at that if the judge is in a position of placing an inferior bird will more often than not comment on its lack of type etc.

    So yes you can go home with a ribbon of about any color with a poor quality bird depending on where you show, and if you are happy with that more power to you. In my opinion it shows a lack of respect for the poultry hobby/industry in general to drag a hatchery quality bird to a show and then show of that ribbon as though it had anything to do with either breeding for or selecting for quality. The last show show I went to locally had exactly two hathcery RIR LF in the show, one was of course best of breed. LOL. The judge did comment on the card hatchery bird.

    WHY! WHY! WHY???

    I can assure you those ideal birds no matter the breed come nowhere close to the standard, and I dont have to see them! Do you own a standard? Have you looked over your stock carefully and compared to the standard? Are you sure your birds dont have disqualifications?

    Do some research, get a standard of perfection, go to some shows, learn to recognize the difference, learn to speak to the difference, learn the minor discounts in point and the major faults and this question about this hatchery or any other will not come to mind.

    If you want to start a 20 year breeding program and want to spend a bit of time actually learning the standard you may have an outside shot at producing some birds that meet the standard, but then of course you will still be twenty years behind the person that can get you a start today that has already spent 20 years selecting breeding and showing.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  8. CountryMom

    CountryMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    South Texas
    It is like the guinea pig world in that you start somewhere....even if it is a pet store pig. And it is up to experienced people to lead them straight, with kindness and encouragement and integrity. Pet store stock, like hatchery stock, has it's place. I enjoy my hatchery stock very much. I am not a show breeder of chickens....nor will be. But I am of guinea pigs....and have learned that helping a newbie learn is very rewarding. Even if it is to ask the same question here time after time. That is how the fancy grows. The general public does not know the ins and outs of any fancy unless they start to ask questions. And what better place than BYC.
  9. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    If you want birds for laying, and birds for pets, then Ideal is a good choice.

    However, if you want birds for showing at any level other than your state fair, I do not reccomend getting Ideal poultry birds. Go to a highly regarded breeder and get stock/hatching eggs.

    But, like others have stated everything depends on the judges.
  10. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2008
    Northern Colorado
    Quote:I understand all of this and probably spoke more critically than is necessary or even appropriate, but the OP states that the Ideal birds may meet standard. This tells me that the OP at least knows there is a standard and must have some base from which to conclude that the birds may conform to the standard. I am saying I doubt all of the above beginning with knowledge of what the standard is and secondly having hatchery birds that conform.

    Sorry if it sounded harsh, but OP does not want to be one of those people that continues to haul stuff to the shows and not understand why they keep getting the gate at every show. I have seen it for so many years from so many folks in horses that it is a bit of a peeve for me I must confess.

    For example a kid brings in a sickle hocked lame horse with no confirmation and then asks the judge at every show why the horse doesnt place. Some times it is better to know going in that is all I am saying. Now I am off my horse so to speak

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