What to look for in a hatchery

Discussion in 'Turkeys' started by BubAnna Angus, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. BubAnna Angus

    BubAnna Angus Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Tipton, MI
    I'm thinking of trying my hand at showing and I want to improve my flock. I'm wondering what I should look for in a hatchery.

    I am inclined to find one within a day's travel time so I can go and pick them up instead of having them shipped. If that matters.

    Any suggestions?
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    If you want to show and want the best, there are breeders in your state that can help you. Getting a show bird or show quality is nil when you get them from the hatchery.

    That is my advice to you, to get the BEST, go to show breeders. Go into the breed thread and ask around in what you are looking for and I am sure they will be more than happy to help you. [​IMG]
  3. BubAnna Angus

    BubAnna Angus Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Tipton, MI
    I guess I should have said it like this:

    I'd like to become more involved in the preservation and exhibition of heritage turkeys. After searching the internet for Michigan breeders, Michigan turkey/poultry shows; not much comes up - just hunting turkey shows....

    But JimsFarmStand has provided some information on different preservation groups under the "Heritage Turkey Exhibition Thread". I think I will seek out a group in the MI/OH/IN area, but in the meantime will look for a hatchery, or a breeder, with some sort of organization membership, and maybe APA recognition..... ?

    I think I need to read that thread more. Thanks for your input!
  4. ColbyNTX

    ColbyNTX Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2009
    Woods, TX
    You will find more about local breeders come this spring from here and places like craigslist.
  5. Laingcroft

    Laingcroft Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    Please forgive me if this sounds overly simplistic. Since I don't know what you know already, I'm going to assume the least ---

    Also, to be fair, I'll tell you I've been raising chickens for eggs, not show and am just getting into breeding myself; HOWEVER, I grew up with parents who bred/raised Boston Terriers (dogs), bred and showed dogs myself and now breed Netherland Dwarf and Rhinelander (rare breed) rabbits for show so I am familiar with breeding to a standard in general.

    As others have said, the BEST way to start is to attend shows and find a breeder willing to show you what good type looks like and has stock/eggs available for you to purchase. Keep in mind even in this best case, you won't be getting the top stock because the breeder is keeping that for his own breeding program.

    As it sounds, you already know the reality is that not everyone has such a resource nearby so the alternate is time consuming but rewarding. Start with learning the standard for your chosen breed and get a good handle on genetics. The latter is particularly important if you are working with a color breed like Slate turkeys. You can't get where you want to go if you have no idea where that is (standard) or how to get there (genetics.)

    The positive thing about hatcheries is that they have to be pullorum inspected/certified to sell birds interstate - not every local breeder is. Birds are required to be pullorum free (and prove it) in order to show.

    I hope I'm not violating board rules by telling you I've used McMurray Hatchery for years and like the birds and service they've provided. Others do not like them. Many of their birds are not show quality, but you can end up with some that are. This is where knowing your standard comes in. Select the best to breed, cull hard and keep moving forward toward your ideal. Once you start showing, you will get to know the other breeders and can improve your stock with people you trust, but this route is going to take time - think years not months.

    Good luck!
  6. HallFamilyFarm

    HallFamilyFarm APA ETL#195

    Jan 25, 2010
    Monticello, Arkansas
    The Heritage Exhibition Turkey Thread is at https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=429669

    for Heritage Turkey Poults:

    Exhibition Turkey Hatchery List: Updated 2012 Price Lists

    Porter's Rare Heritage Turkeys

    Duane Urch's list is at https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=437644
    Duane is an APA judge and a Grand Master Exhibitor of turkeys. Great place to order poults or exhibition/heritage chicks.

    Porter's is also a good palce for Turkey poults.

    Steer clear of hatcheries if you are wanting to show. Okay for meat and eggs, but not exhibition quality.
  7. bigshawn

    bigshawn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2011
    Great info..................
  8. BubAnna Angus

    BubAnna Angus Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 15, 2010
    Tipton, MI
    Thanks, all!

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