What's wrong with hatchery chicks???

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by dogtrnr, Dec 19, 2012.

  1. dogtrnr

    dogtrnr Hatching

    Dec 3, 2012
    Hi! I've been a member for a few weeks and hve spent some time poking around the site, one thing that I've read multiple times is that when commenting on different breeds and their temperaments people have said -- "not hatchery chicks". What's wrong with hatchery chicks?
    Please, I realize to many of you that may be a dumb question, so go easy on me...remember, I'm a newbie...

    Sharon, WI

  2. ChickenGirl 19

    ChickenGirl 19 In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2012
    BC, Canada
    From what I can see, hatchery birds act different from breeder birds. Of course when there are no breeders near, you don't have much of a choice.
  3. Ashburnham

    Ashburnham Songster

    We dont have "hatcheries" here- apart from the commercial layers and meat birds.
    All eggs come form breeders or hobbyists.
  4. hotrodflash

    hotrodflash Songster

    Oct 18, 2012
    East Texas
    There is nothing wrong with hatchery chicks, they just, most of the time, don't match the SOP, standard of perfection, for the breed. But as long as you don't intend to show your chickens, it is not a problem. For Eggs, meat and pets they are fine.

  5. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Songster

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Agreed with hotrodflash [​IMG]
  6. spotsplus

    spotsplus Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Franklin, MA
    Most of mine are hatchery chicks and there is nothing wrong with them. They would not do as well in a show as birds from a breeder that is striving for the standard of perfection or showing. Not to say they can't show but "in general" the judge would see them as a production bird.
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    There are other differences as well. All this depends on what is important to the flock keeper's vision.

    Hatchery birds are bred in rather huge flocks, willy nilly, so the look and type degrade after many years, and yes, as mentioned, in a true poultry show, they'd not likely even pass muster and allowed to compete. They'd be DQed in the majority of cases. Hatchery birds are usually tilted toward being egg layers. Good breeders, who are passionate about the birds, can produce not only stunning show birds, but in many cases, the true bred bird is larger, meatier, slower to mature and have more instincts such as foraging and especially a broody tendency, something that is increasingly rare many hatchery stock birds.

    Again, it all depends on what your goals are. If you're going to breed and wish to preserve the old, heritage birds, then you want breeder stock. If all you want is some friendly, egg laying pets for the back yard, the hatchery stock is just fine.
    1 person likes this.

  8. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Songster

    Mar 30, 2012
    SE Missouri
    Fred i only have experience in my 6 hatcherys chicks and 22 breeder bred but my hatchery chickens are Buff orps and Light Brahmas.They all forage well.
    Generally I believe you may be right ... no select breeding. to SHOW quality but NOT ALL breeders breed better chickens than some hatchery
    Granted show quality is many genrations to get great qualities they have so not easy if at all to get these in hatchery.

    MY Buff orps are narrow but friendly since grown but Not the greatest looks for sure....Just a chicken but good egglayers.

    But MY LBs are very friendly big round huge white butter balls.Really Almost round
    They came from Cackle Hatchery which has some ppl on their website that have shown their chickens and won some ribbons

    Mine Im sure dont have perfect show coloring and maybe a few other things i dont know about and tails dont stand out well all the time in a" u" shape but their form seems nice to me.
    I ALSO have one show quality line LIght Brahma roo 14 weeks old.Georgie

    His black isnt that great either but possibly it changes when they molt? HE looks like the girls do but not round yet. or as big
    NOne of mine have molted yet. Hens are 10 months.

    Show quality posiitves
    .Georgie and his clutchlings all 10 were VERY friendly VERY calm even as new chicks the BEST i have had so i see where breeding came in there as i am sure in chickens as in dogs the personlity HAS to be calm and friendly to show....
    .Why it IS good to get QUALITY in either in dogs or chickens that doesnt have to do with ..."you dont NEED a show chicken (DOG)"
    but even so ..... you DO want the best personality you can get and looks

    The rest of my flock are all breeders chickens and are from VERY Friendly to very flighty some the same breed but different colors.All from different breeders.
    None are show quality that i am aware of though.

    All are 15 weeks and under so not sure if they are at their best yet.
    I cant say yet for good looks i guess. only say for personality.
    I hatched all of them. so its not enviroment that makes them different but breeding personalities
    Most of mine are Brahmas and Orps
    So i agree with you and sort of dont, in some ways.The distinction lays in who the breeder is and is he just breeding for quantity or really trying for a good looking quality bird..
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2012

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