After many years of purchasing pullets (chickens) from various hatcheries across the US we arrived at the “ah-ha” moment that there is a big difference between chickens from hatcheries and those from breeders. First, I will say that there is absolutely nothing wrong in sourcing your chickens from hatcheries or the local feed store. It is convenient and in many cases instantly gratifying. On the other side of that, from someone who has maintained 300 head flocks year round there is a big disadvantage: genetics.
Hatcheries are breeders too, and many work hard to develop qualities within the breeds that they are selling. But most hatcheries are only multipliers. That is to say that genetics and over all bird quality come second to numbers. Every time we have ever tried to breed amongst our own breeds from birds sourced from hatcheries, the breed either began showing inferior qualities (crooked toes, lengthy molts, ect) or just looked completely different from what their “purebred” lineage should have given.
We started with each of the breeds of chickens that were our favorites and net us the most money at market and sourced small scale breeders with showmanship stock and a solid heritage.
While 90% of the eggs produced on our farm at sold at market or to restaurants, we do sell hatching eggs throughout most of the year but slow down (because our girls slow down- We use no artificial lighting to increase lay rate) during the winter to local families interested in the breeds we offer for backyard rearing. For more information about purchasing hatching eggs for a particular breed, please look below for links to individual breeds.
For our Black Copper Marans we were very fortunate to obtain stock from Brian P. who took over the Bev Davis Line as well as some from an entirely different line by Wade Jean. Marans are known best for their Hershey brown eggs and while you can find them from a few hatcheries the egg color is not nearly what it could be and leaves much to be desired. Of all the birds we breed, our Marans are a point of particular pride not only as a rare breed but also the amount of time we invest in strengthening the desirable genetic characteristics in subsequent generations. To learn more about our Marans Click Here.
For our Ameraucanas we really wanted to get away from the irregular colors and body types the general public is usually privy to. We wanted blue feathers ( a grey variety) that had muffs and strong genetics for lay productivity as well as for throwing blue eggs. We purchased eggs sets from various breeders across the internet through eBay and have been very happy so far. In addition, we are pursuing a new genetic line through Whitmore Farm and Northwoods Poultry both known breeders with a strong genetic pool for the traits we were interested in. To learn more about our Ameraucanas, Click Here.
Our Salmon Faverolles came to us by way of Meyer Hatchery. A Mid sized hatchery that works very hard at improving the breeds and puts breed quality before production quantity. As a whole we have been very satisfied with our flock from them but we are actively pursuing adding a new line through NorthWoods Poultry that we hope will bring us some genetic strength. For our hens we are breeding for beautiful creamy plumage with rust feathers along her back, the characteristic muffs and feathered feet as well as an easy going disposition and a consistent lay for a pink egg. To learn more about our Salmon Faverolles, Click Here.