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Q: Are your birds "show-quality"?

A:

Ours is an NPIP hatchery and all of our birds are purebred. The exceptions are designer hybrids, Easter Eggers, and the Red Stars which are a hybrid "mixed breeds" by nature. Some breeds are purebred but do not have APA standards yet, for instance Marans and some other breeds that are rare to this country. In all cases where it is possible, our birds are selected to conform to the APA standard of perfection as well as health and docility. (Some of the rare breeds and varieties are not APA recognized, yet.)

For this reason, our birds are often shown, and many times win! 4Hers particularly like that they can order one each of many breeds, so they can have a real selection of birds to show. However, our birds are not bred specifically and ONLY for show, meaning physical characteristics are not our only concern. They are bred with the needs of the typical backyard chicken keeper in mind. Hardiness, egg laying capability, egg color, friendliness, and so forth are also important, because those things are important to our customers.

Even when purchasing from a breeder of show birds, not every bird will make good show material--even the prettiest birds may not have the personality for it. This is why no one can guarantee their chicks are "show quality." The honest thing to say is that chicks may have show potential, or that they come from show lines (meaning mother, father, grandfather, etc, have won shows). However, even breeders may hatch hundreds of birds from very good lines before they find the one they feel will be a grand champion at a poultry show.

Don't forget, too, that true "show" birds are often not the best layers, as they are selected ONLY for conformity to breed appearance standards rather than, say, egg laying or egg color. We don't know of a hatchery that breeds for show only. Reputable hatcheries select to standard, and breed for health and docility so you have a well-rounded bird for the breed, as opposed to a bird that is selected exclusively for, say, extra dark color but is flighty or doesn't lay well.

If you are interested in exhibiting your birds at poultry shows, you will need to pay extra attention to biosecurity, since your birds will often be exposed to other flocks, and everything they might carry. For tips and advice on this subject, you will want to watch this YouTube video: