Breeding Poultry 101
Breeding your own birds is an exciting adventure! There is nothing more satisfying then watching happy, healthy chicks prosper.
If you have never raised (reared) birds before, now is your time! Be advised, you will have a critical role in the future of your chicks. Breeding poultry requires a great deal of knowledge, time and patients. A breeder must know the needs of each bird. Breeding the healthiest birds will yield the most rewarding and profitable experience - I guarantee it!
Increasingly, farms have been moving their focus from chickens to other birds for meat and eggs. Poultry such as quail, pheasant, partridge, goose, duck, etc are all gaining popularity in the market. Each bird requires its own optimal breeding conditions and it is important to understand these conditions.
"I now raise quail for meat and eggs "
- Bobby R.
Rearing Large & Small Species
Each type of farm bird requires a unique dietary plan and optimal conditions. You will need to ensure each bird is situated with the perfect environment. This includes temperature, lighting, and often pressure/humidity.
Now to the equipment...There is no shortage of equipment on the market for raising poultry but some units do prove better than others. For example, if you are rearing quail, we suggest using a quail cage that maintains enough feed, water, and comfort for the quail year-round. Hatching Time's patented quail cages are equipped with automatic drinker systems and come with feed-loss grills to save feed, further saving you money on feed. These two features alone will make the process a lot easier. For more features and benefits of the quail cages, click here.
Did I mention Hatching Time's cages and brooders are made from COMFORTPLASTTM plastics? This patented material is durable, flexible, and rust-proof! Eliminating rust within the bird's home will yield better results every time. So why not metal? One huge problem with a lot of metal cages and brooders on the market now is that they rust. Once rust begins to cover the floors and walls of your units, you will see an increase in foot problems and disease. It is important to prevent disease and eliminate the potential spread of disease throughout your flock.
"Raising chickens and quail have been very rewarding"
- Betty L.
Now to cost... We all know how unsatisfying it is to throw out old metal equipment that has rusted away. With the cost to replace the WHOLE system, it gets very pricey. I would suggest plastic as it can be easily sanitized and will last a lot longer than metal. Your birds will thank you for keeping them clean!
Due to the varying weights and sizes of poultry, a smart breeder must have the proper plucking equipment. A good example is the quail plucker from Hatching Time. This quail plucker can pluck up to 5 quail at once! Also, the plucker's drum is constructed from food-grade plastic for clean plucking. Further, the plucker boasts a light-weight portable design.
Want to pluck turkeys? Hatching Time's turkey plucker provides even more power than the quail plucker and allows for whole turkeys to be put in the drum. You can view the full selection of feather plucker's here.
Written by Ryan Flanagan
Co-Founder | Hatching Time
Ryan enjoys helping clients raise backyard poultry in order to foster a self-sustainable lifestyle.