If you are looking to buy chickens or other poultry in the Brisbane and surrounding areas it’s hard to go past Heritage Hatching & Hens as the place to go.
Brisbane based chicken breeder Heritage Hatching & Hens has turned a hobby into a growing small business in selling purebred chickens and in my opinion are one of the best poultry breeders in the region.
Heritage Hatching & Hens is run by husband and wife Rob and Sarah Joyce who have decades of experience in the poultry industry. I caught up with Rob briefly the other day when I collected my Pekin ducklings and we had a quick chat about their business. At the time, Rob was on his way back from delivering poultry to customers up the Sunshine Coast – a service he does for free.
An excerpt of Heritage Hatching & Hens website home page (image above)
So as I collected my four Pekin ducklings (already big enough not to require brooding anymore, which is handy) we had a quick chat about Heritage Hatching & Hens – I told Rob I was a blogger and was interested to hear his story but in all truth I was already very impressed with their service and communication from online advice on poultry through to ordering and purchasing so I just wanted a bit more info to write about.
It turns out after decades involved in the poultry industry Rob and Sarah decided to start up Heritage Hatchlings & Hens as a small enterprise to see how it would go and in just a few years they’ve gone from husband and wife business to employing 5 staff!
Rob says, they’ve been pleasantly surprised at the growth in their business and he attributes it to a resurgence in people wanting to go “back to basics” and keep poultry for eggs in their own backyard. However, as he vigorously pointed out chickens aren’t just great egg producers they are terrific in the garden as a compost/fertiliser maker and pest control machine. I totally agree.
Other services besides selling chickens
Heritage Hatchlings & Hens don’t just breed and sell poultry they also collect unwanted hens and roosters to re-home and help people out who don’t want to keep poultry anymore. Unwanted hens and roosters are quite common for a number of reasons such as: hatching programs (like in schools) where cute little chicks outgrow their welcome into large hens or roosters; or older hens which have finished laying but still have a few good years of living to go.
People may wonder what use is a hen that doesn’t lay eggs. Well, there’s actually lots these old chooks can do in showing their worth without having to lay an egg a day. For instance, old chickens are still great scratchers and compost makers – actually, because they don’t lay eggs they’ve got more time to work in the garden! Therefore, Rob and Sarah collect these “unwanted” hens and re-home them with people who would like a free gardener without the eggs – it’s a win-win.
There is one caveat though and this is regarding roosters, Rob tells me they will only collect and re-home purebred roosters because there is actually a demand for these birds for breeding. Cross-bred roosters are unfortunately only really good for coq au vin so they won’t be accepted. Often, Rob will collect a rooster from a customer and offload the same bird to another customer who was looking for a purebred rooster on the same round trip!
But as I alluded to earlier, Heritage Hatching & Hens don’t only breed chickens they also breed and sell other poultry like ducks and quail. Plus, they have an online shop selling all poultry related equipment and feed. And that’s not all… They also provide a hatching program to appropriate venues like: Kindergartens, Schools, Nursing homes, and even private residences – see their website for details.
Speaking of their website, even if you are not wanting to buy any poultry at this stage their website is still worth a browse to check out the different breeds they have and recommend. I certainly enjoy checking out all the rare heritage breeds and rack my brain for ways I can fit just a few more colours into my already bulging flock.
In the meantime, my ducklings are going great and at the end of the day this post is more of a referral than a total review and I give Heritage Hatching & Hens “5 stars” whilst wishing them all the best in the future. So if you are after some poultry for your backyard and you reside around Brisbane or as far out as Toowoomba, Gold Coast, or Sunshine Coast and in between then check out their website here and start making your poultry wish list a reality!
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Mark Valencia – Editor SSM
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