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Chickens For Hackle?


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#1 bassrecord

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:28 AM

Anyone growing chickens for hackle? My son is considering it since good neck and saddle are getting scarce and pricey here in Pacific NW.

John

#2 toadfrog

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:22 PM

The hackle sold for fly tying are from genetically bred chickens . VEEEERY expensive . But if you don't need 8'' long feathers . Check this out Breeds of Chicken

#3 toadfrog

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 11:25 PM

The hackle sold for fly tying are from genetically bred chickens . VEEEERY expensive . But if you don't need 8'' long feathers . Check this out Breeds of Chicken

By the way you can get an incubator just buy the eggs and hatch them . Probably save a few bucks that way . If you need help just give a yelp.

#4 bassrecord

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 04:46 PM

What breed on your list can be raised that fly fishermen buy? Where can they buy eggs or chicks?

Son and daughter-in-law currently raise 15-20 bantam and other chix on free range flat land. He said he might bump up to 50-75 hackle chix and butcher/freeze meat and cure/sell skins to fly shops/fishermen. He said he'd make coops that slide so chix could free range.

Last weekend we all went to the Oregon State Fair in Salem and they only had about 40-50 chix total! The birds looked ratty, pecked, beat up and pretty sad. No one was there to answer their questions.

I know nothing about what I'm talking about<g>

Thanks for your help.
John

#5 toadfrog

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Posted 03 September 2011 - 10:47 AM

Just google chicken hatcheries . Most hatcheries sell hatching eggs . If you buy an incubator be sure to get one with an automatic turner in it . They will have instructions on the operation . any breed of chicken with long skinny feathers on the neck and back will work for tying your own lures . White chicken feathers take flourescent dyes the best. All feathers can be dyed . Hatcheries give discounts when buying roosters only as chicks . Once you have the chickens you don't have to kill them to get the feathers . They are like the hair on your head pluck them they will grow back. If you are going to try to raise them to sell the neck hackle and saddles you must acquire the proper permits for that . Contact your local Agriculture dept. They can help you with everything . I believe you will probably not want to be out that much time and cost . Any way you cut it it's going to be a BIG investment . Been there done that , Now days if it eats , poops , and keels over dead I don't want nothing to do with it as a means of income.

#6 Termite

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:48 AM

I raise genetic hackle chickens. You won't find any stock from hatcheries that you will get more than 5 or 6 bucks from the capes and saddles. The colors will be good but the quality and the size of the hackle for tying will be basically non-exsistant. Unless of course you are only tying very large bass and saltwater flies. I don't sell any of my stock but there is a guy on ebay selling some genetic hackle eggs for $50.00/doz. I can't advise on the quality but I can tell you that they will be better than anything you can get from a hatchery. Just as a side note, I have been selling capes and saddles for years and I'm not aware of any special permits you need to get....but you should always check in your local area. I hope this helps.

Edited by Termite, 24 April 2012 - 09:50 AM.


#7 fish4all

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Posted 19 June 2012 - 10:10 PM

I got a very nice rooster from my cousin with long thin neck feathers, good tail and wing feathers and chest feathers great for other stuff. I will try to find out what breed it was. They get all of their chickens from farm auctions for $0.25-$3 each for live birds.

#8 Anglinarcher

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

Other then Termite, I don't think you understand. 

 

At one time, in the old days, when I was a little kid, we got hackle from either China or India.  They were small necks, but if you got the right size, got lucky and got a good neck, you could tie down to a size 20 for a few feathers.  We were happy to ties down to size 14 most of the time.

 

Nothing grown in the US or Europe was good enough.  You need stiff fibers, soft quil, web free, long and narrow, and good colors.  It was not uncommon for the India or China hackle necks to come in 50 gallon barrels and you might find a dozen quality necks in it.  Yes, the species were different in India and China, but it was not like they were growing everywhere.

 

Then some crazy guy got the idea of taking the very best chickens and breading them with the very best chickens.  It was color to color, quality to quality.  The best results went into the next generation of breading, the worst results went "into the frying pan".  For years, a grizzly was the only "genetic" hackle available, black and white sucked, and other colors just did not exist.  Over time, others started to do this also.  This is what they call "genetic" hackle, and it is the same thing they do with race horses, flowers, crops, etc.

 

I cannot even remember the names of the companies right now, other the Metz.  This is something that took years of selecting the best in color and quality, tossing out the worst, breading the best.

 

If you want any old chicken, it will tie flies, but not good dry flies.  If you want quality birds that will tie professional quality dry flies, the you had better get ready for 20 years of your own breading, or you had better find a supplier that has already done the work.

 

PS, why would I sell you something that took me 20 years to develop for $50 a dozen, knowing that you will then compete with me???? :eek: