We’ve been busy over here at Humblebee Farms. Busy raising future American Bresse breeding stock, busy filling orders from our farmstead, and busy adding infrastructure to allow for growth. In a word, busy!
By fall, we expect to more than double our laying hens and introduce a new cockerel – “Peanut” – to our breeding rotation. We are encouraged by the strong interest for chickens raised like homestead chickens should be – naturally healthy, comfortable foraging, and of course good providers of eggs and meat.
All this interest, however, has led to a longer-than-desirable wait list for both hatching eggs and chicks. Currently, wait time are about 3-4 months from order date. Because of this, we are making some required changes.
American Bresse Orders limits
Until our backlog of orders is more reasonable, we are asking that all new orders be limited to 12 chicks or 1 dozen hatching eggs. We anticipate lifting this limit by late fall, when a number of new pullets should be consistently laying quality eggs.
Investing in new infrastructure, including coops, feed storage, hatching supplies, etc. is costly. With this in mind as of May 1st, our pricing is updated to reflect this. Shipping continues to be “at cost”.
With this in mind, hatching eggs will increase to $6.50 per hatching egg/ $65 per dozen and chicks will increase to $18 per chick/ $180 for dozen. All existing orders will be honored at the price listed at time of order.
Speaking of shipping, we are starting to offer chicks shipped on a limited basis. We will not ship chicks that are more than 3 days away from our zip code of 78659 unless you are willing to pay for overnight shipping.
Shipping for hatching eggs is currently $25 per dozen. Each dozen of eggs must be shipped in their own box. Shipping for chicks is $45 for up to 18 chicks. Overnight shipping is typically $65, but please contact us for an exact quote.
A Note About Quality
We appreciate your interest in naturally raised chickens. There’s a lot of work to do in order to improve the American Bresse chicken. Their natural curiosity, ability to thrive in free-range settings, fast growing-quality meat, and strong egg laying characteristics make them a prime choice for homesteaders and farmers alike who want that true dual purpose chicken. It’s worth the effort to improve this breed!
Our current focus in our breeding program is primarily health and vigor. Due to the limited genetics of American Bresse in the United States, we see it as imperative that this be the primary trait we breed for. Secondary to this is egg production and growth rate. And thirdly, appearance conformation.
American Bresse Appearance
We are seeing a number of appearance flaws from the stock we recently brought in from GF Farms. This includes lighter colored legs, a dark feather on an otherwise all-white bird, and some more light feathering of legs (usually a few tufts on the upper leg shaft). Originally I thought that the light feathering was a one-off blip on a particular group of chicks sourced from another Texas breeder. But we are seeing this with GF stock, too.
For minor appearance flaws, we are not automatically disqualifying birds from our breeding program. Instead, we evaluate holistically and score each bird on all factors before making a final decision to include or not include that bird in our breeding program. Over time, as we see the line improve we will shift our focus more towards aesthetics.
We our transparent about our priorities so you can decide what is best for your needs.