Category Archives: Uncategorized


Chicken Egg Shell Colors

Many myths exist about the color of an egg’s shell. As a general rule, hens with white earlobes lay eggs with white shells, and hens with red earlobes lay eggs with brown shells.  Of course there are some exceptions to this rule.  A common belief is that eggs with colored shells are more nutritious than those with white shells.  Some people think that brown eggs taste strong, and others think brown eggs are fresher.  It is what the chicken eats and how the chicken is cared for that affects the quality and flavor of the egg.  Chickens raised in cages off the ground, without having green grass or scratch grains, garden or table scraps, don’t produce the darker, rich, orange-colored yolk.  White-shell eggs produced by hens on pasture are more nutritious than eggs with colored shells laid by caged hens.  Whether or not you prefer white eggs, brown eggs, green eggs, or spotted eggs is a matter of personal preference.  Keep in mind, though, that the shell color actually has nothing to do with the egg’s nutritional value.


Storey’s Guide to Raising Poulty

The Chicken Encyclopedia


Submitted by Darlene Kollasch




Check out our website WELPHATCHERY.COM for great gifts.

Find some of my recommendations under Other Products

Books –

Country Living Encyclopedia – This book contains practical advice, invaluable information and collected wisdom for folks and farmers in the country, city and anywhere in between. Includes how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, can peaches, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, catch a pig and cook on a wood stove. They have a very good section on chickens and other poultry.

Equipment –

Brooder Starter Kit

The Starter Kit has all of the items needed to start you baby poultry!
Enough for 25-35 chicks

Kit Includes: Heat Lamp, Red Infrared Bulb, Feeder, 2 – one quart waterers,  complete, Gro gel Supplement, Thermometer, Brooder Guard


Vitamins –

Super Broiler Vitamin- This specially formulated vitamin supplement was made with fast-growing Cornish Rock broilers and other fowl in mind. Because of their rapid growth and weight gain, these types of poultry have special nutritional needs. This supplement will help your birds reach your weight and efficiency goals. This product is safe to administer for as long as desired. 
It can be mixed with feed or water. One 16 oz. pack good for approximately 100 chicks. 



Shink Bags – These bags are an excellent option if you freeze your birds whole and they are BPA FREE. They hold up very well in the freezer. The bag prices include a zip tie for each bag and a piece of tubing with each order.

A few more suggestions are knives, egg cleaner, treats for chickens, and chicken shampoo to name a few.


            Hopefully this helps make your Christmas shopping easier.

When can I expect my chicks to arrive, and what do I do if there is a problem?

Oct2011hatchery pictures 039

When can I expect my chicks to arrive, and what do I do if there is a problem?
When placing an order with us, we will give you the expected ship date. This will be the day the chicks are hatched and actually sent out. We then allow 2 to 3 days for arrival. They are shipped priority mail through the USPS. Your phone number appears on the label on the box, so your local post office will call you when the chicks arrive for you to pick up. We guarantee live delivery, but need to be notified of any problem or loss within 48 hours. If any loss, we need to know the live count since a few extras are usually included in your order. If notified within this time frame, we can issue you a credit or a replacement order if there are enough chicks for a reshipment. When you place your order, we let you know the ship date at that time.  You’ll want to put this date on your calendar.  You are usually mailed or emailed a confirmation when you place your order, which is your reminder of the ship date.

A better understanding of the NPIP.

Wondering what NPIP is and what it stands for? It stands for National Poultry Improvement Plan.

If you receive poultry from Welp Hatchery, our INVOICE or PACKING SLIP can be used as an NPIP form for fairs.

NPIP Information and Requirements in Iowa
There has been some confusion about which birds need to be tested before entering an exhibit or fair. The regulation states:
“All poultry exhibited must come from U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid clean or equivalent flocks, or have had a negative Pullorum-Typhoid test within 90 days of public exhibition and the test must have been performed by an authorized tester.”
A bird purchased and taken home from a hatchery, U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid (PT) clean or equivalent NPIP flock does not retain this “U.S. Pullorum-Typhoid clean or equivalent flock” status at the new owner’s or exhibitor’s home, unless the new owner’s or exhibitor’s flock is a PT clean flock.
In other words, just because you purchase a bird from a PT clean flock, it does not remain PT clean once you take it to your home and your flock is not proven to be PT clean also.

The National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP) is a cooperative Federal-State-Industry program developed for controlling certain poultry diseases. NPIP consists of a variety of programs intended to prevent and control egg-transmitted, hatchery disseminated poultry diseases. NPIP identifies states, flocks, hatcheries, and dealers that meet certain disease control standards specified in the various programs. As a result, customers can buy poultry that has tested free of certain diseases or conditions. Being a member of NPIP allows greater ease in moving hatching eggs/live birds within the state, across state lines, and into other countries. In fact, most countries will not accept hatching eggs/live birds unless they can be shown to be a NPIP participant.
The Iowa Poultry Association oversees Iowa’s involvement in NPIP, regulates the importation and exportation of birds, issues permits for breeder flocks, along with administering laws and rules regarding poultry in Iowa.


By Ann Phelps.

5 tips for getting hens to lay in nest boxes.


Do your hens lay their eggs everywhere but the nest boxes? Here are a few tips to encourage them to lay eggs in the nest boxes.
• Do you have enough nest boxes: 1 box for every 4 to 5 hens is the minimum for hens to feel comfortable laying in them.
• Are your nests appealing: Make sure the nests are in a dark, quiet place in the coop. Boxes should be a few inches off the floor.
• Train them with a “nest egg”: You can purchase a fake ceramic or wood egg from a farm supply store or online. You can even use a golf ball if needed. When your chicks get ready to lay, by placing the “nest egg” in the nests, this gives them the idea that this is the place to lay.
• Keep them confined until mid-morning: Most hens lay early in the morning, so by keeping them in the coop, this will maximize the chances that they’ll lay in the nest boxes instead of finding a place outside of the coop.
• Make nests soft and comfy: If the wood shavings get depleted in the boxes, the hens tend to avoid them. Keep shavings or straw nice and fluffy to encourage laying in the boxes.

Michelle Coleman

Preparing for winter


Check out these tips for keeping your chickens warm in the coming cold months.
Tip # 1
Raise cold –hardy breeds that are suited to the temperature in your climate.
Breeds with smaller, more compact combs, such as a pea or rose combs, fare better in cold and are less prone to frostbite on their combs.
Great examples of cold-hardy breed with pea or rose combs include Ameraucanas, Buckeyes and Wyandottes.

Tip # 2
Proper coop insulation and ventilation in any poultry housing set-up is absolute for fighting frostbite and for combating deadly moisture that could contribute to a host of other ailments and diseases.

Tip # 3
Many breeds can make it through winter without supplemental heat.  But for breeds that don’t always fare well in extreme cold, it may be necessary to add supplemental heat to the coop to combat moisture, cold or a combination of the two.
Properly and professionally set up the supplemental heat in the coop.
Use poultry-safe heat lamps with guards. Only heat the coop to a reasonable, winter temperature for your area to take the edge off; it should not feel warm to you.
Reduce supplemental heating as soon as possible when temperatures begin to climb, and gradually acclimate the birds to the change of weather.

Tip # 4
Use flat roosts, as this allows birds to spread out their toes flat on the board, making them easier to cover with their feathers when they sit down for the night.

Tip # 5
Provide a snow-free zone so your birds are not uncomfortable and unsafe. A snow- free zone doesn’t have to be fancy or complex. It could simply be a run or pen with a roof, a tarped or covered area in the pasture or backyard, or simply a shoveled path around the coop.

Tip # 6
Consider your coop flooring. Chickens spend much of their day in direct contact with the ground; that environment should be free from moisture and extreme cold as much possible, especially at night. Consider employing the deep-litter method or use a bedding option that remains warm and dry in the coop. Pine shavings are a favorite because they dry faster and resist moisture better than hay or straw. Finally, consider providing perches, stumps and other places off the ground for birds to seek relief from the frozen ground while spending time outside.

Utilize the information at your disposal to set up proper housing and prepare accordingly; it could save a lot of pain and suffering for your birds in the cold winter months to come.
Source: Chickens magazine from Hobby Farms

Some interesting facts from the Iowa Poultry Association

IOWA…# 1 Egg Production

Did you know that…
• Iowa ranks #1 in the nation for egg production
• #1 in egg processing
• Iowa produced almost 16 billion eggs in 2014
• Iowa’s chicken layers consume 58 million bushels of corn and 30 million bushels of soybeans
• Iowa’s egg producers create more than 8,000 jobs annually. $2.02 billion in total sales and $424 million in seasonal income.

General Facts:
• Iowa has approximately 40 million laying hens
• Iowa produces enough eggs to provide an egg-a-day for the world for 2 days.
• An egg-a-day for China for 11 days
• An egg-a-day for all Americans for 47 days
• Iowa’s egg farmers add value to Iowa corn and soybeans – 58 million bushels of corn and 30 million bushels of soybeans

For all your poultry needs contact:

compiled by Ann Phelps

NEW Welp Hatchery Blog Page

Hello everyone! We are very excited to start our first blog! Our intention with the blog page is to keep you up to date on what’s going on at Welp Hatchery, and also give you helpful and pertinent information in the world of poultry and anything relating to it. We want to be informational, fun and helpful with our information, so please stop back every once in awhile and see what’s new!