Way back in October 2014 I was able to go with a few of the North Iowa Bloggers to a local hatchery in Rudd, Iowa. Why would I want to go to a hatchery, you ask? Because it is there and a fun trip to see baby chicks! Yes, I had a selfie taken but I can’t seem to unearth it in my files so you will have to just take my word for it that I had a chicken selfie taken. I am sure it will resurface one of these days.
But back to my hatchery story. The good folks at Hoovers Hatchery in the thriving metropolis of Rudd, Iowa (population 369) invited a few of us over to take part in welcoming our Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds to their facility. She took a tour of the place and we tagged along eager to see all that they had going on. Trust me — there is a lot going on and it was really neat to be able to see the process, the equipment and the fine facilities that they have.
Mary Halsted, owner, and her son, Tony have a good handle on all things chicken in the area and are pretty proud of their growing business. I think they have a right to be proud because they have an incredible work ethic and care for each and every egg and chicken that comes out of Hoovers Hatchery.
The business was purchased in 1942 by Robert and Helen Hoover and the current facility at 205 Chickasaw Street stands on the site of the old Rudd Creamery. The business has changed and evolved over the years and in 1978 Mary and her late husband, Douglas, along with a few others were share holders when the company became incorporated. The business began to grow much to the love and devotion and care from Robert Hoover and Douglas and Mary. Mary became the sole owner soon after her husband died and has become as she likes to call it ” a jack of all trades, master of none.” She told us when we visited that she had the job of gathering the eggs when she was growing up and she absolutely hated that job because the chickens were always pecking at her. I could relate as I have vivid memories of that same thing happening to me when I visited my Grandma Bonnie’s farm and was asked to get the eggs. Ouch!
I think what impressed me most about Hoovers Hatchery is their emphasis on making sure that the chickens are well taken care of and that their customers are also well taken care of. They have renovated and added on to their facility recently in 2013 and again they will be expanding and stretching the walls a bit in 2015 by adding more incubators and hatchers. Their central location in Iowa is a very positive thing for them as they can ship the live chicks to many different locations in the United States and beyond safely. Time is of the essence when live chicks are involved and Hoovers Hatchery has found that they are able to provide the service that many folks need. I actually saw some chicks being loaded on a plane that I was flying on out of MSP and now I am wondering if they were Hoovers Hatchery chicks. I bet they were.
The hatchery has both layers and meat chickens available and they would be happy to tell you the difference between them if you ask. Their equipment and incubators are top notch and the place was clean and well kept. We were not there on a hatching day but we did get to see plenty of baby chicks on our visit and I can only imagine the level of peeping and chirping on hatch day.
The hatchery sells all kinds of chicken varieties from Red Ranger (my favorite) to Rhode Island Red to other fowl including pheasants and geese and turkeys. Trust me – they have it all and with the popularity of back yard farming these days I suspect they will be a popular place to “shop” for folks who want to get started. You can order directly from their website here. I know several people who have Hoovers Hatchery chickens including Shannon Latham at Enchanted Acres. I loved her chickens!!I know that this post is a little out of the ordinary but then I am out of the ordinary, right? I love finding new things to see and explore and there is plenty right here in North Iowa that we can be proud of. Businesses and people that are honest and hard working who care about both their product and their customers. I am happy when I can find folks like this and educate others on what they have to offer.
Do any of my readers have chickens? If so I would love to hear all about your experiences. Remember to comment for Comments for a Cause. Every comment counts! Thanks for stopping by today.