Image by Bianca Ackermann

Our Purpose & Goals

Specializing in Rare,  Endangered and
Hard to Find Chicken Breeding Stock


Our Purpose and Goals

1. Breeding Stock:  We are a breeder of quality breeding stock. We are not new to chickens, but new to the hatchery business. Our flock is new and has been shipped or picked up from all over the country.  We began setting up breeding pens in June 2021. Most of the breeding stock has been hand raised from hatching eggs or very young chicks. These are the birds that are kept in individual breeding pens to remain pure. Breeding pens are not open to the public to control bio-security for the health of our birds and to not accidentally pass anything on to our customers.

2. Standard of Perfection:  Not all breeds are accepted by the American Poultry Association.  For those that are accepted, a written standard of perfection is what the judge looks for in each bird that shows. Lets face it, "Standard of Perfection" No person or animal is ever going to be perfect. But we have this as a goal and try our best to achieve this goal.  All of our chickens are kept in separate breeder pens to avoid mixed breeding and keep every breed pure. Our stock has been acquired all across the United States from well known quality breeders to assure the best SOP we can start out with. Thus saving years of work to achieve the same goal. 

3. Pet Quality Birds:  In any hatchery, not all of our birds will  meet qualifications to show. Not every chick hatched will be perfect and those must be culled. Also, some of the rare breeds and colorings are not yet accepted by the American Poultry Association. Some of the endangered chickens were once previously accepted by the APA but are no longer due to their lack of availability. This doesn't mean that they don't make beautiful and exceptional quality birds. It just means they are not qualified to show. No matter what breed or bird it is, we work to provide that same quality in all of our birds and for all of our customers. These must be sold as pet quality. Pet quality doesn't necessarily mean the quality of the bird is lower, it just means, in this case, there is some reason they are not qualified to show.  We don't ever order from corporate hatcheries, and we don't ever make barnyard mixes. Our goal and our purpose is to keep the breeds pure and maintain quality. On occasion we may experiment with a project on purpose.  Project birds create new colors or new breeds, but are not yet accepted by the APA and will be sold as pet quality. This is not to say that certain breeders or chicken fanciers do not find the bird worth the extra cost.  Our premium silkie pen has some beautiful birds that for some reason do not meet SOP. 

4. Rare, and Endangered birds. We want to make a difference with endangered breeds and help bring them back from the brink of extinction. 
We also work to find rare breed varieties that people can not find or breed for their selves. Some of our endangered birds are APA accepted and some are not. Some may have a historical record of low egg laying rates and this may be why the bird is endangered Those who purchase endangered birds should have honesty and integrity to keep the bird pure and protected. To try their best to increase the numbers of the breed to keep it from becoming extinct. 

5. NPIP: As part of the National Poultry Improvement Program disease control is the main purpose. All across the country we are well versed in the concept of disease control at this time of covid. Chickens can catch disease as well.  Most poultry or avian disease is carried in from wild birds. Other sources include people's shoes, car and truck tires that have driven down the road, and other hatcheries. For this reason, the USPS requires NPIP for shipping live birds. To become NPIP certified, the flock must be tested by a certified testing agent and given specific blood test each year. There is still no guarantee that birds will not acquire a contagious disease through the process of being shipped. Shipping also places undue stress on the bird, causing their immune system to be lowered. 

6. Organic, Omega 3 Eating Eggs: Chickens bred specifically for laying eating eggs are allowed to be pastured. Better. These hens have a separate area from the breeding flock so they can be used specifically for organic eggs. Raising organic chickens require a lot of work since they can not have any antibiotics, no hormones and any feed they are given must be labled as organic. Organic feed is quite expensive and thus reason for organic eggs to cost more. All chickens are provided with omega 3 for healthier eggs.  Omega 3 eggs have been researched and contain higher omega 3 levels and lower omega 6 levels.  A normal grocery store egg will contain high omega 6 levels. Omega 6 is not  healthy and contains bad fat. Omega 3 is heart, eye and inflammation healthy. The main difference that organic eggs provide from other eggs might be for people who are sensitive to antibiotics or hormones that could be passed through the egg. Otherwise there is no other difference. We strive for protection of our flock so that all birds are healthy. 

7. Pastured Chickens are primarily living off the land. For organic eggs, the land must be free from pesticides or other chemicals. They do not live in an enclosed environment except for conditions or circumstances related to their welfare. Their food is primarily natural from foraging. Any feed they do recieve must be labeled as organic and must not contain any animal by products. I personally believe this is beneficial for the health and sturdiness of the chicken and also that of our customers. Yolks of pastured chickens are more firm, darker, and more compact.  These are true farm fresh eggs  Not just eggs from any chicken raised on a location called a farm. 

8. Education:  With a dad who was a teacher, principal and one who held many degrees, I was raised with a high value for learning. The piano teacher in me loves to share all of the areas I have studied, researched, experimented with and learned to educate others.  Raising any animal, including chickens, provide many life lessons just from observation.   Far m consider this as a daily way of life. But there are many people who have never had the opportunity to experience holding a baby chick or seeing it grow and move inside the egg. Observing the creation of any species is like seeing a miracle every single time. With every individual egg, its awesome to watch God's beauty of nature. Its fun to hold a real live warm fuzzy.  Its fun to continually learn and gain experience with different breeds and observe their different characteristics and personalities. It's a privilege  to have the honor of sharing this experience and the beauty of God's creation with those who have not had this wonderful opportunity. 

Story & Background

Before I was ever born, I was being taught to love birds. Parakeets were introduced into the United States in the 1940's. My parents married in 1955 and Mom acquired a parakeet as a pet.  Perky was the name of the pet parakeet  and Mom  taught him to say over 200 words and sentences. Perky lived in my room as a child for 11 years.
Mom also had a pet chicken when she was a child. The chickens name was Cheep Cheep.  Cheep Cheep lived under their peer and beam house and mom would crawl under the house to gather the eggs. One day Cheep Cheep was the victim of a dog attack and Mom told of how Grandad would go under the house to retrieve Cheep Cheep and doctor her wounds. Grandad, who was a fireman, sprinkled penicillin powder and stitched up the bird for her. 

Mom and I shared our love of birds and passed it down to my daughter as well. I had many more parakeets and my daughter had her own. Plus she raised finches as well. 

Later, when my grandsons' were about four years old, we bought them some Easter chicks. From there, my interest in chickens grew. Chickens provide numerous breeds, colors, and sizes, as well as egg sizes, shapes and colors. Chickens provide a vast field of information. Chickens are not all the same. Different breeds have different personalities. Some are more sturdy and healthy and others are sensitive.  Alot about life can be learned from observing chickens, birds, or any animals in general. Chickens are social, they huddle together at night or when its cold. They tend to their young, and some adopt the young of others. Many roosters are good daddy's even to adopted chicks from other breeds. Some chickens are intelligent while others, not so much. They are entertaining, loveable, and make you laugh. It all depends on how you treat them and how much time you handle them. This is true of other types of birds as well. 

Mom taught me to love birds.  She taught me how to hold them, bathe them, and raise them. She taught me how to care for a sick bird and was there to share in the joy of raising tiny little finches.  She always came to see new chickens and enjoyed loving on the fuzzy warm baby chicks. For this reason, I dedicate this website to her.  She would've had so much fun getting to candle the eggs and watch them grow inside the egg and hatch out. 

Although I've raised all kinds of birds all my life, I'm still new to hatching them. Learning how to work the incubator for shipped eggs seems to be a skill and an art. But its always so exciting to watch and very addicting. 

It is my hope, with my small hatchery, to do what we can do with new and developing breeds, and saving endangered breeds. 

Text or message me on facebook if you have any questions or would like to place an order. Or fill out the contact us form on this website to send an email. 

Van Cleave Ranch is a member of the American Poultry Association,. We are members of Breeders Clubs for most of the breeds we own. The American Poultry Association and the Breeders Clubs provide educational and show opportunities.  Although I do no plan to show chickens.  I do enjoy attending the shows to learn more and quality for APA Standards of Perfection even for birds that are not APA recognized. 

Thank you for visiting the website.