In 1918 Dunlap Hatchery was established by Oscar Dunlap in Junction City, Oregon. Shortly thereafter, He moved the operation to Caldwell, Idaho. There have been many changes since then. In the early years of the poultry industry most people had a few chickens and lived on a farm. Oscar and his wife, Vida, raised poultry on their farm and hatched chicks in their Redwood incubators for the local farmers. Hatching eggs were all hand turned several times per day. Chicks were picked up at our retail store or shipped by train or mail. Poultry that was not sold, was raised and later sold as fryers or started pullets.
In the 1940's Oscar's son, Ralph, moved the Hatchery to a larger parcel of land in Caldwell, where we continue to do business today. A new retail store, hatchery and four breeder houses were built. New Jamesway incubators were added in the 1950's. They were modern machines of metal construction with automatic egg turners. More breeds of poultry were added to the farm, including one that Ralph developed himself, the Austra White. This bird was a hybrid Leghorn that was very popular. Ralphs' family grew with his marriage to Faye in the late 50's and children in the early 60's. During the 1970's Marek's disease spread throughout the poultry industry and many poultry operations closed. Dunlap Hatchery was one of only two hatcheries to remain open in Idaho. With the closure of so many hatcheries, Dunlap's again expanded their hatching capacity by double. To transport larger amounts of birds to Montana, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah, we began delivering chicks by van.
Gregg Dunlap returned from college in 1985, after graduating with a degree in poultry science, to manage the hatchery. The first expansion made, was to include ducks, geese, turkeys and game birds to our poultry varieties. We also started shipping more equipment by mail.
The business continued to grow during the 1990's, as did Greggs' family, with His marriage to Angie, kids, and the purchase of an additional farm outside Caldwell. A new hatching facility was built and filled with state of the art computerized incubators.
The turn of the century brought us our first new breeder barn in 60 years. Our product catalog was completely made over offering a colorized version of our poultry and equipment. We now supplied over 300 farm stores with chicks in addition to thousands of individual customers. The retirement of two hatcheries on the west coast again put Dunlap Hatchery on the road to expansion. In 2009 we built another 5000 sq ft hatching facility. Incubation capacity was expanded to 500,000 eggs weekly. More than 50 varieties of birds are now available along with over 100 different poultry equipment products. Chicks hatched during the 2011 hatching season were nearly 2,000,000.
Here we are in 2012. Our company is approaching 100 years in business. This year we have increased our hatching egg capacity to 600,000 eggs weekly. We are adding some new breeds to our line up this year, along with a couple we picked up in 2011. A new breed we are excited to offer this year is the Red Ranger. Probably the best red broiler I have ever seen. Not a bad layer either. The new Turken you will find bigger and tastier than a lot of birds on the market. The Sagitta, a red dual purpose and the Amber White, both of which lay brown eggs were new in 2011 and are available again. We are also offering Blue Laced Red Wyndotte in standard size along with Mini Silver Appleyard ducks in limited supply. Our breeding flocks have been expanded enabling us to provide more chicks. The new product catalog has many new items this years that we are proud to offer.
The next few years will bring many changes to our hatchery. We will be upgrading our breeding houses (by keith glasco
). Our new poultry houses will have many features including better ventilation, newly designed roosting areas, and increased natural daylight. Houses will also include a different approach to an old concept. Outdoor runs that will allow birds to exercise, enjoy the sun and scratch around.
Being the second oldest hatchery in the United States makes us proud of our business and confident that we can provide you with quality poultry. Our business is family run. From collecting eggs to shipping your chicks, someone in the Dunlap family is ensuring that you receive only the best poultry available. We now have over 400 farm stores carrying our poultry and thousands of individual customers. Please call if we can help you with your poultry needs.