I would like to fill you in on a bit of HOOVER’S HATCHERY history…our hatchery was purchased by Robert and Helen Hoover in 1942 and has been in its present location at 205 Chickasaw Street in Rudd, Iowa since 1944. The hatchery stands on the site of the old Rudd Creamery. Robert’s father, Arthur, was a partner in the business until l953. When Robert started the hatchery, it was primarily for hatching egg type chickens that were hatched for laying flocks. And there was a general produce business, including handling of feed, eggs and chickens for laying and market.
The demand for laying chickens dwindled in the 1970’s and the hatching emphasis shifted from the layers to the then, fast growing demand for the meat type chicks…broilers. And HOOVER’S HATCHERY began to acquire dealers throughout the area and the United States to sell our baby chicks.
In 1978 HOOVER’S HATCHERY was incorporated when my late husband, Douglas, I and two other individuals started buying shares in the company….Robert Hoover “semi" retired. Robert may have retired from the hatchery but he never lost his desire and love for the hatchery business……he maintained his love for the hatchery until his death in February of 2006 at the age of 96!
On June 28, 2002, I lost the love of my life, my working companion and my inspiration in a tragic accident. After much thought and with the knowledge that Doug had a great fondness for the hatchery and would not want me to give it up and not carry out our “dream”, I decided with much determination to move forward.
Then approximately a year later I became the sole owner of HOOVER’S HATCHERY …as I sometimes say “jack of all trades, master of none!”
HOOVER’S HATCHERY currently has l5-breeding flocks for our various egg type layers located north of Floyd, in the Amish communities near Oelwein/Hazelton, Iowa and Edgewood, Iowa and Mennonite communities in our area. We purchase our Broiler hatching eggs from a very reputable company in Hot Springs, Arkansas and they are delivered to us weekly.
At the time that our hatchery was founded in 1942, there were approximately 800 hatcheries in the State of Iowa. Currently there are approximately 5 hatcheries doing the same type of hatching that we do.
The hatchery business has changed in many ways since 1942, but you still hatch an egg in the same way that you did then! We are a small hatchery in a small town hoping that our chicks, by way of delivery on our trucks, via the United States Post Office and the airlines, find a way to your homes.
I remember, as a young girl growing up on an Iowa farm, it was my responsibility to help my Dad with our chores on the farm. In those days, we had milking cows, hogs, we raised capons at one time and we had a few laying hens. My job was to gather the eggs each day before and after school. I had instructions from Dad to always get all the eggs from the nests even if a hen was setting on that nest. And I HATED that job because the hen always pecked at my hands. I remember saying over and over to Dad that one thing I would never do when I “grew up” was have anything to do with chickens!
Even though things have changed in the hatchery business, even though obviously I changed my mind about “not having anything to do with chickens” one thing will never change as far as I am concerned. Our hatchery will always be a “family” orientated hatchery that has one goal….to provide each and every customer with the best quality baby chicks available at the most affordable prices and deal with you, our customers, in the friendliest manner possible.
The year 2013 brought many changes to Hoover’s Hatchery. We were “outgrowing” our existing building. We needed more room to hatch, to process orders and more office space to accommodate our additional employees answering phones and getting orders prepared for our many customers.
So we tore off 5 rooms at the back of our hatchery in order to add on to our existing building and then built a new building. We increased our area from 4800 square feet to 12,200 square feet. And we joined an existing garage building to our new building to add additional storage space.
We have added incubators and hatchers to make us much more efficient, we have a more efficient loading dock and we increased the size of our egg cooler to hold more eggs.
And in 2015, we are “stretching” our walls and adding more incubators and hatchers.
All in all we are very proud of our “new” hatchery – we are certain it will enable us to service you even better!
We now slip the pages of our calendars to 2015. Many of our great customers want their own meat, eggs and want to see their small flocks running around their yards. We would like to fulfill your chicken dreams. We feel that our business is healthy because of our special customers, but it is never as healthy as when, like a chicken, we must do a certain amount of “scratching” for what we get! We will do this by serving you all to the best of our ability. We do appreciate EACH and EVERY ONE of you!