We made it! 2018 brings us to celebrate our 100th year. Reaching this milestone has been a journey of four generations of the Dunlap family. From my grandfather, Oscar Dunlap who started the hatchery in 1918 in Junction City, Oregon to myself, wife and children. We have created a large multi-farm company that employs forty plus employees that are considered to be family. We are always striving to provide you with quality chicks and poultry supplies.
Shortly after starting their business, Oscar and Vida Dunlap moved the operation to Caldwell, Idaho and raised poultry on their farm. The eggs were hatched in redwood incubators which involved turning the eggs by hand several times a day. Local farmers picked up chicks at their store. Chicks were shipped through the postal service and were also transported by train. Unsold chicks were kept and raised to sell as pullets.
My father, Ralph Dunlap moved the hatchery to a larger parcel of land in Caldwell in the 1940’s. Today, this farm is still used for our retail outlet and 12,000 breeder hens. In the 1950’s, new Jamesway incubators were purchased. These machines were made out of metal and had automatic turners. During this period, my father married Faye York and three children were born and raised at the farm. We all learned to work on the farm and take care of poultry.
During the early 1970’s, the Idaho poultry farmers were hit by hard times and Marek’s disease. Dunlap hatchery was one of the two hatcheries that survived this devastation. With the closure of so many hatcheries, our facility grew in size. We started supplying customers, both individual and farm stores across the west coast states. Many of our chicks we delivered in our own transport vans.
In 1979, I graduated high school, went to college and received a degree in poultry science in 1985. Upon returning from school I realized that if we were to continue growing as a company, we would have to make changes. Our product line went from just chickens to include ducks, geese, turkeys, and game birds. About this time, I met my wife Angie, who many of you have talked to over the years. She is my right hand and takes care of many things in the business besides me. Together we purchased our second farm to expand our poultry business and to produce crops for our retail store and breeder flocks.
The nineties brought children into our life. Jake and Luke were born. Both boys work on the farm, Jake learning the poultry side of the business, while Luke, since the early age of five or six, the farming side. Both boys have become very skilled and we as parents have been pleased with their responsibility as they have grown.
Our newer farm now has several poultry houses adding several thousand breeders to our existing breeder farm. Two hatchery buildings have been built adding new incubators which can incubate in excess of 800,000 eggs. To support this production, a large warehouse was constructed to provide storage for shipping boxes and equipment.
Today, we look back and see many changes. We now hatch in excess of two million chicks per year. Over sixty breeds of poultry are hatched weekly, from quail to geese. We supply chicks to over 400 stores, not to mention many loyal individual customers. Our website,www.dunlaphatcherypoultry.com continues to grow to provide both poultry and poultry equipment for sale.
Being the second oldest hatchery in the United States is an accomplishment that we are proud of. To us, it shows that we must be doing things right- providing good products and services to our customers. We at Dunlap’s are a family run business right down to our employees. Should you have any questions, please call us, visit our website, or stop by our show room. We have 100 years of experience to provide you.