In 2013, while I was in The Army and stationed at Fort Leavenworth, KS our family decided to buy our retirement home in Oskaloosa, KS. It was a farmhouse on 10 acres. Growing up a "city boy" in Saginaw, MI the opportunity to finish raising our children and grandchildren in a small quiet town was a dream come true. We decided we had to get some chickens for fresh eggs and started out with a mix of 15 chickens. The next year we added a few ducks. All were common breeds with our only intentions of being able to collect our own eggs and enjoy watching our birds free range on the property. After my retirement from The Army in 2016, I began working at a retail distribution center in Topeka, KS as a supervisor and continued to add to our backyard flock. In 2018 our youngest son graduated and we were up to six grandchildren that enjoyed watching and playing with our flock.
Around 2017, my youngest son, David, told me about these really neat all black chickens called Ayam Cemani that he wanted for our flock. He said this rare breed was about $5000 a bird. I laughed at the enormous price and told him that I would never buy a bird for that much money. In 2020, we made a trip to South Carolina to help to watch over my Father-in-Law's 100 acre farm, while he had heart surgery. Everything went well and for all the help he gave my son a trio of Ayam Cemani chickens that he had purchased at a local auction. We started raising this rare breed and selling the babies at a price that anyone wanting this unique bird could afford.
Soon after we added a few geese and turkeys and while visiting another local backyard farm we saw some beautiful pheasants. However, the cost of many of these gorgeous birds seemed out of reach. However, we did start adding some baby chicks of rare or unique breeds. We raised them and chose the best quality birds to breed. We now raise several breeds of rare and unique chickens, turkey, quail, pheasants and ducks. Our pens were large and our birds were treated as pets. They have human interaction several times a day and the majority are quite friendly.
David and I decided to breed, hatch and raise our birds on our property with all breeding groups on site. Our Goal was to offer the awesome birds at a price that anyone could afford. We only have a few breeds, but continue to add to our collection as opportunities present themselves. With that said, we have little interest in being the largest hatchery in the U.S., but instead focus on a few breeds, which allows us to spend quality time with our birds and provide them with a free range environment that mimics their natural habitat as much as possible. Our Vision is to continue to add pens and breeds, but still keep Rare Treasures Hatchery small enough to have the backyard farm feel.