We’ve told you folks much about the History of our company and how it was founded by Judy’s Grandfather and my Great Grandfather Charles Marion. He was known to most as Charley, and grew up on the family homestead in the middle of southwest Missouri’s Ozarks. He and his brothers worked their father’s milling business, but after a few years, he left his share to his brothers and began plans for a poultry hatchery. After some extended research it has come to my attention that it was in fact 1921, not 1922, when he made his 280-acre farm the basis lot for raising the “world’s greatest hens” and started supplying the public’s poultry demands. As the years progressed, his attention focused on genetics and environment and C. M. Estes Hatchery became nationally recognized for breed excellence and customer service.
His son Charles Marvin (1928-2015) and wife Rowena(1931-1019) took over the business after his father passed. As a couple they both kept the business alive for a number of years when, Marvin’s son Mark (1948-2005) entered the business. His new business ideas led the hatchery into a whole new market. The wholesale business of Estes Hatchery began when Mark worked with feed stores and convinced them to sell live poultry to increase their feed sales.
Today, our hatchery’s main business is wholesale; however, the retail business that Charley started in 1921 is still growing. We have experienced some rather tragic losses over the last 15 years starting with Mark in 2005, followed by Marvin in the summer of 2015, then in Oct 2019 we lost of our beloved “ROCK” Rowena unexpectedly. However, third generation Judy Estes Keitzer, along her Husband Keith, plus son Sean Richardson (4th gen), and his children fifth generation Abbey and younger brother Wyatt, will be carrying the torch into the new millennium holding onto the same standards for breed quality and customer satisfaction that Charley did over ninety years before.
Our family could not have kept this business running throughout the years without the help of our essential seasonal employees. As the hatchery improves with age, new building additions and continual family attention are essential to handling the larger hatching capacity and growing customer base.The Estes family is proud of Charley’s beginnings and their strong reputation for being a family owned and operated business. Various other family members including cousins, spouses and close friends give their continued support to the family business.
The reputation for being a focused, dedicated business specializing in not only Estes’ specific breeds, but specialty breeds and custom hatching, continues to be nationally recognized. Shipping throughout the fifty states, Estes still carries through with the “100% Live Delivery Guarantee.” The breeds carried in chickens, ducks, turkeys, and many others, provide a sound foundation for the public’s poultry needs. The family puts in countless hours to keep their business growing as time moves on. Estes Hatchery LLC will continue to grow and improve with its strong past and bright future. This year, in 2021, we will have been serving the needs of our valued customers for 100 years. That marks a century we’ve been helping folks. We are so proud and blessed to still be around after all these years. Not many companies can say that. But, we couldn’t have done it without you, our loyal customers. So, we would like to take this opportunity to say, “Thank You, our customers, for your 100 year’s worth of business!” May we keep serving you as long as we possibly can.
On a side note. Last year was an unexpectedly busy year due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Keeping that in mind, be sure to get your orders in as early as you possibly can this year due to the high demand of self sustainable food sources like chicken, and the eggs they produce. We don’t know how long Covid-19 will last, but we will do our very best to keep our supply chain running so none of you will go without.
Sean Richardson, Judy Estes Keitzer, and Husband Keith