Monroe Cappel Babcock founded Babcock Poultry Farms and went on to become one of the legendary poultry breeders and poultry entrepreneurs of his generation.
Babcock Poultry Farms founded
Munroe Babcock was born in 1907 in Fredonia, New York near the shores of Lake Erie. His father had a poultry breeding farm and hatchery in the orchard and grape district of Western New York State. His father was a mechanical engineer who started a poultry business in 1905 primarily because of his health. Chickens were Munroe’s only playmates and he could tell all his father’s White Rock roosters apart by their looks and their crow. He started breeding chickens when he was 12 and continued into his college days and had a goal of being the best chicken breeder in the world. He studied poultry husbandry and breeding and agricultural economics at Cornell University graduating in 1931. His first job was the executive secretary for the New York State Poultry Breeders Cooperative and had charge of the Association that ran the Record of Performance and Certification in New York State. In 1935 he left the Breeders Cooperative to start a hatchery in a leased building in Ithaca financed with $2,500 from his father. In the first year of operations he sold 111,000 chicks.
Babcock entered stock in egg laying tests. During that time the Babcock Leghorns (Babcock White) became one of the pre-eminent breeds of laying hens in America. These birds set an all-time world record in egg laying tests. They were acknowledged by the entire egg industry as the top laying strain in the U.S. and Canada. In those days, the Babcock business was selling Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires and Barred Rocks as well as White Leghorns. In 1953 a crucial change in breeding took place to protect the Babcock “strain”. They started crossing their Leghorn lines and sold only males of one strain and females of another strain to produce a commercial cross for egg producers.
Babcock Leghorns held the high three-year average at egg laying tests for all pens entered over all breeders of all breeds in the US.
According to results published in the U.S.D.A., Babcock beat all competition in IOFACC during this four year streak.
The 1970’s was a period of rapid growth where the brand expanded outside of North America into Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Babcock continues to be a trusted brand all over the world and is gaining in popularity among egg producers all over the globe. From the most recent North Carolina Random Sample Tests, it can be clearly seen that the Babcock White delivers significant value to egg producers. The highest amount of eggs produced per hen housed is the direct result of the balanced breeding program of Hendrix Genetics. The birds' excellent livability, combined with their persistency in egg production and their high amount of 1st quality eggs.