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CAMERON, TEXAS

Ideal Poultry Through the Generations

Ideal Poultry is a family affair with nearly four generations having worked at the hatchery.

In 1937, Leo and Theo Fuchs started Ideal Poultry in Buckholts, Texas, but after only a year they moved their operation to the more centrally located city of Cameron.

“…it was natural that it was going to happen in Cameron. I mean once you put in a hatchery, you’re not moving. It’s here and it’s not going anywhere in my life time,” said Janet Crouch, Vice President.

Cameron’s location in the heart of Central Texas allows Ideal Poultry to ship their chicks from both the Austin and Houston airports and mail them from Austin and Bryan. Their location is only partially responsible for the success at Ideal Poultry.

Over the years, the poultry industry, like most industries, has seen its fair share of changes due to the rise of the Internet and Ideal Poultry was one of the only family run operations to come out on top. Part of this was because of the connections that the founders had formed over the years. Many hatcheries that decided to shut down would tell their customers about Ideal Poultry.

Since being established in 1937, ownership of Ideal Poultry has been passed down from one generation to the next. After Leo and Theo, Monroe Fuchs took over and now the third generation, Gary Fuchs, Janet Crouch and Teri Adcox each having their own roles. Gary Fuchs oversees the setting and hatching of the chicks along with farm operations. The fourth generation is starting to take over some of the responsibilities with Gary’s first son, Stephen, taking care of most of the farm operations.  While his second son, Nathan, is in charge of the setting and hatching of the eggs/poultry. Janet Crouch is in charge of sales and accounting with her son, Kevin, following in her footsteps. Teri Adcox is in charge of shipping and Internet sales.

One of the foremost non-commercial chicken hatcheries in the country, Ideal Poultry sells around four million chicks annually. The hatchery is not only one of the top non-commercial hatcheries, they also excel at breeding chickens. In the early 1950’s when Marek’s disease became a major problem in the industry it was Ideal Poultry who found a crossbreed that was more resistant and led the nation in livability with the lowest average laying house mortality. Later on, Monroe Fuchs who took over for his parents teamed up with his former professor from Texas A&M University, Dr. W. F. Krueger and head of the poultry department, together they developed the Ideal Show Strain broiler chicken, which consistently swept the competition at the Houston Livestock Show and numerous county shows.  Having studied what the judges are looking for, Monroe has offered advice to those just starting out or anyone who asked. He is a big believer in sharing what might ordinarily be thought of as “trade secrets” instead of keeping them for himself to help turn a profit.

Ideal Poultry has a longstanding relationship with Texas A&M University with many of the Fuchs’ family graduating from the college and the family supporting the poultry science program. There are four scholarships benefiting students who are enrolled in the Department of Poultry Science, one for Leo and Edna Fuchs, Monroe Fuchs, Gary & Susan Fuchs, and Janet & D.A. Crouch.  The Fuchs family has also been a guest lecturer in the poultry science classes.

The Fuchs family has a tradition of selfless leadership and generosity in the community whether that be serving on the Chamber of Commerce Board, Cameron Industrial Foundation, Cameron ISD School Board,  the Lion’s Club or other community organizations. 

One might conclude that Ideal Poultry success has come from being leaders -- leaders not only in their industry in the areas of research, breeding, and safety but also in their community. 

Cameron, Texas is home to a number of unique, successful businesses.  Businesses that have thrived through generations.   Cameron is centrally located in Texas with US and state highways providing ready access to the major populations centers within about 2.5 hours.