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Breeding Selection

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have coturnix males in greater numbers than needed, they are full grown. I need to decide who to keep for future breeding, and who to eat.


They are all the same age, the oldest are about 3 months older than the rest.  


So how do you select males to keep, and males to eat?


I did notice that some males pecked others when they were a bit overcrowded whilst in the brooder. And wonderered, 'Should I breed the more dominant and aggressive of males, or the less aggressive picked on one's'.


I am guessing natural selection would pick the aggressive ones to breed, but I can see how that kind of aggression isn't necessarily desirable for keeping our general population happy, docile, etc.


I am also not trying to get any selective 'look' in future generations, but certainly some are more attractive than others.


Please help me understand your typical criteria for deciding who to keep and who to eat.


Thanks for all your insights and opinions.

post #2 of 9

In general, I think coturnix people put them on a scale and keep the heaviest ones :) I wouldn't keep the ones being picked on, as they are likely to be weaker birds. If you have any that neither picked on others or were picked on themselves, that would probably be the best keepers.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks DK.  That leaves a few good keepers.  


Among brown/jumbo are there any specific colorations, darker versus lighter, or rustier etc to look for, that would increase the odds of getting any natural mutations?

post #4 of 9

Very interesting question so had to reply to keep an eye on the answers as my daughter is in the process of building up her breeding stock and has more males than needed so we need to sell some. 


Not much help to you but great question.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Del1977.  Hopefully we get a little more input. 


I happened to notice one scruffy male, not too large, being aggressive(trying to breed) with females with no success, it was interrupted and deterred by a healthier looking male, that the females don't seem to mind.  As the scruffy male has more or less been 'cast out' and exhibits no characteristics or colorations that are special, and the hens dont care for him, it will not be a breeder.


Hope I'm going about this the best way.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Just noticed my only A&M roo is increasingly aggressive and territorial, to the point of pecking others at the watering and food station, even drawing blood on a hen. Hen is with a young batch of hens.  The roo will be labeled as a 'kill after successful breeding' and will go into the cat walk/separated cage.


Before others jump in, there is plenty of feeding and watering room... they will be getting more watering stations anyway, possibly a separator between the two main coveys, in the common area.


The roo would be marked for death immediately after observing behavior, if it weren't my only A&M roo.


This is more of a diary at this point, I'm really hoping others jump in soon with some more advice for breeding selection.

post #7 of 9
I also tries to filter out the males with vague chest colors and the excessively loud ones.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks teakian. Wiĺl keep that in mind also.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Observed males for a while, banded the most aggressive ones with an ankle band marked for death. I removed the ones that attacked or pecked unprovoked, without food or water in the vicinity to be protective over.


Found some quotes on the forum that seem to support my approach to breeding selection:



"I would not breed bullies or hatch their eggs. You are only continuing the line of anxious, bad personality birds. Only breed and hatch from calm, healthy, good natured birds."



"If he's bullying everyone, then you probably have a bad rooster & I agree it's a bad idea to breed him."

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