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How do you chose breeding stock?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

So we're looking to start hatching our own chicks this year, the chickens are just crossbreds of heritage type breeds. The farm we got them from had been selecting for hardiness, etc.

They look like dual-purpose and the lady said they will sit on their own eggs and hatch their own chicks. They're pictured over here: (not all the hens are pictured) http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1080589/heritage-chickens-what-are-the-breeds

 

Now, how do we go about picking the ones we want chicks from?

What do you look for?

Any tips on what chickens to pick?

 

I'm familiar with genetics and selection since I breed and raise purebred Holland Lops and registered Kiko goats :)

post #2 of 5
What are your goals? Why do you want chickens? Select the ones for breeders that meet your goals or come closest.

As you probably know behavior and production tendencies are inherited. There is the nature versus nurture argument about how much the environment affects that but I don’t have any doubt that heredity also plays a role. So reject any that have physical deformities, don’t produce the way you want, or have behaviors you don’t want. If you want hens that go broody, hatch eggs from the hens that have gone broody. If you want a certain color of eggs, hatch eggs that color. If a chicken shows excess brutality, don’t breed it. If a hen often lays an egg that has something wrong with it, don’t hatch any of her eggs.

It really depends on your goals.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Goals are hens that lay regularly but when they stop laying, they are a nice size for the pot. Hens that are good natured, easy keepers and are very hardy.

 

How do you find out which hens lay the most regularly? We have around 100 hens (more or less) and several roosters, so not sure how to do that..

post #4 of 5
Now you are asking a hard question. You might try reading through this, especially if yours have yellow legs.

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agc/pubs/4aj/4aj07po/4aj07po.PDF

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Okay, will have a look at that!

 

Besides that, any more tips?

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