My thoughts exactly. People will call me and want to buy some Buckeyes from me. Some tell me that they do not want my culls. I always tell them that some of my culls are a whole lot better than the birds I started with (which, btw, I was pleased and proud to have). I tell them there are no perfect birds. Some only want to buy hens and have no roosters so I always tell them that I would ONLY sell them cull hens -- why waste good breeder stock on someone only wanting hens to look at? Most are not really serious about it & it just goes to what bnjrob says above (AND I DON'T TAKE THEM SERIOUSLY EITHER -- ). I will help out a fellow breeder who needs some breeder birds to improve something or is experimenting with some strain crossing but other than that, I am not going out of my way to sell or give away birds, eggs, chicks. We eat the culls here.
Another thing, being a preservationist does not always mean you keep the best of the best but instead, that you keep the best from each family group. Also, breeding isn't necessarily about pairing up the correct birds but instead, it is about maintaining sufficient genetic diversity in your flock so to be able to work with your line & not losing the good traits you already have. The strength of any breeding line is maintaining genetic diversity within it.
Good conversation here.
I agree very much with the last paragraph its good to take notes from information such as this.
You must have many too choose from and hatch in great numbers too, I think.
I have only 6 BR pullets to start off with, should have 6 New Hampshire pullets and 12 RIR pullets. For breeding them this spring I'm going to have 3 BR males mated to 3 pairs of pullets same for the NH. The RIRs, I will see how my males, looks I might even have 4 good males and mate them with 3 quads of pullets. I will have the groups marked as A, B, C, & D and 1, 2, 3, & 4 if I have that many good males on the RIRs. I will breed this bunch for the first go around, hatch from them then switch males to the next group and so on. By the time I get done doing the ol switch-a-roo during this spring hatching season I should have plenty of chicks to choose from for breeders for the next year and should surely have a good mix of genetic diversity in the groups too. I think this is what these guy needs esp. the BR and NH they are all coming from such a small group(closed groups) of breeders that all being hatched are too close in characteristics and that's why I see the tails(its what I've noticed more than anything else) on them are going away, rapidly. My RIRs are good so far I think there has been much work done with them in the past esp. coming from a master breeder but one still can't get too lax in diligent culling and breeding here too its a "constant-change" is what breeding is all about. Especially with poultry.
I too have some of the Delaware project F1s from Mrs. kathyinmo I was fortunate enough to get 10 breeder pullets and have 4 males from the F1 cross I hope to be able to group these up in a similar breeding method too because they will surely need to have all the diversity one could possibly instill in them too, starting with such small groups, I believe.
Ok I shall let someone else get up on the podium now for a bit and give us some more of this wonderful great information that is surely nowhere to be found in books as most is from experienced breeders or "straight from the horses mouth", I like to say. LOL
Edited by catdaddyfro - 7/28/12 at 7:20am