I do not understand the terms "cockerel mating" and "pullet mating". Do you make two separate pens, one to just breed for the best cocks and one to breed for the best pullets? Then you cross them? Also, what is "double mating"? Thank you! What I mean is bolded.
Where I got the information... Found this reading through the thread "Barred Rocks Good Shepard Poultry Ranch". Here...
BY E. B. THOMPSON.
They are a great favorite with farmers and market poultrymen, who breed this variety more extensively than all other pure breeds combined. As a fancier's fowl the Plymouth Rock has reached a popularity in this country never before known. Utility and actual worth are the basis of this popularity, and make the Barred Plymouth Rock the bird of destinya breed come to stay.
There are many valuable breeds of poultry among our standard varieties. Some excel in beauty of plumage and graceful forms; others in massive size and majestic carriage; while still other breeds court favor by their records as egg producers. Nearly all breeds combine some of the good qualities in some degree. Bantams are handsome and good layers of eggs proportionate to the size of the breed. The smaller a Bantam can be bred the better. They have hosts of admirers, and as pets and a breed upon which to exercise a true fancier's skill, they are valuable.
The ornamental breeds are small in size, and fanciers of such do not find their ideal fowls in a large varietya Cochin, Langshan or Brahmawhile fanciers of these massive birds cannot see their ideal in a small fowl, be it ever so gorgeous in feathers and as graceful in movement as a billowy cloud. We are speaking of fanciers in general. There doubtless are some who really love several breeds, both great and small, handsome and plain, but the majority find delight in some particular variety, although they may breed several varieties. For a person who wants a business fowl, one that never deserts its post nor shirks a duty, 1 believe the Barred Plymouth Rock fills the bill nearer than any other breed. They are always ready for business, rain or shine. They are medium in size, and if decently fed are always in good meaty condition to kill after eight weeks old. Their early maturity adapts them especially for broiler use.
The Plymouth Rocks are excellent "all the year around" layers, and will lay as many eggs as any breed that incubates and rears its young. They are the farmer's favorite. In the smaller breeds we may get better layers, but lose size. The larger breeds give us no more if as many eggs as as the Plymouth Rocks, are later maturing and lack that sprightliness and elasticity of movement so admired in a medium sized fowl.
The Barred Plymouth Rock is nearly always the largest class at our American shows, and strictly choice specimens command a higher price than any other American breed, which proves their sterling merits. New breeds come and go, but the good qualities of the Barred Plymouth Rock become more and more indelible. As a practical fowl, suited to the wants and conditions of those who desire eggs, meat and feathers combined in one breed, they acknowledge no competition.
I have bred them over twenty two years, and the experience acquired during that period is of invaluable worth to me as a breeder, and might be called business capital. That the best specimens can be produced by the double mating plan, or a separate mating for each sex, is conceded by the majority of breeders. I will describe these matings as they are made at my farm.
To mate a pen for cockerels, select a male of medium dark exhibition color, of bluish shade (even from head to tail), and barred distinctly to the skin in all sections, and as straight across the feather as possible, He should be of standard weight or over, of sturdy build, broad in back, full breasted, and not too high on legs. Wings and tail must be well barred, and tail short; comb small, straight, and evenly serrated; deep bay eyes, and rich yellow legs, set well apart.
The hens and pullets to mate with this male must be large in size, with broad backs, full, round breasts, and the barring of plumage close, narrow, clear cut, and barred to the skin throughout. They must be in color medium dark to dark, eyes bay, and combs small and straight.
The male heading this pen should be a high-class show bird, and his ancestry also of the same quality, the sire and grandsire being exhibition specimens. The hens and pullets should come from exhibition sires; in short, it is necessary that both sides of the mating be strictly cockerel bred for generations back, and from the very best ancestry. From such a mating a breeder can expect high-class exhibition cockerels; the pullets will come about the color of their dams, and be valuable for the next year's breeding.
I believe strongly in ancestral backing, and that males should be used in mating that are bred from sires or dams having the qualities desired in the progeny. In the breeding of horses, cattle, and dogs, pedigree plays a leading part. No horseman would entertain for a moment the thought of paying a large fee for the service of a stock horse, unless such animal came from ancestors possessing pronounced quality. A heifer or bull of a family of great butter or milk producers commands a high price and ready sale on account of the reasonable certainty that these qualities will be perpetuated in the offspring. In breeding all the higher classes of animals great importance is placed on ancestral blood, and animals either registered in the respective records of the breed or entitled to registration at once assume a just superiority over individual animals having no distinct or traceable family lineage. So with Barred Plymouth Rocks, the individual quality must be right and the pedigree undisputed.
The object sought in mating this variety is to get both cockerels and pullets that conform to the standard of perfection in form and color, and to bring out the bluish tinge of the plumage ip a very visible degree. This blue color adds greatly to the beauty of the bird, as do also the "ringlets" which appear in specimens whose feathers are evenly barred and rightly placed.
To produce the finest pullets, use the very best exhibition colored females, clean and bright in color and blue, showing the zebra striping or "ringlets" as much as possible. Discard all those that are splashy or broken in surface color. The barring must be regular and deep throughout and clear in wings and tails. The legs must be deep yellow; eyes red or bay. Let the size be standard and their bodies well rounded, with full breasts and broad backs.
Select a male of eight or nine pounds weight, of sturdy build, full, well rounded breast, broad back, strong legs (deep yellow in color), yellow beak and bay or red eyes. The plumage must be several shades lighter than for exhibition, clean and bright, entirely free from any shade of brown or smut, and even from end to end. Let the under-barring be as good as it may with these necessary qualities. Such a pullet mating as I have described will please the breeder in results, and certainly produce elegant exhibition pullets.
It is necessary that the male heading this pen be of the best exhibition blood. Never breed from a cockerel, expecting finely colored pullets, unless you know that his dam was an exhibition bird. It is important, too, that the pullets be not only exhibition color, but be bred from superior, prize-winning dams. Chance birds are of but little value to use in the breeding yard, because they will not transmit their good points to their progeny.
Some breeders advocate single mating, or one pen only, to get both cockerels and pullets. In this mating a male is used a little lighter than standard color, and females about exhibition color. The chicks from such a mating will come quite even and uniform as a flock, with a small percentage of culls. Some will show much quality and the majority average good. By persisting in this method and selecting breeders each year, whose sires and dams were of the right color, splendid chicks can be bred, and some good exhibition birds, but the finest exhibition birds produced during the past ten years have been the results of double matings, or a separate mating for each sex.
The utmost skill and care ought always be used in making up the season's breeding pens, for a mistake at this period is fatal to success. It cannot be corrected, and may change a hoped-for profit to a decided loss.
Edited by Pam's Little Farm - 4/26/11 at 7:44pm