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Looking for tips on the ( do's and dont's ) of breeding true heritage chickens from old time...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am a new chicken "farmer" per say, and I want to breed my Blue Layced Wayndottes this spring along with my Buff Orpingtons for my self and to sell to islanders here in our small community. I am aware that these two heritage breeds need to be bred up and I would like to be that homesteader.

At the moment I have two under a year old BLW hens with a big BLW roo that is not related for breeding and 2 one and a half year old Buff Orpington hens along 2 14 week old Buff Hens with a year old roo who is also not related for breeding. The older 2 hens are from different blood lines then the two buff pullets.

I have a seperate run with a home made mini coop that holds up to four chickens at a time for breeding.

I also have a Hova incubator.

 

I am new to heritage chicken breeding and would love to hear some addvice and tips from farmers who have these two breeds if possible please!

Thank you so very much!

 

Andrea on Salt Spring Island B.C 

post #2 of 5
Thread Starter 

Here are some questions that I have,

When trying to breed your "own" line of heritage chicken what are the main steps?

What do you do first and last?

When you hatch the chicks do you keep the best ones to then breed up with a new roo for new blood in the line?

How do you keep your line pure? I wan to stay away from inbreeding as much as possible!

and at what age do you stop breeding a hen and rooster?

 

Thank you.

Andrea.

post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by craftydrae View Post

Here are some questions that I have,

When trying to breed your "own" line of heritage chicken what are the main steps?

What do you do first and last?

When you hatch the chicks do you keep the best ones to then breed up with a new roo for new blood in the line?

How do you keep your line pure? I wan to stay away from inbreeding as much as possible!

and at what age do you stop breeding a hen and rooster?

 

Thank you.

Andrea.

Hi Andrea,

 This is a huge question that could take hours to answer. Just want to remark on 2 tings first.

1. Chickens don't need biodiversty in their gene pool, they already have it. What they need is wise selection within the individual breeding program. Inbreeding isn't a dirty word in classic animal breeding . Inbreeding is a classic method for setting the type you are seeking for your new strain. Fowl have a very wide genetic  base as a species, plus a plethora of sex-linked genes which make inbreeding much less of a concern than it would be with mammals which don't have a many sex-linked genes.   

   2.    Biodiversity and genetic diversity (as philosophies ) are two different things. See the thread in BYC forum "Breeding, Genetics and Showing" titled, " Dorkings???", Post 5 of 12 for a complete explanation of this.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/714760/dorkings

     Ok, so having read post 5 above we understand that it is ok to inbreed and that diversity in a breeding program comes thru judcious selection by the breeder. Now you are better prepared to choose a wider range of breeding choices for your birds.   

     First, get to know the breeds , their history and origins. This will give you the info you need to understand the nuances of the breeds. This understanding will allow you to choose proper breed type. Knowing that, study is needed to understand how to balance color in your matings Then use thisknowledge to develop a breeding plan which will bring these things about.

   There are several classic books out there by breeder/judges of high repute which are very helpful. This is one of my favorites which I study repeatedly. Because it is about the absolute laws of breeding and not theories or opinions, it is timeless, even tho written in 1912.  The author is Danne Honour's uncle's uncle. As you know, breeding a buff breed, Danne is the Dean of all things pertaining to Buff chicken breeding. The apple sure didn't fall far from the tree there.

Laws governing the breeding of standard fowls; a book covering outbreeding [!] inbreeding and line breeding of all recognized breeds of domestic fowls, with chart, 1912 (1912)

Author: Card, Wetherell Henry, 1860-

http://archive.org/details/cu31924003158312

-------------------

 Here's is an on-line PDF file of Danne's classic ebook on breeding the color Buff.

A collection of valuable articles and writings on the subject.

Buff Colouration in Poultry , 2007, 278 pages.

http://www.aviculture-europe.nl/Buff-Coloration.pdf

     Also, you will want to order the APA Standard of Perfection for Christmas. It is $59.00 and critical to your poultry education. Few serious breeders will take you seriously if you don't own one. It is a critical guide book to all things poultry.

Best Regards,

 Karen in western PA, USA              


Edited by 3riverschick - 10/14/12 at 11:24pm

Walt Boese Pure English strain Light Sussex

"We are all just walking each other home." unknown

Reply

Walt Boese Pure English strain Light Sussex

"We are all just walking each other home." unknown

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much. I will get a copy if that book and put my reading glasses on!

There is so much to learn. I will start small and keep the chicks for our farm first before selling any this spring. Start slow and steady.

Most people here have to travel to Vancouver Island to buy chickens or they have to order them online. It can very $$$.

I just found a farmer on the south end of our island who has a small flock of Chantelcler chickens! They are our oldest Canadian breed and from my understanding, there may only be only 2000 left in the world? I would like to see if I can get some fertile eggs from this farmer to get my self started.

 

I was also wondering, is it a must to get all your chickens de-wormed every year? and vactinated??

 

Thank you so much.

Andrea :)

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by craftydrae View Post

Thank you so much. I will get a copy if that book and put my reading glasses on!

There is so much to learn. I will start small and keep the chicks for our farm first before selling any this spring. Start slow and steady.

Most people here have to travel to Vancouver Island to buy chickens or they have to order them online. It can very $$$.

I just found a farmer on the south end of our island who has a small flock of Chantelcler chickens! They are our oldest Canadian breed and from my understanding, there may only be only 2000 left in the world? I would like to see if I can get some fertile eggs from this farmer to get my self started.

 

I was also wondering, is it a must to get all your chickens de-wormed every year? and vactinated??

 

Thank you so much.

Andrea :)

Hi Andrea,

 My best experience is in breeding plans and lit, not medicine. There's a BLRW thread here on BYC that's very active.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/466415/blue-laced-red-wyandotte-thread/1110

Also the Heritage Large Fowl thread has elite breeders like Walt Leonard who is head of the APA Standards Committee. All the folk on the HLF thread are so helpful with their vast experience (Like all of BYC, but HLF best matches my personal needs.)

The HLF thread's goal is the same as yours. To turn poultry producers into serious HLF peservationists. To that end HLF thread  offers knowledge plus info to find and help preservationists obtain stock from the best vintage show strains in the desired breed.

   One thing, If you want to buy from a  top strain, do not expect them to sell you eggs or chicks. Top breeders almost always only sell started chicks and adults. The reason is because they want to cull the birds at least once, 2x , even 3x before they release them to the public so that foundation and show quality birds is what are being sold from their strain. This is a good thing, even tho it costs a bit more than eggs or chicks. Especially in colors like Buff and BLRW where color balancing for top show wins can take decades to perfect.

 There is a lady on the Island who is using population genetics to breed wonderful Light Sussex. You can get her contact info by searching online. Her name is Emily Robertson. Very knowledgeable. One thing. Many of the great breeders kept ony one breed. Of course, not saying you must, just something I keep reading repeatedly in advice from elite veteran breeders. Poutry is so much fun.

 Hope to see you on the HLF thread  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/400344/heritage-large-fowl-thread/6620  .

 Best  success with your flock!

 Karen in western PA, USA


Edited by 3riverschick - 10/15/12 at 11:05am

Walt Boese Pure English strain Light Sussex

"We are all just walking each other home." unknown

Reply

Walt Boese Pure English strain Light Sussex

"We are all just walking each other home." unknown

Reply
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Chicken Breeds › Breeds, Genetics, & Showing › Looking for tips on the ( do's and dont's ) of breeding true heritage chickens from old time farmers please and thank you~*