Originally Posted by Blueface
In reading older posts I also noticed a few decent pics of young fowl....the size and color looked pretty good and this reminded me of a major flaw in the breed. When you see a Buckeye do well at a show, its often a younger bird. Why is this? Because when they molt out and mature, the color significantly reduces and they lose the ability to actually compete. I've noticed hens from lines molt out more buff and lose undercolor...even molt in speckled. The ALBC line is notorious for this flaw and much of the reason when I refuse to recognize it as a legit Buckeye line. These are the same birds that looked great as pullets and cockerels and are often bred that first year.....this is not a good breeding practice! Just because they look great that first year doesn't mean they'll be worth a quarter the second...third...and so on.
The Buckeye breed still has a long way to go.
I'm a bit confused about when to breed. Should a Buckeye go through their first adult moult before choosing breeders? Or should they just be a year old? My buckeyes are almost a year old now, they were hatched in early May. I'm guessing they will moult in summer or early fall.... I think my rooster continues to improve (yay!) and the hens...... well......... let's just say three is too few to choose from. But they are all I have.
I'm getting some more eggs next week, that were selected from SOP selected parents, but the chicks will be an "unknown" since this is the first time the hens and roosters have been crossed. Now suppose it turns out that I have better hens from this hatch, but my original rooster is still the best of the lot- he will then be around 2-3 years old before I breed him. I am getting fertile eggs now, so far, so good. Is it OK to wait that long? I do hope for better roosters, of course, from this year's hatch but you never know!
Would there be any value at all in crossing him to the best of the three hens his age? Their biggest fault is excess feather, they are too fluffy. One of their hatchmates, the best hen I had, she had good deep even colour and was a good size, disappeared (of course). That cross would be in the spring of 2017, I don't want fall chicks in 2016. Could I learn something from the offspring, even if I don't expect the cross will produce superior chicks? How long are Buckeye roosters fertile?
I do understand that it's best to start with the best, and I do plan to acquire more polished Buckeyes in the future, but this is all I have for now. Any advice for me?
Edited by CanadianBuckeye - 4/4/16 at 6:59am