Originally Posted by CanadianBuckeye @Blueface
I've got a couple of breeding questions. You have been breeding Buckeyes for a number of years now, and if I remember correctly, you started off with a pair. I would assume that your type is set and you have mostly very good to excellent chicks, all of the ones that hatch are similar now. Is that true?
How many chicks did you have to hatch/ choose from, to get this champion rooster ? Do you pick the best from each hatch, or pick just one at the end of the year? Some years, do you not pick any at all? I'm just trying to get an idea of how many chicks to select from. I've read that only one in a hundred is a champion....... do you find that to be true?
I've been breeding buckeyes for a few years. A lot was said about the difficulty of breeding them to the standard not to mention advancing them to Champion Row. It was nearly impossible was what I was told. When I started breeding buckeyes the majority of the people representing the breed where hacks, they were clueless with nearly every aspect related to the breed. This stupid phrase..."you have to build the barn and then paint it" was often used. These people set the breed back more and more everytime they attempted to reproduce what they considered a Buckeye and hurt the breed further by passing along their jarble to unsuspecting people. To date, these misguided Loons are now no where in the picture and their attempts of repeatably producing a show quality Buckeye have failed. They failed on every level and now finally the Buckeye might be able to recover and people can see what a real Buckeye actually looks like. Its nice to finally have the opportunity to move forward! I stayed true to my beliefs and bred a complete bird starting from the tip of the beak through the back of the tail...breeding color, type and composition all at once. This method has been very successful. The most important aspect to breeding ANY breed is to have a goal...a very well formulated plan, a clear picture of what you think the breed should be and breed toward that idea. Don't keep continually changing your mind. Be true to yourself!
My type is very good despite many of my early critics, the color is very nice and my undercolor is exceptional! My birds do come very uniform for the most part and type is consistant. There are minor variations and that is to be expected with any breed that has not undergone refinement like many of the more common American class breeds and are not your solid boring colors like black or white.
The variations surrounding the Buckeye as a whole are great...no two flocks look exactly alike. The ALBC produced a whole lot of very poor quality birds and spread them around and that really hurt the breed.
This has brought us to where we are today and the confusion amongst many of the breeders/potential breeders.
As for this bird pictured, I hatched roughly 150 birds that year...he is one of 3 birds from that hatching year that have been on Champion Row. I had a cockerel win at two shows in 2014, advancing to Reserve Super Grand of Show (best chicken at the show) and Reserve Grand Champion LF in another. The sister to cock pictured advanced to Reserve American in 2014. Its fair to mention that all of the classes I've competed in did have enough birds to be considered eligible for APA recognition. That is a detail that is often left out when many people start sharing successes. How big of an accomplishment is it when you are the Champion American and only have 8-10 birds in the class? The devil is always in the details
Ultimately I select what I consider to be the best from the hatch but I watch all of them very closely as they grow. I keep everything that I feel will help my future generations. In 2014, I kept back 15 cockerels and 20 pullets out of 150 birds roughly. From those, I've kept 6 cocks and 15 hens to breed from if I choose to.
I'll always keep some back...each year, my flock is improving...last year I hatched around 50 and kept 15 of them. This year, I've hatch roughly 200-250 and plan on keeping 50 of them approximately. These birds are something special! They far exceed my past years in quality; its very exciting. I'm really looking forward to this fall and next spring.
Breeding 1000 to just get one? That whole flock needs to be culled! Hey wait...that was the ALBC flock...what does that say about the quality of the fowl, not to mention the quality and/or the knowledge of the breeders? They aren't much! That comment is obsurd! But that is the mentality of those loons! That says so much about the quality of their fowl and further confirms what I've been stating the past 6-7 years. If you breed the Buckeye properly, it is very easy to do VERY well! I'm proof of that. I think I've put 8-9 different birds on Champion Row and I bet I've only hatched 500 buckeyes to do it. But the quality has been very high overall. I've been able to place a Buckeye from every generation I've bred on Champion Row.
Not bad considering that I was told that I would never be able to do it let alone be able to compete.Edited by Blueface - 5/17/16 at 8:18am