Originally Posted by ejcrist
Ever since starting my first flock this past January I've been interested in starting a breeding flock at some point in the future, and now I found this thread so I'm going to subscribe to keep abreast. I'll tell ya, this site has done more to help me in my journey with chickens than every book I've read and everyone I personally talked to so far about raising chickens.
I'm currently raising Barred Rock and Leghorn hens and I'm disappointed that none turned out to be roosters yet. When I ordered them I requested all girls because I thought the neighbors might not like me having a rooster crowing in the mornings but after getting the flock and telling everyone about them my neighbors all said they'd be fine with a wake-up call in the morning. So now I'm thinking again about breeding at some point. It's probably a little late to add a rooster now that my girls are 16 weeks old, although I know you can always try to integrate new members, but I have the two breeds living together and I'd prefer to keep the lines pure if start pairing them up. As a result I'm thinking to build a coop separated into 5 sections along with 5 runs so I'd be able to work with 5 breeding groups. I know it would be a big structure but I'm confident I could build everything so it's sound and predator proof. The birds I think I'd like to breed are Dominiques although I'm not 100% set on them yet since there's a lot of neat breeds out there, and my goal would be for egg production. Since we have a unique (hot) climate here in central AZ I think it would be great to have birds that are adapted to the area, produce reasonably well, and are also a heritage breed that are a bit more scarce than some. I recently got a book first published in 1923 called The Mating and Breeding of Poultry by Harry Lamon, and after skimming through it today it really looks like a great book.
So anyway, just wanted to drop in and say hello. I'll be following this thread with interest.
Welcome! This thread continues to be my hands-down favorite for everything I've learned and continue to learn. I'm glad I'm in good company in that opinion.
I too live in AZ, about 40 miles south of Tucson. While I've never had Leghorns (not my breed), I can confirm the Barred Rocks do pretty well in this climate, as do Australorps. The best breed I've found this area, however, continues to be the Naked Neck Turkens. They simply shrug off heat that makes my other chickens melt away.
I also read that book you referenced...VERY helpful for the laying the groundwork for breeding. Oh...and having chicks turn out to be cockerels is NOT a problem I suffer from. Somehow most of my hatches turn out to be disproportionally male. I'm sorry I don't have any Barred Rock males left for you as I butchered the last one, but if you decided to go with breeder quality BRs for your program, I know a breeder in the area who has excellent stock to choose from. Unfortunately I don't know any Dominque owners.