Originally Posted by Dirt Farmer
Originally Posted by ki4got
that's all true. size and type ARE the hardest... I'm just wondering about the coloration/sprig issues. tho these 2 have already been high up my list. the top boy has just a bit of red in his wing and his breast hasn't gone true black yet, but he's got really good type. the other boy is another favorite. he's out of one of Big Guy's daughters and looks/acts a lot like his (favorite) grandfather. they are still growing, so will be hanging around as long as possible. i'll be setting up the breeding pen in Feb unless I have predator problems before then.
eta thought the 2 replies were on same post until I realized I missed one. so this reply goes to both. LOL
I was looking around the internet with regard to the sprig issue. Appears that there is a fair amount of agreement that this can be a persistent issue once established in a flock, and against using a cockerel with sprigs for a breeder. I also did a brief search on the red leakage issue. Apparently it can be bred out by future test mating to see if a silver based bird is carrying gold. I think the way this works is to mate a silver based cock that doesn't show red, to a silver hen. If the daughters show red then the male is carrying gold. I suspect that there are other genetic factors that can cause the red color. Genetics is always more complicated than I would like. Keep us posted on your eventual choice and outcomes.
Originally Posted by Fowl Explorer
Don't forget production and purpose. Since the Dorking is a dual purpose breed, I would make sure that roos have good wide pelvic bones (the roo will have femaile chicks). I watched a video with Jeannette Beranger on selection for production. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZaHQV22zqM
Size and weight IS important. Most of the modern remnants of the old breeds are smaller than the original standard.
I read in the SPPPA bulletin that you really couldn't select Dorkings except for obvious faults until they were a year old as it takes the structure a long time to mature.
Hope it helps -
I agree with all of that, but I need to make a few cuts in the flock where I can right now, and the sprigs are the most worrying issue I have... I may keep the best boy with sprigs and use him on a limited number of hens, just to see what I get initially. i'll be doing the same with my red leakage boy (the best I have at 6 months old!) as well as the best overall color/type/sized boy (not as big as sprig or leakage). he may be a bit younger too, since I hatched a LOT over a 2 month span, but most of the younger ones are obviously younger/smaller still. so I think it boils down to these 4 boys...
smaller but correct color no sprigs
larger but hackle striping and sprigs
first with leakage (largest)
2nd with leakage (same size as first)
Edited by ki4got - 10/16/15 at 7:56am