Gonna play devil's advocate here and throw in an explanation of why one would hatch a hundred plus chicks...
Originally Posted by Beer can
That's cool as crap Alaskan! WoW! Awesome! Those are awesome birds!
Woman I know near me PhoredaBurds, I was supposed to get cemanis from, I still can and probably should, was getting rid of them so she can focus more on her different colors of Spitz. She has some cool ones, look awesome with their 'Mohawks' awesome looking birds.I see she's on the auction thread often. I never checked it out before, what do all those nuts do with all those eggs they hatch out? What the heck do you do with a hundred plus chicks? And they are foaming at the mouth for more! Chicken freaks!
I plan on picking up a dozen plus hatching eggs, German New Hampshire's, from Eight Acres Farm on our way back from Florida in a couple weeks, 'Boss' gave the OK as long as I don't buy gator meat....Hopefully I am not blowing $45 on my first attempt at hatching...who da freak?....
Not sayin' the person you are referring to is a good OR bad breeder (no idea on their skill set or quality of their breeding stocks) but a proper breeder of a poultry breed and variety ONLY keeps the top three percent from their hatches back for potential (note I said "potential") breeding stocks to go forward with. Using only hens and cocks, never pullets or cockerels--by living that long at my place, they warrant replication of more of the same with amiable temperaments that jive with their surroundings showing me by living they will pass on traits like longevity and disease resistance, vigour and fertility/production.
ONE trio outta 100 day olds...that's my rule and I have no reason to not stick to it. Some keep back the top ten percent, but for me, that's too open. Dr. Carefoot's rules are like minimal parents and maximum number of chicks (therefore YOU DO have the ability to make selections...not live with what happens to live and good enough!).
Practical approach to breeding principles, page 70 (typos in transcription are all mine!):
The successful strainmaker knows that he must:
1) Hatch plenty of chickens from his mated pens.
2) Select at all times for vigour, temperament, etc.
3) Inbreed, but when other points are equal, select the most distantly related birds for mates.
4) Line-breed to the extent of obtaining considerable number of chickens from one's outstanding birds, mating these chickens so as to preserve a high degree of relationship to the original superstar in the second generation, but then select any outstanding offspring and line-breed to these, not the original.
5) Recognize the relationship between prepotency and purity for desired characteristics and therefore consider the disqualification as future breeders the stock which contains only a small proportion of good birds, since any good bird whose sibs are poor is highly unlikely to be prepotent, ie progeny test.
6) Endeavour to make sure that in the selection process all desired virtues are evident somewhere in the strain so that they can in future be blended into the perfect bird, remembering the "Like begets like" principle.
The application of these six points is the key to successful breeding ...
There's tons more nuggets of pure gold in his book...so go buy the book (Creative Poultry Breeding by Dr. Carefoot) and get learned...or not.
By having poultry breeds that are good for eggs and meat (dual or general purpose), one eats happy eggs & meat and ends up with AWESOME stocks that are improvements upon the good start you got from another breeder. I do have one breed, my Booted Bantams that are not good for meat (not even soup stock potentials) and are my luxury chickens (tho I have black skin in them...maybe I could flog that principle, magically medicinal eh)...they do however lay great numbers of eggs surprisingly large for their size and I can usually count on them moulting off time of my other breeds and therefore supply the household here with eggs when others are putting on their feathered suits with heels kicked up, not laying, eh.
I have no idea how anyone could take a dozen hatching eggs and think they can get into a BREED with any expectations of progress towards improvement let alone maintenance of any quality if quality even existed in the parent stocks--my opinion (for what that is worth) of course!
By simple averages reported, from a dozen hatching eggs, you hatch out six day olds (most shipping kills half the embryos in transit) and even begin to think you've got a good start. To me that is ludicrous. I would need 214 hatching eggs to get 200 (twice eggs to hatch 100 day olds to cull to a trio) and with the 14 EXTRA (my extras are more than the normal one dozen hatching eggs shipped out) because basically in chooks, seven percent up and die just because (mortality rate is seven percent) I would have a rough selection number of one hundred day olds to choose down to my breeding prospective trio. I prefer two pairs and in most cases THREE pairs is what we keep in any breed and variety we feel we need to possess and work with.
This be said, I never EVER have enough hatching eggs to EVER sell any when we start up Buster in May or June and we never set bad eggs (as in poor quality), those would be for eating as a crappy looking egg = more of the same poor quality. I have never sold a single of my eggs for hatching, probably never will. Hatch rates here at home in Buster the Bator are stellar and I could not fathom shipping out eggs to have half abused by the transportation method so only 50% hatch. I get better results here and if someone wants breeding stocks...they buy adults, never chicks and never EVER eggs.
I guess you may count me in as a "chicken" (or duck, goose, pheasant, turkey, swan, ruddy, etc.) freak, eh.
That be moi and indeed, I be a dying breed indeed in all my ugliness!
Doggone & Chicken UP!
Tara Lee Higgins
Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada