Amateur Breeder

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by tydempe, Jan 1, 2015.

  1. tydempe

    tydempe In the Brooder

    Nov 23, 2014
    Waterloo CA, USA
    So I want to get into breeding, but I don't know what breed to start with. I'd like to start with a Bantam breed. Any recommendations for an (to be) amateur breeder?
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I recommend you start by perusing these two breed charts as well as others.

    Find breeds that fit your climate first. Then make a short list of birds with qualities you like.

    If you're really dedicated, pick a rarer breed that needs to be preserved. It may be harder to find genetic material but you'll be doing the world much good in the process.


    After you pick a breed, hatch aplenty and cull hard to select the best birds. Vigor first, productivity and SOP quality next.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2015
    2 people like this.
  3. Go to major shows. Seeing the birds in real life is mandatory.
    Submit to a local mentor.
    Focus on just a single breed. Lack of focus and being spread thin is a recipe for failure.
    Read all you can, but better? Talk to knowledgeable folks at local poultry clubs. Join the ABA and get plugged in.

    None of us were born with knowledge and few of us have built ourselves into who we are. We are standing on the shoulders of all those who came before us and all those who have kindly mentored us.
    2 people like this.
  4. spangledcornish

    spangledcornish Songster

    Nov 4, 2009
    Southwest, WI
    I have done many talks over the years on poultry in the backyard or poultry 101, one section I do is on selecting the right breed for you.

    I have 8 questions that I like people to think about when selecting the breed
    1. What type of chicken do you want? Layer type, Meat type, Dual Purpose or Ornamental

    2. What size? Bantam or Standard, heavy breads, medium, or light
    3. What Base color? White, red, Black, etc
    4. Do you want a pattern on that base color? Spangled, laced, Columbian, barred, mottled, cuckoo,etc
    5. Do you want a "funky" look? feathered feet, beards muffs, crests, 5 toes, silkie feathers etc.
    6 What type of comb do you desire? Single, pea, V, Cushion, buttercup, Strawberry, Rose (different combs will tolerate certain climates better)
    7. If eggs are the goal what characteristics are important to you? Example egg color, size, and shape
    8. If meat is important, what characteristics are important to you? examples would be overall dressed weight, shape of carcass, color of the skin, and growth rate.

    answer these questions and see if you can find a bird that matches with 80% of the characteristics you have chosen, and you will be surprised what you may have found.

    I would then agree, get to a show find a breeder to mentor you, I would also investigate breed clubs.
    2 people like this.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    SpangledCornish suggests a good list. I might add egg quantity to #7.
    There are other characteristics I think are important too.

    A: Temperament - docile, gentle, calm, curious, active, aloof, flighty, wary, alert, jumpy, aggressive, noisy, adaptable to confinement or need to range.
    B: Broodiness - tendency to be setters or not or somewhere in between.
    C: Hardiness - Heat or cold hardy, robustness, disease resistance.
    D: Growth Rate - akin to #8 above but more for sexual maturity, slow, medium, fast.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Crowing

    Jun 22, 2009
    Barrington, NH
    I'd find your MO poultry club and establish relationship with them. They will help you learn everything you need to know and ensure that you procure healthy, worthy stock right from the start. Subscribe to the Poultry Press and join the ABA and purchase a standard. There's no sense in buying wood with out also having the necessary tools or knowing what kind of wood you actually need. There's no sense in buy chickens without a standard and connecting to the APA/ABA culture of your region.

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