Araucana Rooster Crossing with Red Star, Black Australorp, etc

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Simeo, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi there, I was just curious about Araucana crosses. We have a Araucana rooster that's my wife's 'baby' and only one Araucana hen. He 'breeds' with all our other hens though (Red Star, Black Australorp, Domonique, Black Crested Polish, Wyandotte and 1 Araucana) and I was wondering what a cross will come up with?

    We have one very sweet Red Star he "loves" (she's HUGE) and we're excited to see what their chicks would be like but we're not hatching any eggs until spring. Does anybody have experience with a AraucanaXRed Star? Are they sex link? What about one of the other breeds? Pictures?

    Thanks so much!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  2. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

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    where did you get your araucana from? if a hatchery, he's an ee, which means he could carry the blue or green egg gene. And with your brown egg layers their female offspring could lay a green to olive egg, with your white egg layer the female offspring would lay a blue or green egg depending on his color egg genes

    True araucanas only lay blue eggs, so if he is a true araucana the white layers offspring will have blue eggs and the brown egg layers would still be greenish or olive

    hope this helps
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    These are the recognized colors of Araucanas.

    Black, Black Breasted Red, Golden Duckwing, Silver Duckwing, and White

    Can you tell us which he is? That makes a huge difference in genetics and what the offspring might look like.

    If you got him from a hatchery, the answer is none of the above. Hatcheries just don’t sell pure Araucanas.

    Without knowing his genetics I really can’t tell you what any crosses will look like with any of your hens. Your Red Star is a cross so she won’t breed true anyway. You could possibly get different colored or patterned chicks with her. With your Black Australorp, the chicks will often be black, but that really depends on the rooster. There is a chance your Dominique could produce Black Sex Links. A chance. It depends on the rooster. I’m not familiar with that Polish. There are several different possible colors and a Wyandotte could be. You’d really need to get specific with which color and pattern you have. And with your Araucana hen, we would need to know her genetics.

    I’m sorry I can’t be specific but you really did not provide the information needed to even make a guess.
     
  4. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

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    Well, I wasn't quite sure what information I'd need to provide until now I guess. Thank you for your responses though. Attached is a picture of him. He's from McMurray Hatchery (as the "Free Rare") as are all the others except for the Polish. We're currently receiving blue eggs from our "araucana" hen and light brown eggs from our Red Stars. The others are still pullets not giving us eggs yet.

    [​IMG]

    Red Star won't breed true? What are they a cross of? Is there a collection of information I could find/read on sexing chickens and sex links? I'm still learning about these things... [​IMG]
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    For sex link information, study the first post on this thread. Ignore anything else in the thread, just concentrate on the first post. It may take some time and study, but the basics are there.

    Tadkerson’s Sex Link Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=261208

    Thanks for the photo, but I’m not good enough to determine genetics from that photo. I really don’t think he is pure anything but most likely a cross.

    He does not look barred, so when you cross him with the Dominique, the female offspring will not be barred but the male offspring will be, which makes a black sex link. But part of making a black sex link is that you can see the spot on the head. I’m not at all sure you will be able to see that spot. I just don’t know what the down color or pattern will be. None of your others have any chance of making a sex link with him.

    There is no real way to know what went into your Red Star. Different hatcheries use different breeds to make Red Stars. Red Star is just a marketing name. It does not really tell you any details other than it is a red sex link of some type.

    I’m pretty sure McMurray Red Stars are from the commercial chicken hybrids. The commercial hybrids are bred to be relatively small in size so they don’t use a lot of feed for body maintenance. They are real efficient in converting feed to eggs. They tend to lay relatively large eggs. Grade A large is the commercial egg laying industry standard and where the best money is. And they lay a lot of eggs, almost one every day. They are also bred to take confinement really well. One of the possible downsides is that because they lay a relatively large egg for their body size, they can have medical problems, especially if they are fed a real high protein diet. That makes the eggs even larger. And they can burn out after a season of real heavy egg laying. There is a difference in what can happen and what will happen so there is no guarantee yours will have any problems.

    Other than the father of your Red Star being pure for the gold gene and the mother having the silver gene, I don’t have a clue of the genetic make-up of your Red Star. She may be pretty pure as far as the other color and pattern genes or she may be a total mix. I really don’t know what her offspring will be with that rooster.
     
  6. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow thank you. Great link with a lot of info.

    So pretty much my chickens are going to be mutts, for lack of a better term. Is there any benefit to crossing breeds? Would it be possible to breed my best layers/largest birds to get a really good dual purpose "mutt chicken" for us? How many generations could I go like this without inbreeding issues?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Is there any benefit to crossing breeds?

    That really depends on your goals. If you plan to show them or have other reasons to keep purebreds, you don’t want to cross them. But many of us do and really like the results. The possible genetic benefit is genetic diversity. Some people call it hybrid vigor or heterosis. Many plants and animals just do better if pure stock is crossed with a different variety. A whole lot of your tomato hybrids take advantage of this. Of course, it depends what traits are there in the parent stock. Certain traits are going to be enhanced. It’s nice when these are traits you want and not traits you don’t want. With chickens you can get the same benefits of hybrid vigor by breeding birds of the same breed as long as they have been genetically separated for several generations.

    Would it be possible to breed my best layers/largest birds to get a really good dual purpose "mutt chicken" for us?

    That’s basically what I do. If you select your breeders for the traits you want, you’ll enhance those traits. You do need to be pretty ruthless when it comes to selecting your breeders. If a chicken shows a problem, say a bad foot, it should not be allowed to breed. And you eat your smallest roosters and keep your largest.

    How many generations could I go like this without inbreeding issues?

    That depends a bit on the stock you start with and how good you are at selecting your breeders. There are techniques some people use that usually involves keeping a few separate roosters and hens and keeping good records of which one breeds to which. Spiral breeding is an example of this but there are other techniques. Another method is to have a lot of hens and roosters in one pen. Just the randomness of mating will keep the genetic diversity up pretty well. How long depends on how many roosters and hens you have. This “pen breeding” method is what a lot of the hatcheries do that we buy the chicks from. They may have 20 roosters and 200 hens in one pen. They can go for practically forever with those numbers.

    One risk to doing this is of you have a bad genetic flaw in your flock. When you cross them, that will really come out. That really doesn’t happen that often and with your diversity of breeds, it’s not likely to be your problem. But it is possible inbreeding issues could pop up in the first or second generation.

    I think you are talking about one rooster and several hens. What is more likely to happen is that each generation will have a little less genetic diversity. If you ruthlessly don’t allow any to breed that have flaws, you can keep going for several years. But eventually the flock may lose vigor. They may lay fewer eggs or fertility can be reduced. What a lot of people do is bring in a new rooster every four or five generations to get that genetic diversity back up.

    This is pretty much the method people living on small farms have used for thousands of years. Every few years swap out a rooster with a neighbor. It’s not as complicated as I’ve probably made it sound.
     
  8. Simeo

    Simeo Out Of The Brooder

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    Awesome reply, thank you! It's a simple complicated process. I believe you answered many questions in that reply.

    I'd like to have 24 rotating dual-purpose layers and 2 roos. That's the plan. I first thought of it when I noticed our second best layer is also our largest bird (the "red star"). I also noticed our rooster really favoring her too and I'd love to see how her chicks would turn out.

    I also had to order a minimum of 25 chicks from McMurray hatchery to flesh out our flock of 12 and we only have space for 24-30 girls. I ended up ordering 16 meat birds which will be butchered at 6 weeks so they won't take up long term space in our coop/run and eat our layers out of house and home. While I don't mind having a freezer full of chickens I don't want to do that again. I'd prefer to control the hatching and keep the number small instead of having 25 lives I need to care for all at once. The Brinsea Eco Advance incubator seems like a great idea (7 eggs max at a time).

    I'll try to introduce a new rooster from a neighbor for breeding every several generations. That sounds like a good idea.


    Quote:
    By flaws, what do you mean? What should I look out for?
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Flaws are things you don’t want in your flock. It can be different things for different people. We all have different goals.

    In general, I look for any physical problems, crooked beaks, wonky legs or feet, anything that physically does not look right.

    For production I look at the eggs laid. I personally don’t want a hen that regularly lays double yolked eggs. I know some people think they are great, but it means something is wrong with the hen’s internal laying factory. I think regularly laying those super big eggs puts the hen’s health at risk, I can’t hatch them, and I can’t fit them in my egg cartons. Some people will try to hatch eggs from hens that lay a lot of double yolked eggs. This is an example of people having different goals.

    Other things I look for. I don’t necessarily want a hen that starts laying really really early, but I don’t want to have to wait nine months to get the first egg either. It’s not unusual for a pullet to lay wonky eggs her first couple of weeks when she starts. That’s not a big deal. But if a hen continues to lay wonky eggs for a month or more, she is not acceptable. One thing I look at is blood spots or meat spots. An occasional one of these is not a big deal, but if it becomes regular, it becomes a fatal flaw.

    For meat, I look more at the roosters than the hens, though I eat them all. I don’t necessarily keep the absolute largest, but I want one that is one of the larger ones and that has the general configuration I want. Some roosters give more white meat, some more dark. Some are more lanky, some more rounded. Play with it a bit and you’ll determine a configuration that suits you. If you are just after eggs, not meat, then there is no reason to keep one of the larger.

    I look at behavior too. All the chickens in the flock have responsibilities to keep the flock happy. If a rooster is human aggressive, he does not breed. When they are adolescents, a lot of roosters can be pretty obnoxious. Most grow out of it and learn how to be a good flock master, dancing for the hens, finding them food, keeping order in his flock, and providing some protection. But some never grow out of it. Since a rooster’s behavior can change when he goes from being just one of the roosters to the flock master, it’s not always an easy decision.

    I generally look for a rooster that that is near the top of the adolescent pecking order. It does not need to be the one at the very top, but I find the ones near the top of that pecking order often have the self-confidence to make a good flock master.

    I look at the hen’s behavior too. It’s pretty normal for hens to be brutes and bullies, much more than the top rooster. Immature and non-dominant roosters can also be brutes. A decent dominant rooster will be nice to his flock and take care of all of them, though part of that may be reminding subordinate roosters they are subordinate.

    If a hen goes out of her way to be brutal to other chickens, she is on my watch list. A hen has her part to play in the mating ritual too. It’s not unusual for the hen to run away or try to avoid mating, but if she takes it to extremes, well I don’t like that. By the way, you’ll read a lot about barebacked hens on this forum. That’s where the hen loses enough feathers on her back that she is at risk of getting cut by the rooster's claws or maybe spurs during mating. Sometimes the rooster’s technique is at fault, but I’ve solved that problem by removing the hen. If I can solve that problem by removing the hen and none of the other hens then have that problem, how can it be the rooster’s fault? Yet many roosters die because of this. One of the possible causes of this is hereditary. Some hens have brittle feathers that are much more likely to break during mating than others. By removing those from breeding pool, I don’t see that problem in future generations.

    It’s not unusual for a pullet just starting to lay to drop an egg from the roost or wherever she happens to be. No big deal. When she learns control, she’ll normally be OK. But I had one that layed an egg practically every night from the roost. She never learned control. It took a couple of months to figure out which one it was.

    I once had an egg eater. It’s pretty normal for a chicken to eat a cracked or broken egg. Again, no big deal. But occasionally one learns to open a good egg to eat it. If this happens, you need to figure out which one is doing the opening and get rid of her before she teaches others.

    One of my goals is to have hens that go broody. If a hen goes broody, I try to hatch her eggs and keep her chicks in my flock.

    This is a sampling of what I look for or what I’ve seen. Other people will have different goals and select for other things. If you are breeding for show chickens, you are not as likely to look at production or behavioral criteria, for example, though some people that breed for show do look at these things. We are all different with different goals. But one thing is important. If you don’t know what your goals are, how can you select for them?
     
  10. pyro21675

    pyro21675 New Egg

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    I cross breed my red star hen with a ed rooster the chicks look like ee
     

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