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Best Way to Start Breeding Program

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by drdoolittle, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I am planning on beginning a breeding program of sorts. Part of my goal is to replenish my own flock for eggs for my self and a few people at work who buy them from me. The second goal is to start selling chicks, pullets, and roos. Some of the birds are from a local swap meet, some from Rural King, some from CL, and my silkies I got from a fellow BYC member. I like the chickens I have, but am wondering if I should start all over with better specimens if I really want to be successful selling the offspring. I don't care if my own chickens are "pure" (except for the silkies), and wonder if many small-flock chicken owners do either? Any advice?

    The breeds I would be breeding are BOs, Ameraucana, Araucana, blue silkies, and barred-rock cross. (Also, maybe a silkie/bantam cross.)
     
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    the better the stock the more likely you will have customers. It's like making anything, substandard is less valuable. Cross breeds are a dime a dozen. Find a breed you like and excel at it. I think a mistake people make starting out is they have too much on their plate. That's a lot of breeds to keep track of for a breeding program. You would have to have pens for each kind in order to ensure they are breeding true. Folks will pay for chicks and eggsbut more liekly than not, they want pure bred birds. There are plenty of threads on here of disgruntled folks not getting chicks they were told they were sold. Truth in advertising!
     
  3. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I thought so. My problem is choosing just ONE breed! My favs. are the silkies, but I worry about egg size and production. Perhaps I will choose silkies and one other breed for the eggs.
     
  4. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    That's a good idea. I have orps. I love them! But I wanted to ad some more variety so I have begun working on a variety of polish. Polish are not consistant layers and can be difficult with fertility. But I have the oprs for that.....covering all the bases!
     
  5. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    My BOs are some chickens I got from someone who just didn't want them anymore. They are a little over 2 years-----is that too old to breed? Is there any age too old to breed?
     
  6. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    I let them lay until they don't want to lay anymore. Orps tend to mature later so that helps. I think birds who aren't forced to produce - like in commercial laying facilities - have a longer laying life. Also, breeding on a more "hobby" level allows you to let the birds go as they go. My first birds were past two when they came to me. The previous owner said they weren't laying right. I had them for almost tow more years with my last girl still living. She hasn't laid since mid summer, but she was still laying fairly regularly up til then.

    Good nutrition, fresh water, and proper care will extend the laying life of any bird.
     
  7. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

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    204
    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    I have silkies that I am going to start to breed. Also going to get a dark cornish roo and 4 white plymouth rock hens for meat breeds. Also need a chock musc drake for duck breeding.

    The rest are mutts,but I love em mutts to death!
     
  8. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I do like my "mutts"-----you get an interesting array of colors!
     
  9. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Somethings to think of is what are you going to do with chicks that do not sell. Breeding you will end up with many that you can not. As was said cross breeds do not sell as well as pure. Common breeds do not sell if you have many selling that breed. As a new breeder it is also harder to sell to those that really want quality. You will need more coops and pens. Alot more feed and clean up. Remember you will have 50% rooster in a hatch. Most people do not want roosters so what will you do with them all? Do some thinking and hard planning before going this route.
     
  10. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    Gmendoza, let me know when you get your Silkies going. Am looking for some to raise for brooders and can't find any local. We pass through Rock Hill on our way to my MILs a couple of times a year.
     

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