Breeders: Numbers question for you

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Gallusfarm, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Wondering, on average, for a line, how many chicks on do you hatch out each year, and from those, how many are of exceptional quality, i.e, "make the cut"?

    Thanks. I'm just trying to understand how ya'll do it - it seems like a lot of work!
  2. Chickanmanfromarkansas

    Chickanmanfromarkansas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2010
    Depends on what you are breeding for. If your are trying to breed an already established breed and you have good quality stock you should be able to get an fair amount in a hatch or two. If it's one that you're trying to create then you are in for alot of hatches and a lot of culls. How many is depending on haw many you want to feed out at one time.
  3. cracked_egg

    cracked_egg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 2, 2010
    Ok, well what do you do with the culls? If they're younger you dont have as much $ in feed + space, but you can't eat them yet.... If they're older you have a ton of money in feed and you need way more space, but you can eat them... However if you're hatching 100 chicks to only keep 3-4, who can eat 96-97 chickens????
  4. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    Quote:Thanks, that's my question as well.
  5. ()relics

    ()relics horse/dog shrink

    Jan 4, 2009
    Quote:Thanks, that's my question as well.

    25-35% of the chicks, per year from an established breed/variety that you maintain would be considered Potentially Show Quality , providing you have SQ lines. Culls are eaten or sold as merely "chickens or Chicks". Culling can take place as early as the first day of the chicks life. I won't go into the preferred method of culling day old chicks...If you are working with a new breed/variety you will be keeping even less chicks, maybe 5-10%, until you have some sort of type set....JMO
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2010
  6. Ryu

    Ryu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    It varies by breeding pen how many I hatch out. If I am working with a new breeding match--trying a new cross, or if I know the percentage correct color ect. will be lower because I am working with recessive traits--then I hatch accordingly. With something 'new' I really like to look at at least 40 progeny to keep 2-3 birds

    If I had a good pen the previous year with established lines and am repeating the cross, then 20 is usually enough to keep 4-5.

    I am finding as I work with more and more lines of chickens that most of the priciples of breeding horses and rabbits also apply. In general I observe that most breeders are 'Rule of Ten' breeding programs (aka hybrid breeding programs: raise ten to get one good bird). There's nothing wrong with that, it just takes more room and $$ to get what you want. I have run into a few 1:2:1 breeders--those running a good true line-breeding population. I always strive for 1:2:1 (one progeny exceeds parents:2 equal parents:1 is lesser than parents)--not there yet with my birds. I've got 1-2 more generations before I get the COI up to where the progeny starts getting really predictable.

    I raised 50 LF Cornish this year, from 2 crosses 30 from 1 and 20 from the second. I will do a medium-hard cull at 6 months and those that don't make the cut will go into the freezer. I've worked with these birds the longest--there should be 10 keepers of that 5 will probably make it back into the breeding program.

    I raised 35 LF Doms--I am culling down to hopefully a trio, the rest will go in the freezer.

    I raised 70 MGB from three crosses, I will keep maybe 10. Those with DQs or serious color/conforamation faults will be removed, the rest will be sold.

    So hopefully I will go into winter with:
    4-6 LF Cornish '09 breeding birds
    5-6 LF Cornish '10 Hatch
    3 LF '10 hatch Doms
    6 MGB '09 breeding birds
    6-10 MGB '10 Hatch
    6 mixed breed LF Laying hens (just for pretty eggs)

    Then I am looking to buy 4-6 more birds from breeders, if I find what I need. I've been looking at another bantam breed, but it's hard to really think about it when I'm in the middle of culling season.
  7. HBuehler

    HBuehler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2009
    Lebanon TN
    It depends on what pen it is and the objective there...We hatched several hundred chicks this year and I have very few birds left needing a home.
    Why would you need to eat 96 out of 100 you hatch [​IMG] we only eat our meat birds never my breeding birds.Out of that 96 you have about 50 pullets(or real bad luck) those may not make your breeding pen for whatever reason but to a person wanting a few chickens in their yard for breakfast they are tickled with whatever pullets I offer up.That leaves re-homing 46 roos or inviting them to dinner..that's less than 1 a week..but we do eat 100 chickens a year here no problem.
    Depending on the pens some roos can be found right away and put up free for someone else to stick feed into or if it's out of a pen that could really offer up some breeder birds I hold onto them until they mature enough to see then sell them.My culls still may make someone a nice starter flock.
    I'm working on a project where absolutely nothing is being offered up..I also can't hatch a huge amount from this pen since the birds are not easily found that I'm using and can't get the ladies to lay more than one egg a day [​IMG] I won't know for another generation at least how well they are doing..then I will offer some.

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