Breeding and culling (for personality traits)

SarahGfa

Crowing
Jan 26, 2018
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I have a Question for breeders. If you are trying to breed chickens with certain personality (intelligence, won't attack humans, not-flighty), what age do you cull?
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
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Soon as they are big enough to eat or when they start displaying bad behavior. If they are big enough to act the fool and tick me off, they're big enough to eat.
This post was about human aggressiveness.
As for intelligence, you can cull your whole flock and not find one that is not a bird brain.
If you don't like flightiness, just get some heavy breeds and stay away from leghorns and other Mediterranean breeds.
 

SarahGfa

Crowing
Jan 26, 2018
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This post was about human aggressiveness.
As for intelligence, you can cull your whole flock and not find one that is not a bird brain.
If you don't like flightiness, just get some heavy breeds and stay away from leghorns and other Mediterranean breeds.
There is still a lot of personality difference between birds of the same breed. I am just wondering, for people who hatch a lot and only keep a few, at what age do you have a pretty good idea of what their "bird brain" personality is like?
 

EggWalrus

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There is still a lot of personality difference between birds of the same breed. I am just wondering, for people who hatch a lot and only keep a few, at what age do you have a pretty good idea of what their "bird brain" personality is like?
With my birds I can usually tell within a couple months of crowing. But some of the best roosters I've had were total Jackass Jerks while they were teens and their hormones were raging . And no two are alike. The sweetest roo could turn into a monster after he's 18 months old, or a young "jerk" roo could become a great flock leader/protector. You just never know.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
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Oct 16, 2010
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when teenagers you'd cull. Teenage years in chickens are when nearing sexual maturity. Personality has genetics and nurturing involved. How you raise them and adult flock members will have a large impact on their temper.

Culling unwanted behavior of adults then having remaining flock raise young birds goes a long way. Say you have a cock bird that aggressively mates- rough on the hens. You'd be better off culling him and having the hens raise the next group of cockerels. They will put them in line. Cull to your breeder roasting age (24 weeks) and he'll be a much better flock master when full size.
 

Shadrach

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Jul 31, 2018
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Personality may be determined by many factors.
The genes that might be said to make up some of the most basic drives that effect what we perceive as personality have not even been identified yet let alone enough knowledge gained to be able to predict which combinations will produce particular results from generation to generation.
A chicken that behaves in a particular way in one set of circumstances may behave completely differently in another set.
In order to thoroughly assess the chickens personality one would need to expose it to a wide range of circumstances and that takes time and experimentation.
There are very very few breeders that are interested in doing this.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
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Truthfully, there is no specific date. You get better chicken society with more than enough space, and a multigenerational flock. Birds raised in this scenario are much more apt to fit in the flock, than birds just raised with flock mates or birds raised in too tight of quarters.

Some birds will fit in your set up and flock, and some never will. I keep a flock, and I strive to maintain peace in the flock. And I am willing to cull and add birds to do so.

Mrs K
 

Folly's place

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Some breeds tend to be mellower, some are flighty, some more timid, and some very bold. There will be a range of behaviors within each group though, so how you decide to manage a breeding group will depend on who you start with, and what your goals are.
Start with a breed that tends to be what you like, and go from there.
There are many reasons to eliminate an individual, or a whole family, from the breed pen, and temperament is one of them. You aren't going to find a perfectly conformed sweet genius, so it's necessary to work with who you have, and cull as you go along.
Mary
 

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