"Breeding discussion - When to and when not to breed"

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CelticOaksFarm, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    This thread is for discussing points to consider when breeding

    NO FLAMING, no harassment, no posting just to create an argument, no moral discussions over culling


    Having pet flocks that you never set eggs from IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE. Eat the eggs, bake with them, give them away, just enjoy them. You also do not need a male bird to get eggs from female birds. (a question seen asked often recently)


    If you do chose to breed and hatch ANY birds (chickens, ducks, geese) Figure out what you are breeding for. Eggs, Meat, or Show .

    NEVER breed sick birds.............ALWAYS start with healthy stock
    this seems like a given, but as pointed out below (post #7) it has come up recently​

    Show birds:
    PLEASE do the breed you are thinking of breeding a HUGE favor and buy a copy of the Standard of Perfect from the APA, around $59 for the current hard copy with full descriptions and color pictures too! It will help guide you in what is and is not a feature/trait you should be breeding.

    1. Purchasing eggs to hatch or birds from a SQ line wont make those you have/hatch SQ or even BQ
    2. Improvement of the stock the owner has should always be the end goal of breeding.This can be for utility purposes as well as SOP/Show standards.
    3. If you are unwilling to be critical of your own birds, then ASK someone who has the same goals to help you access them.
    4. Be open to the fact you may hear negative things and that the person you asked for help from may tell you not to breed them.
    5. Dont get offended, be happy you had someone willing to help you.

    Meat:
    Select a bird originally designed for this purpose. Runners ducks are not a meat duck and you would be wasting years of time trying to develop them into such
    • Muscovy (particularly french White)
    • Silver Appleyard
    • Welsh Harlequin

    Eggs:
    As above select a breed designed to used for eggs.
    • Khaki Campbell
    • Welsh Harlequin
    • Silver Appleyard

    Someone may start a flock of Khaki Campbell ducks for instance and keep only those ducks who lay the most eggs a year. They would actively "cull" those who dont lay enough eggs a year based on their preset criteria.



    Find someone to act as your mentor who has the breed and who is actively breeding them to help guide you in your purchasing of breeding stock. A mentor can also act a key contact for other breeders as well as how to best move forward to improve your stock through breeding for future hatchlings.

    Be HONEST with yourself on what quality the birds you have is.

    Its nice to have our birds sorta help pay for the feed, but be honest, you WONT get rich off of poultry/waterfowl breeding. If you dont have the time and space to dedicate proper separated breeding pens/paddocks/pastures then dont breed.

    Terms..not a be all end all, but a good basic start


    • Cull --- to remove from a breeding program (does not always mean to kill a bird)
    • Utility breed -- bred to full fill a need (egg laying, meat production) and not necessarily a show standard
    • SQ -- show quality
    • PQ -- Pet quality
    • BQ -- Breeder quality
    • Hatchling -- newly hatched bird
    • Juvenile -- not quite point of lay or of breeding age, most commonly used to describe waterfowl
    • POL -- Point Of Lay
    • Duck -- female duck
    • Drake -- male duck
    • Goose -- female goose
    • Gander -- male goose
    • Hen -- female chicken
    • Rooster -- Male chicken
    • Pullet -- Young chicken not yet laying
    • Cockerel -- Young Rooster not quit breeding age


    Items of interest when selecting breeding stock be for utility reasons or with a goal of show quality results.

    • mean & aggressive birds ... I dont enjoy an aggressive rooster or drake or gander, I bet you dont either. DONT breed them as there is a chance to pass the trait along
    • genetically weak animals ... We dont like it, but sometimes hatchlings come out twisted for a lack of a better phrase. Meaning they have twisted beaks, a missing eye, bad legs or hips ect

    Both of the above points are reasons to cull through humanly disposing of the bird right away.......with an exception being with geese.......... Ganders (male geese) become protective during breeding season and will protect their mate and the nesting location. This shouldnt be confused with daily/year round aggression.



    You always want the "big picture" in mind so considering Vigor, Fertility, Foraging are all also points to be looked for when selecting breeding stock.

    A perfect looking bird who has ZERO fertility is really not worth much at all in the big picture of breeding poultry or waterfowl.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2013
  2. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Culling:

    To remove from a breeding program


    To cull a bird can mean many things.

    1. humanly euthanize (often used when severely injured or sick. Also used when a hatchling has genetic defect)
    2. butcher (to humanly process for what is often referred to as "freezer camp")
    3. sell as a pet/egg layer (not to be used for breeding, but still a suitable bird for a pet flock and or to provide eggs for eating)
     
  3. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] So glad I get to be here when this one started.

    I do believe in breeding for certain traits, i.e.: Meat, or egg laying abilities. However, when working with quality birds you intend on competing with and selling offspring from - it is important to stay within the standard. The standard is there for a reason. Within certain conditions of course. In addition to meeting the standard in appearance, the bird should also be healthy and lay well without babying the sick.

    I keep a lot of birds that are not hatched from. I hatch intended cross breeds for my own meat production and will sell mixed females with the clear notion that they are mixed.

    I didn't know you were so big on Khakis Celtic. Well then. I'll have to show you mine. They are not bred. Just kept as egg layers.


    [​IMG]
    Chewing on butt... Excuse her.

    [​IMG]
    I find they look drastically different from yours, so I am assuming they are terrible quality in the looks department. However, I don't breed them so see nothing wrong with keeping them solely for eggs (which they lay a ton of!)
     
  4. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    aoxa we started with a flock sole for eggs.................its evolved for sure and now hubby reads the SOP and culls for looks as well as poor laying. I need to move the Khaki info over here from the other thread, it was good info and examples since I had both to show side by side
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I don't know a whole lot about duck standards. Right now we are focused mainly on chickens (and the geese), but I do see faults much more now than I did before I purchased the standard. It is really invaluable!
     
  6. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    Great thread Shellie!

    I'll be lurking here...

    ~ Aspen
     
  7. Coyote Night

    Coyote Night Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also think sick birds should be added to the list. It seems like an obvious thing not to breed sick birds but I've seen and read a lot of this going on. I think healthy stock should always be the first place to start when selecting breeders.
     
  8. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    adding it now.....I too thought it was a given but uumm yeah adding it
     
  9. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Some of the posts to follow will be info moved from the previous thread, so will be quoting others where questions were asked so it flows and makes sense to those reading now.
     
  10. CelticOaksFarm

    CelticOaksFarm Family owned, family run

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    Quote: I have EE's and adore them. We actually introduced a larger bodied bird to them last year and had good results in larger bodied chicks and hope for larger eggs as a result too. I dont agree with hatcheries selling them under a name they are not though. everyone has things they like about the EE's. I actually dont like the game bird chipmunk EE's so I avoid them, if they hatch we sell them off. I am keeping blue EE's 2 black pure breds (for egg and leg color) along with cream and white hens. Personal likes come into play with the EE's. I can say we have a couple of nice large egg layers, I prefer darker legs not the yellow green legs. I dont like the small frame so trying to make it a bigger bird.

    If you are breeding two breeds together to create a better meat result for your own use then by all means do it. But DONT take two pure bred (who might be pet quality) and breed them and sell the eggs and off spring for top dollar like someone who hatched dozens if not hundreds and culled down to 1 or 2 keepers for the next breeding season.

    There are a number of hot topic breeds this happens with. Call ducks, Sebastopol geese, Black Copper Marans chickens - all examples from across the board that come to mind.

    As far as call ducks go, they are a fun duck, frustrating as all get out to artificially incubate for some. There are sports (pet) and SQ (the tiny billed rubber ducky look) sports or pet quality ara readily available. For someone who wants a couple of tiny pet ducks these serve the purpose.

    We plan to cross two goose breeds for self serving reasons. One is a smaller than normal for the breed goose who we will cross with a large gander from another breed. The off spring will be table birds. if the cross doesnt work thats fine, but its worth the try for a table bird without inter fearing with our pure flocks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013

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