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. Purchasing eggs to hatch or birds from a SQ line wont make those you have/hatch SQ or even BQ 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. If you are unwilling to be critical of your own birds, then ASK someone who has the same goals to help you access them. 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. 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.