Breeding for bigger chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Oct 15, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 19, 2010
    Sandy Eggo, CA
    I have my first flock and after some research decided on SL Wyandottes. As expected some hens have really good size and width and some are scrawny little things.

    So my question is a pretty simple one; to get a bigger flock I just keep hatching eggs and cull all the smaller/ scrawnier ones right? OR should I get a bigger breed and cross them?

    Stupid question, I just don't want to end up making a mistake; like chickens that don't lay well or get flip-over or something weird...


    Thanks!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you get another breed to cross with them, you will find that some of them are scrawny little things and some are bigger, especially with hatchery chicks. There is a whole lot more to breeding them and keeping them healthy and fertile than just by choosing the biggest, but if you selectively breed for larger chickens, your flock should get bigger over time, whether it is one pure breed or a mix. If you mix breeds, you may get a big jump that first year due to hybrid vigor, but hybrid vigor does not last more than one generation. I still select the biggest and best from that generation, but the next generation may seem like a step back, but it is not really.

    Selecting for size is what I'm doing. Size is not my only criteria, but it is an important one. I keep and breed the larger ones that meet my other standards and eat the smaller ones. I do pay attention to size in the rooster and the hen, but I also want the hen to lay eggs that hatch. I want my rooster to not attack people and take good care of his girls. As I said, other criteria.
     

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