BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL, if you insulted people by asking that question, then the problem is with them. They let themselves be insulted and I have a feeling it is either because they felt dumb that they couldn't answer your questions because they didn't know, or they didn't care what production was and they felt that you should have just oohed and aahed over how pretty their birds were, or because their production sucks and they were embarrassed to be asked that question. In any case, that was their problem, not yours. Show people SHOULD be concerned about production, otherwise they will wind up breeding themselves into a corner because they can't reproduce the birds they have if their birds won't lay.

    Seeing where I came from and where I am now, I better understand where some of the problem is with frustration from newbies. Like you mention, one person says a bird looks great and another says it doesn't. It's hard to know who is right. Thing is - both are right, depending on the perspective. It depends on what you are looking for. I have people tell me how beautiful my birds are, while I think "eh, that one is ok, but its tail is a little pinched". I'm looking at different things than other people. Same thing when I go to a show. I'm not looking at all the pretty feathers like a lot of people. I'm look at things like how crisp the barring is in a Barred Rock. How deep is the chest, how wide is a bird. Does that bird have an overall healthy appearance or does it look like someone washed it to make it pretty, but it really isn't as good as it could be. So much is about perspective. A bird that lays every other day or every few days is ok for my purposes. But for people that want to have an egg selling business, that is nowhere near enough eggs. Perspective.

    Newbies also want specific answers on how to breed for best production, how to breed for best color, for best size, etc. What doesn't seem to get conveyed very well is that there is no one way to raise or breed a chicken. It's all relative to what each person's expectations are and what their situation is. But nobody tells you that. I think either the old timers either never were really "new" because they grew up learning as kids and have always known certain things, or they have forgotten what it is like to be new and haven't figured out how to pass on what they know in a way that other people can understand easily.

    You can learn a lot from the old books, but after a while, there isn't any more that you can learn until you start doing. You have to be able to see the results of your choices before some of the questions get answered in your head. We just finished butchering today and saw the results of some choices we made and it was great to get the firsthand look at how certain things worked. The books only tell you so much, and people answering questions only tell you so much. It's the birds themselves that really show you how things fit together. Things start clicking a lot better and you stop being so frustrated after you just start doing and have real live poultry to make all the connections. My hubby and I were just discussing this today while we were butchering roosters and seeing the results of some of our husbandry decisions in the appearance of the carcasses. Every day is a learning experience that you just can't get from trying to piece it together in your head without having the birds there in front of you.

    There isn't so much of a problem with hatchery birds except you can't continue to have hatchery birds if you don't have standard bred birds. Even hatcheries have to periodically reinfuse new blood from heritage lines, otherwise their birds will lose the characteristics that make each breed a breed. What would happen if nobody wanted to raise heritage birds and breed them to their standard? We'd wind up with a bunch of multi colored chickens that look alike except for color and maybe type of comb. And really, the work has already been done for you when you buy hatchery birds. You pretty much know to expect that you're gonna have higher production of eggs with a hatchery bird, and when you buy a meat bird from a hatchery, it's going to be ready to slaughter much earlier than a standard bred bird and have more breast meat on it. It's the standard bred birds that need more work on production. To me, I don't see how people can ignore either the standard or production, they really should go hand in hand.
     
  2. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Good birds are worth the extra money. The cheapest part of any animal is the purchase of the animal. Consider what it would take in both time and money to breed the birds up. It may cost a couple hundred dollars vs. a hundred dollars initially, but we save money in the long run. That is if the interest is breeding them up. If not, the hatcheries might be a better option. It is certainly a more affordable option.
     
  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    The big birds eat big. There is no way around that.

    I think the Welsummer is an overlooked bird. They do not have the size of the Marans, and that could be considered an advantage.
     
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    You have good looking birds.
     
  5. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah, I'm one of those researchers and readers. And yes, it does seem that people have not changed in 100 years. Old magazines talk about the bickering about the production values and the beautiful show values. I'm trying to do both. Ken, what a couple of wonderful birds you have there. My XW cockerel finally started crowing last week and I think the pullets, both the Blosl and XW are getting ready to lay. And boy, am I waiting in the wings. I don't know how many eggs they will lay. But I'll be breeding a bunch to sell. And also, I'd like to get a good New Hampshire and mix the Blosl silver gene with them to give good hybrid values. Whether sex link with the NH cock over the Blosl Hen or the Blosl cock over the New Hampshire pullets. They won't be sex link but will give a good grow out time and size.
    And sometimes, it's not all about production. Every person that has walked on my place and looked at the White Plymouth Rocks have dropped chins and whipping out a piece of paper to give me their phone number to call when I get eggs or chicks. A very exciting year.
    A little bump in the road on my plans to get the 40 ISA Browns. Money, money money. A trip to the ER the other night wiped out the stash I'd put aside for them. Bummer. Can't be helped. I still have plenty to occupy my time. ha
     
  6. weavers rocks

    weavers rocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks
     
  7. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I actually think that rhodebars or cream legbars could be my perfect layer breed, bit I'm not sure if anyone is breeding them for production qualities yet. They're so young in the states, I feel a bit inclined to jump into the melee and get some stock I can breed up to MY production standards while others worry about that standard crap. Maybe bring in some birds that match those standards later on.
     
  8. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    I've exchanged a few messages with one of the guys trying to work on the legbars and have heard how very frustrating it has been. Seems that they were brought over here and not much done in the way of raising offspring to maturity to see the results of the matings before being sold to the public and there are a lot of issues that still need to be bred out of them.
     
  9. HaikuHeritageFarm

    HaikuHeritageFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's what I've been afraid of. Hoping to find someone with a large flock that is producing large blue eggs well,so I can buy hatching eggs, but that might be a dream. Our even with the rhodebars, which are having similar problems. The RB are heavier,though. It's hard to believe there are no standard bred brown egg laying equivalents to leghorns. Surely there is an obvious solution I'm not thinking of.
     
  10. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll be getting some CCL eggs hopefully next month from a buddy in South La. She is close to me. Same state. She's really loving hers.
     

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