BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    The CX of today is not the blending of two breeds. It is simpler for people to understand that they are Cornish x Rocks, but that is not the case.

    There is some value in breed crosses at home. I think there could be a role for Standard breeds in traditional simple crosses where one can effectively manage two breeds.
     
  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    But would there be any real value in in crossbreeding if there were pure standard bred birds that were raised for their all around appearance and utility purposes? Why reinvent the wheel? And what about the future?

    I understand all the hybrid vigor stuff, but the fact remains that for everything, you still need pureblooded fowls to refresh hatchery stock, to be able to make hybrids, etc. So if more standard bred birds were actually functioning as they should, instead of being pretty feather dusters, would there be a need to make these crosses?

    There will always be a market for crosses and hatchery stock. But should there be more emphasis placed on getting breeders of pureblood poultry to improve production and make their pretty feather dusters useful again?
     
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  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    You can do what you are describing. It is no small project, but you do have a simple color.

    The results of the initial cross would be more consistent than they will if the offspring were crossed. The variability will show up. It might be advisable to go back to the Standard bred birds again. Then continuing with them @ "3/4". It would require a lot of hatching and growing out birds to select good birds to move forward with. It is possible to establish a flock of good type that is productive like this.

    I am not recommending this to you or anyone. This would be no small project. If you want to show your birds, this is not the way to go.
     
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    That depends on the individual, and their goals. And that is not reinventing the wheel. That wheel has been turning as long as poultry has been in actual production. If you want to find a niche for these birds, then you will have to find a way for them to compete. If two quality flocks are maintained, it is better than none. You still have to have the parent flocks.
    You mentioned the SPN recently. They allow for these crosses to carry their label. They recognize this as a legitimate way to put these birds to work.
    I think a rejection of this method is short sided. I will repeat, you have to have two pure bred flocks to create a simple traditional cross. Without the parent flocks, there is no cross.

    And I do not know where you get the idea that these hatcheries refresh their flocks with "heritage" (I hate that word) birds. Surely there is the occasional case, but this is not normative. The implication that this is standard procedure is not accurate.

    I agree and am most interested in the preservation of Standard bred birds. I also am not interested in imposing that view. This is a production thread where any number of interests are represented.

    I am editing to add this from my previous post, because I believe you missed it. "I think there could be a role for Standard breeds in traditional simple crosses where one can effectively manage two breeds."

    Note "could be" and "where one can effectively manage two breeds".
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015
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  5. RedRidge

    RedRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Keep in mind also that heritage and standard bred are two totally different things.
    I hear people say all the time they have heritage RIR. Where did they get them? A hatchery. That means they have leg horn in them. Heritage refers to the history of a breed. Standard bred are the birds I consider pure.
     
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  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree. I have no issue with the word or definition, but how it has come to be used.
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  8. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    I have run across mentions of hatcheries periodically obtaining fresh standard bred stock from folks, even citing names that "so and so" sold some stock to a hatchery. Perhaps some do, some don't. But I do know that somewhere down the line, there has to be standard bred birds available somewhere if they are going to be able to continue to offer birds that even remotely resemble the breeds they are supposed to be, and new hatcheries are popping up as the backyard chicken craze continues to boom.

    The SPN is about production. I do know some folks that participate in the SPN who maintain pureblooded stock. Of course anything that is not strictly for pureblooded poultry is going to be at odds with the APA somewhat.

    Yes, this is a production thread. But when I am frequently seeing so many folks trying to go what they think is the easy route by crossbreeding to get what they want, I think it's a disservice NOT to show them that crossbreeding is not the magic pill they think it is.

    People come here wanting the magic formula for breeding and raising birds, and when they are told that there is not a magic formula, then they turn to the idea of crossbreeding because they think it will get them to their destination faster. The reality is that it is hard enough to get your pureblooded birds to do what you want, and crossing birds may throw in even more problems than people realize. But every time we have people desperate to get productive birds, cross breeding always makes an appearance because someone thinks it will get them to their goals faster, and that isn't the case for most people, especially since it is usually people that have not seriously bred birds before, that want to crossbreed.

    People need to know the truth. That you must have realistic expectations of your birds first and foremost. You need to get to know your birds, not just the breed (or lack of breed), but the birds as individuals. You have to see how your husbandry skills affects your birds. Whether or not what you're feeding them and how you're feeding them is helping you reach your goals. Weather, environment, health, and husbandry all play a huge part in the productivity of poultry. It isn't all genetics. You can crossbreed birds all you want and ignore the effects the other things are having on your birds, and your productivity is going to suck. There are a ton more variables besides just genetics that affect productivity, but people aren't telling newbies that. I know, because I was one of those complete newbies a few years ago that kept getting told that it was all about breeding the genetics but few people discussed with me how much the other things impact a flocks productivity. People are told "Get the best birds you can from a reputable breeder". But that's it. And people wind up thinking if they buy birds that won ribbons at a show, that in their first year or at most two years of breeding, they are going to wind up with the most awesome chicken flock. Heck, that's how some of these show people are making a good bit of cash selling "show quality" eggs and chicks and people buy them thinking they are getting the best birds in the world. And they're disappointed. And then you have the people who hear that show birds are horrible at production, stay away from them, get such and such chicken mutt and your worries will be over. And then those people are disappointed when they discover that their supposedly productive birds are not meeting all their expectations and they don't know why. I was on a homesteading forum a few weeks ago and some poor woman was upset because she had bought hatchery meat mutts and couldn't figure out why they were looking so bad. Turns out that they were dying from organ failure because she did not butcher them soon enough. She thought that they could live long productive lives and be a normal self-perpetuating flock, not realizing that they were not meant for long life spans.

    I don't have a problem with people crossbreeding, if that's really what they want to do. But I don't think that people should sit silently by and fail to educate people on the realities of chicken keeping and let them know that they can likely reach their goals by using stock that is already available. For a complete newbie that is often found on BYC, they need people to show them how to start with something manageable, like taking one breed and learning how their choices and situation affect those birds. They need to know that it is important to have realistic expectations, and that there are no shortcuts to having a great flock. They need to know that there are plenty of pureblooded birds out there that can meet their needs and that crossbreeding may be fun, but it doesn't guarantee them a formula for fast success, or any success, in reaching their goals. We can teach them that it generally takes as much work and time to make a crossbreed chicken meet their needs as it does to have a "heritage" bird meet their needs. And that they can be part of keeping a heritage breed from extinction for no, or not much, more work than it would take them to make up their own crossbreed for themselves.

    We are setting people up to fail when we don't tell them the realities of chicken keeping. I think of the recent newbie that kept asking for a detailed written plan to help them reach their goals, and then seemed to doubt themselves that they might be able to understand the science of chicken keeping but not master the artistry of chicken keeping and be able to succeed. I worry that that person will give up before they have a chance to really see something great come out of their flock. Hellbender does great with his stock, including when he crossbreeds. He's also got a good bit of experience and a good husbandry system set up. He knows how to listen to what his flock is telling him. And he also knows that success doesn't happen overnight or even on one breeding season. Newbies don't always realize that what is successful for one is not successful for another, and that positive experience and success in small things makes a difference in taking on larger projects. We have to show them where to start first. We have to show them how to succeed instead of setting them up for failure by letting them think that things, like crossbreeding, is going to be their magic potion instead of hard work and time. We need to show them to start small while thinking big, otherwise they may be more apt to become disappointed and leave poultry altogether.
     
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  9. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:With deep respect for your opinion, I think that it is up to the person what they want. My circumstances are that I'm 67 and I just don't have the years and years to breed to my specification. Hybrid birds will suit me fine. I feel no shame at using them and treat them as a tool to get a better carcass or more eggs. What's wrong with that. I don't have to crank out a bunch of them to sell, but if I choose to do so, who cares? I'm not trying to set the world on fire, but make a few bucks at eggs and hatching eggs and chicks. I don't feel the need to show my White Rocks although I'm sure they would win around here. Knee surgery will take care of that. I am keeping the white rocks pure. Right now I have the Blosl pair in one coop and the XW trio in the other. Later I will mix the offspring together and get something really special. The hybrid will be New Hampshire over the silver gene white rocks or coronation sussex.
     
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  10. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Just because hatcheries have used somebody's birds at some point does not mean much. Not as much as you claimed initially. I can think of a few cases that support the position that you held earlier, but not to the extent of your claim. It is not a typical practice.

    I have no loyalties to the SPN or any like organization. They are about production, true. Chickens are livestock. They, however, require their members to use Standard bred fowl, and breed to the Standard. How well these policies work in practice is unknown to me, and frankly, it does not matter to me.

    I still hold the position that there is nothing irresponsible or immoral about utilizing traditional simple crosses from Standard bred birds. I still think that is a good way to put the birds to work for some that have the resources and know how.

    You still misread, misunderstand, and misrepresent the point in the original post. It had little to do with all of this.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2015

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