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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    There are genes that are simply recessive that can linger and become problematic, because once they are seen, they are established. Then there are genes that are not purely recessive, but are a compilation of traits that can be problematic. These things are strain specific, so it is helpful to discuss with the breeder what problems he/she has dealt with. Usually there is nothing to be concerned about, and you find these things in projects and in birds that have become too inbred.

    The more information we can gather from a breeder (both good and bad), the better. Over time, you will learn the right things to ask. Most are helpful. Most real breeders are not trying to make a profit, and they will be honest and frank about any problems. If there is any.

    Challenges are not problems. Every strain has challenges. If we do not believe there is, it is because we do not know them well enough.

    Don't worry about imaginary problems. We can do more harm in the worrying than is done by any real problem we might encounter along the way.
     
  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    You're not going to be able to see everything all at once. It almost sneaks up on you. You notice one or two things more often when you're first starting. Then as you raise more birds from hatch to maturity, you start seeing other things and you make correlations with earlier observations. And you start seeing things sooner than you did before. That's the part of getting familiar with your group of birds. It seems intimidating at first, but things start slipping into place and you have those *aha!* moments and wonder why in the world you didn't see something sooner.

    I read that post about the Dels, what they did not spell out is that this was the amount of time it took to reach where they are now. It is easy to read that post talking about the different birds and how they turned out, but people don't always remember that chickens aren't ready to breed and hatch from every couple of months. It takes about a year, sometimes more, to get each group hatched and matured enough to see the results of the genetic pairings, and then be able to breed, hatch, and raise again to see further improvements or more flaws. So people shouldn't beat themselves up when they aren't getting things accomplished quickly. The postings and photos make it seem fast, but it really isn't.

    And neopolitaincrazy is so right - you'll be going along fine and something will pop up out of thin air that you have not seen in your flock before. I've seen the breeder we obtained our original birds from telling people "my birds don't have the problem". Their birds may not have that problem they were talking about, but it is in the genes because the original birds we got from them have those flaws. And then the offspring from our original birds has had some flaws come up that their parents didn't have. And we only have one breed, so we know that these issues are not coming up from any crossbreeding. They are just there and when the right combo of genetic material meets, something weird shows up. But it's not the end of the world. When these things pop up. As you get acquainted with your flock, you learn which things you need to emphasize, which things you need to fix soon, and which things can sit in the corner and simmer a while before you need to take any drastic action.
     
  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    This is why it is best to stay away from these kinds of projects when we are starting out. The Australorps are a good breed for you to start with because the color is easy to learn, and you can focus on type.

    10% is a good rule of thumb for retaining birds. I am keeping 1%-2% of my Catalanas, but they are a project. Projects of this sort tend to require hatching more and keeping less.

    I started with projects, but they were a different kind of project. I was not going to feel like I failed, because they were just layers and meat birds.
     
  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Since this a breeding for production thread, how many here are actually doing this?

    Then for those that are, how do they go about doing it?
     
  5. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This isn't exactly what you were asking about, but here goes. I think I need to light the pen for the new Wyandotte pullet that is in lay. I have never had to do this, the Dorkings laid well in low light conditions. Does it matter to the chickens whether I add light at the beginning or end of the day? Does the color of the light matter? Or can I do what ever is easiest on my schedule or the cheapest at the hardware store?
     
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  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    A white light is better than a red or blue bulb which has little effect, if any.

    The added light is generally considered better in the morning rather than evening. The extra evening lighting is more disruptive to their roosting pattern.

    When I did use lights, I had them on a timer that came on automatically in the morning. It is important that it is consistent.
     
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  7. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    I've done it once and I just got a cheap droplight from the hardware section at walmart and a cheap mechanical timer, ran an extension cord out to the pasture. Had it come on in the mornings so that they weren't confused by it getting dark in the evening but then having a light on inside when they thought they were supposed to go to bed. I used a fluorescent daylight spectrum bulb, but that is what I also use in the house so I wasn't buying anything extra.

    From some of the things I've read, it isn't supposed to take much light at all, some poultry experts say just a small nightlight bulb will suffice. I would think it might depend somewhat on the interior of your coop - the color of the walls and the space to be lit. A large area would need a higher wattage if it was bare wood compared to a smaller space and/or a space that was painted light color or white, so that the walls reflected the light rather than seeming to absorb it all.
     
  8. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    I used a light for a while this winter (3:30am until 8:30am). I put the timer in a zip lock bag and sealed as much as I could to keep dust out of the mechanism.
     
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  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  10. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    what is your primary "goal" for your flock this summer (year)?

    mine will be determining "point of lay", I have no idea what that is in my flock.
     

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