Breeding for Show

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by EmmC, Jan 16, 2017.

  1. EmmC

    EmmC Out Of The Brooder

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    I have had chickens for probably 10+ years, and I am interested in starting to establish a show quality flock of birds to show and/or sell. I have some experience in raising chicks, but they have always just beenough backyard mixed breed chicks. I have a few questions regarding where to start;

    I plan on buying quality birds to start my flock. Should I make sure that my room and hens are not related, or does it not matter?

    How many roosters and hens should I have together? I have heard of 1 roo and 2 or 3 hens, or just pairs. Which works best?

    Any other tips or things I need to know?

    Thanks for any input, I have just started reaserching, and there are so many opinions and options out there that I don't know where to start.
     
  2. BBCHICKS123

    BBCHICKS123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do not get a hen and a rooster that are related it is bad for the birds and they will produce unhealthy offspring
     
  3. EmmC

    EmmC Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, good to know. Thanks!
     
  4. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

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    Do you know which breed you want to start with? Some are in better shape than others.

    In general most show fowl are linebred, so likely any birds you get will be related. There are some lines out there that have had no new blood in decades.
     
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  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nope, that's not true.
     
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  6. EmmC

    EmmC Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been thinking to start out with Dominiques or seramas.Do you know of the quality of the lines of these breeds?
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2017
  7. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    If you want to win, you need bird's from the top strains which are winning.
    Best in Seramas that I know of is Jerry's Seramas in Louisiana. http://jerrysseramasllc.weebly.com/
    In Dominiques, I don't know. Here is the webpage for the Dominique Club National Meet results:
    http://www.dominiqueclub.org/?page_id=259 chck out the names. John Womack won 5 of 14 placements. Vince won 5 of 14 placements. Between them, their excellent birds took 10 of 14 placements in the 4 classes. Vince Cooper had the best bird in the breed. Notice that bird also went on to beat all the other breeds in the American Class. That's like winning First In Group at a dog show. Great stufff considering the other popular breeds that bird had to defeat! Under "Show Awards" look at the spread out wing of Mr. Cooper'sbird. See how lovely the bars are? That's why you don't cross strains and why you do start with a winning, vintage , linebred strain! Wow! It takes a lot of dedication and skill to get barring like that! Look under the Club's Awards column and check out the Member of the Year, High Show Points and esp. The Master Breeder awards. Contact those folk ans ask them what strain they are breeding. See if you can find a comminality of strains among their winning ventures.
    If you like the Dominique then as in any breed here's what you have to do:
    You will need a trio (1M.2F) or a quad ( 2M,2F) to get started I recommend a quad so if anything happens to your cock, you have a back-up male. Choose your breed. Concentrate on only one or at the most 2 breeds. Go to the breed Club's homepage and see who has the main winning strains. You are seeking strains which have been line-bred for many generations. This is esp. true of breeds with more than one color on the bird. It takes a long time to get the gene pool stable enough so the quality colors appear reliably over multiple generations. Poultry have a very wide genetic base a lot of sex-linked genes so they can well handle
    line-breeding and in-breeding.
    Now, you want
    1 .A line-bred ( needed for stable gene pool
    2. vintage strain( takes time to stabilize all those genes)
    3. which has been winning in quality competition ( large shows, lots of entries)
    4. over multiple generations. ( proof the excellence is in the strain, not just one bird).
    Best for show to choose a breed with only one color on its body. The breed is the silhouette. That's why you need to buy the best silhouette ( breed type) you can find. It will cost money. Be prepared to pay for the best and their many years of work. The Northeast Poultry Congress was just last weekend in Hartford/Springfield MA. It draws the top birds in the Nation. The pictures should be up by now. Take a look at the winners for good breed type.
    In poultry people aren't really impressed if you win with a bought bird. They are interested that particular strain won, but not so much in you because it was not your effort which bred that bird to its winning excellence. They will be more impressed when you raise chicks from your birds and those birds win. Because it was your own effort which got them there.
    Now a word about starting your flock. Start with "started birds" (6-12 weeks old). Many of the top breeders will not sell baby chicks or eggs. Because they want to make sure you are getting birds representative of their dedicated efforts. You, on the other hand, want birds which have been culled at least once for quality and are out of their chick down so you can see the plumage.
    Do not cross strains to found flock. It's a huge mistake. I cannot stress this strongly enough. It takes time to stabilize a poultry gene pool. It may seem tempting to want to cross 2 top winning strains and make even better birds. Butit doesn't work that way in poultry because of all the sex-linked genes. It will take you generations to get the product of strain-cross back to the excellence of one gene pool or the other. Even many more generations should you decide you really want a true meld of the 2 strains.
    Pick one strain and line-breed on it. There is no perfect chicken. Take that strain and line-breed it, selecting for even more excellence and making it even better thn it was.
    Breeding advice, Tell the breeder you want foundation birds. Ask for started birds or retiring breeder birds . Sometimes a top breeder will have high quality breeders they don't need any more because they have their descendants. If they have a couple more seasons left in them go for it. If you can get an older cock, and started pullets, it's a good breeding to breed an older cock to pullets. Look to your breeder person for advice and counsel on breeding choices. they know how their gene pool inherits and throws faults and virtues. Seek advice from the for the 1st 3 generations of your breeding. By the 4th, you should be wise in how the gene pool throws and inherits and how to choose excellence wisely.
    Best Regards,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  9. EmmC

    EmmC Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, thanks [​IMG]
     

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