breeding for show


11 Years
May 1, 2012
is anyone here breeding for show? I am just starting and I was wondering about how many chickens/roosters you have. How many chicks do you hatch in a season? How do you raise them? Keeping the cockerels serperate from the young hens? Any information you would like to pass on would be appreciated! Thanks!! :thumbsup
With American Dominiques I use multiple breeding groups; each with 4 to 6 females and 1 male. From each group I try to hatch about 40 chicks so that can mean between 100 and 200 hundred chicks started during late winter. Culling starts immediately for those with deformities. By 12 weeks I cull those not feathering well or running small or have obvious issues with what a Dominique should have. Many culled pullets are sold to others for use as layers. Roosters largely consumed. Only about 20% of those hatched are considered suitable for breeding or being held as back up breeders. My females must get into third year before I keep male offspring from them.

Rearing I like to do free-range part of the day so they can ingest a lot of greens and get lots of excersize. I like using feeds marketed for backyard birds over those used for commercial production. For these birds that means a flock raiser once they get of the starter feed.

I run bachelor groups most years although show quality birds are kept singly in pens like you do game roosters. Show pullets also housed singly.

I am going to try to carry four males through winter for use as breeders next season. They are being isolated and conditioned for molt now.
Why is that?
For my line, I am trying to adhere to what the American Dominique is reputed to be, a decent egg producer that can become broody, but not overly so. I like hens that do not become broody until the second year of life. Once they show that, then eggs they produce go to the incubator. On the female side it slows things down a lot but weeds put individuals that are not as tough. it is from those females I select males to be used as breeders. Some of those females do not produce good sons.

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