Breeding from hatchery stock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by raecarrow, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. raecarrow

    raecarrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello,

    I will be receiving a batch of 30 straight run Buff Orp chicks at the end of the month from Murray McMurray. I tried finding a breeder around where I live, but to no avail. Most chicks you can find easily around here are the result of mixed flock breeding, or are leftovers from hatchery orders in breeds I don't want. I want to get to a good, self sustaining flock of BOs, but I don't know if that would be achievable with hatchery stock.I was also considering working BOs from different hatcheries into the stock as well. Should I try to find BOs from utilitarian minded breeders even if they have to ship them? I'm trying to do my research now so I can start record keeping for breeding purposes once I get the chicks.

    Thanks,
    Rae
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    What do want them for should be your first question. I personally prefer hatchery stock because they lay better, seem healthier and aren't as prone to going broody.

    Many breeders first breed for looks. Egg production can often suffer because of it.

    So are you looking for a self sustaining flock? Or are you looking to show and sell birds?

    The purpose for your birds can dictate the source for them. I've had breeders birds. They sure were pretty but mostly useless for egg production. They were good broodies, but were broody a lot which I found irritating.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
  3. raecarrow

    raecarrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We want them as egg, meat, and incubator birds with good dispositions. We would like at least a few of them to go broody a year, enough to do 30-50 eggs. I could breed the ones that go broody, I guess, selecting for the trait at least part of the time. What is the best way to figure out my best layers? Or should I get a few breeder birds that are broody. I guess we can create our own custom stock who give us the best mix of what we are looking for. Is it a good idea to get stock from several different hatcheries to get a wider bloodline?
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I would simply raise up those birds this summer, and band the earliest, and best layers. Choose your best roo. Be sure you look at his behavior as well as body conformation and feathering. When you start collecting hatching eggs, save the eggs from your best hens. Of course, if you do have a broody hen, you'll want to hatch eggs from her as well. By consistently choosing the best eggs, from the best hens from the best roos, you will eventually end up with BO's that are better than what you started with.
     
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  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    x2 on LazyGardener's post.

    I think the hatchery birds will be just fine for what you want. Any other birds out there are either going to be show stock, or descended from hatchery stock themselves.

    Problem with wanting one breed to do all that is, you wind up with a kind of mediocre bird. A bird can't be both a great egg layer and a good broody. Most good egg layers aren't very meaty. You kind of have to pick and choose, and that's where your own selective breeding comes in. Select your earliest maturing rooster(s), with the best disposition. You can't tell about his egg production or broody genetics, so you kind of just have to roll the dice on that. Pick you earlier maturing hens, and your best layers. Hatch their eggs. If you get a hen that goes broody, tag her so you can hatch her eggs once she starts laying again. Repeat this for a few generations and you'll have a flock producing birds you like.


    Since you're new here, I'd advise to do a search on username Ridgerunner. He's got a self-sustaining flock, pretty much what you're looking for. His is mixed breeds, but same basic principles. He bred strongly for broodiness and meat production and seems very happy with his flock. He does advise using an incubator, depending on how many chicks you plan to hatch. Being dependent on the hormones of a hen is an iffy thing.
     
  6. raecarrow

    raecarrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do you tell which hens are laying first to tag. I'm positive that not all of our current batch of leghorn crosses are laying yet but I can't tell which ones are. I've heard of setting trap nests to see who is laying, but that sounds rather complicated. Or do you split up your birds into their own little areas, that would be a pain with 15-30 hens.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Sorry, your looking for 100% and only getting ?%........Depending on the Hatchery?........I get great, beauitiful Birds......Always healthy.....I thought it was wrong to Dis companies here on BYC?....Names should not be stated.......


    Cheers!
     
  8. raecarrow

    raecarrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Who said anything dissing a hatchery? I have chicks on order from Murray McMurray, but was concerned about getting a sustainable flock from hatcheries and I am looking for advice.

    My comment about the Leghorns we currently have may be what you took as dissing. We didn't get them from a hatchery, but from a neighbor who set a batch of leghorn cross mutts for us to learn on.
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

     
  10. raecarrow

    raecarrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Gotcha, thanks!
     

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