Breeding questions

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Minky, Jan 14, 2019.

  1. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Aside from things like comb, color, egg color, size etc...
    What other factors do you use to pick your rooster that you will breed?
    Should one always use the "top dog" ? Does personality pass on?

    I prefer small combs (I'm in Canada) Both my roosters have big combs- even my easter egger/CLB mix. If I choose hens with very small combs, what are the chances it will pass on? Is it 50/50? or does the comb gene come from one sex more often?

    thanks
     
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  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    They should adhere to the SOP for their breed, first and foremost in terms of shape, size, color, comb type; color of skin, leg, beak, eye, earlobe, etc.. I also like to select for vigor, egg production and if appropriate, egg color..
    If you are selecting for SOP, you can't select for comb size that deviates from that. You need to be working with a breed that is supposed to have a small comb.
    If you select for any trait, it will eventually pass on. However, if your are raising a large combed breed like a Mediterranean for example, and you select for a small comb, then they will no longer adhere to the SOP.
     
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  3. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Im just breeding for myself.
    I like lots of shades of all colours, speckles and small combs.

    And lots of big eggs of course!
    :)
     
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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    So then if you aren't trying to adhere to the original characteristics that a breed was created for, things like comb, color, size. shape don't matter to anyone but you. So you can select for any characteristics you want. There just probably won't be a market for a bird that doesn't have a breed characteristics list associated with them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2019
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    What other factors do you use to pick your rooster that you will breed?

    Decide on your goals. What traits are important to you? Those are the ones that you should be selecting for. I pay no attention to SOP but instead select for traits that I want.

    Should one always use the "top dog"

    It depends on your goals. I don't necessarily always select the one top dog bu it is usually one of the top few. One of my goals involves eating my chickens. I find that some cockerels mature earlier than others which includes growing bigger sooner so the one I keep usually is one of the dominant ones at a fairly early age. I also find that a rooster that has a lot of self-confidence usually is a better flock master. He can convince the girls to do what he wants by personality and is less likely to use force. This usually works out to be an early maturing one. But if I had a specific goal that one of the later maturing ones had that the others did not I'd have to consider that.

    Does personality pass on?

    There is always the debate about how much is nurture and how much in nature. I think both play a part so i don't breed one that has a personality I don't like.

    I prefer small combs (I'm in Canada) Both my roosters have big combs- even my easter egger/CLB mix. If I choose hens with very small combs, what are the chances it will pass on? Is it 50/50? or does the comb gene come from one sex more often?

    Comb genetics are passed down from both parents. There are two basic comb genes, rose and pea. The rose comb gene is dominant so if even one rose gene is present you get a rose comb. The pea comb gene is partially dominant. That means if both genes at that point on the DNA are pea you get a full pea comb. If only one pea comb gene is present you see the influence but it's not a pure pea comb. If both the rose and pea are present you get what we call a walnut comb. The rose and pea genes occupy different places on the DNA so you can have both. If neither rose or pea is present you get a single comb.

    There are differences in the size of hens and roosters combs and wattles so that can come into play. I'm not exactly sure how that works. But another complicating factor is that there are several different genes that can modify a comb. Some may cause the comb to stand up, some may cause it to flop over. Some can make strange shapes out of the different comb types. Some make then larger or smaller. Some are dominant, some are recessive. What effects they have just depends on which ones are present. They can come from either mother or father so crossing your large combed roosters with a smaller combed hen could easily give smaller combs to the offspring.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    My measures for vigor include how muscular the bird is. I also like males in particular to exhibit bright red face, comb and wattles. Symmetry is also important. I am not keen on roosters have trouble keeping symmetrical sickle feathers.
     
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  7. Minky

    Minky Songster

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    Very interesting. Thanks for all the feedback.

    I really like the personality of one of my roosters (gentle with the ladies and a bit shy with humans) but he sticks close to the barn, and wouldn't fight for them if a fox came by. The other rooster is a bit more shall I say "rough" with the girls, but he is alert, would take the hens all over the orchard, forest and around everywhere and I think he'd give his life for them... but he may turn into an A$$hole... he has that look in his eye.....

    I will have some more thinking to do...
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Where does the straight or single comb come in?
     
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  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I think he was discussing the comb on the OP's EE/CLB cross.
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Is a CLB comb not straight/single?
     

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