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breeding

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by minister man, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. minister man

    minister man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been reading a book called "start where you are with what you have" ( Ralph Sturgeon). Under his heading "basic how to program" he says

    " Choose you breeding methods after careful study of several desirable plans you may wish to follow, aware that the approach that most often used successfully is concentration of those individuals that have the most of the best and the least of the worst." ( pg 32)

    I know that breeding starts with compensation and complimentary matings to eliminate the worse, and select for the best. I have researched and "carefully Studied" several plans that I am trying to decide between. I am wondering how to decide which is best? which will work? are they all as good as the other? So I need your help to access each one. I am sure that they all accomplish different things, but I don't know which are good. I am listing them in the order that I think would work best for me, but what do you think is best?


    Rolling mating ( 2 pens with old hens and young males in one pen, and pullets and old hens in other)
    Because It uses old birds, it seems to breed for longvity, Easy, only two pens, birds are either old or young, so less record keeping) ( probably the most inbreeding though)


    Spiral matings ( 3 pens with 4 females and a male, pullets compared to their mother, and keep the best 4 for next year, compare sons to dad, if better use son, if not uise dad, roatate one pen.


    Single mating line breeding - Individual pens, where the female stays the same for 3-4 years and mated to her most recent progeny and pens where the male stays the same and mates with most recent daughters, crossing the lines every 3-4 years.


    So what do you think? What do you see as the pros and cons of each? which should I pick?
     
  2. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With breeding (one of my favorite subjects) there are several consideration or questions that will help you choose the method that is best for you.

    1. What is your goal in breeding? Do you plan to show your fowl or are they just for your own enjoyment? Are you breeding to the Standard?

    2. Do you like to keep records? Single mating is the most intense as it comes to record keeping; rolling matings the least.

    3. How much space do you have? Single mating requires numerous pens; whereas, flockmating such as seen with the rolling matings requires only 2.

    4. How many cocks do you plan to keep? With single mating you can rotate the cock between pens, but if you are doing that then you might as well flock mate; unless you are just keen on knowing which hen threw which chicks.

    Though Schneider called it Spiral Matings, where he came up with that term I'll never know: but plan to ask him the next time I see him; This is an old Cocking Method and has always been known as Clan/Family or Yard Matings. It has been used for centuries by cockers.

    A variation on Family Matings is the method I use with the Cubalayas. With my Asil I use single matings.
     
  3. minister man

    minister man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1) goal in breeding - A presentable ( not necessarily perfect), Productive ( white egg layer that covers feed cost with eggs) Pleasing ( A good looking bird that lays well will please me)
    I.E "tripple 'P' Poultry

    2) I start out well keeping records, but tend to get confused, because "I will write that down later" which I sometimes forget.
    Sometimes find sorting birds according to tow punches confusing and stressful, because sometimes they grow back in and I end up with a nice bird with no marking.

    3) Space is of a premuim, because of Canadian winter, all birds need to be inside in winter, and probably insulated as well. Currently I have a builidng divided into to pens that would hold 10 birds each, plus 3- 3X6x3 pens for spare males/ small matings. I use my horse stalls for raising young in summer when the horses are in the pasture. Single- mating pens, as I understand it need to have more space per bird than group pens. That makes single matings less practicle to me. The less pens to clean and feed the better, but I need to have enough to make it work. There is no point of keeping too few pens and not have it work.

    4) As many as I need to and as few as I have to. I need enough males to keep the diversity up, but lets face it they complicate housing, because they need seperated so they don't fight and/or so that I know who the dad is at least.


    Apparently the term "Spiral mating" came from the fact that the males rotate in the same direction each year, in the same way that a post hole auger "spirals down into the ground". He recommends that not all the females are replaced each year but that the young are added to their mothers, rather than replace them to keep more diverstiy in the females.

    The only problem that I have with a Family/ clan mating is that to hatch enough chicks off of three pens to be able to have some to select from, I would have to hatch probably 20-30 time 3.
    That is a lot of birds to house and feed. Only to get rid of 90% of them. Feed here is about 16$ for 45lbs. Although I understand it is perfectly acceptable to only breed one clan per year, but then all the birds are three when they breed.




    I want a self replacing flock of good looking white egg layers ( working with Standard size SS Hamburgs). Mated in a practical pattern, that is easy to keep track off, easy to record the matings, with enough birds to close breed to improve faults, and wide enough genetics to maintain the improvements, without having to have so many birds and pens that it takes for ever, and a million dollars to feed them.

    I think that covers your questions to, me.

    thanks MM
     
  4. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rolling Matings would probably be the easiest based on your answers and fulfill all your needs.

    Yeah, I figured out where Schneider got the term from when I first read it. I just didin't/still don't like it. If you have an Ancient Breeding practise then you don't give it a knew name. To me that's akin to plagarism of sorts.

    I do think you have misunderstood Clan/Family Matings; actually, I prefer the term 'Yard' Matings.

    You do not have to breed all three yards each year. That is a misnomer. (Or, four, five, six yards: however many you may have; though three is the 'norm'). If you are using three Yards, then just place them on a rotation basis.

    Let's use colors to distinguish your Yards and bands to match those colors: Red, Blue, White:

    2012:
    Breed the Red Yard females. Use males from either the Blue or White yards. (Remember the Yards should be Matriarchal).

    2013
    Breed the Blue Yard females. Use males from either Red or White yards.

    2014
    Breed the White Yard females. Use males from either Red or Blue yards.

    Repeat.

    This keeps inbreeding to a minimum. It also introduces longevity into your flock because the breeding females are at least 3 years of age and it is possible that some will eventually be 6 years of age. This is a great thing and lacking in many flocks today. Plus, it actually breeds in disease resistance as well, because the pullets are having to survive for 3 years come what may to be able to be producers.
     
  5. minister man

    minister man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess people change names to make it sound like it is something differnt than other use. I was reading about a method called "the braid" method of breeding but after inquiring, I learned that it was the same system, the birds rotating like three strands in a braid. Some places the "rolling mating" is called the "Old farmers method". I have always liked the rolling mating system. I am sort of afraid of it for two reasons. Maybe you can help put those fears to rest.


    1) Most times when I read of it, there is a line that says that People who use that system, keep side matings of linebreeding to use with it. I am not sure what that means, but if that is necessary only with that system, then is there a flaw in that system that it compenstates for?

    2) If a system, that small and that easy works, and works well, why are there so many other............ more complicated systems out there? I guess I am wondering why people do more work, if they really don't need to? That makes me think that they need to.


    Any thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  6. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1. They keep the side matings to introduce either new 'blood' into their line or to intensify certain traits: hence the linebreeding. With new blood you don't want it to ruin what you've been doing. So, by only breeding say one hen and then breeding her progeny for 2 or 3 generations you are able to less the effect of the new blood.

    2. Rolling matings is the easiest. Why doesn't everyone use it? Several reasons; I'll explain using the other methods and historical experience.

    a. Single matings: Many cockers wanted to know which hens produced which stags as sister are not exactly the same. Thus, the cocker would single mate to know the results. Likewise, a univeristy person would want to know which hen produced the most eggs and then breed the stags from that hen back to her.
    b. Family matings: requires at least three sets of cocks. Most want to keep at least 2 from each yard, possibly 3. Thus, you end up with a minimum of 6 cocks. This keeps up diversity very well, but requires lots of space.

    Finally, rolling matings is the old farming method. That was also a strike against it in the past. Farmers were consider to be 'less than' the commercial person or the cocker. Thus, his/her methods were held suspect. Today, we would call it prejudice.
     
  7. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope this has helped.
     
  8. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, by the way, that goal about breaking even between the eggs and feed: IT AIN'T GOING TO HAPPEN. I'd jettison that goal at the start so that it doesn't get in your way later on.
     
  9. minister man

    minister man Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I kind of knew that I wasn't going to pay the feed bill with eggs, but if I can produce a fairly good egg laying strain, then I can made sell a few birds and make up some of the differnence.

    Yes the information/ conversation has been helpful. Basicly, you are saying that people thought farmers were to stupid to come up with anything good. That I understand, growing up on a dairy farm there are lots of people who think that farmers are stupid. However, they have all the means of supporting thier own needs, while those who think they are smarter have to rely on the farmers for everything, because they don't grow any food themselves. So which way is really the ones not exhibiting thier smarts?

    I know that there are alot of variables in breeding, from the faults in the original stock, to my ability to select those faults out and build on the strenghts. But all those things being equal, would you feel confident to use a "rolling mating" in your own breeding system?

    I am thinking later a rolling mating could go from flock mating to single mating, as long as the same Old on young principal was followed, you know, if need be.

    Are you, by any Chance the fellow that wrote an article about this suject in the Backyard poultry Magazine?
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  10. flyingmonkeypoop

    flyingmonkeypoop Overrun With Chickens

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    The method Ive always used to ID the birds was with colored zip tie leg bands. We go by patriarch here. All the males have a color and all of his chicks have the same color. Depending on the breed we have up to 4 pens of birds. There are two with old roosters and two with young roosters. We take the best trio of young birds from each pen and put the cockerels with the hens from the other pen then the pullets with rooster from the other pen. Every year they get swapped out, it works for us.
    Another way we use here is to have a trio/quad of birds and hatch out chicks from them. If there is a cockerel that looks better than the father we keep him and if any of the pullets are better than the mother we replace them as well. It saves space and is easier in general. One thing to keep in mind though is you should always have a back up rooster just in case. We have a pen for just spare roosters because we've had males get killed or die and youre left with hens but no mate for them.
     

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