Can you over breed chickens?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ilovechickens34, Jul 16, 2016.

  1. ilovechickens34

    ilovechickens34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2016
    I was wondering if there is such thing as overbreeding chickens? We have had healthy chicks until now.
    A lot of them are born with unabsorbed yolks, and some are too weak to move.
    We have been breeding all spring and a lot of the summer.
    We have 16 hens. Is that enough? Or are we breeding the same chickens too much?
     
  2. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't really think you can over breed them, but there are factors that can effect them. Weather, nutrition, ect.

    Are you hatching in an incubator? If so, did you calibrate your instruments before you began? Temp? Humidity? Still or forced air?

    Them hatching with unabsorbed yolks and weak could be a temp issue. Did they hatch early or late?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  4. ilovechickens34

    ilovechickens34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks!
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I am not a poultry pediatrician, but the problems you list sounds like poor incubation temperature control or flock nutrition. The only way imho that you can overbreed chickens is to inbreed the flock so intensely or long that they loose their ability to reproduce efficiently or maybe if your hens and roosters are past their prime child bearing years.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2016
  6. ilovechickens34

    ilovechickens34 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is three years too old to breed?
     
  7. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    No, but like in every living thing we all start dying the moment that we are born and it is all down hill from then on out. That said it is better to breed a 3 year old rooster to pullets and 3 year old hens to stags or one year old roosters. How long has these chickens been bred without new blood or at least strenuous selecting or culling. Culling is not the same thing as wringing a chickens' neck, culling means or should mean that a bird has been removed from the breeding population for cause. In a situation like yours it is a good idea to mark your eggs so you can determine the eggs' pedigree at a glance and all new born chicks permanently marked so if you do have problems like this you can quickly determine if those problems are confined to a single bird, line, or family or if the problems are flock wide. This will enable the flock keeper to better determine if any problems are inherited or are based on the environment or poor rations.
     
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