Choosing the Keepers?

3KillerBs

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I'm trying to rate my Ideal Dozen, who are coming up on 8 weeks, with an eye to selling one of each breed.

In addition to things like size, lack of obvious defects, and appropriate feathering and combs for their breeds, h what characteristics do you think I should be looking for in the pullets for a primarily egg-laying flock? I've read several articles on the physical characteristics of good layers and am looking up photos of good representatives of their breeds.

Tameness? Personality? Interactions with the flock adults?

As far as the cockerels go, En Croute is bolder at exploring the run and interacting with the adults and much better-feathered than Kung Pao, but Kung Pao seems to be larger (or, at least, taller (I've ordered a fisherman's scale to weigh chicks with)). I'm not sure if Buffalo, the paler Dominique, is male or female.
 

saysfaa

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Watching with very great interest. I also need to choose who to keep. I was actually hoping all three suspect cockerels were cockerels because that would make the decision.

I recommend flock interactions over tameness, if you mean tameness as how friendly to people they are. Increasing or decreasing tameness is easy; flock dynamics, not so much. Your milage may vary.

I think if personality were going to be an issue, then you wouldn't be questioning whether that is a good idea.

I'm still looking for what criteria to use.
 

saysfaa

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All I found so far that could be seen in pullets is body capacity. That makes sense to me - from dairy background where body capacity is a significant limiting factor for health.

I would like to choose birds that handle cold better... short of going through a winter with them, all I have is body forms applied from general principles like bigger, more compact, ect.

You are probably more interested in choosing birds that handle heat better. You could look for things like which birds show heat stress soonest - could be body form or something different in their chemistry or behavior (who is more likely to drink more water or to seek shade or whatever)... or look for such things that could be reasons to handle heat stress better. This might show up in body weight but in just a few birds, it would likely be overshadowed by other things (genetics or place in the pecking order or endless such factors).

I am also contemplating whether to select for later maturing. I'm seeing evidence that longer, slower, lower production results in fewer health problems and wider curve of egg production. Both are my preferences.

Could you share some of the articles you've been reading on selecting pullets?
 

3KillerBs

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Xouie

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I'm trying to rate my Ideal Dozen, who are coming up on 8 weeks, with an eye to selling one of each breed.

In addition to things like size, lack of obvious defects, and appropriate feathering and combs for their breeds, h what characteristics do you think I should be looking for in the pullets for a primarily egg-laying flock? I've read several articles on the physical characteristics of good layers and am looking up photos of good representatives of their breeds.

Tameness? Personality? Interactions with the flock adults?

As far as the cockerels go, En Croute is bolder at exploring the run and interacting with the adults and much better-feathered than Kung Pao, but Kung Pao seems to be larger (or, at least, taller (I've ordered a fisherman's scale to weigh chicks with)). I'm not sure if Buffalo, the paler Dominique, is male or female.
I don’t breed them, so it’s 100% personality. I will happily keep an ugly healthy bird who isn’t flighty and gets along with the flock.
 

Ridgerunner

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I'm trying to rate my Ideal Dozen, who are coming up on 8 weeks, with an eye to selling one of each breed.
I'm not totally sure of what your goals are. Are you breeding for show, breeding to sell chicks or hatching eggs, or breeding for production, eggs or meat? To reach your goals you have to always keep them in mind and base4 decisions on that.

In addition to things like size,
This is specifically pullets. Size isn't that critical to egg laying. Often my better layers are some of the smaller hens. For meat or breeding to breed standards size can be important.

lack of obvious defects,
Obviously

and appropriate feathering and combs for their breeds,
To me this has nothing to do with meat or egg laying so isn't even on my radar. Breeding to the SOP it's obviously highly important.

h what characteristics do you think I should be looking for in the pullets for a primarily egg-laying flock?
At 8 weeks that's really rough. I think this boils down to defects. Do you see anything you don't like?

I've read several articles on the physical characteristics of good layers and am looking up photos of good representatives of their breeds.

Tameness? Personality? Interactions with the flock adults?
Still with pullets. At 8 weeks any that are acting odd would be on my list to go. I would not want one that is too bold or too shy. Look for well-rounded individuals.

As far as the cockerels go, En Croute is bolder at exploring the run and interacting with the adults and much better-feathered than Kung Pao, but Kung Pao seems to be larger (or, at least, taller (I've ordered a fisherman's scale to weigh chicks with)).
This sound sliek a persona preference thing or which looks like it might suit your goals. But at 8 weeks it is really rough.

I'm not sure if Buffalo, the paler Dominique, is male or female.
In a pure blooded barred breed the female has only one barred gene and the male has two. That means he male will be lighter. That extra barred gene has that effect.
 

3KillerBs

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I'm not totally sure of what your goals are. Are you breeding for show, breeding to sell chicks or hatching eggs, or breeding for production, eggs or meat? To reach your goals you have to always keep them in mind and base4 decisions on that.

They are primarily for laying, though I have an eye for sustainability and am taking looks into account because if having chickens were purely about production efficiency I would buy eggs at the grocery store. :D

I have no interest in breeding for show, but I do hope to sell started/POL pullets on an ongoing basis. Which might mean that I should favor rapid development.

In a pure blooded barred breed the female has only one barred gene and the male has two. That means he male will be lighter. That extra barred gene has that effect.

Some of the barred cockerels I see in people's photos look very white compared to their sister. Buffalo is only slightly lighter than the other Dominiques and the Marans. (S)He got wattles early, but doesn't have any particularly noticeable comb development.

Buffalo (blue band)
0706211113b-jpg.2749680


Everroast (purple band)
0706211111_hdr-jpg.2749671


Classic (Green band)
0706211110-jpg.2749670
 

saysfaa

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The livestock conservancy recommended text books from '50s or earlier. I found "poultry Management" by Heuser, Hall, and Bruckner from 1952. I'm sure I saw more on the bookshelves but they aren't there now. They might still be here in a box or something. Hopefully, they will turn up but it is too big of a project to look tonight.

I'll tell you if this one says more than those two sources.
 

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