cross breeding for traits, need suggestions.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by TheTexan254, Feb 26, 2017.

  1. TheTexan254

    TheTexan254 Hatching

    Feb 26, 2017
    I have raised a handful of different breeds for eggs, mostly RI reds. But i personally want broody hens to sustain a flock, which is not common in laying hens. I like to experiment and want to try to breed a chicken that lays a good amount of eggs but is also very inclined to broodiness. I have ordered a few chicks that will arrive in 2 months; buff orpington roosters since the breed isn't unknown to go broody but also lays well, and also bought black Sumatran hens since they are very broody and aren't terrible egg layers. I may even breed in some RIR roosters for more eggs and asil hens for more broodiness. I plan to only keep hens that will brood and breed them with good laying roosters. I realize this project will take many years, which is why I'm very open to advice. Good plan? Bad plan? Recommend a breed?

  2. Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I've already had my BO go broody and they do lay fair enough.

    You are definitely in it for the long haul. But do you plan on eating them for meat as well?

    I keep silkies in my flock to brood anything I want. [​IMG] I also wasn't planning to do any hatching and only eat what my hens brood and raise. I have a large (50+) flock so it isn't much issue... but too much broodiness equals no eggs if your flock is small. I'm guessing your flock won't be that small though. And my girls go broody even though I collect eggs everyday, they will hatch air! [​IMG]

    My BO only went broody when she had a hidden nest that hadn't been collected. Not since then though. But that is hatchery stock... IMO, if you know what you want, it's worth it to spend the time and find a good quality stock that has already been bred towards your desire. For example, some claim their silkies don't lay until 9 months where as the stock I got started at 6 months. I cannot wait 9 months for a bird to lay. And they say hatchery silkies aren't AS broody as other lines. So maybe you just look for someone who has a good broody line of BO and breed in the RIR...

    So basically what I am saying is... I have no better clue than you! [​IMG]

    Broodies are more successful once they've matured. And I don't like to let anyone go full on broody before 1 year old as it's very hard on their bodies to be sitting in the nest, hardly moving, eating, or pooing. My broody girls weigh significantly less than their non broody flock mates of same breed. Their muscles deteriorate and you can see them shaking as they stand and do things to build their strength back. So to me letting them brood before they have fully matured is detrimental, possibly to their longevity.

    Most important to me... is get breeds you enjoy! Ones you enjoy their personalities and the variety of eye candy they bring to the party. [​IMG]

    And note... the difference between a true RIR verses a production red... make sure you are actually getting what you are aiming for. For me, I also don't breed defects forward like sprigs or split wing. But if you aren't breeding to the SOP of an individual breed like leg color and stuff, I still don't breed forward bad attitudes, late bloomers (who suddenly turn boys 2 weeks later than everyone else). And I love big combs and waddles on my roos, so I will keep the best of the best. I know you already have the whole concept down, so I am just sharing. Breeding with a goal in mind is a great idea and a productive use of your time... you might even work towards creating your very own breed!! Yes, a prolific laying broody would be a great addition. Good idea, I say! When I spend a few more dollars than I should on my chickens or gardening... my family says they are glad I'm not spending it on drugs! And the physical and mental health benefits I get from being out with them and in the garden far outweigh what I would spend on health care otherwise. [​IMG]

    If you do buy from individuals... read between the lines. You can tell a lot about someone's experience by having a conversation with them. One set of folks close by tout their birds as being great to improve your natural meat and egg farm with many nice varieties listed. They conned me once! [​IMG] Though I didn't get what I paid for... I got a cheap $50 for 3 mutt bird lesson! And going forward KNOW what to be on the look out for. Vagueness is never good! A good breeder will cull for faults and if they don't, they aren't a breeder... They will know what they are breeding towards, just as you do. [​IMG]

    Also, if you're thinking about selling chicks, maybe lean towards something autosexing. It's a nice little puzzle you get to work with now. [​IMG]

    Best wishes! [​IMG]
  3. TheTexan254

    TheTexan254 Hatching

    Feb 26, 2017
    Thanks, been reading on here for years and finally signed up. Way better than Facebook haha

    I am trying to make my own breed, a sort of legacy haha. I want it a little wild that can forge and reproduce but still a productive layer (meat is a plus). A good homestead bird I guess.

    Silkies could be a good edition to the gene pool but im not sure how they lay. I'm not too worried about making them too broody. If I have to fight hens for eggs every morning, that's just part of the job.

    The roosters will always be BO or RIR, so I'm afraid ill breed out broodiness. The only broody chickens I've ever had was my dads gamefowl, so maybe I'm assuming broodiness is more rare than it is
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2017
  4. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    EggSighted4Life has given you a lot of information so I'll just say hello and best of luck with all your plans!
  5. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Buff Orps, and Cochins are also good broodies. Wish you luck with your breeding projects.
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    I bought some pekins (Bantam cochins) last year and they are reliably broody but lay surprisingly well when they aren't incubating and raising chicks. They are lovely birds that cope well with confinement. We have had bird flu restrictions here in the UK since early December and I normally free range, so they have been reduced to very limited space and have coped with it exceptionally well unlike some of my other birds.

    I prefer a mixed self sustaining flock. I like to be able to tell which hens are laying well or not and having different breeds that lay different colours and shapes of eggs enables me to keep track of things much more easily than if I had all one breed. I eat my excess cockerels so it's quite important that there is some substance to them, but I also like some leghorn in the mix because they are such good layers and lay large eggs for the size of bird and I find their yolks are noticeably larger than normal, particularly in their second and third year. I have even had 2 leghorns go broody, an exchequer and a black, but they are not consistent year on year broody like the pekins and my araucana cross, who will brood twice a year guaranteed and is a total star. For me having a mixed flock works really well. I like being able to breed pure breeds but also throw different genes into the mix to adjust things according to my requirements.
    Having the pekins separate is almost as good as having an incubator. One or the other seems to be just waiting for me to pop eggs under her at the moment!
  7. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, TheTexan, and [​IMG]! Happy you joined our flock! Looks like others have given you some great advice so I'll just say best wishes and thanks for joining BYC! [​IMG]

  8. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under TheTexan254 [​IMG] Welcome!

    As you have already received some good advice, I will just wish you all the best with your plans.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun. Unlike non chicken loving friends, family and colleagues, BYC’ers never tire of stories or pictures that feature our feathered and non feathered friends [​IMG]

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