Cross Breeding Idea... Would love some feedback.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jermoatc, Feb 5, 2016.

  1. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a crazy idea I've had. I have been keeping laying hens for about 5 years now. I have owned many different breeds and have really taken a liking to my Easter Eggers as my laying hen of choice. Thy are really good and consistant layers even in cold weather and seem to have that "hybrid vigor". They are very cold hardy and seem to have less health problems and are more resistant to pests. I will be adding some males to my flock next year for the table but I would like to keep 1 or 2 around as flock protectors and to allow for some natural flock reproduction. I think I have it narrowed down to Barred Rocks, but I am curious what a Barred Rock (or any other breed of roo for that matter) X EE hens would be like???? Any experience doing something like this out there? OR am I just being silly?
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If you enjoy the EE, why not use EE roosters and continue breeding them? That would be my first choice.

    If you get a barred Rock male, hopefully you like black barred chicks, cause that's mostly what you're going to get not matter what hen you put him over. A pure barred Rock will give all barred offspring, male and female, and the extended black tends to dominate pretty much all the other colors except dominant white and buff.

    If your hens lay blue eggs, mixing them with a brown egger like a Rock rooster will give pullet offspring that lay shades of green. if your EE hens lay green eggs, mixing them with a brown egger male will give pullet offspring that lay shades of brown or green.

    Pic of a hen who had an EE/Leghorn momma and a barred Rock father. She laid a large pale aqua egg....

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  3. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Interesting. I do like Barred Rocks. Good layers too. I was thinking about using a larger roo like the BR because I was hoping the male chicks would be a little larger and therefore better to use as table birds. EE roos are a bit smaller than I would like for eating. I was thinking a BRxEE would be a little better for eating.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    My EE have always been poor layers but I'm going to try some again this year. I have an EE barred rock hen, she looks like a barred Wyandotte and lays poopy cracked eggs, but she's good looking. I think all your crosses will end up barred in the first generation, second generation will start to show colors, I also have an EE RIR cross that looks like a red EE.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I totally agree on the EE not being very meaty. A Rock or pretty much any other dual purpose rooster would add a little more carcass weight.
     
  6. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats what I would be hoping for.
     
  7. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do yall estimate would be the weight of a processing age cross of this type?
     
  8. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only choice for a flock protector is a gun. A rooster won't do anything against a predator except get eaten first.
     
  9. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL!! Im not opposed to that either.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I didn't get weights but I have pics. These birds were mostly barred Rock and EE, with maybe a bit of Leghorn thrown in a generation or so back, so they were a touch lighter than a straight Rock/EE cross, but not much. They'd gone a little old, maybe 6-8 months

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