Cross breeding with Araucana Roo

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by CT henhouse, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. CT henhouse

    CT henhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    I have some NH and Prod. Reds and some PR's. I've wanted a roo since I got them, but since none of the chicks I had originally gotten developed into roos, I've been on the hunt for a roo. A friend of mine has an Araucana roo she's looking to get rid of and asked if I wanted it. Since my original intent for my choice of chickens was for high egg production, I'm wondering what cross breeding will do for that, since the Aruacanas have a medium egg production. I guess what I'm asking is if the roo and one of my hens have chicks, will those chicks grow up to be only medium high egg layers, rather than high egg layers if they were pure bred (i.e. a roo that was a NHR, or PR)?
    Thanks, and sorry if this is a dumb question.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    It is not a dumb question. I think it is a pretty good question.

    Don't get too hung up on "purebred" chickens. Breed is important but not all purebreds are the same. Traits in chickens need to be constantly reinforced or you lose them. And not every breeder breeds for the same goals. Someone breeding to win a prize at a chicken show might not breed for egg production. Those awards are not given for egg producrtion, just appearance. What you want is a strain of chicken that has been bred for good egg production.

    To demonstrate the point, I recently saw an article where someone took a flock of purebred chickens and divided them into two flocks. One flock he (or she) bred for large size. The other he bred for small size. I don't know how many generations it took, but from the same purebred parents he now has two flocks of purebred chickens, but the chickens in one flock are 9 times larger than the other flock. Purebred does not mean a lot. It depends on what traits the breeder wants in the chickens.

    With all that said, what you need is a rooster from a flock of chickens that are good egg layers. It does not matter what breed he is from that aspect. If both parents are good egg layers, then the odds are the offspring will be good egg layers.

    As I said, breed is important. Breeds do have tendencies. If that Araucana rooster came from a flock that has been selectively bred for several generations to produce good egg producers, he could be a good choice for you. But not knowing that to be the case, I'd suspect that he followed the tendencies of his breed and would probably not be a good choice for you. Unless I had a reason to think he was from a line that produced well, I'd pass on him.

    New Hampshires are not known to be good egg producers. They were developed as a meat bird, not for great egg production. But since the broiler chickens have been developed, the breeders have not kept up with the New Hampshire as a meat bird so the breed has sort of changed to where it is a better egg layer. If you don't reinforce those traits. they kind of go away.

    So how do you choose a rooster from a good egg laying strain? I wish I had an easy sure-fired answer. Unless you know someone that is specifically breeding for good egg laying, I think the best you can do is to choose a rooster from a breed that is generally known to lay well. Most hatchery birds from the dual purpose breeds would probably meet your goals. Consider any of the Rocks, any of the Wyandottes, Delaware, Sussex, Orpington, my favorite the Black Austalorp, Rhode Island Red, I'm sure I am forgetting some. Leghorns are great egg layers but are too small to be considered dual purpose. I don't know if you want to eat any of the chicks or not.

    But with egg production my goal and without specific knowledge that the Araucana was from a better egg laying strain than is normal for the breed, I'd pass on him.

    If you really want a rooster, check on Craigslist. You might have a pretty good selection there this time of year. You can also ask at the feed store or maybe put up a note on their bulletin board if they have one. Or find your state thread in the "Where am I? Where are you " section in this forum and post on there.
  3. CT henhouse

    CT henhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    Thank you for the very informative and insightful response. I was kind of leaning to that way of thinking, you just confirmed it. I'll take your advice and hunt on craigslist and my local feed store. The nice thing about roos is not many people want them, so they shouldn't be hard to come by.
  4. kfacres

    kfacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2011
    Quote:If you are wanting something specific, I wouldn't go to Craig's list.. > I'd hit up a breeder on here- this place is LOADED WITH THEM.

    If you're after egg production, I'd got white leghorn roo on those hens... Theory wise, he'll inject mass egg production into his offspring-- and white eggs should be recessive to brown.. so all of his F1 daughters should lay BIG brown eggs, especially in ration to mature body size (and feed consumption).

    The only catch is making sure that you're follow up roo is a pure brown egg layer- otherwise you'll have to cull against white ear lobes as babies.... that is if egg shell color will matter to you..

    Can't beat a leghorn.

    Wish I had more room, and more chickens.
  5. nicalandia

    nicalandia Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Quote:just get yourself production type white leghorn and mated to a Production red and you'll have the best layers around...
  6. CT henhouse

    CT henhouse Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    Alright, now I have a game plan thanks to you kind folks. Thank you very much. I told my friend I'd pass on the roo, she was understanding to my reason.

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