Cross breeding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Nljbb, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. Nljbb

    Nljbb New Egg

    Oct 14, 2015
    I have 4 or 5 different breeds and would like to add to the flock this winter so maybe have some more layers early next year. My boy and I made a homemade incubator and are in the process of hatching some eggs. The question is will they lay well as they will be cross breeds?
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Cross breeds often share characteristics from both parents. If the parents are good layers, they will probably be good layers too. However, it is hard to tell what exactly the offspring will be like, since it is a cross. In some crosses (such as between two Red Sex-Links) the resulting offspring are not quite as good layers.
  3. GaryDean26

    GaryDean26 Chicken Czar

    Dec 22, 2011
    McAlester, OK
    My Coop
    Cross breeds are usually very productive. That is why hybirds are so popular as commercial layers. A commercial hatchery may be able to cross a Plymouth Rock line that lays 220 eggs a year with a commercial RIR line that lays 280 eggs a year and instead of getting the average which would be 250 eggs a year you may ended up with a line that lays 265 eggs a year. Those extra egg are what is reffered to as Hybird vigor.

    Additionally you can get offspring that lay better that either parent breed. For example you could take a breed that is laying 225 eggs a year and cross it will a breed that is laying 240 eggs a year and get offspring that are laying 250 eggs a year. When the offspring lay more than either of the parent breeds it is called knicking. That is how the high production 330 egg a year commercial layers are created.

    The hibird vigor and knicking only works with the first cross. If a 330 egg layer were created from crossing two 290 egg laying strain and were cross with a breed that lays 280 eggs then the offspring would only be expected to lay 285 eggs a year.

    So unless you have a pedigree on your flock and know their laying history and breeding it can be hard to predict what type of layers you will get, but our cross breeds have always been our top layers on the property.
  4. Nljbb

    Nljbb New Egg

    Oct 14, 2015
    Thanks. As long as they lay a reasonable amount I'm happy.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've had some willy-nilly cross breeding of various hatchery dual purpose breeds over the years and the offspring always lay pretty much as well as the parent stock. Plus, they look different than anyone else has, something I just love!

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