Crossbreeding For Better Survival

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by fayoumisfeathers, Jul 5, 2017.

  1. fayoumisfeathers

    fayoumisfeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Hello! As my name suggests, my favorite breed of chicken is the Egyptian Fayoumi. There's one problem with my obsession. My place of residence is in Idaho. As you might know, Fayoumi are much better for hot weather, as opposed to cold weather. But I can work my way around this by crossbreeding. Fayoumi chickens are flighty, fast, and smart, making a good bird for free ranging and general survival. I was thinking possibly breeding them with Araucanas, or maybe Mille fleur Bantams? If anybody has experience with chicken genetics, I'd love to hear your input on my idea, or maybe if you know better breeds to hybridize with, to make them a cold hardy, free range chicken.
    Thank you for reading and/or responding!
     
    dfalco likes this.
  2. dfalco

    dfalco Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here in Oklahoma I have plenty of warm weather. And that is a fine looking rooster...going to want to look into Fayoumi.
     
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not a crossbreeding expert, but I've dabbled a bit in backyard crosses.

    I must first ask, if you love the Fayoumi, maybe just keep them in a better contained shed with some heating. Cross breeding can produce undesirable results that may create a bird you are not crazy with...or find a breed that is cold hardy for your area and enjoy it???

    Having said that, this is what I've learned in my cross breeding experience.

    Avoid extreme opposites. It doesn't generally work out well. So choose a bird that is closer in size to the Fayoumi but has the traits headed in the direction you desire. While the genetics can be all over the place, *generally* you get something of a middle road when you breed a light game type to a middle type and avoid extremes.

    I personally would completely skip the Araucana (if you truly mean the rumpless, tufted breed of blue layers). Rumpless is considered dominant/partially dominant and creates fertility problems as the roosters don't have a tail to anchor themselves with for mating. I don't think I'd want to add that to my line as it can also cause incomplete vertebra and twisted backs. Tufting also adds additional problems as breeding tufted bird to tufted bird causes 25% failure to hatch since it is a lethal gene. While it would bring in a pea comb, which is dominant, so all chicks would have a manner of pea which is much better for cold winter weather, I think the other factors would make them undesirable.

    Ameraucana, on the other hand, could be a good choice. Ameraucana are cold hardy and medium size but also come in bantam. (And by Ameraucana I mean the standard 8 colors, beard/muff, pea comb, slate legs NOT Easter Eggers which are a hybrid mix). They are generally calm birds and decent layers.

    I'm not sure what you mean by Mille Fleur bantam. Mille Fleur is a color. You can have Mille Fleur bantam Cochins, Mille Fleur D'Uccles, Mille Fleur Leghorns, etc., etc.

    You could go bantam Cochin. They are definitely more docile, but they are very slow of foot by overall shape and being heavy feather footed (a problem in mud but may benefit in snow). They are also small. They are perfect hawk bites as they are slow waddlers rather than fast runners. (Know that from personal experience).You don't have much size with the Fayoumi to begin with (being more game type), so you probably won't increase overall size for body heat, but may gain some thickness and a lot of slowness. If it matters, bantam Cochin are not great egg layers or meat producers but excellent brooders. However, they will not decrease your comb size, which will be a problem in the cold weather.

    You are close to Canada. What about a Chantecler? They were developed for cold hardiness. A gentle bird, they have a cushion comb (which could produce, if I have my genetics right, 50% pea comb and 50% rose comb over the single), and are a decent winter layer. There is a bantam variety that would more closely match the size of your Fayoumi.

    I'd also consider some other bantam types, preferably with a pea comb. Buckeye are cold hardy and calm birds. They already have some game type in them (Cornish) and are a body type that might improve your Fayoumi.

    Wyandottes come in bantam size and are usually plentiful and cold hardy. They have a rose comb which would be dominant over the single and better for winter. They are a heavy body, so you'd see some different ranges of body types with that combination. You'd have to select and breed the body type that you desired from the hatchings you gain.

    Brahma are slow to mature and have fertility problems, so I'd stay away from them large or bantam. Plus that's a pretty big body type difference.

    And take a look at the Russian Orloff. A coldy hard bird that might compliment the body type of the Fayoumi.

    Here's the Henderson's Breed chart to note the cold hardiness.
    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    Again, I find the best thing is to avoid drastic differences as you can fight a lot of unruly genetics that way. Gentle changes in the direction you want to go are generally better. (Very experienced breeders may correct me on that, but that's what I've experienced).

    My thoughts.
    LofMc

    And for your reading pleasure, and a good read about shaping a breed, here is the history of the Buckeye as told by Nettie Metcalf and her experiences of taking a game type rooster with heavy types:
    http://www.americanbuckeyeclub.org/About_Us.html
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
    dfalco likes this.
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    ...and I just caught you are new to BYC.

    :welcome
     
  5. fayoumisfeathers

    fayoumisfeathers Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much for your advice! I'll probably raise a few Fayoumi hens in a heated place and breed them with an Ameraucana rooster. And i meant to say Mille Fleur D'uccle bantams, but i'll still go with Ameraucana. I'm also planning on raising D'uccle bantams, but they're pretty cold hardy so i don't need to do any crossbreeding for them.
     
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Keep us posted as to how your project goes.

    I'd be interested in seeing the results of the Ameraucana-Fayoumi cross and how that works for you.

    LofMc
     
  7. YdogsflY

    YdogsflY Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How have your Egyptian Fayoumi done in previous winters? If you like them so much, why change them? Chickens are tough creatures and adapt well.

    What exactly are you trying to accomplish by crossing other than cold tolerance? Egyptian Fayoumi are supposed to be very hardy and shouldn't need any help for cold weather.
     

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