Crossbreeding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazymax02, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. crazymax02

    crazymax02 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm interested in getting into crossbreeding and using genetics to get some awesome looking chickens. Any tips?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    What do you have right now, and what are your goals? First, you have to have a goal. Then choose your birds accordingly. Or you could go at it from the other direction, and just get a good mix of birds, and let them play in the gene pool. Life is like a box of chocolates.
     
  3. crazymax02

    crazymax02 Out Of The Brooder

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    All I have now is french black copper marans. I do plan on adding more birds, was just playing with the idea and was wondering how some people do it...
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First I figure out what I want (my goal). Often I'm trying for a different color, or size of egg or age at which the pullet starts to lay and then I put together the parents which I think are most likely to help me reach my goal.
     
  5. crazymax02

    crazymax02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Has anyone ever got deep into it and actually calculated all the phenotypes and genotypes of them before they actually hatch etc?
     
  6. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, plenty of people. This is what breeders do all the time. They know their breed, know what the dominant and recessive genes are and have adopted breeding and culling practices such that there is a high rate of predictability to their hatches.

    If you are interested then do some reading on the genetics forum here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/16188/exhibition-genetics-breeding-to-the-standard-of-perfection
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Some of my crosses, yes. But that was usually a sex link project, so the results were pretty predictable.

    Other times, I've had a hen be broody for 3 days. I go out and collect the eggs for the day and pop them under her, maybe two days worth depending on how many I have. I like colored eggs so I usually try to set those, but that's personal preference. I get nice surprises that way.

    I agree, decide what your goals are. Specific egg color? High egg production? Do you want the birds have a certain feather color? Or do you just like surprises? Do you want meaty cockerels for the table? Lots of ways to go, starting with Marans. You could add blue egger hens to get a F1 Olive egger. You could cross with Leghorns and get lighter colored eggs and higher egg production, lighter bodied birds. You could bring in some cuckoo Marans hens and get sex linked dark egger pullets. It just depends on what you want to do.

    And remember, whatever you decide is not what you're stuck with forever. Most of us here who do backyard breeding have had multiple projects over the years. Some pan out and we simply move to something else. Some don't give the results we want, so we try something else. Sometimes a breed pencils out great on paper, but we just don't love them in the coop. Birds are one of the more flexible animals to breed in a backyard setting. As long as you have a plan for the cockerels, you're good. Pullets can always be sold to offset costs if they don't fit your plan.
     
  8. crazymax02

    crazymax02 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the ideas! I'm specifically wanting different feather colorations.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Before you start research genetics of coloration in chickens. With a goal in mind you can use your new found knowledge of genetics to get your birds where you want to go assuming you invest the time and other resources needed.
     
  10. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    What other colors/patterns are you interested in adding? Some base colors (silver) are dominant, some patterns are more dominant than others (barring or extended black), some modifiers have both dominant and recessive versions (white).
     

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