Cull and cull heavy. How heavy?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by onehorse, May 12, 2010.

  1. onehorse

    onehorse Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 7, 2010
    Just starting out and would like to get to show quality stock. Bought lots and lots of hatching eggs, good, really good, show quality stock, from here, ebay, private breeders, etc. At this point, I have 5 birds out of probably 200 eggs that I am actually thinking of keeping around to see what they look like when they are older, the oldest right now is about a month old. Am I culling too heavy? Working on blues and blacks orps., but getting lots of white wing tips and toes (blacks shouldn't look like penquins, I'm thinking?) and I am pulling them out. Am I working in the right general direction?
  2. SQbrahmas

    SQbrahmas Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    I am no Orpington expert but I believe that you are culling way too many way too early. At 4 weeks I might be culling OBVIOUS defects and DQ's but not for breeding or show stock.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It's WAY too early to cull except for nasty flaws like side sprigs on combs. White wing tips molt out on the birds you mentioned.
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Most black breeds do start out looking like a penguin. The white moults out as they get their mature plumage.
  5. nzpouter

    nzpouter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 19, 2009
    new zealand
    we only keep 1 out of every 15 we bred, some you can cull early for obvious reason like wrong comb, not enough foot feathering, etc, but some you got to wait longer.
  6. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hey, just a thought, instead of culling, can't you find someone who'll take them from you for use in a plain, old backyard flock?
  7. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I think sometimes culling also means to disperse the flock, as in selling and giving away also, which is what I am thinking he is doing, rather than just killing them all
  8. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    OH! Silly me. What do I know? [​IMG] He, he, he. [​IMG]

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Not only does it sound like you're culling too early & too heavily your approach to developing a show line is flawed as well.
    Randomly crossing lines from here there & everywhere is unlikely to produce a desireable outcome. There is more to breeding poultry [or anything else] than simply putting males & females together. You have to understand the breed & more importantly know the breeding background of the birds you are mating. A random outcross is the surest way to ruin a strain.
    Also, I've never seen anything that looked "show quality" advertised on EBAY.
  10. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    I know that silkies are far different than orpingtons and they mature much slower, but this is the approach that I've taken that seems to be working for us.

    The first "cull" is at hatch where we check for foot dq's (like 4 toes) and we sell those chicks as pet quality chicks. The next is at about 4 months. At this time, we take a good hard look at everyone and can usually sex by that time, decide how many girls/boys we want to keep for our program and select that number...keeping the ones that we like the most and closest meet the APA standard of perfection for silkies.

    The next "cull" is at about 7 months. We may, or may not sell any at this depends on how they are maturing. This is a time when we note things like gold/silver in the hackles, etc.

    After that we pretty much have the ones that we want to add to our breeding flock and they are right at POL and sexual maturity for the boys. We try to let the boys get to about a year before we select which ones we will keep as breeders as they sometimes take that long to really mature into a good bird.

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