Developing certain traits to a breed?

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
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Katy TX
Ok so this coming spring were thinking of getting a few dozen chicks to raise/sell and while at it we've decided we may try to start a flock of Delawares(I love thier character!) But if we raise them to sell babies etc I know I may want to developed my flock to minimize some habits most small flock owners don't enjoy like:Their noisiness, Escapism, and aggression that is common in hatchery chicks(personally I think this makes them better sUnited free range birds though). So could I reasonably breed out or down such traits in a small flock of 4-6 hens+ a roo or would I be able to breed similar colored breeds into them for more laidback social behavior then breed back to get proper conformation w/ desired traits? Sorry I've never really bred for traits before other than my polish crossbreeds so idk! Also what breeds would you guys recommend? I know reds can produce proper color form when crossbred to Dels. but honestly my reds are just as loud and aggressive so idt that's going to do much unless the bird was veeeery sweet and calm(plot twist none of mine are!) :/
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,891
11,122
636
western South Dakota
I think the short answer is No. Not with that limited amount of birds, or with that vague of traits.

When people seriously breed chickens to change a trait, they breed hundreds, and only keep the very closest to the trait to breed again, the rest are culled out of production. And invariably almost, when you get one trait just how you like it, you wind up with another aspect not so good.

However, I love Delawares, but the white feathers are major predator attractors for the prairies of SD. So I think I would be quite interested in a part D and a colored bird cross.

My chickens are a long ways from the house, noise is not an issue.

Mrs K
 

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
2,592
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Katy TX
@Mrs. K good to know! I was doing a bit of research after the fact so I sorta suspected and although I too have no fear of noise complaints I'm positive urban owners whith Delawares don't agree XD but I also agree on the white coloring being a pretty obvious note when predators are about so maybe I'll cross some D's whith a breed or two and see what coloring and traits one can get that may be a good camo bird (obviously purebred breeders would be furious but it would be good to know!) Maybe a more mottled or broken patterned breed <:/ technically we have the space to set up a proper chicken breeding set up but we're currently doing work for a blueberry field an acre large so unfortunately not really ready to spend a lot money in addition to all those necessities XD
 

OhZark Biddies

Crossing the Road
Apr 13, 2018
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One thought would be to purchase a large number...say 25 Delaware chicks, and the select for the most docile and friendly... and sell or butcher the rest, and then hatch large clutches and select for temperament each generation. Not sure how long it might take to get a result?

If the white color isn’t an issue concerning predators then you could recreate the barred columbian look of Delaware’s with columbian rocks and barred rocks in 3 crosses, in theory.

I think Dels are wheaten based, and columbian rocks are partridge based ( so the result would be different under fluff color)... but otherwise this would be close:

First Cross a columbian rock male to a barred rock female.

Then take the resulting barred male and cross back to a pure columbian rock female.

Then Select the deleware looking (barred columbian) offspring and mate them together, and select for a lighter barred ( double barred genetically) male as you go forward.
 

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
2,592
286
Katy TX
Nice to know! Thanks for the info guys! Since I feel like im gueting a understanding now if I were to say hypothetically breed my EE roos to my polish hens would those offspring produce EEs? And would the offspring of those offspring also be Easter eggers if I bred them back to a polish? Or would I need to use and EE roo? I know breeding ee to a white layer means egg color of daughters depends on roo thats why I'm curious as what crossing them back to polish would do(lol is there a punnet square for egg color?!) :) thanks for helping me out!
 

tacothechicken

Crowing
Apr 2, 2015
1,025
2,592
286
Katy TX
@OhZark Biddies That. was IMMENSLY helpfull!!! Thank you! That means I'd need to breed them back to another blue egg layer so they'd be fully homo for blue then possibly use a rooster from the original het clutch I suppose to try and get a more afro'd blue EE polish cross or maybe a bird same breed mix order but separate EE roo (My boys are both ameracaunas (supposedly) they obviously haven't sired chicks yet although I think creating a polish like bird but a bit more hardy and blue egged would also be amazing other than my love for Delawares XD oh maybe I could play whith a polish Delaware egger cross!(probably loose that blue egg though :/) but the bird would be interesting! ...dear Lord you've all created a monster and I haven't aven started yet o-o!
 

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mandelyn

Crowing
11 Years
Aug 30, 2009
2,488
1,142
391
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
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Selective breeding in a small flock is tricky. The hang up is grow out space, where you can see the percentages of what you're getting. Even with a total breeding flock of 60 in 5 varieties and enough grow out space for 60+ at a time, I still have a hard time getting enough birds to pull from for the next generation. I've hatched before, lot's... but this is the first I've been BREEDING and it's a whole 'nother beast. Heading into year 3 with added grow out space, so we'll see how that goes.
 

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