Help me improve my flock?

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by ShannonR, Nov 6, 2019.

  1. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

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    I got 6 birds last year after the wildfire wiped out all my poultry. They were penned up for a little bit, eventually got loose, and have spent a little over a year roaming the place and reproducing. Those 6 birds are now an estimated 50 birds, they are pretty wild and I can't count them all. It is past time to thin the flock!

    What I need help with, is selecting which birds to cull with an eye toward breed standard. I have a halfway decent eye for quality once I know what I am looking for, but have never worked with this breed before.

    These are standard size American game. The person who gave them to me was not breeding for a breed standard. So I have a couple of leg colors, and a couple of comb types. I am guessing the straight comb is standard for this breed, yes? What about leg color? And what else do I need to look at when selecting keepers? I'm pretty sure Darwin will cull any birds that aren't already tenacious survivalists. I also have quite a few flock members with spangles. Are those okay or no? I like the spangled ones.
    Pics of quality breed standard birds are always helpful... I can post pics if needed as well.

    Thanks!
     
  2. The Moonshiner

    The Moonshiner Professional Chicken Tender

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  3. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

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    One more question... if these birds can be improved enough for show (not anytime in my near future, busy with kids and school atm) they have to be dubbed right? So does comb type even really matter at the end of the day?
     
  4. Frog Bog

    Frog Bog In the Brooder

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    When it comes to Games, most cockers aren't breeding toward a book written standard. They're breeding to their eye and for gameness.

    Yes, they have to be dubbed for show.

    I would check out the American Game fowl thread.
     
  5. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

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  6. ColtHandorf

    ColtHandorf Crowing

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  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    There is no standard comb type as not relevant when dubbed. First thing I consider is how the birds feel. Birds in poor weight, cull them. Then look at feathering and bone structure where you want symmetry and complete feathers. Feathers damaged OK but pull them so they can be replaced. Color not an issue on the pit use which I assume is not an interest. What can be an issue for showing is the birds kept need to fall into one of the color categories listed for English / American Games. Leg coloration can fit into that scheme. Showing pictures would be nice for that. Those that fall within proper color categories but have foreign, usually white in flight feathers are not keepers.

    If keeping as games purely as games, then color is not relevant.

    I can show stags that are not dubbed with the Missouri Gamefowl Breeders Association and some of the guys indicated doing similar with cocks as OK. Same birds not dubbed get disqualified on spot either because not dubbed or not of proper color. I like the Gamefowl guys' system better as more relaxed.
     
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  8. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

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    Thanks! That actually helps a bunch. There are 1 or 2 stags I *think* look like keepers, on hens I have less of an idea what to look for. Here's a couple pics of my toddler feeding the mob.
     

    Attached Files:

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  9. ShannonR

    ShannonR Crowing

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    I like this guy, closest to camera on the right. Just need some sort of idea on what would be best to keep.
     

    Attached Files:

  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    The two larger males are at stage I like to look at for first time. Better pen them shortly or you may not have two anymore. Pullets best to look at when in full feather which none appear to be in yet. Most appear to carry dark brown allele, even some with spangles do.
     
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