HOLD THE PRESSES: Duane Urch is Done?!/Future of American Purebred Poultry

HaikuHeritageFarm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
1,345
160
241
Memphis, TN
I'm not into selling fertile eggs or chicks. Eggs for food and meat is where I will go. It falls in line with what we are doing on the farm. As far as the carcass goes, I'm looking at it from the standpoint of commercial birds. Dual purpose cannot compete with a cornishX; which is what most are used to seeing. Starting quality might not be that great as well. My market competition are raising cornish X and that's where I could provide something different while helping to improve our stock.

Kids are well... They do their chores with a few grumbles, but the love they provide is priceless.

If I were smart i'd just pasture cornishX, but there is more to life than money.
Yeah i wouldn't feel comfortable selling hatching eggs or chicks, either. If I'm going to set it and hatch it I'm going to grow it out so i can select from it. Years and years down the road when I'm seeing consistency in my lines and know i can get what i need for the next breeding season without hatching every damn egg.... maaaaybe?

As a serious hobbyist i dread resorting to buying eggs and chicks as well. I really want a started pair or some older birds you don't need anymore, I'm not going to whine about the price! I know what it takes to get them to that point and it's TOTALY worth it.

Raising poultry for these purposes is a financially losing proposition for sure, but i figure it's cheaper than a bad drug habit.
 

Frog Bog

Chirping
Oct 22, 2019
54
134
68
Pastured cornishX do well and provide a fine product. That's the point. Heritage can't really compete. They need sold for what they are and marketed differently. Takes a very long time and a lot of feed for a good heritage line. Tire kickers and the 'oh yeah's" always leave you hanging. Working a breed/line up takes a long time.

Haiku nailed it. Selling inferior eggs and chicks? Not my style.
 

exop

Songster
11 Years
Jan 10, 2009
487
40
176
NW Indiana
Going back to the start of the topic..
the University of Arkansas lost their Houdan flock some time before the breeds program was shut down, the details I do not know. Their work was based on a small initial input of 16 Houdans purchased from Cackle Hatchery around 2006. Whether they bought more and winnowed down to 16, or bought 16 and ran with it, I do not know. No outside blood was added.
 

allosaurusrock

Songster
Aug 31, 2015
869
650
206
Near Seattle, WA
Going back to the start of the topic..
the University of Arkansas lost their Houdan flock some time before the breeds program was shut down, the details I do not know. Their work was based on a small initial input of 16 Houdans purchased from Cackle Hatchery around 2006. Whether they bought more and winnowed down to 16, or bought 16 and ran with it, I do not know. No outside blood was added.
I feel like not adding any outside blood is not very smart... a lot can be done with a good breeding system but you can’t make diversity out of nothing.
 

exop

Songster
11 Years
Jan 10, 2009
487
40
176
NW Indiana
Wi
I feel like not adding any outside blood is not very smart... a lot can be done with a good breeding system but you can’t make diversity out of nothing.
With a start of 16 birds you ought to be able to maintain enough diversity to avoid genetic collapse... Do individual matings and keep good records. I'm not in favor of indiscriminately crossing different bloodlines, it's like soup... once you add poo to soup, you're stuck with poo in the soup. No way to fish it out.
 

allosaurusrock

Songster
Aug 31, 2015
869
650
206
Near Seattle, WA
Wi

With a start of 16 birds you ought to be able to maintain enough diversity to avoid genetic collapse... Do individual matings and keep good records. I'm not in favor of indiscriminately crossing different bloodlines, it's like soup... once you add poo to soup, you're stuck with poo in the soup. No way to fish it out.
Personally I would disagree with that. Sixteen is a good start if there’s at least some diversity. However, if they are sixteen birds all with very similar genetic makeup there isn’t much you can do about it.
 

Frog Bog

Chirping
Oct 22, 2019
54
134
68
Sometimes an outcross is needed. Depends on the genetics.

16 brown leghorn or 16 white houdan? One would benefit from an outcross more than the other. Also vigor should be a consideration.

Closed flocks make sense, but new blood also makes sense.
 

exop

Songster
11 Years
Jan 10, 2009
487
40
176
NW Indiana
Personally I would disagree with that. Sixteen is a good start if there’s at least some diversity. However, if they are sixteen birds all with very similar genetic makeup there isn’t much you can do about it.
Remember if you will, that a decent sized hatchery flock like Cackle's includes well over 50 birds, multiple cocks. This is not a highly homogeneous group like an exhibition breeder's linebred flock of a cockbird, his daughters, granddaughters and great grandson. Or a tiny gene pool like someone's backyard flock of 1 roo, 1 hen and their daughters. Cackle has had a reputation for good Houdans since at least the early 2000s. Crossing Cackle onto a terrible bird from another source is not going to magically give you a better Houdan.
 

HaikuHeritageFarm

Songster
9 Years
Jul 7, 2010
1,345
160
241
Memphis, TN
Remember if you will, that a decent sized hatchery flock like Cackle's includes well over 50 birds, multiple cocks. This is not a highly homogeneous group like an exhibition breeder's linebred flock of a cockbird, his daughters, granddaughters and great grandson. Or a tiny gene pool like someone's backyard flock of 1 roo, 1 hen and their daughters. Cackle has had a reputation for good Houdans since at least the early 2000s. Crossing Cackle onto a terrible bird from another source is not going to magically give you a better Houdan.
I absolutely agree that a source like this can be an excellent stockpile of genetic material. We also need to remember that Duane ran a HATCHERY, and while he may have selected a bit more carefully towards the standard, his breeding flocks would have been very similar to what we see in the Cackle flock videos. He wasn't exactly doing pairs and trios and toe punching, etc.

I've always appreciated Cackle's birds in every breed I've got and I'm thankful they're there and maintaining flocks of a number of rare breeds for those of us that want to try our hand at them.
 

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