How to keep healthy breeding chickens???

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the Standard o' started by bk15, Jan 30, 2017.

  1. bk15

    bk15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so should u give your breeding chickens vitamins?? What are some others way to help ur hen and rooster make sure they have a high hatch rate???
     
  2. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do everything you normally would. Make sure you are feeding your birds layer pellets and supplying them with grit and oyster shell. Make sure the birds you are breeding are healthy. Not to mention, pay attention to each birds behavior, and try to breed only the best tempered chickens.
     
  3. bk15

    bk15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am breeding very nice tempered birds. But Iam feeding them 20% chick starter and then they get scratch before they go to bed and I put vitamins in there water too.
     
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi. [​IMG]

    I agree that for breeding something in the 20% protein range is preferred. I use a flock raiser. I only add electrolytes and vitamins on occasion. However, I do ferment my feed which gives probiotics. Check the link in my signature line if you like. What made my final decision to continue fermenting was the difference in smell and consistency of the poo. That alone is worth it!

    Chick starter as long as it's unmedicated should be fine as well. I avoid layer as I just don't feel like it has enough protein to fit my needs for my mixed age and gender flock. And the calcium in layer can cause kidney issues if given long term to roosters, chicks and molting hens. Also, this way I don't have to worry about feeding anybody separately. I ALWAYS provide oyster shell free choice on the side. And I use washed river sand (play ground sand is too small) in my coop plus free range so my birds get their own grit without me supplying it.

    Scratch is like a candy bar and does zero to enhance your feed but rather likely actually diminishes your protein level. I avoid that as well. But if you are going to use, do so very sparingly.

    The vitamins in the water probably won't hurt. But if they aren't needed they will pass through the bird and you will get some expensive poo. [​IMG] The feed is formulated to meet all the needs of the birds without supplements. For me, I wouldn't do it full time.... but I don't have any illness and I have a hard time wasting money. If I thought it was needed though I wouldn't hesitate.

    I have gotten shipped chicks that had many star gazers and feel as though better nutrition at the breeding facility would have made a difference. Once I discovered the issue I started dosing with vitamins and saved a few chicks.

    Here is one link with useful info. Take note it says not to supplement for more than 10 days in a row. And it doesn't have specific info on breeding hens. But take what you can from it.

    http://ucanr.edu/sites/poultry/files/186894.pdf

    We all have to do what we think works for us. Some will argue layer is fine. And it is for laying. Many use only that for hatching too. That is not my preference especially if hatching with a broody who does not need the extra calcium. But we all have reasons we do what we do. And that's what's great about being able to share on BYC, the opportunity to learn a new, possibly better way.

    My first test hatch... I have 18 out of 18 viable at day 12. I expected little success. I have to think some of it has to do with the strength of the flock laying flock.... but I don't know for sure. [​IMG]

    And I know one person on here who's friends family runs a hatchery and uses layer. Says their birds are great. But there are lot's of things hatcheries do that I don't. Doesn't mean their way is wrong, just doesn't work for me.

    Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Oh, and I never breed a bird that's been sick and brought back to health. I also cull for things like sprigs, bent toes, split wing. And if a specific breed will cull for incorrect shank or feather color or anything else that isn't correct.

    So as the other poster mentioned, starting with healthy birds is important. I also got mine from breeders instead of hatchery. Because I think starting with quality makes a difference. However, that isn't to say all the birds I got at the breeders were great. Many times hatchery birds just don't line up with their standard of perfection for the breed. But that stuff all depends on your actual breeding goal. If you are just having fun, maybe source doesn't matter. [​IMG]

    And I don't hatch eggs from pullets until they have been laying long enough that the color is consistent, eggs are correct size for the breed standard, and never misshaped eggs. Small eggs breeds smaller birds that will likely remain smaller throughout their life. As well, the cockerels must have been at maturity for at least a couple months. When their reproductive system is just starting their is higher possibility of deformity.

    However, the other day I participated in the thread where the young person was trying to hatch anything and everything with both genders barely mature enough to lay a couple eggs. I unsubscribed because I thought they were crazy. Then I realized... here is this young girl throwing caution to the wind and just going for it (yes she got zero to hatch her first time). While I'm this old lady holding caution up against the wall and interrogating it until I'm blue in the face. [​IMG]

    Then I sucked it up and got the guts to try. SO I am a very cautious, try to do things correctly type person.

    My hatchery birds are healthy to. And who knows if I will remain committed to separate pens forever before letting them all together and just letting them hatch out and go with what we get. I currently have 40 birds. My two breeds I focus on are FBCM and SFH.

    Do you have a plan for your extras? Especially the cockerels?
     
  6. bk15

    bk15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank u so much for all that info I will keep feeding 20% chick starter and I will won't give any extra vitamins in there water for a while and cut back on scratch!!! Thanks again[​IMG]
     
  7. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Feel free to update with a pic! [​IMG]
     
  8. bk15

    bk15 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay I will take of them when I get home!!
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    If your girls are laying age they need to have oyster shell available at all times on the side, in order to make strong shells. They will take what they need.

    Sorry I didn't catch if you were providing it or not. [​IMG]
     
  10. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Near Seattle, WA
    I would like to see pictures. What breed are you breeding?
     

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