Maternal Behavior of Dominique Cross Response to Selection

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by centrarchid, Aug 1, 2014.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I started a breeding project four years ago to develope a line based on a combination of American Dominique and American Game that approximates appearance of American Dominiques during the breed's heyday. Four generations into project coloration and pattern was easy to realize as has been development of harder flight feathers and longer legs. Also found that more than extended black and sex-linked barring goes into making the barring pattern although genes involved not known to me. Weight is good along with ranging habits (American Dominiques have room for improvement despite reputation for otherwise) but type is going to take more time, especially on the male side. Population is currently about 2/3's American Dominique and easily distinguished from pure American Dominiques raised in parallel. Problem that has not responded to selection yet in part becuase color and type are taking precedence is poor performance when it comes to hens incubating and brooding. They do just fine when conditions are perfect where nests are protected from even the slightest bit of rain and chicks are fed heavily on feed and weather is warm and dry. Get away from any of those ideals and the number of chicks reaching weaning age takes a nose dive. Additionally hens wean chicks a good two weeks earlier than the games do. Early weaning is coming from the American Dominique side. My reference with the weaning is relative to pure games which average much higher hatch rates and survival through weaning.

    I hope the poor performance as parents is not a function of coloration and / or pattern. These birds are expected in the end to be good parents even in a rough free-range situation.
     
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