My Breeding Experiment

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Zanybabzooka, Nov 18, 2015.

  1. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm gonna write about all my chicken breeding experiments here. You can follow along and comment if you'd like. I picked a few purebred and mixed breed chickens to start with and am now starting to breed them towards these goals.

    *Cold hardy
    *Fairly good winter layer
    *Lays at least 3-4 eggs per week average for the whole year
    *Four month old rooster dress out to 4+ pounds
    *Will hatch out chicks every year with high survival rates
    *Good mothers
    *Docile roosters
    *Pea combs (big combs get frost bitten)
    *Able to forage for most of their food during warmer months

    These are the breeds I currently am working with:

    *Buckeyes
    *Marans
    *Easter Eggers
    *Orpingtons
    *One mixed breed hen & her offspring

    And now my plans as far as what age to butcher roosters, what age to butcher old hens, how many hens to keep, how many roosters to keep, and how many pullets to keep each year:

    *Young roosters butchered at 4 months old
    *Old hens butchered in September, going into their third fall (this may change if the hens are still laying really well)
    *Keep 11 hens that are going into their second fall
    *Keep 3 roosters for breeding
    *Keeps 11 pullets each spring

    These are all tentative plans and may change at any time. I will work on adding pictures and info on my current flock and breeding plans for spring 2016.
     
  2. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    Are you going to keep your breeds separate or are you going to make some custom crosses to create your ideal chicken?
     
  3. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    They'll all be mixed by the time I'm done with them. Lol
     
  4. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

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    I think that's really cool. Hope you don't mind if I follow along - I love projects!
     
  5. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    Nope that's fine! That's why I put it up here, as well as a record keeping tool for me.
     
  6. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    The four keeper roosters for spring 2016 breeding, pictures and a little info about them.

    Goliath - Lavender Orpington - White Clan (I'll explain this later) - 1 year old

    [​IMG]

    David - Easter Egger - Blue Clan - 2 years old

    [​IMG]

    Bazooka - Black Copper Marans - Yellow Clan - 5 months old

    [​IMG]

    Jawbreaker - Psycho (I'll explain this too) - Green Clan - 6 months old

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  7. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2014
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  8. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's similar to one of the plans I'm working on (So many things to do with chickens.). In addition I've added breeding for age pullets start laying. (Why would I want to wait 8+ months for eggs when I've had others who lay between four and five months?) I'm working with the breeds you're working with plus several others, and one thing I might mention is I'm not sure the marans are a good addition. Certainly they are beautiful and cold hardy, and their eggs attract attention and I can use them to make olive eggers, BUT........(a very big BUT) they are my poorest layers. I'm trying to remember when I saw my last marans egg, so at this point I don't think they are doing much to advance my project. Plus other people who have them in a multi breed flock aren't impressed with their egg laying prowess.
    The only other thing I might mention is keeping three roosters might be excessive. Certainly I sometimes have more roosters than needed, but I find 2 per 25 hens seems to work well and if they were raised here they have been getting along. Unfortunately I recently lost a rooster I hadn't planned on, and now I have only one, but it seems to be working well. If I feel the need for another rooster I'll either keep one from what I've hatched out. I sometimes swap hatching eggs so could get an unrelated one that way. Good luck with your project.
     
  9. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh I forgot about laying age. My aim is for them to start laying around 6-7 months, so that they are hopefully laying before cold weather their first year. I'm not looking for chickens who produce a ridiculous amount of eggs, or start laying at 4 months old. My "Psycho" line already lays about 6 eggs a week through spring, summer, and most of fall (haven't kept track through winter yet). And they start laying around 4 or 5 months. So I'm adding in breeds like the Marans and the Orpington, big birds that are decent layers, in order to add more meat to that line (they only weigh like 2 pounds dressed out lol). So the Marans are nice and meaty and grow fairly quickly. That's why I'm using them. And the three roosters is necessary for the clan breeding. It ends up at about 7 hens per rooster which I have found is a fine ratio in my flock. Also, the three clans breeding program means I shouldn't need new bloodlines for about 20 years.
     
  10. Zanybabzooka

    Zanybabzooka Out Of The Brooder

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    So I don't mind if adding in the Marans causes me to get less eggs, because it improves other areas that are lacking.
     

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