NEED HELP. Starting out Wyandotte breeder.

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Wyandottes13, Sep 20, 2015.

  1. Wyandottes13

    Wyandottes13 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
    Hello, I am planning to start breeding Wyandottes. I (as expected ) have a few questions. My goals as a breeder would be to breed Wyandottes of an unusual color variety by the standards of the SOP > production > color. I plan to be breeding by single matings so I am sure of the chicks parentage, and I would like to know more about that. Also, how and when to properly cull, etc. I am looking for breeders who would be willing to ship juvenile to adult cockerels/roosters around the NC, SC, VA, and Kentucky area that are bred to the SOP. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated. Thank You.
  2. NanaKat

    NanaKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Hopefully I can answer some of your questions. I'm out of your state range and I do not ship birds.

    Single matings can be done several ways...
    1) set up pens using separate pairs. This requires more cock and one hen in each pen. Toe punch and or band chicks from each mating.
    2) use one cock with several hens and trap nest the hens. OR You could rotate the cock between pens where each pen has one hen. Use two to three hens per cock. Again toe punch and or tag chicks according to the parent birds.

    Use the best stock you can purchase as your breeders.
    If you are using a SOP recognized color variety then select your offspring which meet the standard by culling at 4, 8, 12, and 18 months. I find that Wyandottes reach their best potential at 18 months.

    If you are going to develop a new (unusual) color variety, you probably have a well planned genetic map. Crossing color varieties can bring up characteristics that were bred out of the separate color varieties but now surface with the new matings you are making. Culling becomes more necessary to keep the type and structural characteristics before selecting for color. The "build the barn before you paint it" standard is a necessary part of your breeding plan. Again cull at 4, 8, 12 and 18 months according to you SOP and genetic map.

    I have Columbian Wyandotte and by using a Blue hen, have developed Blue Columbian, Blue Birchen and Black Birchen offspring. Issues that surfaced included combs, leg color, and aggressive cocks. Egg production remained constant and meat quality was equally satisfactory.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  3. Wyandottes13

    Wyandottes13 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
    Okay, thanks. What if a was to breed a solid "good" hen to an "excellent" rooster? After culling, the next season would I breed the sire cock back to the F1 daughters, and continue doing some sort of line breeding? What sort of thing would I be looking for at 4, 8 months to be culling for? The color variety I would be working with is not new, but it is fairly rare.
  4. NanaKat

    NanaKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Yes, that would be a good procedure..F1 females to their sire. You could also breed your best cockerel to his mother.
    There are several threads in both the Exhibition and the Breed sections on Wyandotte. Post photos and ask lots of questions....many folks here are more experienced than me.....

    I can only tell you what I do when determining a keeper or a cull.
    Out of 100 chicks you produce, you might only select 5 - 10 pullets and 2 - 4 cockerels at 12 months....
    Notice I'm not including color variety until 8 months. Unless you are starting with good breeder stock and not crossing colors.

    At 4 months, you can see the comb well enough to determine if it will be a proper structure or inverted or single.
    The head should be wide with no crow headed.
    Look at leg stance. and bowed knees or knock knees. feet should be proper with no curled toes.
    The back and breast width should be smooth and wide.
    Check leg should be a nice yellow.
    You can weigh the birds and see if any are lagging behind the average weight.
    Begin looking at carriage or silhouette.
    Process your culls as fryers or broth.

    This is a good time to number band your record keeping on each bird can be accomplished.
    At 8 months, the silhouette will be very visible.
    Acceess the body carriage, head shape, combs and eye color.
    Tail angles are more defined.
    The pullets should have a nice wide and full tent to their tail. You should be able to gauge the width of the pelvic zone for egg laying ability. between the end of the keel bone and the pelvis, you should have enough length to accomodate the internal organs and the egg laying process.
    The cockerels should have a nice carriage that will hold the muscling that comes with proper growth...good leg stance, width of frame and evenness of keel.
    Check the wings for full primary and secondary feathers with no splits.
    Again weigh your birds and note the ones that are not gaining as they should.
    Leg color and combs should be properly developing.
    Begin looking at your color.
    Some birds will be first string and some will be labeled second string. The culls can be sold as layer replacers or meat birds.

    At 12 months, the body structure should look like the Standard and weights in the range established in the SOP.
    They should have molted and are showing the proper feather structure both in down and surface feathers.
    Pullets should be laying by now and should have a nice sized off white to light tan egg. There should be a nice spread in the pelvic zone...I like to use a three finger width guide. Their back line from the cape to the tip of their tail should show the proper angle.
    The cockerels/cocks should be filled out nicely, gait is good, good heads, nice back line, proper tail angle and sycle feather length.
    Attitude should be inquisitive, calm, energetic. Food conversion should be very want plump but firm muscling
    Select only your best birds to the Standard in your breed pens. Keep good records on each bird.

    At 18 months,
    Aggressive cocks should be noted because this can be hereditary. Only use as a last resort even if he is an excellent bird.
    Laying production should be 3 - 5 eggs a week during laying. Hens should show some desire to brood.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  5. Wyandottes13

    Wyandottes13 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
    Alright. Well the hen I plan to breed with is about 7 months old now, and has laid medium sized, light brown eggs. The width of the pelvic bones are about 2.5 finger widths apart, and the length of the pelvic bones to the keel bone is an easy 3 finger widths. The breast feels pretty meaty. Her tail is not as open as I would like. The lacing is excellent, but with minor frosting in some areas. Her legs are fine, a paleish yellow with some black and some regular color nails. Her beak starts out black, and goes to yellow at the tip. The wattles seem good, but the comb is "wavy-like" and not very good in general, much like #3 in this picture. How hard would it be to breed that "wavy-ness" out?
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  6. Wyandottes13

    Wyandottes13 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
  7. Wyandottes13

    Wyandottes13 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2015
    And since you have blue wyandottes, do you know anyone in my area who would sell a splash cockerel or cock?
  8. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    western PA
    My Coop
    Hi, [​IMG]
    The Wyandotte is a breed with a rich literary history. Get the book 21st Century Poultry Breeding. Get the newest edition.
    he also has other books and a blog and an ebook about "Making new Colours".
    It's a wonderful book and the author uses Wyandottes to illustrate color breeding. If you are into rare Wyandotte colors, this is the book for you. Also the book The Genetics Of Chicken Colours The Basics by Van Dort and Friends. I have both of these and they have answered so many question for me.
    Lzy M Homestead likes this.
  9. NanaKat

    NanaKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I will check the new directory for the Wyandotte Breeders of America to see who has Blues. I'll pm you some contact information.
    Are you breeding large fowl or Bantams? I'm assuming LF

    AND Karen is right on with those book recommendations! I'm looking into the 21st Century Poultry Breeding edition.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  10. NanaKat

    NanaKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    #2 is the current acceptable comb. Older breeders say the comb can have the texture of coarse sand. That being said...breeding to a smooth combed cock should help improve the combs on her offspring. Pick a cock that has great type and good yellow legs. It would be wise to allow your young hen to reach 12 months before breeding. Her pelvic spread will be more mature.

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