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Newbie Meat Bird Breeding Question

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Kezzie, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Hi, all! I apologize upfront if this is a really stupid question and I will learn a LOT more about the whole process before I start, but I'd like to have a sense of what will and won't work.

    I bought my day olds from McMurray which included 8 Dark Cornish. I wanted straight run but they only had males that week so I took them. They are about 4 weeks old right now and starting to (slowly!) feather in. I'm not so convinced they are all boys anymore. Some seem to be coming in really black and some seem to have a brown and black patterning. I won't know for sure for a while yet though.

    Now for the question. Ultimately, my goal is to cross Dark Cornish over another English breed for a fast-growing meat bird. But I would want to bump up my Dark Cornish population a bit first to be able to pick out the best males for the breeding project and eat the rest.

    If I do have straight run, how likely is it that they are going to be siblings if they all came out of the same hatch? I certainly wouldn't want to inbreed to that extent. I believe someone on the boards once said that McMurray brings in so many hatches from different places that the likelihood of related eggs is small. Any opinions on that? Should I just order some girls or some fertile eggs from another source?

  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Order some girls, it would probably speed up the process you've described..
  3. Harp Turkey Ranch

    Harp Turkey Ranch Songster

    Dec 18, 2008
    McCleary, WA
    Just order some pullets. If they said they are males then chances are you got all males.

    It's only inbreeding when it goes wrong. [​IMG] It is a very common breeding practice, especially for what you are trying to accomplish. You are trying to select certain genes. So in order to do that you must first isolate those genes and that would require intensive line breeding.

    You are not going to just cross the two and get what you want.

    First you'll need to work with both breeds you want to cross and intensively line breed them for the genes you want then when you got what you want from both parent s then you can cross them to try and get what you want. The chances of it all working the first time and about 3 years latter is slim. But you never know ....

    I know a guy that has been breeding the same line of white rocks for several years now and this year he has got them to where 90% of the offspring produce a great meat bird in 12 weeks. But he is not going to sell any for a while.... I'm hoping I'm at the top of the list
  4. Quote:The DC's are easy to sex, when you got them were they all the same color? If there were any females mixed in they would have been a lighter brown color, the males are darker. When they do feather out the females will have the lighter brown lacing, the males will be dark.

    The big hatcheries hatch many many birds on shipping day and they buy from alot of sources. The chances of them being from the same hen/ rooster combo would be very slim.

    Steve in NC
  5. Kezzie

    Kezzie Songster

    Feb 15, 2009
    Coastal Georgia
    Hi, Steve!

    They probably are easy to sex- if you've done it before. But I ordered 12 different breeds and a LOT of them had chipmunk coloring so I couldn't even tell right away which were the Dark Cornish. Now it's easy as they look like little Raptors running around. But I would have expected them to come in almost all black. Some of them are but some have more of what I think the female coloring looks like. I'll try to get some pics up this weekend and see what you all think.

    I'll get better at this. I promise! [​IMG]
  6. ok sounds good.


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