not all birds are created equal

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Family owned, family run
10 Years
Sep 7, 2009
Florida - Space Coast
This thread is discussing not all birds should be bred.

Ok this is a touchy subject so for those who might get offended, sorry ahead of time, stop reading and find a new thread.

NO FLAMING, no harrassement, no posting just create an arguement



NOT all birds are created equal. Or, not every bird deserves to reproduce. Its just that simple, just because you have cute drake quackers and cute duck daisy doesnt mean those eggs need to be hatched. Having pet flocks that you never set eggs from IS PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE. Eat the eggs, bake with them, give them away, just enjoy them.

If you do chose to breed and hatch ANY birds (chickens, ducks, geese) PLEASE do the breed you are thinking of breeding a HUGE favor and buy a copy of the Standard of Perfect from the APA, around $59 for the current hard copy with full descriptions and color pictures too! It will help guide you in what is and is not a feature/trait you should be breeding.

Be HONEST with yourself on what quality the birds you have is. Just because you bought eggs to hatch or birds from a quality line wont make those you have worth breeding. Improvement of breeds should always be the goal when making the choice to allow animals to reproduce. if you are unwilling to be critical of your own birds, then ASK someone who has high standards to help you access them. Be open to the fact you may hear negative things and that the person you asked for hlp from may tell you not to breed them. Dont get offended, be happy you had someone willing to help you. Be happy you arent flooding the market with sub-standard birds who do nothing for the breed.

Its nice to have our birds sorta help pay for the feed, but be honest, you WONT get rich off of poultry/waterfowl breeding. If you dont have the time and space to dedicate proper separated breeding pens/paddocks/pastures then dont breed. Dont become a "puppy mill" backyard poultry/waterfowl breeder.
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. Excellent thread idea Celtic! Another thing I've noticed is people will buy from Show Quality stock then expect all of the offspring to be show quality. That unfortunately is just never going to be the case. Genes are so complicated that even the best of stock can have very faulty offspring.
I think this is an excellent topic that relates to the breeding of animals of any kind. There is a lot of responsibility involved that is not often brought up.

How do you feel about people who are breeding for their own use and not for sale? What, if any, standards are their to look for when breeding mix breeds like EEs or Olive Eggers?
Thanks for the reference, Celtic. I had kind of thought about breeding Bantams or Calls a little for fun. I wanted the breed, but it's too expensive to keep birds without some kind of profit (eggs, meat, etc.). How many people actually keep birds JUST to show?
This is really a good post. I am very aware of the breeding standards and processes for dogs but never thought that breeding ducks (even for my own farm) needed just as much thought and study. I was thinking of hatching a few eggs in order to increase my group, now i'm taking a step back and rethinking this.

Thanks for the post.
I think this is an excellent topic that relates to the breeding of animals of any kind. There is a lot of responsibility involved that is not often brought up.

How do you feel about people who are breeding for their own use and not for sale? What, if any, standards are their to look for when breeding mix breeds like EEs or Olive Eggers?
I have EE's and adore them. We actually introduced a larger bodied bird to them last year and had good results in larger bodied chicks and hope for larger eggs as a result too. I dont agree with hatcheries selling them under a name they are not though. everyone has things they like about the EE's. I actually dont like the game bird chipmunk EE's so I avoid them, if they hatch we sell them off. I am keeping blue EE's 2 black pure breds (for egg and leg color) along with cream and white hens. Personal likes come into play with the EE's. I can say we have a couple of nice large egg layers, I prefer darker legs not the yellow green legs. I dont like the small frame so trying to make it a bigger bird.

If you are breeding two breeds together to create a better meat result for your own use then by all means do it. But DONT take two pure bred (who might be pet quality) and breed them and sell the eggs and off spring for top dollar like someone who hatched dozens if not hundreds and culled down to 1 or 2 keepers for the next breeding season.

There are a number of hot topic breeds this happens with. Call ducks, Sebastopol geese, Black Copper Marans chickens - all examples from across the board that come to mind.

As far as call ducks go, they are a fun duck, frustrating as all get out to artificially incubate for some. There are sports (pet) and SQ (the tiny billed rubber ducky look) sports or pet quality area readily available. For someone who wants a couple of tiny pet ducks these serve the purpose.

We plan to cross two goose breeds for self serving reasons. One is a smaller than normal for the breed goose who we will cross with a large gander from another breed. The off spring will be table birds. if the cross doesnt work thats fine, but its worth the try for a table bird without inter fearing with our pure flocks.
Lets also touch on how there are genetic issues even within breeds that cause oddities pop up. Bill and leg color being off from the norm. This doesn't make them a different breed, but a bird who doesn't meet the standard. When buying from farms who say oh they are black ducks, or oh brown geese expect them to be a farm bred possible mix. If you order from a hatchery, dont expect some rare breed to pop up in assorted mix.

When researching a purchase, ask the seller where the stock came from. Do your homework on the birds, and if they say they bought from a hatchery or refuse to answer a question on where they came from, be cautious about buying. People like to make labels for things, when a bird doesn't "fit" the standard or look just like another they will look online and find a breed it does look like and call it that. Even if it is nothing more than genetically off form of a more common breed.
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Edited ..its just not worth
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Anyways..ignore is a fabulous feature.

On with the topic.

Fowl farm, i dont know how many keep purely for showing only. I know people do this with horses, cat, dogs. not sure how large the just to show poultry/waterfowl world really is. I am guessing many flocks serve two purposes.

Duckcrazy, if you have birds you want more of, by all means hatch. if its a breed you want to breed and sell I do suggest reading the standard and figuring out if you want to help better the breed for selling off spring.
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