Partridge Wyandotte or Golden Laced Cochin for Breed Stock

Chwicks

Chirping
Mar 14, 2018
81
95
81
North Wisconsin
Hi everyone! I’m kinda’ having difficulty making a decision, and I’m hoping one or some of you might be able to help me.

We have 17 chickens. 14 are pullets and 3 are cockerels. All just turned 19 weeks this past Wednesday. I know we have one cockerel too many for the number of pullets we are keeping.

We homestead, so our birds are meant to be dual purpose. We live in North Wisconsin where temps get really cold, so I did my best to get all cold hardy breeds.

My indecision lies in which cockerel I want to eliminate from the flock. The ones I’m trying to decide between keeping for flock management are a Partridge Wyandotte cockerel and a Golden Laced Cochin cockerel.

If our objective to is to have a cold hardy, dual purpose chickens and I’m wondering if either cockerel would serve us better than the other, or if it’s really just a personal decision.

I’m leaning towards keeping the Cochin because they grow bigger in a shorter period of time, though they are ultimately a little smaller at maturity than the Wyandotte.

Thoughts?

Thanks to all that take the time to help and respond.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,971
832
California's Redwood Coast
Wyandotte are tasty, So I might keep him for breeding.

It really is a personal choice. They will still change a lot as they head to maturity so I would keep them all just as long as possible and probably let attitude or demeanor be the deciding factor when the time comes.

Regardless of what folks say about ratio's... we all have different setups and all birds are individuals. For 14 pullets... 1 rooster would be more than enough. But 3 might be okay if your ladies aren't being over mated.

When selecting a breeding rooster, I grow them out as long as I possibly can... paying attention to manners but also to pest resistance as even in the same flock some birds will be more susceptible to these type of things and it's a good indicator of genetic strength.

In addition, a pleasant sounding crow is far better than annoying one. So there are many factors that may not yet be revealed. In addition to sound there is also frequency and such.

I like straight combs better than rose... but rose should be more cold hardy. BUT proper ventilation goes a long way. In addition if the tips on straight get frost bit they often die and fall off leaving the rooster fine in future winters.

In my experience... the Wyandotte grew and matured faster than Cochin. But you are stating the opposite. With hatchery birds, there's just no way to know... I have gotten hatchery Wyandotte that had straight combs... leading to a possibly good point...

Breeders of Wyandotte (or rose comb breeds) have noted that to breed all rose combs is to breed OUT your fertility... after several generations of breeding only rose comb... slow motility is noted in rooster semen... Causing some breeders to hide straight combs in their stock. It may not be an issue... since I figure your ladies are a variety of breeds.

Wow, I've seen Partridge Cochin and GLW... but not the opposite. :pop
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,850
21,993
907
Southeast Louisiana
At what age do you plan to butcher them? I'd select the one that was the best size at butchering age. And weigh them, don't guess by looking. Thick feathers can make a bird look heavier than it really is.

I don't go by breed. I've seen a tremendous difference in size of cockerels from a hatchery when they are all the same age. Unless you have other criteria look at the individual bird, not the breed.
 

Chwicks

Chirping
Mar 14, 2018
81
95
81
North Wisconsin
Wyandotte are tasty, So I might keep him for breeding.

It really is a personal choice. They will still change a lot as they head to maturity so I would keep them all just as long as possible and probably let attitude or demeanor be the deciding factor when the time comes.

Regardless of what folks say about ratio's... we all have different setups and all birds are individuals. For 14 pullets... 1 rooster would be more than enough. But 3 might be okay if your ladies aren't being over mated.

When selecting a breeding rooster, I grow them out as long as I possibly can... paying attention to manners but also to pest resistance as even in the same flock some birds will be more susceptible to these type of things and it's a good indicator of genetic strength.

In addition, a pleasant sounding crow is far better than annoying one. So there are many factors that may not yet be revealed. In addition to sound there is also frequency and such.

I like straight combs better than rose... but rose should be more cold hardy. BUT proper ventilation goes a long way. In addition if the tips on straight get frost bit they often die and fall off leaving the rooster fine in future winters.

In my experience... the Wyandotte grew and matured faster than Cochin. But you are stating the opposite. With hatchery birds, there's just no way to know... I have gotten hatchery Wyandotte that had straight combs... leading to a possibly good point...

Breeders of Wyandotte (or rose comb breeds) have noted that to breed all rose combs is to breed OUT your fertility... after several generations of breeding only rose comb... slow motility is noted in rooster semen... Causing some breeders to hide straight combs in their stock. It may not be an issue... since I figure your ladies are a variety of breeds.

Wow, I've seen Partridge Cochin and GLW... but not the opposite. :pop
Wow!
Wyandotte are tasty, So I might keep him for breeding.

It really is a personal choice. They will still change a lot as they head to maturity so I would keep them all just as long as possible and probably let attitude or demeanor be the deciding factor when the time comes.

Regardless of what folks say about ratio's... we all have different setups and all birds are individuals. For 14 pullets... 1 rooster would be more than enough. But 3 might be okay if your ladies aren't being over mated.

When selecting a breeding rooster, I grow them out as long as I possibly can... paying attention to manners but also to pest resistance as even in the same flock some birds will be more susceptible to these type of things and it's a good indicator of genetic strength.

In addition, a pleasant sounding crow is far better than annoying one. So there are many factors that may not yet be revealed. In addition to sound there is also frequency and such.

I like straight combs better than rose... but rose should be more cold hardy. BUT proper ventilation goes a long way. In addition if the tips on straight get frost bit they often die and fall off leaving the rooster fine in future winters.

In my experience... the Wyandotte grew and matured faster than Cochin. But you are stating the opposite. With hatchery birds, there's just no way to know... I have gotten hatchery Wyandotte that had straight combs... leading to a possibly good point...

Breeders of Wyandotte (or rose comb breeds) have noted that to breed all rose combs is to breed OUT your fertility... after several generations of breeding only rose comb... slow motility is noted in rooster semen... Causing some breeders to hide straight combs in their stock. It may not be an issue... since I figure your ladies are a variety of breeds.

Wow, I've seen Partridge Cochin and GLW... but not the opposite. :pop

I had no idea about the rose comb and slow motility aspect! :eek: The third cockerel we are determined to keep, and the HCIC, is an EE. He also has a rose comb. Now, I’m leaning towards keeping the Cochin. Our pullet mixture consists of (3) EE pullets, (5) Partridge Wyandottes, (4) Golden Laced Cochins, and (2)

We have loads of predators in our areas and live in dense forest, so our flock is kept in a 10 x 15 coop attached to a 10 x 15 run. Sand flooring in both. So, we know we need to remove at least one more cockerel for space reasons (and we’ll still be overcrowded based on recommended sq ft/chicken). :hmm

You make excellent points about letting them grow out so we can make a better determination based on other characteristics. I think we’ll give them a little more time. Our Cochin is separated right now because the flock keeps pecking at his parson’s nose since he’s molting. :rolleyes:

Thanks for taking the time to offer such great advice and raise so many great points for me to consider. I truly appreciate you sharing your knowledge and the wisdom!! :thumbsup
 

Chwicks

Chirping
Mar 14, 2018
81
95
81
North Wisconsin
At what age do you plan to butcher them? I'd select the one that was the best size at butchering age. And weigh them, don't guess by looking. Thick feathers can make a bird look heavier than it really is.

I don't go by breed. I've seen a tremendous difference in size of cockerels from a hatchery when they are all the same age. Unless you have other criteria look at the individual bird, not the breed.

Excellent point on the feather! I’d like to butcher around 20-24 weeks at a maximum. This is our first year with them, so we’re still on the learning curve of ideal.

Our EE cockerel is so much smaller than the GLC and PWs, but I just adore him, so he’s a fixture. Lol
F5704383-6C1C-4D2A-BECB-F3A33951C8AD.jpeg
 

Chwicks

Chirping
Mar 14, 2018
81
95
81
North Wisconsin
@EggSighted4Life that was a great post. It was very informative.
@Chwicks love your ee cockrell. I haven't had any luck keeping other roosters with my ee. He wants all the ladies to himself.

Thank you! That’s kinda’ what I’ve been seeing too. That being said, our Wyandotte, Utred, gets along with him because he knows that Jon (our EE) is the HCIC. Utred will herd the ladies in at the evening, but he hasn’t tried mating with any of the pullets. Jon started mating the pullets at around 15 weeks old. One of our EE pullets (his favorite) started laying at 17 weeks old, to the day.

My husband and I were talking, and given our long term goals for the flock and why we have the chickens, we may end up culling Jon and keeping Utred (Wyandotte) and Sven (Cochin). We’re going to let them all mature a little more though before making any decisions. Jon is so much smaller than Sven and Utred, so he isn’t necessarily going to lend genes to making larger babies in the future. :hmm He is so gorgeous though! I just love his feathers. I’ll have to post a more recent pic of him.
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 13, 2016
3,098
5,041
411
North-Central IL
I'm deep into combs right now. In my other reading, I found out that rose comb is best when it's heterozygous, as far as fertility. So you'll get some straight combs because they're recessive and hiding in the other combs. Because rose and pea are dominant, you only need one copy for it to show :)
Your EE should have a pea comb, not rose by the way.

I too would choose the heavier male at 16-18 weeks, unless one goes rogue.
 

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