Production cross breeds

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by handyman42, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey guys, I was wondering if any of y'all cross breed simply for production? I had some RIR/Buff Orp crosses this past year and they were great. They laid the most and biggest eggs I got and when broody time came around they were the first ones to set. So it got me to thinking that maybe if I just intentionally and strategically cross breed my chickens with a a different roo every year (sticking to production breeds) that maybe I'll have a great flock of Heinz 57's that are large enough for the table and good layers.

    This years flock is 1/4 RIR and 3/4 Buff Orp so I'm thinking about getting a Maran, Australorp or Plymouth Rock Roo to breed em too. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    I have cross bred in the past for production. I chose to breed sex links because they are the hens used by laying houses for producing brown eggs as they are egg laying machines. I've bred Black Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some Barred Rock hens and some Red Sex Links by crossing a RIR rooster with some SLW hens. I eventually stopped breeding sex links myself because of having to maintain flock of the breeds used in the sex link crosses. Now I just order my sex links (I currently have only Blacks) from a hatchery.
     
  3. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had some Sex Links once apon a time. The Black rooster was gorgeous and the Red hens were some of my best. They would wait for me to come into the coop and get a scoop of feed then they'd fly up on my arm and eat it out of the scoop. It was funny. They were also good layers.

    I kinda have an idea to get a different breed of rooster every year and just breed using them then the next year get another and just keep rotating them out and end up with crazy Heinz 57 mixes where the hens lay good and the Roos are big enough for the table.
     
  4. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    There's no way to predict what kind of lay rate you will have doing that, but it should be a lot of fun experimenting with it. Good luck. :eek:)
     
  5. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea, well I plan on using only good laying breeds to kinda have a starting guess, but wanted something with some interesting colors, patterns and personality.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It kinda inhibits the "males big enough for the table" part, but several years ago I ran brown Leghorn roosters with my mixed dual purpose flock. It really boosted the production over the next few generations.

    I think any of the breeds you mentioned would work nicely. I like barring, so I'd go with the barred Rock rooster myself. You'd probably get some pretty calico offspring.
     
  7. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking barred rock or light Sussex starting out. But I'd have to buy either one of them. I may let one of my Buffs or Buff X RIR run with the girls this breeding season and see what I can find next breeding season
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    You shouldn't have to pay for a cockerel, around here folks cant' hardly give them away. I'd think anyone who had an Oops bird would be thrilled to their toes to know their bird was going to rooster heaven aka a breeding position.
     
  9. handyman42

    handyman42 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea, around my neck of the woods people sell em off for $3-$5 typically. Although a craigslist add looking for a free breeding roo might go a long way.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I was looking for a rooster of a specific not-so-common breed (splash Ameraucana) and put a wanted ad on CL. Took less than a week, and he was free. She was thrilled someone wanted him for a breeder, not a stewpot. She even drove him to town for me [​IMG]
     

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