Question about breeding your own small flock

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Darklingstorm, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to hear how you small flock owner do a breeding program. We are wanting to raise RIR but don't want to buy new birds every year or two. I want to breed my own but worried about inbreeding. How do you manage your flock?
     
  2. Poultrybonkers

    Poultrybonkers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hatched some of my own eggs im just gonna send the roos to freezer camp and use a different roo
     
  3. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:how many birds are you planning on keeping? do you mean true dark rir or production rir? if its production rir then you could just buy a bunch of hens and change roosters every 2 or 3 years. they are always selling production rir roosters at swaps and even giving them away on craiglist. if its the true rir then i would contact a few breeders and find out how inbred they keep their flock and if they outcross to other strains within the breed.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2011
  4. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We are trying this with marans. We also have a few other single breeds. It's hard to keep numbers down and still have enough to cull properly. That , I think, is our biggest problem.
    The man has decided not to breed for orps anymore. He loves them but we can travel a relatively short distance and get excellent breeder orp chicks reasonably. That means we don't have to separate and keep a pen just for orps.
    The other thing is that in order to have pullets ready to lay when the older hens molt, you need to start them EARLY in the year and that means incubation rather than letting the broodies do the work. That means more time and space involved.
    Roos are much easier to find than hens. We have no problems sending a roo to freezer camp if he no longer fits our breeding program. On the other hand, there is an Arcauna roo here for the 3rd year just because he is a nice guy and and excellent flock guardian. He will only go to a good home, if I can be enticed to give him up. I'm not personally attached to him, but any roo who sacrifices himself to a fox for his girls, has a home here and not a stew pot.
    We have traded roos on occasion to get new blood into the lines.
     
  5. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:how many birds are you planning on keeping? do you mean true dark rir or production rir? if its production rir then you could just buy a bunch of hens and change roosters every 2 or 3 years. they are always selling production rir roosters at swaps and even giving them away on craiglist. if its the true rir then i would contact a few breeders and find out how inbred they keep their flock and if they outcross to other strains within the breed.

    I was thinking of getting 12 hens and 2 roosters and then separate them into two groups. Then taking the pullets from group A and putting them in with Rooster #2 and vice verse of the other group.
    We also want pure RIR chickens, not mixes or Sex-link. I know that sex-link is all the rage right now but you really can't breed a sex-link to a sex-link and get the same type chicken again.
    We are also planning on building our own incubator so that I can time hatches to replace the older hens.
     
  6. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just did a post about this on my blog a few days ago: http://nesfarm.blogspot.com/2011/11/breeding-in-home-flock.html. Linked to articles are excellent.

    We're going with the out-and-out method until we get to something I really like. I was a good dual purpose egg producer, hearty in cold climates & friendly. Also a good free-ranger, with good feed conversion, broodiness & good mothering instinct. And dark brown eggs. (Yeah, it's a bit of a list [​IMG]).

    So right now we've got some marrans, some ees, just added some black & red stars, there is some dominique genetics in the new chicks (fingers crossed for rose combs). Once they produce something close to what I want we're going to start inbreeding; and we'll go to an A & B colony rolling system.
     
  7. nes

    nes Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they'reHISchickens :

    ... On the other hand, there is an Arcauna roo here for the 3rd year just because he is a nice guy and and excellent flock guardian. He will only go to a good home, if I can be enticed to give him up. I'm not personally attached to him, but any roo who sacrifices himself to a fox for his girls, has a home here and not a stew pot.
    ...

    We have the same problem with a similar Roo! [​IMG] Kinda mutty barnyard genes (not that, that isn't want we're creating anyway...) but he's an EXCELLENT rooster. Takes very good care of the hens, very protective of them and an energetic breeder with good fertility.

    So we had to incorporate him into the breeding program, I tried to get rid of him but just couldn't give up the 'personality' side of his genes!​
     
  8. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 9 hens and 1 EE rooster. This spring I plan to incubate the eggs from my 2 EE hens and my 2 BCMs. By doing this I do not have to separate the flock since I will only collect the green EE eggs and the dark brown BCM eggs and they are easy to tell apart from the rest. I think this is an easy way to try out incubating my own eggs without a whole lot of fuss. If I like it then there may be a new coup to build so I can keep a breeding flock separate from the layers. To start though I can do what I've said for nothing more than the cost of the incubator.

    Anyone care to suggest a good starter incubator?
     
  9. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    OP-- have a look at the spiral method of breeding. A master breeder put me on to it. Try the ALBC website for details. Basically you keep at least 3 pens of hens. Only the roosters move pens. Pen A uses PenC rooster; Pen B uses Pen A rooster; Pen C uses Pen B rooster. This is just the basic set up. Do read the details for a complete understanding. THe reduces inbreeding considerably, yet allow for a good selection process.

    GL
     
  10. cubalaya

    cubalaya Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:brinsea eco 20
     

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