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Raising foundational breeds vs. composite breeds

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by JanetMarie, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For breeders of foundation breeds and composite breeds:

    What are the pros and cons between breeding the two?

    Which breeds require more maintenance? Which one require less? In maintenance meaning the average of chicks to hatch each year, and how many to cull vs. how many end up as breeding stock?

    Any other valuable information that experienced breeders can provide for someone choosing a breed to raise.
     
  2. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If someone wanted to breed a specific line of a composite breed, how would the beginning breeding stock be selected? It would have to be full brother and sister mated together, right?
     
  3. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you define composite breeds? Are you talking about hybrids as opposed to standard breeds?
     
  4. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Composite breeds are standard breeds like the Rhode Island Red, Buckeye, Orpington, as opposed to a foundational breed such as the Dorking that has no traceable roots and is used to create composite breeds.

    I'm asking for the reason of selecting a breed to conserve, but since starting this thread I've been asking questions on specific breed threads and getting good information from breeders.
     
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks for the explanation. Despite raising chickens for the past 50 years, I don't think I've ever heard the term composite breed used before. In answer to your questions, I would think that composite breeds are generally hardier and require less maintenance as they were originally bred using other breeds to improve various qualities such as hardiness, temperament, egg laying ability, etc. All of the composite breeds that you mentioned in your post are very cold hardy, and very good layers, and are generally docile breeds, with the Orpingtons being exceptionally friendly, calm, and gentle. I have sometimes had an aggressive RIR, but I've never had an aggressive Orpington in all the years that I've raised them. My children, and now my granddaughter (pictured in my avatar), made lap pets of them. Whatever breeds you decide to raise, good luck with your flock.
     

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