Serious Question for serious breeders (culling)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BoldogKennel, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi. Last year I gathered together most of my foundation stock (added a bit more this spring) and have hatched quite a few chicks. They are from a week old to 4 months old now. When I did a little dog breeding I was a ruthless culler, and knew exactly what to cull for. But I'm a chicken newbie. I have some specific questions on what to cull for. I do know the obvious ones, crooked toes, deformaties, etc. But am less sure about "keel". My breed is OEG game/American Game, (large fowl) and I have heard again and again about the "keel". I know it is the "breastbone" and that it should be straight, but is there anything else?

    Color is about the last thing I would cull on, and I understand all breeds are different on that. If there is anyone on here that breeds large game fowl (not orientals) who knows any specifics, I sure would appreciate any help. For the rest, if there are "basic" things that breeders look to cull out when chicks are 6 months and younger, please let me know.

    Thanks!
    Diane
     
  2. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump
     
  3. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ANY serious breeders out there?
     
  4. X2Farm

    X2Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2010
    Homer, GA
    While I have no clue about game birds, my suggestion is to pick up a copy of the American Standard of Perfection, you can purchase it from the APA website, and it'll have the breed standard within, as well as other good information for any breeding [​IMG]

    http://www.amerpoultryassn.com/APA_ShoppingMall3.htm
     
  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    First, there are some excellent breeders of game fowl that are members here. Saladin knows the games as anyone I know, and seams to be generous with information. Search his name and you will find some that breed games. Second, I believe the SOP is an essential tool. Lastly, is culling dogs the same as chickens? I eat my culls. I do not know that I could breed an animal and cull without eating them. My culls feed my family. Could culling to you mean giving them away as pets? I am wondering if the term cull is used in various ways.
     
  6. tclegg

    tclegg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:i agree too--I was wondering the same....?
     
  7. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Culling means different things to different people. And different things to the same person depending ont he reason for culling. With dogs, culling can and does (for me, anyway) mean everything from euthanizing to keep an animal from a painful or mentally unstimulating life (i.e., I would rather euthanize a smart, loving dog than have it stuck in a "no kill" shelter rotting out the rest of its life wondering why it has been abandoned) to simply spaying or neutering a dog which should not be used for reproduction. Depends on the issue: I happen to be one of those who won't pass on a "heartbreak" animal to someone else, for the simple reason that after 20 years in animal control I have a serious suspicion about those who "rescue" significantly "messed up" animals. Far too often "rescued" animals end up being some sort of tool for people with serious mental issues. I give as an example an animal which cannot walk, and which is forced to live a miserable, boring life lying in its own urine, dragging itself around 90% of the time so the owner can put it in a cart once in a while and parade it around so everyone can see how much they "love it"... Sorry if I sound severe, but I have NO tolerance for people who use animals to make THEMSELVES feel better. I live by the old cowboy saying about horses... "If you can't shoe 'em or shoot 'em don't have 'em". That kinda says it all about *real* love for animals.

    What I was searching for in this thread was information on anatomical issues which a newbie like myself (to chickens) may not be aware of. I just recently learned about crooked breast bones, and am trying to get additional information on that subject. Who knows what else is out there? My questions are NOT strictly related to "game" fowl, but to chickens in general, as I have several breeds.

    So, I'm assuming that at some point some of you breeders pick up your young birds and go over them... looking for?

    Thanks for the info given, and any additional info to come.

    Diane
     
  8. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I agree to contact Saladin, he seems to be one of the ones that really knows Orientals.

    With my birds of any breed I start culling at hatch. Anything obvious (crooked toes, wry neck, splay leg, crooked beak or anything of the sort) it's snip and pitch. I raise so many birds I can't afford to keep anything I can't use.

    I cull ruthlessly on the breeds I work with. Color, type and feathering just depends on the breed and variety. Some like the Orloffs I just can't be sure on some of them until around a year old, some like the cochins I can get down to reasonable numbers by six months.

    Culling for wrong combs, wrong color legs, feathered legs, general confirmation, stance, body size, temperment... all are an ongoing process. Anything that makes it out of the brooder on the 5th week without getting culled, when I do cull them, gets thrown into a cull pen for later processing to eat or sell as yard chickens. In the end I'm left with a pen of good birds which I grow out until around a year old, check the hens to see how well they are laying, see which roos molt out to the right colors, etc.
    At that point I make my final cut. The keepers go into the breeding pen, the rest I sell as started birds.

    I think a lot of that would go for most any breed.

    Also, I raise hundreds of chicks a year, it would be different I'm sure if you have smaller numbers or pet chickens.

    jmho
     
  9. BoldogKennel

    BoldogKennel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Miss.Farm Boy. 'preciate it. Hope it isn't too hot down there for you. We can't seem to get over 70 degrees here in the Seattle area... : (
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    No chicken advice, but want to point out that breeding chickens is a lot easier than breeding dogs.

    With dogs, you have to find good homes for the ones you don't want. Good homes are hard to come by, so you have to limit the number of litters you produce.

    With chickens, you can breed the heck out of them and hatch thousands if you want to. Because you can eat the ones you don't want.

    It's so much less complicated.
     

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