Starting in chicken breeding

Discussion in 'Chicken Breeders & Hatcheries' started by Ramblin Rooster, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    I was wondering what I will need to start small scale chicken breeding. What equipments, helpful info, etc
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A good incubator, incubator/hatcher or extra hen breeds that tend to go broody like cochins/silkies/etc..

    Breeder pens where you can keep pairs or trios so you can pedigree the chicks and establish more than one line. You'll want at least 2 unrelated lines.
    Separate grow out and hen housing and pens

    A couple inexpensive digital scales. One to weigh eggs and one to weigh chicks and adolescents, or one that can do both.

    A good source for a breeder feed. Regular layer and grower feed doesn't have the nutritional punch for good fertility.
    Breeders need more animal protein, vitamins and trace minerals. If you can't find a breeder feed, you can add fishmeal and a vitamin/mineral supplement.

    Processing equipment. To establish a good breeding program you need a minimum of 40 adults, hatch a lot and cull hard. That means lots of extra chicken dinners.
     
  3. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    Thanks for the awesome help! We're a no kill farm so we would try to sell them or give them away. Any advice for selling quality chickens, shipping, selling eggs, etc?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Until you develop a name for yourself and your line of birds, they'll just be considered chickens unless they're an extremely rare breed. To establish a name takes diligence and many years. It certainly isn't a get rich scheme. Selling hatching eggs from good lines and uncommon breeds is probably the best money producer.
    Shipping boxes aren't cheap but the cost gets built into the sales.

    I know you're a no kill and I respect that but people who get your birds will only eat the roosters anyway. You've fed and put labor into them - you should also get the nutritional benefit for you and your family.
    If you're maintaining a flock of 40 breeders and actually improving or maintaining them, you'll probably be producing 50-100 unwanted cockerels a year at a minimum as well as extra pullets.
     
  5. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    Well then that will be someone else's dinner because my whole family is vegetarians anyways.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Bless you.

    Humans are omnivores.
     
  7. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    In a good way or like I need it? We do all right, it's much easier than you'd think, especially when the whole family's doing it. Makes life a little more interesting [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It's way easier when the whole family is doing it. No matter the approach to nutrition.
    I think it's easier in the tropics where a greater variety of fruits and vegetables are available.
     
  9. Ramblin Rooster

    Ramblin Rooster Hatchaholic

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    We shop mostly at whole paycheck-err-whole foods and they have lots of exotic stuff there. Not that we buy eggs there, as we don't need to, but I saw easter egger eggs there! Just an example of he variety there. [​IMG]
     
  10. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Wait, when did you ever need so many chickens for a small scale breeding project?
     

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