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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Happy Chooks, Jul 10, 2013.
*edited by Staff*
I prefer to start out with at least two trios from different sources, but even one trio from a single source is better than trying to start with a pair. With any line, the phenotype (what we see on the outside) may be covering some unpleasant surprises carried in the genotype. (the genetic code that is passed on to the offspring) One of the breeds I raise I've had for over 25 years now, and linebred them for over 15 years before I added birds from another source. (to introduce the rose comb gene) That particular variety was hard to find, especially in the days before "the interwebs", so when I discovered a source, I blended them into my flock in the same way the chart shows adding the new animals (signified by the block in the lower left hand corner, colored light gray in the chart), except that I worked on adding the new trait to all three lines at the same time. From the standpoint of preserving "my" line that was risky, but I really wanted that single comb to just go away. There have been a few issues that have cropped up in that breed since then, and I expect it will take a few more years to completely get them settled in, but that's the interesting part about breeding animals.
I agree, it is awful to have to cull chicks, but it is one of those actions we tacitly agree to when we take up breeding. Unless the bird is suffering or the defect is such that the bird will never be thrifty, I try to allow faulty birds to grow up so that they can later be sold to people who are unconcerned about such things. Of course, sometimes that backfires, and for whatever reason I end up attached to the less than perfect bird and it stays for the rest of it's life as an "omelette breeder".
I wouldn't worry too much about her size, she looks to only be about 4 months old. She will fill out more over the next few months. I love the leg color on her! Nice and bright yellow. Do you have other Buckeyes? Those that you know are cockerels? I can look to see if I have some that age in my photos to show you some differences. Mostly experience will help you figure out who is what, but there are a lot of people who ask the same thing who haven't raised a lot of chickens.
Buffalogal, I'm playing catch-up on this thread, and saw that you mentioned you were going to post a picture of a Dominique/Buckeye cross bird you have -- I would really like to see that picture! I'm trying to decide what direction to go with my flock. Right now I have some (hatchery) Golden-laced Wyandottes and Black Australorps. I'm trying to decide between Buckeyes, Dominiques, RC Red Dorkings, and Chanteclers to replace what I have. My birds are for utility, eggs and meat, and need to have rose, pea, or cushion combs.
It's 38 degrees and raining and all my buckeyes are out like its 70 and sunny. Last week had our first snow and they acted the same. A lady from another forum lives in Alaska and it around -30 and her buckeyes are doing just fine.I work outside rain or shine snow or hail and I know I would rather be warm and cozy but these birds don't seem to care what the weather throws at them. I love these birds.
JoshU we are at 52 degrees right now but looking for colder weather by the weekend. Mine are acting normal and My egg production has not slowed down. I just hatched out 45 chicks and they are doing great. Moved 10 to the big brooder and will move the rest in about 4 weeks. I to work out in the all types of weather, doing auctions, and my regular job, I love the 58 degree weather we are having.
Buckeyes are fan.tas.tic in the cold. My old profile pic showed a couple girls with their heads lowered down in the cold while waiting their turn at a nest box during a week of -20 wind chills.