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the making of a hybrid bird

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by cultivar, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. cultivar

    cultivar Hatching

    Dec 4, 2012
    hi, i'm new to the forum and i'm curious to know a bit more about hybrid meat birds, i understand that many lines are used to create consistant results, obviously the lines used are tested to see if they nick but what i'm wondering is by what means are the parental lines selected or what are the points that the lines idealy should have, eg: female line= quick growth male line = large breast, I'm new to meat birds have bred laying stock all my life and realise diffrent things need to be taken into account, i also dont expect to acheive the quality of a cornish x but would like to know what are the best points or signs of a bird when selecting breeding stock, maybe theres someone here who works in a hatchery that may have an insight to the breeding?

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    :frow Welcome to the forum! :frow Glad you joined us! :frow

    I don't have the expertise you are looking for but thought you might enjoy this video.

    Broiler Chicken Videos

    As far as traits to look for, I'll give a non-expert opinion.

    Pounds of feed to pounds of meat ratio has to be high on the list.

    Look for the conformation you want. Do you prefer white meat or dark?

    Do you pluck or skin? If you skin it does not matter, but if you pluck you probably want a white or buff bird. You always leave pin feathers behind when you pluck. With the dark feathers they are very visible but with light feathers you don't see them. You get a prettier carcass with light feathers. If you butcher when they are molting this becomes much more important.

    The last I would consider is temperment. How well do they handle confinement if you are keeping them confined. Or are there other behavioral traits you want?

    The experts you want to talk to are probably not in hatcheries but are more likely in a very few Universities. The University of Arkansas is one of the top three Poultry Science research universities in the country. I can't remember the other two, one is in the northwest and I believe one is in the southeast. Tyson is really big here. They have funnelled enough money in support of Arkansas's poultry Science department to get buildings named after them and make it one of the best. A lot of the research you are looking for is performed at these universities with funding from the big chicken companies.

    I don't know about roosters passing certain traits and hens passing others. I do know a rooster gives a copy of each and every gene he has (I guess it would be more accurate to say half since he gives a copy of one of the gene pair. Which one of that pair is random) The hen similarly gives a copy of each to her sons but does not give a copy of the sexlinked genes to her daughters.

    I'm no expert and it is easier to see rooster traits in the father and hen traits in the mother, but I'm not sure there is as much influence based on sex as many people seem to believe. But that is just my non-expert opinion.

    Good luck in your quest and again, :frow
  3. Cedarknob

    Cedarknob Chirping

    Feb 27, 2012
    Western IL

    For obvious reasons, the female line is traditionally a good layer. I've reversed the logic of that in a cross of Ameraucana males over commercial, white broiler females; but that was simply because the commercial broiler males are very difficult to keep small enough to breed with, and I am developing a blue egg laying meaty and not looking at maintaining two separate and permanent lines for continuous crossing.

    I do raise true Cornish [not hatchery type] for a self-sustaining meat bird. With them, I need a second breed for eating eggs, as the Cornish build is not designed for egg laying and they are seasonal layers. [One reason that male lines are traditionally the side that the meat trait is most emphasized is that truly great meat type most always has a negative impact on the females of any breed's ability to produce great numbers of offspring, or eggs in the case of poultry .] Right now I keep a few egg layers around for my eating eggs, plus a few extra chicks for meat when crossed to a quality Cornish. Eventually my blue egg laying line will hopefully be good dual purpose birds, and my winter egg layer; the Cornish will continue as being bred for both show quality and a self-sustaining source of meat from the culls when making that selection of which ones go to a pen and which ones go to my freezer.

    These gals are about as good as you can get for producing a great table bird.................................... but they lay medium sized eggs and not a lot of them. I've found the hatchery type just a bit better as layers but not great as meat birds.

    [The young hen on the right has all the meat missing from her keel to her right thigh; the result of a badger digging into two pens and nearly putting me without breeding stock. She survived and went back to laying for a decent fall hatch. I just found some White Cornish last year, as they're even more rare, and breeding them now also.]
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012

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