To cull or not to cull, that is my question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lildinkem, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. lildinkem

    lildinkem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
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    Hey I am wondering how many of you serious breeders cull alot? I have read from several great breeders, in several different breed clubs that culling is necessary. If your like me, you hate killing anything. But, to maintain a healthy nice looking flock it is part of the job.
    A breeder of Buff Orps I talked to ( Terry Britt ) says he culls alot. He raises hundreds of chicks (300 to 500) and then weeds through the endless sea of fluff to find the ones he likes best. He seems to be doing okay. The same with Thom Dean who raises BC Marans. He raises 200.
    What do you guys think? How many should one raise?
    For my needs I like to have 2 or 3 pens with about 8 to 10 birds per pen. I like running 2 Roo's/cockerels off and on in each pen. I hear too many say they lost a cockerel and now have only one. I don't want to be down to one Roo in any of my pens to not wear them out.
    thank you for any advise offered....
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I know some of the big breeders don't like to do this, but you can always sell your babies which don't make your cut. That seems more humane to me, but it also means that there will be other people out there with your genetics. I think it's the most important to cull if you're developing a new color...

    Good luck!
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I do the same thing, but on a smaller scale. I might hatch twenty and keep five. Right now I am doing a BIG hatch and looking for good roos. I have three bators full and seven broodies. Surely there will be something useful in there! Or just a bunch of chicks... time will tell. That, and a lot of feed, raking, cleaning and filling waters.
     
  4. Huny

    Huny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 14, 2008
    Sunny Southern Arizona
    I personally would most likely sell healthy, but not standard perfect chicks instead of just wasting them like that. On my duel purpose birds, so when I have to cull, I will be eating them. I won't be doing this with my dutch though [​IMG] I had one breeder giving away free roos last year, and kids were taking them as show birds, I don't think this would present a problem for this breeder later on.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Culling is necessary in any selective breeding program. How else are you going to enhance the traits you are after.

    Culling does not have to mean killing. It means selecting the ones you want to breed and not breeding the culls. You have to determine your goals. SpringChicken makes a good point if you want to protect your genetics from potential rivals. Otherwise, you can try selling, bartering, or giving them away. I doubt you will be able to process and eat all your culls. This may be hard but I'll mention it. Some people compost their culls.

    A hard fact of life for a breeding program is that you have to feed the chicks to a certain age to detemine what their traits are. It would be nice to get some return on that feed.

    I do not run a breeding program but I appreciate many of those that do. I think many strengthen the breeds to all our advantage. Of course I'm not sure about the guy developing a 6-toed strain.

    Have fun with it.
     
  6. lildinkem

    lildinkem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking running any I don'tt want to our local fairgrounds to sell as mutt chicks. That way people can appreciate a nice bird, and not add back into the gene pool what I feel are undesireable traits. I like that idea, instead of killing them off. A guy I know, he calls Tyson chcicken and have them take away his unwanted birds. I can't see doing that to birds I raise to be friendly and nice to people. Now, if their mean, I want to be at the end of the dinner plate enjoying the taste of a fresh bird
     

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