To Strain or not to Strain

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Ducks and Banny hens, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    Simple list of answers: Yes or No
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,359
    148
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Yes. Reason: There are certain breeders who have spent YEARS trying to perfect their birds, and it shows.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,950
    3,111
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Hatchery quality birds easily meet my goals. I'll selectively hatch and create my own strain of mutts. I think your answwer will depend on what your goals are.
     
  4. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    Exactly. I've heard of breeders constantly improving a strain for 15 years before being 'finished'. So which would you buy (retorical):
    -A hatchery mongrel that's infested with mights?
    -Or a nice Danish Leghorn hen from a line 20 years old known to produce well in the cold etc.?
     
  5. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    Strain of Mutts?
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,950
    3,111
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas

    A breed breeds true. I am not trying to create a breed or maintain a breed. Color, pattern, comb type, number of toes, things like that don't matter to me. At least, not much. I'll admit to liking some colors and patterns better than others. All these things have to be considered when you are creating or maintaining a breed.

    I am selectively creating a strain of mutts that meet my goals by originally mixing breeds and then picking my breeders. They will not breed true as to color or pattern, but they will have certain traits common that I want. At least I am trying to get there. I'm not there yet. My strain of mutts will be different than someone else's strain of mutts since we are probably selecting for different qualities, starting with different quality stock, starting with different breeds, and you have different people making the slection of which birds to breed.

    If you find a flock of birds that are bred for what you want, then I would think that strain would be important to you. I think you need to start off with the best stock you can find that meets your goals. With my goals, hatchery stock is plenty good enough. With what I want, show quality stock would be a waste.
     
  7. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,479
    88
    201
    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    No breeder ever finishes! They are either working to improve their fowl, or they are letting them degrade.

    Your rhetorical question has an obvious answer, but rarely is anything in life so well defined by good or bad. Since when did all mongrels have mites, and where is this prize Leghorn that lays well in the cold?

    The poll appears to question if one selects their birds because they are a specific strain? A very tricky question. For if one is to purchase Buckeyes from Urch strain, who is to say they are purchasing their birds directly from Urch? And if the current breeder is as successful as Urch in selective breeding? Also, should one look down on a bird that is Urch X Brown?

    A dedicated breeder is extremely important, and their fowl will exhibit their exertions no matter what strain(s) they derive from. I pick my birds for quality, not bloodline.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  8. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    That's why I put quotes around finish. What I meant was the breeder wouldn't sell the birds as a strain until about then, when he had achieved the goals he had set out to produce.
     
  9. Ducks and Banny hens

    Ducks and Banny hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 22, 2011
    On a little Farm.
    I do admit I was exaggerating. There are lots of hatcheries (commercial-type) that sell really disease-weak fowl, and there are strains of leghorns still around that perform well in the winter.

    Specific Strains? Well, most breeders will tell you what strain or strain-X they're selling you. To legidimately label a Buckeye as an Urch Buckeye, the breeder would need authorization from whoever has been put in charge of maintaining the original Urch Buckeye. If he doesn't have authorization, he shouldn't be calling the Urch (unless they are directly bought from Urch). Be warned, there are some who will buy a pair of Urch Buckeyes, and degrade them for 5 years, and still be selling them as Urch's. This is why lots of probing questions are paramount.
    And about picking your birds for quality, you should remember this is virtually impossible to do if you are buying a bird. However, if you bred the bird, then you probably know what it's highlights and faults are.
     
  10. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,479
    88
    201
    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio

    I have to agree with what you're trying to express, in that hatchery birds are usually not nearly as hardy, productive (in the long run), or as long lived as birds from a breeder.

    Yes, most breeders will tell you the strain(s), but it is the buyer beware that you mentioned that prohibits me from entrusting a specific strain to be good. Questioning is important, but so is the physical bird. I’m not sure why you would say it is virtually impossible to select for quality, if you are purchasing a bird? If you understand the breed then you can highlight the faults and good within it’s type, no matter who breed it. ​
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by