What constitutes a good breeding program?

BethJ

Chirping
Aug 4, 2019
26
33
65
Stayner, Ontario
My Coop
My Coop
A question for anyone out there breeding rare or threatened breeds off of the Livestock Conservancy list...

What constitutes a good breeding program?

I understand that depending on the breed there will be limited genetics to work with. That can lead to some quirks and deformities; there may be poor fertility, other issues. Also there will always be variations in any breed. I'm not thinking show quality here, more healthy, happy chickens that are reasonably true to their breed type.

I've had a horrible time with a certain breeder and would like to know whether I'm crazy or is their program sub par, if not a total crock, when all the eggs I've bought from them have hatched out sickly, weak or deformed chicks at about a 20% hatch rate. I'm using a Brinsea with 2 separate tools to measure temperature and humidity. It's not the incubator.

Thanks in advance.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
May 3, 2009
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Are they shipped eggs ? Shipped eggs are generally a crap shoot frequently resulting in low % hatch rates. I'd try another breeder for sure and try to source locally available eggs.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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I wouldn't be a fan of results like that either, so sorry. It is really hard to know when you are dealing with hatching eggs, the hardest way to go.
I would try to find another source for chicks.
The Conservancy has a very good paperback concerning breeding stock with a very small gene pool, and it's different from breeding for SQ offspring. Some combination of the two breeding schemes seems reasonable to me.
Mary
 

BethJ

Chirping
Aug 4, 2019
26
33
65
Stayner, Ontario
My Coop
My Coop
They were shipped. I left them to sit for 24 hours and candled them to make sure all of the air sacks were back on top before I put them in the incubator. None of the eggs were scrambled.

Are they shipped eggs ? Shipped eggs are generally a crap shoot frequently resulting in low % hatch rates. I'd try another breeder for sure and try to source locally available eggs.
 

BethJ

Chirping
Aug 4, 2019
26
33
65
Stayner, Ontario
My Coop
My Coop
I got the book, and you're right it's great. But I'm trying to find good healthy stock to start my breeding program knowing I'll run into difficulty with the small breeding pool. I'm going to try looking around more and possibly try to get some posted to me from the States. I like the hatching experience, but it is trickier than just buying that many chicks.

I wouldn't be a fan of results like that either, so sorry. It is really hard to know when you are dealing with hatching eggs, the hardest way to go.
I would try to find another source for chicks.
The Conservancy has a very good paperback concerning breeding stock with a very small gene pool, and it's different from breeding for SQ offspring. Some combination of the two breeding schemes seems reasonable to me.
Mary
 

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