What would you do in my situation?

tastyacres

Crowing
Feb 23, 2017
994
6,833
426
Idaho
Okay, You all this may be long so bear with me, please

My dilemma is, I am getting back into breeding chickens and have 3-breeds I am going to do, Lavender Orpington, Cream Legbar, Dominque.

(a) Do all breeds at once?

(b) Start with 1-breed?

(c) Do all but 6-months apart?

Pros on (a)

I would be able to jump in all at once and grow them all out together.... All would be the same age.

I wouldn't have to worry about them being out of chicks later on down the road since I would be getting all of them at once.

All would be of breeding age at once.

I wouldn't have to separate since all would be the same age.

Cons on (a)

I will probably get overwhelmed!

More money involved all at once.

Wouldn't be able to do different age groups.

Won't have has much control over them.

Pros on (b)

I could put all my time into the once breed.... and build it up till I am ready to add more.

Could have better control on them and be able to watch them better.

Would be able to put my money toward establishing the breed and make money faster.

Cons on (b)

I won't be able to have variety.

Fewer birds.

Pros on (c)

Could partly establish 1-breed before getting more.

Would be slower growing flock instead of jumping in with 4-feet.

Easier to manage.

All would be 6-months apart and start laying all at different times of the year.

I would be able to have some variety for customers.

Lots of eggs at different times of the year.

Cons on (c)

Could be a possibility of breeder running out of chicks before ready to buy.

Would be able to talk with breeder more before purchase, being able to make more then 1-purchase from the same breeder.

I would be able to establish a relationship with the breeder.

That is all for now.... I am sure I will think of more later!


I will be getting 3-rooster of each breed and 4-hens per rooster which equal out to 45-chickens.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,547
436
NEK, VT
I think this belongs in Managing Your Flock not the Standard of Perfection forum.

What you do is more about your goals than our opinions. If your breeding for the Standard then one breed is a lot to handle. You say it would be less birds but in reality you're talking hatching a hundred chicks and more each year for that one breed.

So ask yourself what you're trying to achieve and if you have the space for it let alone the means to build enough housing. My opinion is if you're serious about getting into breeding and working toward the standard for that breed then start with one breed. Research that breed of choice completely then attempt to obtain enough of the best stock you can find or afford to make an honest go at it.
 

getaclue

Enabler
7 Years
Jun 19, 2013
10,596
32,952
1,152
Central Florida
Personally, I would begin getting everything ready for 3 breeds, but start with 1. Dump the 6 month timetable. When you get your breeding program up, and running well with the 1st. breed, move on to the next, etc.

You mention chicks, then 3 roosters, and 4 hens per rooster. Which are you going to start with? Personally, I would start with a couple breeding trios, with maybe an extra hen for each, and hatch out whatever I needed. This allows time to get to know the breed well, learn which is the best stock to keep for future breeding, so you will always have the best breeding stock, and which will be best for eggs only. Another advantage doing it this way is that it won't overwhelm you, which can easily happen, and is not a good thing.
 

tastyacres

Crowing
Feb 23, 2017
994
6,833
426
Idaho
I think this belongs in Managing Your Flock not the Standard of Perfection forum.
Sorry, about that!
What you do is more about your goals than our opinions. If your breeding for the Standard then one breed is a lot to handle. You say it would be less birds but in reality you're talking hatching a hundred chicks and more each year for that one breed.
I don't have time or enough room to hatch Hundreds of chicks a year, I can do a good 50-75 but not much more than that.

From buying from someone with who breeds for the standard then I can take it from there.
So ask yourself what you're trying to achieve and if you have the space for it let alone the means to build enough housing. My opinion is if you're serious about getting into breeding and working toward the standard for that breed then start with one breed. Research that breed of choice completely then attempt to obtain enough of the best stock you can find or afford to make an honest go at it.
I did breeding down in OR but never got to breeding for the standard, I bred best I could.... I hope to breed for the standard as much as possible but I am still learning.

I have enough money, I am going to go simply with my buildings, Going with the best farms I can find That ship to AK.

Personally, I would begin getting everything ready for 3 breeds, but start with 1. Dump the 6 month timetable. When you get your breeding program up, and running well with the 1st. breed, move on to the next, etc.

You mention chicks, then 3 roosters, and 4 hens per rooster. Which are you going to start with? Personally, I would start with a couple breeding trios, with maybe an extra hen for each, and hatch out whatever I needed. This allows time to get to know the breed well, learn which is the best stock to keep for future breeding, so you will always have the best breeding stock, and which will be best for eggs only. Another advantage doing it this way is that it won't overwhelm you, which can easily happen, and is not a good thing.
I am thinking that is the way I will go, I am in a big family, finishing up school, etc, so I can get overwhelmed easy.

So I am going to start with Lavender Orpingtons so I am to do 3-roosters and 4-hens per rooster, which gets me to 15 chickens (I think a good starting number).

My reason for so many roosters is a good diverse gene pool.
 

getaclue

Enabler
7 Years
Jun 19, 2013
10,596
32,952
1,152
Central Florida
From what you have described, you need to do a lot more research on breeding for SOP. I too had to go thru this, so I will offer some suggestions based on experience.

You've picked Lavender Orphingtons.

Now go to a few APA shows, and wait until they've been judged. You are looking for the best quality to start with. In the meantime, buy an SOP book. The book will tell you all the standards of perfection for all sanctioned breeds. Check out the Orphingtons that take 2nd. or higher. Find, and talk to the breeder(s) of the best ones there, even it they aren't showing Lavenders. They may have some they aren't showing yet, or know of someone that has the quality you are looking for. They will be able to give you info on the lineage of the birds. IF none of them place very high, begin looking on here. Again, you want the best quality stock to begin with, because breeders are not going to sell you their prize winning stock, but getting the best stock ensures being able to pull the line up more easily, and quickly.



It took me over 9 months to track down, and finally get the quality stock I was wanting. It was totally worth the wait. Don't rush things now, and you won't regret it later. You do NOT want diversity in the gene pool at this stage of things. Read up on Line Breeding. Eventually, you will have enough diversity in the gene pool. You are not even close to ready to introduce new genes into the pool yet.

Starting with eggs from champion stock is a cheaper option to get started. 50 eggs from top of the line stock should result in 1, probably 2 breeding trios of the quality stock you are wanting. Lesser stock, 2nd, or 3rd place stock, will require more eggs hatched out (100 or more).

Chicks are a good option, from a good breeder, but keep in mind that the majority are not going to be breeding stock.

Breeding trios are expensive, but you can see what you are getting, and they are already laying, so it's easy to begin hatching out your future stock immediately. Again, you are NOT going to get a breeder's best quality, because they are keeping that for themselves, BUT oftentimes a good breeder's back up trios are top of the line too.

You are going to have to accept the fact that you have to hatch out chicks, if you are going to keep the quality, and quantity of your line up to par.

Why?
1. Good stock is expensive, whether it be hatching eggs, chicks, or trios, and you are NOT going to get the breeder's best stock. Most breeders put years into perfecting their lines. What they will sell you is the potential to start, and perfect your own line.
2. As I said, good stock is expensive, so it becomes cost prohibitive.
2. Even being friends with a breeder, and doing it on a consignment type basis, they are going to want their pick, and they will pick the top of the line, so you're stuck with the culls, unable to upgrade your line, unless you hatch out your own stock.

Keep in mind, it's much easier to let a line go downhill, than to keep it up. Starting out right, and learning how to keep the line up, for years to come, ensures better success.
 

TinyBirds

Songster
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
779
82
181
Texas
I have had both the u.s. bred lav orps and the english lav orps from fancy chicks. I liked them but was disappointed by things like off color and/or occasional white feathers on the tail. Also lavenders often have scraggly looking feathers. I'm definitely not saying don't get lavenders (i still have lav ameraucana), but just good things to know before doing lavenders, in case you're picky like I tend to be. I think if I did orps again I would do English blacks.
 

TinyBirds

Songster
10 Years
Jul 9, 2009
779
82
181
Texas
Consider one of the stunning brahma colors too like blue partridge, buff laced, lavender laced. If you can afford them they would be my first choice even though they don't lay many eggs. Their beauty is beyond words. Check high view farms i think in fredericksberg TX
 

RhodeRunner

Songster
11 Years
Feb 22, 2009
1,548
173
231
Ashtabula, Ohio
We are all hobbyists here, enjoying our birds is the goal. If you want to have three breeds and hatch a few chicks every year, go for it. But, let’s be honest… if you you can only hatch 50 - 75 chicks a year, then you are capable of doing the minimum for keeping one breeding group going strong. Add more breeds, you are not going to be hatching enough chicks to improve your flocks.

When breeding, starting small is the best option. Adding another breed within six months, or even a year or two will probably only serve as a distraction. But, once again the number of birds you can grow out will still be your biggest problem.

In case a rooster dies, it is good to keep a spare rooster or two around. But, a diverse gene pool is not recommended. Our society has been indoctrinated, to think inbreeding is bad. However, amongst livestock, having a diverse gene pool will not help refine anything. If you keep adding different spices to a recipe, it is going to taste different every time, and you are not going to know what to expect. It is the same with breeding chickens.

When I look at the birds you selected, I see very different breeds, with very different personalities. Chances are, you are going to find one of those breeds suits you, and the rest don’t.

Also, if you want to add fun to your flock (we chicken people are collectors, and I understand that urge) you can always add some blue egg layers, or any bird that produces a different color egg then your breeding hens to any flock. This will keep your hens a lot happier too, as 3-4 hens in with a rooster can create some very feather worn, miserable looking hens.
 

tastyacres

Crowing
Feb 23, 2017
994
6,833
426
Idaho
We are all hobbyists here, enjoying our birds is the goal. If you want to have three breeds and hatch a few chicks every year, go for it. But, let’s be honest… if you you can only hatch 50 - 75 chicks a year, then you are capable of doing the minimum for keeping one breeding group going strong. Add more breeds, you are not going to be hatching enough chicks to improve your flocks.

When breeding, starting small is the best option. Adding another breed within six months, or even a year or two will probably only serve as a distraction. But, once again the number of birds you can grow out will still be your biggest problem.

In case a rooster dies, it is good to keep a spare rooster or two around. But, a diverse gene pool is not recommended. Our society has been indoctrinated, to think inbreeding is bad. However, amongst livestock, having a diverse gene pool will not help refine anything. If you keep adding different spices to a recipe, it is going to taste different every time, and you are not going to know what to expect. It is the same with breeding chickens.

When I look at the birds you selected, I see very different breeds, with very different personalities. Chances are, you are going to find one of those breeds suits you, and the rest don’t.

Also, if you want to add fun to your flock (we chicken people are collectors, and I understand that urge) you can always add some blue egg layers, or any bird that produces a different color egg then your breeding hens to any flock. This will keep your hens a lot happier too, as 3-4 hens in with a rooster can create some very feather worn, miserable looking hens.
Thank you!
Consider one of the stunning brahma colors too like blue partridge, buff laced, lavender laced. If you can afford them they would be my first choice even though they don't lay many eggs. Their beauty is beyond words. Check high view farms i think in fredericksberg TX
Thanks... I will have to look into them!
 

tastyacres

Crowing
Feb 23, 2017
994
6,833
426
Idaho
I've changed what I will be doing!

After considering what you all have said I have decided to go with one breed.

With doing it this way, I can have 45-50-laying-hens and 5-roosters.... Which means hatching around 200-eggs a year.

What changed it for me was getting to speak with some breeders (also, seeing what you guys have written) and reading articles on best ways of doing things.

I have chosen to do "Lavender Orpingtons"... Just couldn't resist there huge fluffy tails!

I have to go but will post later!
 

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