When are birds old enough to be able to judge quality?


11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
(sorry for the double post, but this got buried in a very long thread and I really want to know!)

Hi, question for everyone,

I have a clutch of 12-week-old black and blue Ameraucanas. Most are male, which is fine with me since I was actually looking for a rooster from the group. They are the first breeder-bred birds I've had. I bought the hatching eggs because I wanted another Ameraucana rooster for my flock, as I sell rainbow eggs and breed most of my birds instead of buying, so my Ameraucana rooster makes my EEs. I keep a purebred rooster instead of an EE for this because it simplifies the genetics immensely.

Not this coming year, but the year after that, my son will be in 4-H. He won't be taking these birds, but will probably be taking their offspring. I know absolutely nothing about what constitutes a good representative of the breed other than being able to tell the difference between an Ameraucana and an EE at 20 paces.

At which point can you tell if they will be good candidates for breeding? When do they have enough of an adult body shape and feathering that they can be evaluated? I have what looks like at least six cockerels in the clutch and I don't want to carry more boys through the winter than I need to, so I'd like to sell some of them now if possible.
Ask the breeder from whom you obtained the birds. Selection age can very by breed variety as well as breed.
For instance, in the Light Sussex variety of the Sussex fowl selection age is earlier than in the Speckled Sussex variety because Speckled Sussex are a tricolored breed.
Best Regards,
Waterford English Light Sussex
in western PA, USA
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