Why are some LF breeds from hatcheries smaller than 'Standard'?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by jmc, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    I don't imagine the bantam breeds are smaller. but that's not my question anyway.


    I request that any contributors please do not take a 'hatchery bashing' tone in your reply.


    It can't be that small breeds like W. Leghorn have been cut into them all to up egg production..........Though there are rumors by some (RUMORS) that that was done in the US to BAs

    Could it be that the breeders methods--NOT BREEDING FOR STANDARD SIZE--have resulted in a 'shrinking' of SOME individuals in the LF breeds?

    Interesting phenomenon, it seems.
     
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Hatcheries breed for quantity, not quality. A hatchery doesn't care if their breeder birds are up to standard or not while a reputable breeder will only breed those birds that meet or at least very closely meet the standard so their offspring are more likely to meet the standard.
     
  3. gallorojo

    gallorojo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Without the hand of man to select/guide , and cull, our domestic creatures will all naturally tend towards mediocrity. Large chickens are much larger than their wild ancestors, and , without constant selection for that extra normal size, they will lose it quickly. Remember, their generation time is less than one year. No way hatcheries have put leghorns into all the LF-they just are not selecting for size, and why should they? Most folks are happy with a red or barred color hen, and that's as far as it goes. Why maintain huge breeders when small breeders will make 90% of the people out there happy. Chickens all want to revert to red junglefowl in the absence of our continued selection, all you have to do is not select for large size, and it's gone quite quickly. This is no different than giant dogs, or horses, etc. Where are the feral herds of draft horses, and feral packs of great danes? They don't exist, because they quickly revert to something approximating wild type. Same with fowl.
     
  4. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    thank you, Katy. Always nice to 'see' you. (Hope all is well in the land of Dorothy)

    Gallorojo: all I can say to your reply is, "superb". That has been very helpful. I was wondering about the 'reversion to wild type', but wasn't sure. Many thanks for your well-thought-out reply.
     
  5. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    Claremore, OK
    While I do agree with most of gallo's post, I would like to say that there is some selection process. Size and egg production are inversely correlated. When a larger bird is bred, fewer eggs are produced. It is why one of the best egg producers is one of the smallest sizes. Hatcheries are searching for the best producers of a breed in order to sell more chicks. After all, there is no profit while waiting for birds to mature, the earliest maturing birds are the ones that are used in the breeding pens. These tend to be on the smaller side, but still maintain a few characteristics for the breed.
     
  6. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Actually this is not truley correct. Smaller does not mean better egg layer. Most egg laying types are smaller due to they are not used for anything else. But a duel purpose is and can be just as good a egg layer if selected for it. But that is not what this thread is about. What happens in a hatchery is those that lay are kept and those that do not are culled. Now some hatcheries do buy from breeders and you can tell it when you get a large order of just one breed. Hatcheries need space for they have lots of chickens. Production is up most in selction everything else comes after. If your large breeds are not selected for other than laying they will down size. But luckily it is not hard to breed back up. Most only down size 2 to 3 lbs.
     
  7. jmc

    jmc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2008
    South Central MA
    forgive me, but thank you very much cyber. all these replies provide very helpful info.
     
  8. rodriguezpoultry

    rodriguezpoultry Langshan Lover

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    Quote:Actually this is not truley correct. Smaller does not mean better egg layer. Most egg laying types are smaller due to they are not used for anything else. But a duel purpose is and can be just as good a egg layer if selected for it. But that is not what this thread is about. What happens in a hatchery is those that lay are kept and those that do not are culled. Now some hatcheries do buy from breeders and you can tell it when you get a large order of just one breed. Hatcheries need space for they have lots of chickens. Production is up most in selction everything else comes after. If your large breeds are not selected for other than laying they will down size. But luckily it is not hard to breed back up. Most only down size 2 to 3 lbs.

    I'm sorry, can you explain how it is not inversely correlated? Smaller birds, such as Leghorns lay more eggs. Australorps, the production bred ones which are smaller than their standard-bred counter parts also lay more. Both are relatively small breeds in the big "scheme" of all breeds. Whereas, a Cornish, will lay few eggs.
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the South
    Quote:Actually this is not truley correct. Smaller does not mean better egg layer. Most egg laying types are smaller due to they are not used for anything else. But a duel purpose is and can be just as good a egg layer if selected for it. But that is not what this thread is about. What happens in a hatchery is those that lay are kept and those that do not are culled. Now some hatcheries do buy from breeders and you can tell it when you get a large order of just one breed. Hatcheries need space for they have lots of chickens. Production is up most in selction everything else comes after. If your large breeds are not selected for other than laying they will down size. But luckily it is not hard to breed back up. Most only down size 2 to 3 lbs.

    Actually, breeding 'back up' can be a monumental challenge.
     
  10. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Quote:Actually this is not truley correct. Smaller does not mean better egg layer. Most egg laying types are smaller due to they are not used for anything else. But a duel purpose is and can be just as good a egg layer if selected for it. But that is not what this thread is about. What happens in a hatchery is those that lay are kept and those that do not are culled. Now some hatcheries do buy from breeders and you can tell it when you get a large order of just one breed. Hatcheries need space for they have lots of chickens. Production is up most in selction everything else comes after. If your large breeds are not selected for other than laying they will down size. But luckily it is not hard to breed back up. Most only down size 2 to 3 lbs.

    I'm sorry, can you explain how it is not inversely correlated? Smaller birds, such as Leghorns lay more eggs. Australorps, the production bred ones which are smaller than their standard-bred counter parts also lay more. Both are relatively small breeds in the big "scheme" of all breeds. Whereas, a Cornish, will lay few eggs.

    They're different kinds of chickens, for different purposes, so you can't really compare them. The length of the body also is an important part on whether the bird will lay well: Leghorns are long in body, as are RI Reds. Both can be very good layers with correct selection. My guess is that Hatcheries disregard body type, proper size, color for only selection of best egg layers.
    And I agree with Saladin. I've been told that it's very difficult to regain size if you don't have it.
    Mitch
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011

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