Wondering about breeding for chicks

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CourtneyBowman, Oct 29, 2016.

  1. CourtneyBowman

    CourtneyBowman Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2016
    So we just brought home our flock yesterday. We got 5 buff orpinton hens, 1 jersey giant hen, and 1 california white rooster. We are raising mostly for egg production, but would like the option for meat later on. My question though, is the rooster we got going to work for us? I probably should have looked into the rooster a bit more, but he was just WAY too pretty to pass up. I used to breed snakes, so I have a general knowledge of how genetics and crossbreeding work. But I'm clueless with chickens lol I know the CA is a mix between a Ca grey and a leghorn, but can he breed with the hens I have now, and give us more breedable chickens? Or is crossing chicken breeds a general no-no if you want to keep breeding the offspring?[​IMG]
  2. minihorse927

    minihorse927 Whipper snapper

    Nov 3, 2010
    Cross breeding is a great way to creatr more productive layers and hardier chickens. I would probably suggest a meatier breed of rooster to cross to the orpingtons as the california greys tens to be tall and lean. The orpingtons are oh and meaty. The cross will likely give you something in between the two. They would make great egg layers. It all depends on how big you want you meat offspring to be. If a little slimmer bird is ok than the crosses will be great.
  3. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Beach, WA
    All chickens are genetically the same species. All chickens are able to reproduce with other chickens.
  4. He will be fine....My Cockerel is a Brahma/Ameruacana....Big guy.....I have a mixed flock...Orpington pullets and other breeds...I love Old Farm style looking Chickens...I am excited to see what I end up with as far as Chicks go next year....

  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    He'll be more than happy to mate with all your hens [​IMG]. And the eggs will be fertile and hatch just fine. The pullets will lay eggs and the roosters will crow and try to mate hens.

    That said, your two breeds are kind of opposite ends of the spectrum. Orpingtons are heavier, meatier birds, good enough but not stellar layers, and tend to go broody from time to time.

    Your Cali rooster is bred basically for high egg production on small feed intake. He's lighter bodied, and lean built.

    Crossing those two breeds will give you very middle of the road offspring. They won't have the great egg laying capacity and feed conversion of the father, but neither will they have the meatiness of the mother. The egg laying may not be hugely noticeable in a back yard flock, but if you were trying to sell eggs or money for feed was really tight, you'd probably want to go with a different breed or cross. The carcass size will be pretty noticeable if you butcher cockerels.
  6. CourtneyBowman

    CourtneyBowman Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 20, 2016
    Thank you for the responses :) I'm thinking I'll let them breed this coming year and see how it turns out. If I find I want meatier birds, I guess I can always replace him. He's just so darn pretty

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