The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Poultry & Waterfowl => Topic started by: princesspiggy on May 04, 2011, 10:59:29 am

Title: selecting breeding stock
Post by: princesspiggy on May 04, 2011, 10:59:29 am
my new chicks are 3 days old. some are much better than others, so im mentally selecting breeders now. is it possible to select them at this age. surely strength as a chick will be passed down to next generation?
just curious really.
Title: Re: selecting breeding stock
Post by: Beewyched on May 05, 2011, 01:01:25 pm
Me too now - never thought about selection at that age, though you could have an idea there - were the eggs all the same "age"?.  Is the maturity/strength linked to the sex of your chicks at the mo?
Title: Re: selecting breeding stock
Post by: Castle Farm on May 05, 2011, 09:43:15 pm
Selective breeding is all about choosing the best birds from a batch.

You get much stronger chicks from eggs laid by a second year bird, as the egg is larger and will contain more nutrients for the newly hatched chick.After they hatch they have more egg sac to feed on and from there on it's how much light and feed they get in the first 6 weeks.

Keep an eye on feather growth and discard any birds that are slow to feather up, as it can be passed as a breeding fault.
Keep nothing for breeding that has an illness or set back in development. Get them out on fresh, uncontaminated grass as soon as they feather up and while still inside give them fresh greens daily (Clover if you can get some).
Your final choice in the breeding pen should be birds that have laid well and moulted late. First off the perch in the morning and last on at night. A bird that is highly active and alert.

Forget the rest and if you only breed from 1 hen and the best cockerel you can get your in with a chance of breeding quality birds. Crap poultry is everywhere you look nowadays. Every sale you go to have pen after pen of below average birds bred by breeders just chucking any old rubbish into a pen and thinking they are breeding exhibition quality.

Quality birds stand out and you can take pride in your breeding skills.
Title: Re: selecting breeding stock
Post by: princesspiggy on May 06, 2011, 12:50:02 pm
they were all set to hatch at same time so differences are quite apparent. sent up in post from a really good breeder. 48 eggs, 30 developed well at candling, so 18 discarded. 12 didnt hatch, 1 died during pipping. 1 egg got damaged. 2 were culled due to poor legs, 1 culled cos very weak.
that leaves me with 13 really good and strong chicks from 2 different bloodines. big difference from 48 potentials but enough to build up a good breeding flock. they are little crackers so very excited.
i could have kept the weaker ones on but feared them getting mixed up with the breeding stock later on, once they are adult and feathered they would be hard to tell apart.
 ;D ;D :wave: