How do you breed for specific traits?

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Rooster

How do you breed for specific traits?

Post by Rooster » Fri May 08, 2009 10:49 am

Hi everyone. :D

I've been breeding some Orpingtons this year and I have been setting the best shaped eggs and hatching from these. I know this is a fairly basic question but I'm a little confused (and new to some of this stuff). How do you breed for specific characteristics? So, for example, how do I get the buff colour right through the feathers to the quill? :oops: Do I just select the best of what I've got next year? or introduce new blood?

Next year, I hope to be a little more selective and I want to be sure I'm going about it in the right way...

I'm pleased to have found this forum - I used to visit both the old Pekin Bantams Forum (such a shame it has gone) and the old poultrykeeper.com site forum - so I'm glad there is this new forum! I hope this develops into the 'new' meeting place - well done Tim for getting it online so quickly... it's looking pretty user friendly.
fallowfields

Re: How do you breed for specific traits?

Post by fallowfields » Sun May 10, 2009 4:39 pm

Rooster wrote:Hi everyone. :D

Sorry about adding my reply to your post Blogger. I should have previewed before submitting.

I'm pleased to have found this forum - I used to visit both the old Pekin Bantams Forum (such a shame it has gone) and the old poultrykeeper.com site forum - so I'm glad there is this new forum! I hope this develops into the 'new' meeting place - well done Tim for getting it online so quickly... it's looking pretty user friendly.
fallowfields

Re: How do you breed for specific traits?

Post by fallowfields » Sun May 10, 2009 4:46 pm

What a start - made a mess of my first post above. Clearly am a struggler as far as techology is concerned - Hope this post works better.

I am in the same position as Blogger but am starting to breed Sussex. There appear to be two strains a large "show strain" and a smaller domestic egg layer. I particularly want something in between and to build the "utility characteristics".
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Tim
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Re: How do you breed for specific traits?

Post by Tim » Mon May 11, 2009 11:15 am

For Utility / Eggs

I keep utility strains separate - you really need to use trap nestboxes and record egg numbers accurately. As I work, I can't do this, so I group my hens into small groups - one group being the hens that come into lay the earliest in the year, then record numbers from each small group (of 4 hens). From the number of eggs you get each day, you can see how well the group does and at least get an average no. of eggs laid for those 4. I usually find the hens that come into lay first are the ones that lay the most eggs - they lay longer over the season if that makes sense. Be sure hens are all the same age as egg numbers do decrease with age and you need to compare like with like.

For looks - Someone else will probably be better at explaining how they breed as I am but a novice in this area!
Rooster

Re: How do you breed for specific traits?

Post by Rooster » Fri May 22, 2009 10:38 pm

Thanks for the info guys,

The article on breeding chickens on poultrykeeper was interesting. It seems to make sense.

Fallowfields- I think I have been to your restaurant (back in January) - first class!
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