Euskal Oiloa Chicken Forum

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#1 2012-09-21 02:33:55

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Can't Decide

So I am slowly trying to pick out who I will use for breeding this upcoming year. I have about 80 pullets and hens to choose from. The others get to live in the layer flock. I like to start in December since they have to be confined anyway, and then can let them out In April to free range as the weather gets nice enough. I will be starting on the fifth generation here! What i am wondering is this: should I pick a balance between my girls of good traits ( ie, good size, good combs, good feather pattern etc)? Or should I start selecting for uniformity of one trait and then after it is established, move on to the next? IE start this year with the best feather pattern. Next year watch combs etc etc. thing is I don't want to lose any of the desirable traits but would like to get more uniformity of the birds. Opinions?

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2012-09-21 02:33:55

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#2 2012-09-21 03:16:51

poplar girl
Administrator
From: Athabasca, AB, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 3159

Re: Can't Decide

A good question. My approach is one of balance. Try to balance the good traits with the poor in any one bird and then pair them with a rooster that does not share the same faults. I am not far enough along in my breeding to be able to tell you how effective that approach is as of yet :oops:

Interested to hear what others are doing!


Raising red cuckoo (marraduna) Euskal Oiloak and self blue (lavender) & black Belgian Bearded d'Uccles.

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#3 2012-09-21 03:28:26

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: Can't Decide

Should say, the last four times, I have gone for balance of traits. I am thinking maybe I should try to be more specific this time (?)

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#4 2012-09-22 01:00:44

Prairie Chick
Member
From: Qu'Appelle Saskatchewan
Registered: 2012-03-27
Posts: 261

Re: Can't Decide

I would say to be more specific with the traits you want, that way in the end you should have exactly what you want =D


Chickens:  EO's, BLRW, Ameracauna's (blue/black/splash also Lavender) and lavender D'Uccles
Waterfowl: Super dewlap Africans, Seb's, American Blue Geese, Muscovies,
also guinea fowl and peafowl

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#5 2012-09-22 01:50:07

Maggiesdad
Moderator
From: Louisa County, Virginia
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 1980

Re: Can't Decide

Hmmm.... I thought to my self last night, Is this a trap? or a test? Who am I  - " Mr one-year chicken noob" to tell Susan how to select her hens from a flock of 80?  :oops:


Well, here goes nothing!

If they were my birds, I would approach it like this. I would run three lines of breeding pens. (Spiral). The pens would either be trios or quads (with the roosters), so I would be looking for the best 8 or 9 hens, or the top 10% of the flock. We would visually determine the largest hen and the smallest hen in the flock and weigh them to see how they jibed with the standard...  Also weigh a middle of the road hen for reference. I would have my two helpers bring me each hen while I was blind folded, and I would assess their egglaying capacity in the manner outlined in "The Call of the Hen" and the ALBC stock improvement pdfs. Keepers would go into one holding pen and culls would go into the laying pen. If they were obviously unsuited for egg production, then they would head towards freezer camp...

So now, with roughly 40 birds in one pen (breeder selects) and 40 in the other pen (layers)  I would then reassess the hens, still blind folded, selecting the best 10 or 12 birds. These would be marked for breeding. (This is assuming the birds are all the same age and  already in lay). In this perfect world, where money is no object, and time is plentiful, I would also trap nest these girls to chart exactly what their egglaying propensities were.

Now with 12 birds selected, and 68 birds in the laying flock, I would then look for obvious flaws that would preclude them from being chosen. Next I would identify them individually and take pictures of them and their three roosters -  posting them on here for you folks to look at combs, colors, tail angles, etc.   
Merging my selections in with your recommendations, I would put together the three trios, and then start hatching like crazy!



Oh - and have a well deserved on of these!  :wine:

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#6 2012-09-22 02:32:07

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: Can't Decide

How about Eany Meany Miney Mo.....:shock:

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#7 2012-09-22 11:36:09

Maggiesdad
Moderator
From: Louisa County, Virginia
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 1980

Re: Can't Decide

:lol:

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#8 2012-09-22 12:22:01

Amblecroft
Member
From: Millbrook, Ontario
Registered: 2011-08-03
Posts: 448
Website

Re: Can't Decide

It depends on the trait and how difficult it is to get and to keep.  Genetically, some traits are easy to get rid of and easy to keep out so those traits aren't a big issue.  There are other traits that are illusive and if you have them you want to hang onto them by continually breeding towards that trait.  Good luck.


Susan Buttivant at Amblecroft,
Chaparral Pyrenean Shepherds and Petits Bassets
http://www3.sympatico.ca/chaparral/amblecroft.html

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#9 2012-09-22 12:41:02

poplar girl
Administrator
From: Athabasca, AB, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 3159

Re: Can't Decide

MD, at what point in your scenario above would you select for the visual traits like shank and feather color, no crazy combs etc.?

Amblecroft, which traits would you consider elusive and hard to hang onto as they apply to EOs? I guess the other way to look at that statement would be some traits are hard to get rid of once you have them so one would want to be careful not to select too many birds with that trait.


Raising red cuckoo (marraduna) Euskal Oiloak and self blue (lavender) & black Belgian Bearded d'Uccles.

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#10 2012-09-22 13:47:22

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: Can't Decide

I think evilness and feathers legs may be difficult to get rid of! :whistle:  My most beautiful perfect looking roo this year had both (past tense) and is :eat:

5 generations, cool Susan :EO:

If you want different results to what you have had before, pick a trait and select for it this year.  I tried to get rid of black, and use roos with barely any black (cept Specky) and it is working for those, a much greater proportion of roos were all yellow, (all Specky's offspring are all colours again, the enormous peachy grey boys, that tall skinny deep red grey, the red millie pullets).  I am still nervous of over-selecting and reducing vigour, and honestly I love them all as they come.  Some help eh?

What do you feel you want to improve? Are they smaller than you'd like?  Less productive?  Slower growers?  Colours?  I am keeping 3 Blondie pullets this year because I wanted to make sure that colour doesn't go by the wayside.  I don't there there is a wrong or right way to do this as it is an art (that's what they say about anything nebulous and hard to do! :funny:) you have to do what you feel you need to make your birds better.  I think the overall vision is slightly different for everyone, and the starting point in the birds too!

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#11 2012-09-22 17:10:29

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Can't Decide

Susan wrote:

How about Eany Meany Miney Mo.....:shock:

:funny:

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#12 2012-09-22 19:14:18

Lindy Lou
Member
From: Priceville, Ontario
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 999

Re: Can't Decide

I have two Roos for breeding this year. Oddly the one with the yellowest legs is the most greyest so he's destined for the pot. Both my Roos do have yellow legs so I'm hoping for more yellow legged hens but I'm with you Claire I like them all regardless of their colour.
The EO's were originally a back yard flock bird so although there is a standard I want to keep them for a lot of other reasons. The fact that they lay well, are calm, curiuos and reasonable cold hardy are all plus in my book. So I will be happy with what ever hatches out the egg. UNLESS THEY ARE ALL ROOSTERS.


Some of us are driven by the need to make animals a part of our lives. We are soothed by their presence, fascinated by their behavior, and amused by their antics.

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#13 2012-09-22 22:06:08

Flat Rock Farm
Member
From: Branchton, Ontario Canada
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 3359

Re: Can't Decide

Aww come on LL I thought the roosters where your favourites :chairhide: =D

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#14 2012-09-22 23:21:35

Lindy Lou
Member
From: Priceville, Ontario
Registered: 2011-07-03
Posts: 999

Re: Can't Decide

I wonder what would make you think that Paula? :funny:


Some of us are driven by the need to make animals a part of our lives. We are soothed by their presence, fascinated by their behavior, and amused by their antics.

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#15 2012-09-23 02:20:46

Maggiesdad
Moderator
From: Louisa County, Virginia
Registered: 2011-10-05
Posts: 1980

Re: Can't Decide

poplar girl wrote:

MD, at what point in your scenario above would you select for the visual traits like shank and feather color, no crazy combs etc.?

Three trios would let me select the six best and hold the others in reserve... so feathers, combs and what not would be the final selection before starting to breed and hatch. I just would like to be able to know type and egg capacity by feel, without color prejudice... 'cause I know I have my favorites.

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#16 2012-09-28 03:57:04

mikencarol
Member
From: Oklahoma
Registered: 2012-08-21
Posts: 204

Re: Can't Decide

...:duh:..now I'm starting to understand what you meant by saying.....Build the Barn first.......but on a side note...the last time I tried the blindfold deal, they covered my eyes, spun me around and I stuck that donkey's tail right on my wifes forehead...... :funny: Game Over


I have to keep reminding myself... "It is The Standard of Perfection...NOT the Standard of Quantity that we are striving for..."

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#17 2012-10-10 04:36:29

WorthItFarms
Member
From: Atlanta, GA
Registered: 2011-11-08
Posts: 43
Website

Re: Can't Decide

In case it helps, "What I learned from EPDs in cattle:"

Structural traits (bone length, hip width, frame size,etc) are the easiest traits to correct, typically taking only 1-3 generations each, and have a high heritability.
Intangible traits (dystocia, fertility, friendliness) are the hardest traits to correct and have a VERY tiny heritability.
Traits like # of eggs per year, comb type, feather color, are somewhat structural, somewhat intangible, therefore they can be difficult or easy to fix depending on where you start vs. where you are headed and the method of inheritance (ie. dominant, recessive, sex-linked, etc).

Of course, you have to figure in what the breed needs and what your goals are for your flock. Some people care about foraging ability, some about egg production. Ends up being a very personal choice.


Located in Chattahoochee Hills, GA. http://worthitfarms.com

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