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Breeding pairs, trios or groups? Which do you prefer?

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Schipperkesue

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Right now I have both trios (one male , two females) and groups, (multiple males and females) in my various breeding programs (for various reasons!)

From a breeding and selection standpoint, which do you favor and why?

authenticfarm

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I like one rooster with a small group of hens. Each of my boys has four girls and it seems to work well.

This way, if there's a problem that pops up, it is easier to determine who the culprit may be.

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3 breeding on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:53 am

Bob G


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For fast flock improvement, I prefer single mating. You can have 3 sisters mated to 1 male and just one of them will produce the young you want. I have seen this a lot over the years. It requires more pens, toe punching, wing banding and ruthless culling!! IMHO it saves time.

Buff

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This is my first year breeding. I've done up breeding pens mostly trios. I like doing it this way myself easier to track. I pick out my best hens for my rooster and usually match up on strong and weak points hoping to improve. I also keep notes and spread sheets for my records. This also leaves me with extra hens in my laying flock. I don't leave my hens with roosters year round once done all hens go back to laying flock.

jocelyn


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I put one rooster to 9 to 12 hens. Araucanas, especially mine, have troubles with egg colour. I set all eggs laid for the first few weeks after the isolation period is up. After all hens are represented, I just set the bluer ones. I keep males from the lattter hatch, from the bluer eggs. It's slow going, but does make progress. To each their own.

coopslave

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I think it actually depends on your goals to be perfectly honest.

viczoe

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I agree with Coopslave. Personally I only breed pairs and if I do trios it will always be sisters. What I do is I put each hen in separate pen and the male is put in each pen for 1or two days. Each pen has a number that is recorded on the egg the chicks are then toe marked coming out of incubator. a bit more work but I want to know exactly where my best birds are coming from. As well if something undesirable pops up I will know which mating produced it and I can then mate those birds a different way next year or remove those individuals from the program. Just my way that works for me but it really depends on your goals.

Heather



Last edited by viczoe on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:39 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)

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Blue Hill Farm

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Bob G wrote:For fast flock improvement, I prefer single mating. You can have 3 sisters mated to 1 male and just one of them will produce the young you want. I have seen this a lot over the years. It requires more pens, toe punching, wing banding and ruthless culling!! IMHO it saves time.

That’s my plan in a nutshell.  Smile 

This is my first year pedigree mating my birds with very specific goals in mind, namely learning their strengths and weaknesses. In my main coop I have my three best females set up to rotate over my three best males. I’m only on round one with the first male, and have just begun collecting eggs. It is a bit more labour intensive than what I’ve previously done, but knowing exactly who is producing what and with whom will be invaluable to me when selection time comes. It’s also a lot of fun. I enjoy keeping records and tracking the different progeny. (Family thinks I’m nuts, lol). I also have a few side pairings set up for different reasons like bringing a specific trait over, or compensating for a fault.

Not sure how things will turn out with any of it, but I’m excited to find out.  Very Happy

coopslave

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viczoe wrote:I agree with Coopslave. Personally I obey breed pairs and if I do trios it will always be sisters. What I do is I put each hen in separate pen and the male is put in each pen for 1or two days. Each pen has a number that is recorded on the egg the chicks are then toe marked coming out of incubator. a bit more work but I want to know exactly where my best birds are coming from. As well if something undesirable pops up I will know which mating produced it and I can then mate those birds a different way next year or remove those individuals from the program. Just my way that works for me but it really depends on your goals.

Heather


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Buff

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viczoe wrote: Like I agree with Coopslave. Personally I obey breed pairs and if I do trios it will always be sisters. What I do is I put each hen in separate pen and the male is put in each pen for 1or two days. Each pen has a number that is recorded on the egg the chicks are then toe marked coming out of incubator. a bit more work but I want to know exactly where my best birds are coming from. As well if something undesirable pops up I will know which mating produced it and I can then mate those birds a different way next year or remove those individuals from the program. Just my way that works for me but it really depends on your goals.

Heather

I like the sister idea Heather I never thought about doing it that way before.

Fowler

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coopslave wrote:I think it actually depends on your goals to be perfectly honest.

Very true. Small numbers allow for more selection.

However, if you have a line that you want to use (which is usually my case), I prefer a greater number of hens so the rooster isn't so hard on them.

k.r.l

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I am beginning to really prefer breeding in pairs or trios (as long as the females are full sisters). Doing Single matings have helped me select which birds are giving me my best offspring. With group mating (which I still do) it is hard to pinpoint which bird(s) are giving you your best and which bird(s) are giving you your worst.

It is more labour intensive for the breeder, as you require more pens, feeder, waterers. Also with some males it is a real challenge to have him with one female. Often a single male may cover 2-3 different breeding pens. I rotate the male every day into a different pen.

In the past I have kept a few females that lay different coloured eggs than my breeding flock, so they can be put in with a single female to reduce some of the males energy... Then there is no mix up on which eggs are for incubating and which are for eating.

Also having single females in breeding pens are convent way to track your females egg laying, which is almost impossible with out trap nesting in a group pen.

Each method definitely has its merits and drawbacks.

toybarons

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When I was first just trying to build a flock, I placed all the hens I had with the roo I had, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Thankfully, nowdays I have several roos and several hens. Last year was the first year I was able to make a few groups of 1 roo to 3 hens. This year, I am taking my best Houdans and placing them in trios.

Fertility issues though are still a problem. I'm hoping that my younger roos who seem more eager, might remedy that problem this year =)

Schipperkesue

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toybarons wrote:When I was first just trying to build a flock, I placed all the hens I had with the roo I had, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Thankfully, nowdays I have several roos and several hens. Last year was the first year I was able to make a few groups of 1 roo to 3 hens. This year, I am taking my best Houdans and placing them in trios.

Fertility issues though are still a problem. I'm hoping that my younger roos who seem more eager, might remedy that problem this year =)

Same for me....and we are talking about the same breed here.

TB, have you considered removing those boys for a few days and then putting them back with the girls for conjugal visits? I find this really boosts my fertility. Nothing like a rooster thinking he had better make hay when the sun shines, so to speak.

call ducks

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Honestly I am at that point where I need crosses to continue with my breeding program. So I need flock matings. I always prefer flock matings - I mean farmers have done it for hundreds of years can't be a bad thing - I mean they did not have breeds back than and were not afraid to cross birds so you know.

But right now I am sourcing birds so I can mix like no one's business next year...

toybarons

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Schipperkesue wrote:
toybarons wrote:When I was first just trying to build a flock, I placed all the hens I had with the roo I had, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. Thankfully, nowdays I have several roos and several hens. Last year was the first year I was able to make a few groups of 1 roo to 3 hens. This year, I am taking my best Houdans and placing them in trios.

Fertility issues though are still a problem. I'm hoping that my younger roos who seem more eager, might remedy that problem this year =)

Same for me....and we are talking about the same breed here.

TB, have you considered removing those boys for a few days and then putting them back with the girls for conjugal visits?  I find this really boosts my fertility.  Nothing like a rooster thinking he had better make hay when the sun shines, so to speak.


Yup. I do plan on trying that with some of them. I have some new breeding coops that I will be setting up. Just waiting for a bit drier ground so I don't have to work in the muck.

Echo 1

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We are trying to set up for pairs only. This is our first full year and it is taking some time to put all the pens with proper shelters etc together. I am feeling blessed today as my boss just gave me a chain link dog run that is 15 x 5 feet. I plan to divide it in to 3 sections. The girls need a little walking around room! The roosters will have visitation rights..... LOL

Reneggaide


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Flock breeding. Only the naturally best suited breed. This changes over time from one bird to another. The point being diversity is conserved, chicks are produced from the most energetic individuals, successful mutations are not discouraged, all possible variations of line breeding are given equal chance of random success, culture of meme is allowed to flourish within the population adding into the flock's potentials.

i can feel Tara grabbing my ear and giving me a sound thrashing for going wild type. Yet im confident this is the way forward. Like buying tires, always a compromise. The inputs to keep weakened breeds finely tuned for our own wants does not make economic sense to me. I get it why breeding programs exist to serve our purposes though. Im getting what i want by letting the birds work it out themselves, while retaining the option of intervention to guide progress in a more general way.

mirycreek

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I too favour the flock approach. Maybe not as feasible with more than two breeds but works for me.  I try to keep a minimum of 3 roos on with the flock but rotate another three in periodically.
Genetic base is wider and I think makes for a happier flock as flock dynamics are more established and less interference and management is always better.

http://www.feathers-farm.webs.com

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