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#69848 - 09/26/08 04:48 PM What to Select for in a Backyard Flock
Kris Offline
Feather

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 33
Loc: Nebraska
We're trying to decide which is the best cock to keep in order to get fertile eggs in our backyard flock. We're down to three Wyandottes, one Buff Orpington, and one White Jersey Giant. We processed all the rest--any that were too small, too flighty, or just plain mean!

That being said, do we select more for size or temperament?

And regarding temperament, what specifically to look for?

I spared the smallest Wyandotte even though he was on death row last weekend. When I was hauling one of the other roosters out of the cage (and the rooster was protesting loudly), this Wyandotte turned around from cringing in the corner and attacked my hand. Then the next time I went to get a rooster, he was smart enough to try to make for the door as soon as I opened it. I caught him, but he didn't peck me when I was carrying him--only earlier seemingly in defense of his comrade.

So I spared him, thinking that these seemed proper instincts for attempting to protect the hens. But maybe I'm just being sentimental in falling for the scrappy sort.

Do I get rid of the smart, scrappy one, and keep the biggest, most apparently docile one? Knock off the first roosters that start to fight each other--is that a sign of aggressiveness?

Our goals in a backyard flock are: (1) absolutely NO spurring of the humans, (2) egg production, (3) extra cockerels big enough to make decent broilers.

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#69849 - 09/26/08 06:43 PM Re: What to Select for in a Backyard Flock
Maria Ricardo Offline
Past Moderator
Coop Keeper

Registered: 03/26/05
Posts: 434
Loc: Hawaii
I vote for the Orpington. Big, docile and brown eggs. That said, I haven't had Wyandottes or Jersy Whites.

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#69850 - 09/27/08 10:01 AM Re: What to Select for in a Backyard Flock
Kris Offline
Feather

Registered: 06/13/08
Posts: 33
Loc: Nebraska
We decided to save the orpington and the scrappy Wyandotte (we'll need about two to service 34 hens). Thank you!

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#69851 - 10/01/08 10:31 PM Re: What to Select for in a Backyard Flock
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
Don't forget the sheer joy of it. A backyard flock must have a pleasure factor. For example, I have two ancient Dark Brahma hens. I don't think they lay more than one egg a week between the two of them. But I love their look and their low key personalities. Their genes run through my flock, mother and Grandmother to many. They have no real reason to be here, they just make me happy smile

Be selective, but don't OVER analyse your choices. To much stringent research can take the joy out of any project. Have fun with it.

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