Every breeder has to make decisions about which birds to keep and which birds to cull
(remove) from their breeding pens at one point or another. Happily for us, the American
Livestock Breeds Conservancy has published a number of excellent PDFs that go over many
areas which can be used to help assess your poultry for both meat as well as egg production
You can find these links here:
Selecting for Meat Qualities and Rate of Growth - a wonderful guide with pictures showing
step by step how to assess birds for good meat qualities and growth.
Selecting for Egg Production - a similar guide to the one above, which covers qualities that
distinguish a good layer from a poor one.
Ongoing Selection of Breeding Stock - an essay that gives tips to allow you to continue to
assess your birds for continued productivity for up to five years.
Chick Assessment Form - a chart you can use to fill out with information about each chick to
help you make decisions about which to keep and which to cull.
Breeder Re-qualification Form - a form to use when re-assessing breeding birds for
And last but not least, a great article on selection from the 1929 National Barred Rock
Using these tips and tricks will ensure you don't lose sight of the basic traits that make your
Buckeyes what they were designed by Nettie Metcalf to be, a good homestead bird, made to
provide meat and eggs for their owners. Keep your eye on good type, use the information in
the links given above, and your final product will always look like the carcass on the right,
not the one on the left below.
|Tips & Tricks from the ALBC for Selecting Good Breeding Stock
These two chickens came from two different breeders. The one on the
left was purchased as a hatching egg from a breeder who focuses more
on color. The one on the right is from a breeder who focuses more on
meat production qualities and type. They were hatched at the same
time, raised in the same pens, under identical circumstances, and
slaughtered at the same time. Once plucked, the carcasses tell the
story. The breeder who focuses on type and production qualities
wound up with a carcass that had better meat qualities, and would be
more satisfying to eat, which is what you want in a dual-purpose
chicken like a Buckeye.
|All material copyright 2001 to present by Pathfinders Farm. All rights reserved.
No material to be reproduced in any form without prior written permission