Post by Rooster Lew on Nov 15, 2013 12:32:22 GMT -5
So I am starting to make selections for breeding. I have some girls that are beautiful in type , but quite small. Then I have a couple that are huge, but not so great type. They have extra long necks... We're calling them churkeys. Lol
Which would be better to use? Or do I use both eventually working them together to gain size and type?
This is where you might want to do test mating. Like some of your old time breeders expressed that extreme birds usually will produce your best show birds. Who knows those big females may develope a superb male line. Only test mating will tell.
There is an article on the UOC website. from a breeder who explained how he set up his breeding pens, using lanky females.
here is the article which is on the UOC site. I found his info to come in handy.
Mating for Size By E. Campbell
(From Chapter 4 of E. Campbell's 1922 book The Orpington and Its Varieties)
If big birds are mated, it may be taken for granted that size at least has been secured in a fair proportion of the progeny. I have obtained very satisfactory results from mating a medium-sized cockerel with big hens and strapping pullets, but he was from stock much larger than himself, and he had great substance. The mating of equally big birds sometimes leads to comparative legginess in the offspring, if great depth of body is not a characteristic of both. The mating of a massive low cockerel to big strapping pullets has with me yielded splendid results, as has the leathering cockerel put to low-set, big-framed hens. But the mating of massive birds on both sides is certain to be best. The offspring will vary a bit both ways, but the best will better than [sic] is likely to accrue from either of the other variations. I don't agree, however, with mating very low-set birds however big in body.
Theoretically, an Oprington's legs cannot well be too short—if the body is big enough—practically they can, although they seldom are. Unless you maintain a sense of proportion in the framing of your birds you will not be able to strike the eye with the full sense of your success, while your failures will become depressingly apparent.
You must, in breeding big birds, give them ‘something to stand upon.' That is to say, you must not endeavour to carry a big body on stunted legs. A very short-legged cockerel, or one with a tremendously low body, should not be mated to extremely shortlegged females. Phenomenal features of this sort are best used for corrective purposes. Otherwise the result may be a good lot of breeders, but none to take first place in high competition at shows where symmetry and proportion decide the verdict.
The sense of size is not quite apparent in a show pen unless it be accompanied by proportion. And remember that the bird which looks like a triton amongst the minions of your yard falls back very quickly into the commonplace when it is placed amidst the pickings of other breeders' stock—such as show entries are.
This seems a convenient point at which to warm a young breeder from expecting too much from a low-legged massive hen which he has bought. I like to get my breeding stock young, for I know that as many a slim young maiden develops into an obese middle-aged lady, so do some leggy pullets swell out and let down into typical show hens. These are the sort which may possibly give you a good show cockerel but will seldom satisfy in pullets—for like begets like. It is a hen of this description which should be mated to a massive extra-low cockerel.
If you wish to breed big show pullets—and who does not—see that your hens have been big low pullets themselves. What the mother has been the daughter will very probably also be—if not corrected or improved upon by mating with a male whose females have been better or bigger. I am a firm believer in the influence of the female size on the female line—all things being equal. I am also a firm believer in the big hen theory. All other matters being even, the hen, in my experience, has exercised the greater influence on the size of the progeny. I have mated an experimental pen, including a big pullet sister to a smaller pullet of different conformation (also running in the pen) put to a big and big-stocked cockerel. Every pullet out of the big mating was as big or bigger than the mother, but every pullet from the smaller was little if any advance in size on its parent.
I have in my callow poultry days mated a strapping big cockerel to ordinary hens and pullets, and never got a bird as good as the father, while the tendency in the pullets was to legginess rather than size.
When mating Opringtons , never lose sight of substance. Substance will redeem the smallest specimen. I never kill a big-boned cockerel, however small. Somebody who knows something is willing to take him from me. I never yet saw a big-boned, heavy-framed pullet that was not a good breeder irrespective of size. A big pullet deficient in bone and substance is almost certain to throw very ordinary, if not decidedly leggy, stock, unless wonderfully well mated. A smallish pullet of great substance will lift the weediest cockerel's stock out of the common, on her side at least, if she comes from good stuff.
Don't, however, mate squat birds under the impression that you are securing ‘club type.' The club type Orpington is a bird moulded in proportions, such a proportion as you quickly appreciate by visiting a leading show and following the judge's awards with an inquiring and absorbing mind. Although the standard insists upon ‘short legs,' the term is merely comparative. You may find the first prize cockerel with a leg half an inch longer in shank than the third prize bird. But you will probably also find that the longer leg looks shorter to the eye, because the bird it supports has greater size and substance. It is this proportion which so deceives the novice, that he looks at the first prize pullet and remarks to himself , ‘Well, that isn't a great one. I have something very nearly as big at home.' And only when he ventures into the show arena and puts his big bird into direct contrast, is he aware of the magnitude of his error.