Breeding Poultry

Should I Vaccinate?

This is a question often asked and depending upon whom you talk to, would often be met with mixed opinion. There are those that believe selective breeding for resistance is the answer and others that see no other option other than to vaccinate. My personal view sits somewhere in the middle with a belief that selective breeding for disease resistance is very important but vaccination of certain poultry diseases is warranted in some situations.

A big problem faced by poultry exhibitors is the exposure of ones birds to outside birds when attending a show. With each exhibitor adopting a different approach to disease control and throw ...


From Incubator Into The World

So once you have hatched your chicks now is the challenge to keep them alive healthy and growing.

First step is transfer your chicks from incubator into the brooder and ensure incubator warmth is correct, a easy way to tell this is if chicks are huddled together it is obviously to cold and if chicks are scattered along way from heat source it is obviously to hot, we are looking to find a happy medium between both.

Your brooder should be away from drafts and secure enough not to allow any predator attacks, as chicks are very attractive food for anything from wild birds to your cat.

The biggest problem ...


Incubation is certainly a process of poultry raising that attracts plenty of questions.It is a process if carried out correctly can bring you loads of satisfaction or if done incorrectly loads of frustration. In the following article I will attempt to provide you with all the secrets to help make the process a positive one for you.

Egg collection and storage remains a very important start to the whole process and regular collection from the nest of clean eggs along with storage of your eggs pointy end down in a stable temperate area of the home, Iusually store in the laundry as I find it is not affected as much by huge temperature change. Eggs set for incubation are best stored ...


Achieving Fertile Eggs

In the pursuit of that perfect fowl many fertility problems have developed. In the case of some breeds the quest for perfection has lead to them not being able to mate successfully naturally, with for an example many Pekin breeders now having to artificially inseminate their birds to achieve fertility. That perfect tennis ball shape certainly does not lend itself for a breeding pair coming together to achieve fertile eggs for hatch. However fertility problems are certainly not only restricted to Pekins but unfortunately occurring in just about all finely breed exhibition poultry. As breeders however, we can take steps to help with poultr...


Chickens have 78 chromosomes. They are diploid animals, meaning that each cell in the body carries the chromosomes in pairs. Since there are 78 chromosomes, there are therefore 39 pairs (two of Chromosome 1, two of Chromosome 2 and etc). Each pair of chromosomes is nearly identical in the genes that they carry and the pair of chromosomes are known as 'homologous chromosomes' or 'chromatids' ie, same set of chromosomes. The exception to this rule are the sex-chromosomes, Z and W, where roosters have two Z chromosomes and hens have only one Z chromosome, plus one W chromosome. It is this difference in the sex-chromosomes that result in sex-linked characteristics.

Each chromosome c...


When the time comes for deciding which fowls to breed together, there are some simple basic rules that can be applied to all breeds.

One of the most important is to ensure you do not mate two birds together carrying the same fault, as in most cases this will only strengthen the shared fault. For example a hen carrying a double seration in the comb would be certainly avoided being put with a cockerel carrying a double serration, however you could get away with putting that hen with a double seration with a good serated comb cockerel.

The term balancing the faults is often used by breeders, this meaning that for example a cockerel may be too dark in his feather colour th...


This is a question that is always asked, the obvious answer is keep the breed that most appeals to you. However in saying this there are some factors to consider the obvious being are you wanting bantams or large fowl? It is worth taking into consideration that if wanting to keep non flighty chickens it is best to stick to the large heavy breeds like Sussex, Australorp, Wyandottes, etc and avoid the light breeds such as leghorns, Minorca, Polish etc. At the end of the day the birds you choose to keep should be researched to be sure they will have the characteristics you are seeking.

If just starting out, it is best to focus on a breed that is fairly common as they are generally ...