Author Topic: Just Some Food For Thought  (Read 214 times)

Tailfeathers

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Just Some Food For Thought
« on: March 31, 2019, 12:21:39 AM »
I know, I know.  It's dangerous!  Putting this out there just as food for thought.  I don't know about everyone else's egg production with their Am's but I'd classify mine as poor.  I believe this is primarily due to a far too long extended moult but of all the breeds I've had they are the worst producers.  The only possible exception is a BCM that gives me a really dark egg but only 1-2x a week.

Here's the thing that really caught my eye and prompted me to share it:

The cross of White Leghorn male by Rhode Island Red female had an average pullet-year production of three eggs more than the White Leghorns, which were the better producers of the two pure breeds. The reciprocal cross did not lay so well as the White Leghorns, but considerably better than the Rhode Island Reds.

Now those 2pts probably open up a can of worms that I'd never be able to deal with but here's the takeaway for me:

1) The hybrid cross of a high producing Egg Layer crossed with an average producing Dual Purpose bird resulted in a higher producing bird that the Egg layer!  Logic & Reason would say that at best the two would produce no more than the Egg Layer & probably less.  So what's at work here?

2) Using a male from the higher producing breed is better for egg production that the converse.  This tells me that the male has more to do with production than the female.

This has really got my mind racing with the "What if I's".  As a long time breeder (can I say that now?) of WBS, I'm constantly looking for how I can make my birds better.  Not just for show but all the way around.  I need another "project" like I need a whole in the head but this has got me to thinking.  Of course I would keep my two lines separate from any experimentation but I'm wondering what would happen if I cross my W or BW male over some EEs that are somewhat W & BW looking but lay pretty consistently and are actually bigger bodies that my Ams.  Something else I've been wanting to do as mine are a bit on the small side.

Also, Mike, if you see this I've a question for you. When you helped me start my Red Project you said to use a W male over Buckeye females. Which I did.  I've got to go back, find, & read again the post where you told me what the next step is as I'll be doing that soon but want to ask if this info changes any of that?  I don't remember why you said not to use a Buckeye male over the Am females.

I'm really, really close - I think - to getting my WBS where they need to be.  To the point where I probably won't be looking to improve them but just maintain.  Still got a few easy things to fix, like getting rid of all the Single Mb and such, and a couple major issues like getting a fast molt and fixing the wing & tail color as the hens seem to loose what they had as pullets as well as getting all the girls with proper wing placement but I think that'll come as I just continue to breed only those with the wings on hocks instead of parallel - when I can.

And, of course, at some point down the road I'll want to integrate the experimental lines into at least one or both of my standards lines and then work back to just two lines.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Please don't hesitate.  And please don't be offended if I don't just take the suggestions and run with them.  I like to ask questions.  It's just how I learn.  It's how I get comfortable with starting something.

https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/historicpublications/pubs/SB252.pdf
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Russ Blair

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 10:47:29 AM »
Interesting food for thought Royce. If using males from the bluest eggs to improve egg color it only makes since that using males from the best egg layers would help with egg production. I can't believe I have never put the two together? Perhaps my lines just need work in so many other areas I haven't gotten to egg color or egg production yet lol. Thanks for posting this, it's really got me thinking now. Unfortunately I can't really help with your red project but am following your progress. Edit: Now you have brought this up it reminded me of a conversation myself and Jerry Segler had at our 2015 National. He told me he frequently used white leghorn to clean up his egg color. He stated the white egg color removed all the brown tint and produced really nice blue egg colors.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 10:50:21 AM by Russ Blair »
S.E. Michigan

John W Blehm

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2019, 05:29:58 PM »
...Edit: Now you have brought this up it reminded me of a conversation myself and Jerry Segler had at our 2015 National. He told me he frequently used white leghorn to clean up his egg color. He stated the white egg color removed all the brown tint and produced really nice blue egg colors.

He was trying to bring in the pr gene to restrict brown/tint.
Quote from: Poultry Genetics for the Nonprofessional
Brown eggshell color inhibitor pr
This recessive gene results in a lack of protoporphyrin pigment (the brown eggshell pigment) even in hens with polygenic brown eggshell color. It can be employed to remove undesirable tints from eggs of white shelled strains.
It is a sex-linked recessive associated with fewer and smaller eggs.
Read more about pr at The Coop...Egg Colour.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2019, 05:36:45 PM by John W Blehm »

John W Blehm

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2019, 06:48:34 PM »
...Now those 2pts probably open up a can of worms that I'd never be able to deal with but here's the takeaway for me:

1) The hybrid cross of a high producing Egg Layer crossed with an average producing Dual Purpose bird resulted in a higher producing bird that the Egg layer!  Logic & Reason would say that at best the two would produce no more than the Egg Layer & probably less.  So what's at work here?

2) Using a male from the higher producing breed is better for egg production that the converse.  This tells me that the male has more to do with production than the female...

Hybrid vigor is a given with crosses.  The more distant the relationship the more vigor is my assumption.  I feel fanciers are living in the past when they think a "standard" breed of chicken is supposed to fill the "dual breed" classifications that were around many decades ago.  In this 21st century no standard breed can compete with hybrid layers and meat birds.  Sure, some standard breeds, varieties and lines/stains outperform others and we can breed for those dual breed traits within reason.

The really good meat and layer hybrids are descended from great grandparent (GGP) strains that are so distantly related that they claim to be "unrelated" while being the same breed.  They'll cross Cornish GGP stain A with Cornish GGP stain B to produce a Cornish grandparent (GP) strain that will be crossed with another that came from Cornish GGP strains C & D to produce the Cornish parent strain that is then crossed with the Plymouth Rock parent strain to finally produce a meat bird.   

I've suggested breeders should maintain at least two lines of each variety of Ameraucana they have.  It isn't practical to go as far as keeping "unrelated" great grandparent flocks of a variety, but we can learn from their examples.  Within each line practice inbreeding to set desired characteristics at the risk of inbred depression.  Outcrossing between your own lines/stains of LF wheaten Ameraucanas is where you'll see most of the benefits.  There are different ways to go about it, but the most important part is to have two or more lines of each variety.

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2019, 08:18:28 PM »
Royce wrote:  "
Also, Mike, if you see this I've a question for you. When you helped me start my Red Project you said to use a W male over Buckeye females. Which I did.  I've got to go back, find, & read again the post where you told me what the next step is as I'll be doing that soon but want to ask if this info changes any of that?  I don't remember why you said not to use a Buckeye male over the Am females."

The reason behind that was to produce pullets with the dermal melanin, a sex linked factor.   Going the other way, you would have produced zero F1 generation birds with dark shanks and toes.   Either way, males would have white legs but be carriers of dermal melanin (and also yellow skin), but the females would have had white legs and not even be carriers, since they only inherit one gene, and that from the sire.   The next step would be to mate the F1's together and raise as many as possible.   In the F2 generaton you will get white shanks, slate shanks, willow shanks, and even yellow shanks.  I think you know which ones to keep, all else being equal.   I'm glad I won't have your feed bill!

Also, I think a better plan to improve production would be to get hatching eggs from a good laying wheaten strain that also has good size.  And in the future, save your breeding males from your best laying females.   Good luck - glad you are working on a worthy project that needs doing. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Tailfeathers

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2019, 10:01:59 AM »
Thanks guys!

Russ, I wasn't aware of the rooster/blue egg thing so thanks for that.  The White Leghorn cross to get better blue color doesn't make sense to me but I'll take y'alls word for it.  Many years ago I tried to get rid of the brown egg gene modifiers and did so for the most part.  Then I read, on here by John I think, that a little brown actually helped get the deeper blue.  I've found that to be the case.  The eggs I get that I think are missing any brown are pure blue but lighter than some I get that I think probably have a bit of blue.  One of the bluest eggs I get is from an EE that was a BW rooster over a Welsummer.

John, I've maintained at least 2 separate lines since day one.  Started with 15, got down to 2, and then when I had the yellow-legs pop out & went back to four to try and get to homozygous blue but the W & BW roosters I hoped were homozygous turned out not to be the case when I crossed them to the Buckeyes which gave me the start of my Russ project.  So I've had a closed flock now for 12yrs.  From everything I've been able to find and in talking with several others, including Paul Smith, I've got the longest closest flock of WBS now in the country.

Mike, thanks for the reminder.  There is NO way I can keep all that in my head.  Especially now.  I'm finding this last year has been really bad when it comes to my memory.  Getting very forgetful.  I still wanna go back and read that other thread because you really helped me with a lot of stuff you said there.  I gotta look to see if I have a male left.  I think I might have gotten rid of them all because 1) I had it in my head that I had to breed the F1s back to the Wheaten rooster or a Buckey male & couldn't remember which. See what I mean about my memory!  I just knew I had to go back and read that thread again before I did anything, and 2) they all looked like crap where as I've got a couple of females that look decent.

Wrt egg production, I haven't done a lot of asking but from the few I've talked with they don't see to get much production either and they've had the same problem with long molts too.

Btw, do you know if Wayne kept a closed flock?  And I know you created the Bantam WBS and still have them.  Have you maintained a closed flock all these years?
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2019, 01:01:56 PM »
No, I actually got out of the wheatens and blue wheatens for a year or two when they got too inbred and egg production went way down, with spotty fertility to boot.   I brought in a Craigslist bird, got a few bantams from another breeder, and created a new line.   Still working on it, but this is what my males look like so far.   Unfortunately, the Craigslist bird brought in a hidden yellow epidermis factor, so this year I got a few willow shanks.   Now I have to test mate all my breeders to find out which ones are the culprits.     On the plus side, the birds from the new line are great layers, very fertile, and hatch well.   
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

Lindsay Helton

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2019, 12:17:57 PM »
The reason behind that was to produce pullets with the dermal melanin, a sex linked factor.   Going the other way, you would have produced zero F1 generation birds with dark shanks and toes.   Either way, males would have white legs but be carriers of dermal melanin (and also yellow skin), but the females would have had white legs and not even be carriers, since they only inherit one gene, and that from the sire.   The next step would be to mate the F1's together and raise as many as possible.   In the F2 generaton you will get white shanks, slate shanks, willow shanks, and even yellow shanks.  I think you know which ones to keep, all else being equal.   I'm glad I won't have your feed bill!

Thanks for the educational info on dermal melanin Mike. I had recently been doing some research on the subject.

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2019, 01:06:08 PM »
The reason behind that was to produce pullets with the dermal melanin, a sex linked factor.   Going the other way, you would have produced zero F1 generation birds with dark shanks and toes.   Either way, males would have white legs but be carriers of dermal melanin (and also yellow skin), but the females would have had white legs and not even be carriers, since they only inherit one gene, and that from the sire.   The next step would be to mate the F1's together and raise as many as possible.   In the F2 generaton you will get white shanks, slate shanks, willow shanks, and even yellow shanks.  I think you know which ones to keep, all else being equal.   I'm glad I won't have your feed bill!

Thanks for the educational info on dermal melanin Mike. I had recently been doing some research on the subject.

Not a problem.  I think I wrote an article on shank color genetics for our very first Handbook, the one that was published in the very early 1980's.   I would have worded it a little differently had I known what I have learned since, but the basic principles were there. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11,12

John W Blehm

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2019, 04:45:26 PM »
...Not a problem.  I think I wrote an article on shank color genetics for our very first Handbook, the one that was published in the very early 1980's.   I would have worded it a little differently had I known what I have learned since, but the basic principles were there.


It starts on page 28 of our 1998 Ameraucana Handbook.

Lindsay Helton

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2019, 09:00:40 PM »
...Not a problem.  I think I wrote an article on shank color genetics for our very first Handbook, the one that was published in the very early 1980's.   I would have worded it a little differently had I known what I have learned since, but the basic principles were there.


It starts on page 28 of our 1998 Ameraucana Handbook.

Wow! There is so much useful information in this handbook. Thank you for posting the link.

John W Blehm

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2019, 10:29:14 PM »
...Wow! There is so much useful information in this handbook. Thank you for posting the link.

All our previous Ameraucana Handbooks, along with our Ameraucana Bulletins/Newsletters from previous years are available on the Archives pape of our Ameraucana website.   ;)

Steve Neumann

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2019, 11:46:10 PM »
Another thing you can do, if you are not showing the birds, is simply put them all together and let them landrace and hatch from those.  Left to their own devices, chickens will naturally seek out mates with compatible immune system, and the most vigorous cock will rise to the top position of alpha and fertilize the most fertile compatible hens.  Even if you have only one cock, he will choose the most compatible hens and ignore those who are too genetically close.  Never underestimate the power of nature to find the route to survival when you have painted yourself into a corner in terms of genetic depression and lack of fertility. 

Suki

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2019, 06:30:30 PM »
...Wow! There is so much useful information in this handbook. Thank you for posting the link.

All our previous Ameraucana Handbooks, along with our Ameraucana Bulletins/Newsletters from previous years are available on the Archives page of our Ameraucana website.   ;)

  Superb.  that is quite helpful.

Suki

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Re: Just Some Food For Thought
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2019, 12:37:48 PM »
Another thing you can do, if you are not showing the birds, is simply put them all together and let them landrace and hatch from those.  Left to their own devices,...

 Maybe so, but typically you also get birds that do not fit the APA/ABA standard because cross-beaks will be fertile and manage to survive...other anomalies will occur as well  --  strongest and biggest die off quickest as they are most ferocious in defense while the small and cowardly will inherit the flock -- look at the Swedish Flower Hen for assurance.


Sue/NePA