Does the art of raising chickens call to you! Is poultry what you are passionate about? Is breeding chickens what brings you joy!
The best way to start raising hobby poultry is to start with a single breed and become familiar with that breed. There are certain traits that each breed should exhibit in individuals of every breed.
Many poultry enthusiasts try to raise many different breeds at once from the very beginning. It may sound exciting but it is not the best way for newbies to get familiar with their chickens. One should start with a single breed so that you can focus well on the breed and bring out the best qualities in your flock.
There is a Standard of Perfection for raising birds, which is a guide that tells you what individual traits are found in each breed of bird. Standards help make each chicken a proper representation of a chicken from that breed that it can possibly be.
These traits can be body shape, body weight, leg color, and more. A well bred chicken shows the traits that are specific to its breed as described in the Standard of Perfection. The SOP, as it is referred to in the hobby, has all the parameters for each breed that has been introduced into the program. This creates a uniform and clear understanding of what each representation of a breed should look like. It is very similar to the way cats and dogs are shown and represented as a breed.
Having to take care of multiple breeds at once for a rookie can be a hassle and may end up in getting low-quality chickens that are not bred or raised to show their full potential. They are not as good as they could be as per the Standard of Perfection. Each individual breed needs focus and dedication in its breeding selection to be perfect.
If one starts with a single breed and comes to know it well, they can focus their best energy in creating a more perfect bird and will know what characteristics to breed for in the next generation as well. With experience, each generation of poultry will improve.
Once you get some experience, you can experiment and begin to raise multiple breeds to be the best and as healthy chickens they can possibly be.
Starting with a single breed is one of the best strategies for people who are just starting out. You must choose your first breed carefully. While wanting a rare breed is understandable, they can be hard to find suitable breeding stock to introduce into your flock. They are rare for a reason.
Start with a breed that does well with the environment you plan to raise them. Choose a breed you can more easily take care of and become familiar with. This should be your first decision as a beginner.
You can start out with the rare ones you want, but starting with them may not be the most ideal. Many of the new breeds or color patterns are not yet in the Standard of Perfection, making adhering to a known parameter more difficult. A breed that you can breed to the standard of perfection with fewer obstacles can make you more adept with the breeds that are harder to raise or find breeding stock.
Another thing you should do as a beginner is to buy the best breeding stock you can afford. This will immediately help your breeding program and make it less time-consuming. Buying the best breeding stock means having fewer faults to breed out and more good traits to be bred. Poor representations of a breed still cost as much to feed as a perfect bird. Start with the best you can and improve on it. You may even have your own line one day.
When choosing poultry to breed take into consideration these things for the best flock that you can have.