Breeding Chickens

Heritage Chickens

Heritage Black Australorps

The clearest and most complete definition of “Heritage Breed Chickens” that I’ve found is on the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) website. The ALBC’s definition touches on several important points: APA Standard Breeds Natural reproduction Long, Productive Lifespan (Outdoors) Slow growth rate Recognized by the APA prior to the 1950s Let’s go over each of…

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How to Get Started Breeding Chickens

Black Australorp Rooster

If you want to start breeding chickens in order to perpetuate your flock, where is the best place to start? There are several possibilities: hatch fertile eggs — get eggs from a breeder and begin hatching those buy adult birds — get adult (already laying) hens and a rooster from a breeder, begin hatching eggs…

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Selecting Chickens for Breeding

Black Australorp Rooster

January to mid-February, is a good time to begin selecting your breeders. It’s important to do this early in the year so that you have time to move your breeding pairs into separate pens several weeks ahead of when you will begin gathering eggs to hatch. In this article, I’ll go over how to select…

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Improving and Perpetuating Your Small Flock

Chickens are remarkable. They produce fresh food in family-sized portions, both meat and eggs. They’re adaptable to a wide range of climates and varied purposes. Their manure, properly managed, can build your land’s soil fertility. They’re excellent foragers. And they’re easy to take care of. Once you’ve begun to raise a flock and have mastered…

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Selective Breeding of Chickens

Black Australorp Rooster

What is Selective Breeding? Selective breeding is, simply put, breeding with the intent of accomplishing some type of goal. Usually, the goal is multi-faceted. It takes into account various traits, the overall health and vigor of the chicken, the reasons you have for raising the chickens and the way (and place) in which you are…

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A Clarification about Selective Breeding

black australorp rooster

I think it’s important to clarify something about selective breeding because it has, to some degree, gotten a bad rap. Some people take issue with selective breeding because it is an approach that has enabled breeders to produce factory-raised broiler chickens with unnaturally high growth rates and finished size—chickens that can even have difficulty supporting…

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How We Got Started Breeding Black Australorps

black australorp males

My family and I began breeding Black Australorps in 2015. We started with a flock of about 100 Black Australorp chicks. I chose Black Australorps for several reasons: They are good layers (they’re known for being the most prolific heritage breed layer). They are large birds that are good for meat production I knew of…

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