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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 3:08 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Mid North Coast NSW Australia
Howdy, I am looking for a dual pupose autosexed chicken breed for egg laying ability and also for the dinner table. I would like this breed to be easy to determine sex at a young age and also needs to be a year round layer with fast growing abilities. Is such a breed about and where would I obtain some eggs for incubating? help please. I would like to concentrate on one breed in the future. perhaps im looking for the superior chicken breed hehehe. must be good for running free range. Please advise?

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Regards Dan. If you see my little red rooster, please drag him home
There ain't no peace in the barnyard,
Since the little red rooster been gone!
(Lyrics from Willie Dixon)


Last edited by Little Red Rooster on Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:00 pm 
Unfortunately no, it doesn't exist. :lol:
Laying year round eggs is pretty much the bastion of commercial hybrid layers, and even then they tend to go off lay over winter if they're mature when winter comes around.
Leghorns and utility australorps lay better than most birds, but are not usually considered dual purpose.
With some of the lighter breeds, as long as you breed pullets to start laying at Easter, you should get a share of winter eggs... But it's not guaranteed.

Let's try to put it in terms of what's possible:
1. autosexing... Firstly, is that necessary if you're breeding partly for meat? The cockerels will show their true colours in time to be table birds... The pullets will lay. But if you really want autosexing in a single breed then you're after faverolles (which can be sexed fairly young, though not day old), legbars, rhodebars, or maybe pile leghorns, something like that... Incidentally once you get to know your breed most people can sex them at a few weeks of age pretty reliably... For instance new hampshires, which mature early, are pretty easy to sex at 3 weeks. But it takes time to become familiar with your breed.
2. Low broodiness (feeds into laying ability: broody birds never lay as well as non broody ones). Light sussex are the obvious dual purpose choice, but they go broody at the drop of a hat. Barnevelders are not very broody prone (but I've never met a barnie that lays as well as I'd like... Though they're no worse than other show bred birds like the big glossy australorps). Faverolles are reputedly not too broody prone (but will sit). New Hampshires aren't broody prone until their second year. Most of the heavy breeds like brahma, orpington, cochin, indian game and other game birds are very broody prone and therefore don't lay many eggs when you do the count.
3. Early maturity. This helps with sexing (by comb) as well as table use (not too tough/old to eat when finally table size) and laying ability (they come into lay earlier) etc. Mid sized birds like New Hampshire or Australian langshan are fairly early maturing, with langshans a bit later than New Hamps. Langshans aren't too broody prone but perhaps a bit more so than New Hamps.
4. Winter lay. Few purebreds bother, but the layer types like leghorns come close... Barnies are supposed to be decent winter layers as are brahmas (but the overall egg count with both breeds, in my experience, is low). Australorps, if you get the utility layer version, lay well in their pullet year, often laying through winter, but as I said they're not table birds. Show australorps don't lay particularly well (compared to utility ones) and mature late, so I wouldn't peg them as table birds either... Many will claim differently, but make sure they're actually eating their birds and counting eggs... A lot of people have inflated ideas about australorps. (Sorry any australorp lovers... That's just my view.)
5. Moult. Moulting speed (faster = better) has generally been a guide to high egg laying ability, because faster moulters come back on the lay more quickly. Commercial hybrids are brilliant at this, but it's much rarer in purebreds generally.

My vote... Australian langshans (which because of their smallish size mature early, and lay quite well, yet have better table weights than most layers)... Or make your own cross out of leghorns and something heavier like a game bird (as I'm doing as we speak).

I bet I've offended every other byp member, but I mean well... :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:24 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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:thanks: Candler for the in depth response. I have been reading a little about Cambars as an autosexing dual purpose chook they are apparently good layers and table birds and lay white eggs. are these a promising breed that would suffice for a true autosexed dual purpose chook. i have a few acres where my mixed chooks run loose and would stop any future breeding of these for one type of dual layer meat chook. are there many of these around as i havnt seen any for sale anywhere or eggs. Would i have to breed them from scratch.

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Regards Dan. If you see my little red rooster, please drag him home
There ain't no peace in the barnyard,
Since the little red rooster been gone!
(Lyrics from Willie Dixon)


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 8:03 pm 
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Great Game
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Location: Hamilton Vic
LRR

I am thinking along the same lines as Candler, the benefit of an autosexing breed only comes in if you dont want to raise the cockerels at all. I have never (in 30 years) seen a Cambar in Australia but you could make one. If you want to grow cockerels for eating then you will be able to sex most breeds quite early (some like silkies are a little trickier). I agree with the priority trait list from Candler but I would add one very important thing - choose something you like the look of. Everything will be a compromise so if you like it you forgive a deficiency. Some good dual purpose breeds are - Australian langshan, Sussex, Australorp, Plymouth Rock, RIR, Faverolles, New Hampshire, Barnevelders - they all have plus and minus points. I have show strains of Australorp (plenty of eggs, no broodiness), Sussex (yes they do go broody a lot, but a white fowl dresses up so well) and Leghorn (cockerels may not be big but you can pick them very early and they make a great risotto or grilled over charcoal).

If you really want a Cambar - go for it but you will have to make it yourself.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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If you want a reasonable layer, with a good carcass, tough birds for free ranging, have a look at Wheaten OEG.
David


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 9:59 am 
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Gallant Game
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If you want an autosexing dual purpose bird, breed a New hampshire rooster over light sussex hens.
The female offspring will be red the males yellow.
bpth parent birds dress out well with the New hamp being early to mature and the sussex being a resonable table bird too.
The hens lay very well although you would be lucky to get all year round eggs.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 6:45 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Location: Mid North Coast NSW Australia
Thankyou for all your advice.
I have decided to keep my mixed breed lot and start breeding Indian game and eventually x them with whatever for the better meat qualities they will introduce, probably a light sussex so they are sex linked. and the sussex will keep me in enough eggs for this purpose. I have plenty of room for achieving this just need some progeny to get going and will start.
Wanted!! some Indian Game (Cornish Colour) eggs for setting half a dozen will get me going. I know i could buy a Trio from somewhere but starting from an egg is my goal. I am willing to pay for good eggs.

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Regards Dan. If you see my little red rooster, please drag him home
There ain't no peace in the barnyard,
Since the little red rooster been gone!
(Lyrics from Willie Dixon)


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:14 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Location: Penrith NSW
Dan i use a Black Red Malay over and RIR hen. Select a Red cockrel offspring. He will be half Malay, half RIR, quiet and "leggie". I run these guy's over Columbian Wyandotte hens. Pullet offspring are good to great layers. Cockrels are chunky.

It's a good mix, good fertility, egg laying is sex linked so select a quality laying strain of RIR to start so her grandaughters, via her son, carry her strength of lay.

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Mick


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:33 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Whilst obviously only hens lay, egg laying is not under sex linked inheritance! And even if it were, only half of those progeny from that crossing would carry the trait.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Showy Hen
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What about faverolles? Sexable at 6 weeks. Supposed to be extremely tasty. But I don't suppose they are good layers compared to a hyline-brown. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 13, 2010 5:17 pm 
Why do you need to sex them? If you are growing them out for the table, and you want to keep pullets for layers, then there is no need to seperate them until you are ready to fatten the cockerels for eating. My that age, it will be pretty apparent which are males anyway. They will be the ones that are crowing. You will be keen to .....er........"cull" them.
I LIKE being able to tell the girls from the boys when they are tiny. I Am currently using a Buff Sussex rooster over white Sussex hens, for meat and eggs. Girls are buff, boys are white. I am going to end up with more hens than I need, even though I have been generously providing friends and family, and friends of family, with backyard layers. Eventually we will have to eat hens as well as cockerels. I don't see that as a problem, and will most likely need to cull the older hens and replace them with the younger ones anyway.
I am increasingly thinking it will be much easier to grow them all together up until around 15 to 18 weeks of age. It will involve less work having just the one group to feed.
I recently acquired 3 Indian Game hens to cross with my Buff Sussex rooster. It is quite likely we will eat all the offspring, so again, sexing them is not really important, except that it would make sense to do the cockerels when they start crowing, and grow the hens on longer.


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