First of all, I will state again. I am not claiming to be the expert of experts. I am simply making an attempt to pass on things that I have learned from others and through trial and error.
Here it is, fall again, and time to pair up birds for the breeding season. Sometimes I think the birds wonder why I am out there sitting or standing inside the flights staring at them.
So many factors (for me anyway) comparing birds to notes, to bloodlines, type, age, last years production (if they have been bred before) where does that particular bird need the most help. There are those of us that spend hours agonizing over which birds to pair, so much so we have trouble making any decision. I find that if I have notes it certainly helps me.
I was told breed your biggest bird to your biggest bird. It may work for some, but it doesn’t always work. No matter how much time, thought and preparation you put in, it doesn’t always work.
Picking the breeding birds, I rely not only on what they look like but their bloodlines. Are they slow to mature, what are the pluses in the bird.
I have one family of birds that have very long masks, but their spots are not what is ideal in size.
One line of birds that I have not only long masks but tremendous spots. Instead of taking a short masked hen that may have big spots. Breeding her to a long masked cock with little spots, I will go with a hen that has not only a long mask but the great spots. That is why I track the bloodlines and keep notes. Questions like, does the cock have any siblings with both good spots and long mask? What has the hen produced? I look at the whole picture.
One can make all the plans in the world, some may work, some may not, some birds will produce and some won’t.
There are pairs that outproduce themselves every time, There are those that never produce a single egg, or maybe never produce a single fertile egg. Information like that needs to be taken note of as well.
Taking a deep breath, notebook in hand, camera as well, I am heading back out there to stare some more.
April Bird-Stieglitz ©11/01/2018