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Size = breeding down
by the Cuckoo Stud, prompted by words of wisdom given many years ago
Many years ago I was told by a highly regarded Breeder Exhibitor that “Type comes from the hen and size comes from the rooster”.
^ this does not mean you should use substandard to Type birds to breed with! Far from it!
You should always strive to use birds of the highest Standard possible.
I understood the "Type from the hen" as I had seen it many times over the years.
I was not really sure I understood about the size thing at the time so I thought I would try it out.
I put my, at that time, best Black bantam rooster over some of my best large Cuckoo hens.
The offspring, across both sexes, were on average about 1/3rd the size of a large fowl
(there were some that were not much smaller than large but overall they were 1/3rd size).
I then used the best Cuckoo males from the half bantam half large mating over 3 of the generation 16 bantam Cuckoo hens in rotation one season as outcrosses
(as those particular girls were too small = under minimum required weight) .
I also put my best bantam Cuckoo rooster over the girls from the half half mating.
Egg size was rather big from the girls I grew out from the bantam/large cross. But the chicks hatched from the outcross matings, when grown out, were all of a correct to Standard weight for bantam which surprised me considering the part large infusion.
The hens from the outcross mating = their eggs (at 2yrs old) are about ½ the size of a large fowls eggs =
I was not fussed as I have had Buff and Black bantams in the past whose eggs were about that size with the occasional one a bit bigger = closer to 2/3rds of the large and some a bit smaller.
I never did a brother sister mating of the half large half bantam as I did not want chicks/adults that were too big.
and of note – the infusion of the large Cuckoo pattern lifted the quality of the pattern in the bantam Cuckoo =
the last time large Cuckoo was used was at the original cross in the development of the bantam Cuckoo.
I also found that bantam roosters over large hens are useful for bantamising a colour.
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