I don't seem to be having a whole lot of luck with genetics. First, I bought chickens
from a local
breeder who came recommended by a friend of mind. Those chickens
were either 1) not the breed I actually ordered, 2) far from the breed standard (poor size, build, defining features), or 3) had knock-knee from too much inbreeding.
I got word of a different lady who bred Wyandottes. When I saw her operation and some of her stock, I thought they looked great, so I bought some eggs from her.
One of the roosters that hatched had good structure, so he got promoted to service the ladies at the farm where I work. He hasn't quite reached breeding age yet, and I notice that he seems to be developing knock knee (no other existing birds on the farm have it, so I don't believe it's diet related). I asked the lady how she managed her breeding program, and not only did she do extensive inbreeding, but she wasn't even aware that knock knee was a problem worth breeding out of the flock.
So, I'm realising that I've done a woeful job
of selecting my breeders. I would really like to introduce some good genetics to my home flock ( purbred dual purpose birds) and to the farm (currently a mongrel mix of Isa Brown, Sussex, Australorp, and unknowns). Mostly I want to select for healthy structure, robustness, non-aggressiveness, and foraging ability. Decent meat (we eat old hens and lousy roosters) and eggs come second, but still important, as we sell
I go to get new genetics?? We've built up our flock from borrowing local roosters from fellow farmers, but there are only so many times we want to run that rotation.
Are there any of you fine folk with good quality mongrel or purebred chickens
or fertilised eggs I could buy? Looking for locals or ability to post to the Albury/Wodonga region.