Monday, July 14, 2014

Chicken Breeding: The Making of a Winning Line

Red King line
In 1956 Ted Mclean decided to quit cocking, why? Because he was losing more in his Mclean Hatches than winning, he put all his chicken to axe. Luckily before that happened he was able to channel some of his chicken to his friend Marion Rose and developed this breed or re- invented this breed to become a better version of the Mclean Hatches. Often times patience and creativity can transform a losing line to become a winning line, and that holds true until today. But the decision to make your own winning line versus to buy an already winning line is an economic or perhaps a personal question to each one of us, money, time, patience and the level of competition makes a cocker to search for more.

            These are the things I gathered about this topic. These are statements and questions:

1. Who would breed a dead broodcock? Most breeders would continue the breed from using the winners of that line, partly true but still not a guarantee. The point is the losers cannot breed and the one who keeps on winning will pass on the winning traits.

2. You cannot breed luck but you can breed the good traits, in this statement they emphasized that the breeder should after the good basic traits of the material not the number of wins of the broodcock, wins will follow if your breed carries the good trait but not always, luck or the absence of luck can spell the difference.

3. Lucky line.

            Winner hen- this hen no matter what you pair them, these kind of hen will produce winners or it can also be a winner broodcock.

            Winner breed, winner cross: sometimes 2 losing lines can be bred to produce a winning mix. I have an experience with Oakgrove Hatch before and all the offspring lost in their fights, they are flyers but not good in close range fighting, powerful but slow. And I have also a Velcro line which is losing because they only knew how to shuffle and they don’t break higher. I was so frustrated about the two breeds and almost decide to let them go away from my life until I experimented in mixing the two and to my amazement the traits complimented each other and their offspring are winning 90 percent.

            I also had a winning line before that is a package of good traits, intelligence, cutting, gameness, speed. For many generations, they continued their winning record, and to my amazement even I did inbreeding, the very dull headed individual can still win because they strike very hard and some even if they are not strong, they still posses the good timing and intelligence. I conclude that winning line is a package of many good traits and they are pure or at least prepotent.

            These are my question: is a winning line a breed, a family a cross or just a line? Or how many generation should they keep on winning? What winning percentage? What level of competition? Well, your winning line could be a losing line if you participate in big-time competitions, and if two winning lines meet, one is destined to lose. Your winning line could be a winning line in 1960s but not anymore, (outmodeled lines).

            I have 6 fighting cocks before and they are all brothers, the 5 won already and the last one and the best one I bred first. The time came and it’s his turn to fight and that one I bred lose. He was the only loser among the brothers and felt not secure about the offspring of this loser. I had 4 cocks, out of that breeding and luckily the four have all won. I concluded that the winning line is not always linear. Although he loses, he is still a representative of that winning line. He was just unlucky to lose in that battle, but his winning line is still there and it was manifested again in his offspring.
(Submitted by Dr. Cliff Canton a.k.a. Red King on Facebook)


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