Thursday, April 19, 2007

Commercial Hybrid Chickens


There are a lot of commercial hybrid chickens out there that make good small flock production birds. That is, they are not exhibition birds that you will want to show. However, the hybrid vigor, heterosis, they get from the cross-breeding is an advantage.

Silver Crosses are a commercial hybrid, usually made from crossing a male with the Columbian pattern, often a Columbian Rock on a white hen. The offspring have more or less Columbian pattern feathering, but with hybrid vigor. That makes them grow faster bigger. A recent publication of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign profiles a farmer who is using Barred Silver Crosses in his project to integrate pastured poultry with vegetable growing to restore soil health, http://asap.aces.uiuc.edu/~asap/news/v13n4.pdf.

This photo of a Light Brahma shows the Columbian feather pattern. It is called Light among Asiatic breeds but is identical to the Columbian pattern among American breeds. The photo was taken by Corallina Breuer.

1 comment:

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Lacan Dropu
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