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yardbirds edition
I have a 6' tall wooden privacy fence around my backyard that protects the chickens. One of my pullets has been managing to fly up there to the top of it every night around 8pm when they normally go up to their coop. How do I convince her that this is a bad idea? I am worried that one day they'll all just ascend to the top of the fence and fly away.
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Please look at my gorgeous girl Yukari
Clip her wings?
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How do I teach chickens to kill and or eat wild birds that come in to eat their food?
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Is it possible to raise one chicken as one would raise a puppy? Would it be abusive for it to be the only avian? Have any of you kept a chicken like a conventional pet house training included?
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Yes. Only miledly abusive if you are with the chickie 24/7. No, because they're food.
How many chickens until they're okay to be alone for extended periods of time? Would they love me as if it were a singular chicken? Nice cock btw
2 or 3 would be fine. They'd love you as their parent/master.
It's not mine.

I'd suggest getting silkies and or showgirls. They're gentle and slow, but full of love to give.
What is this magnificent creature?
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Some kind of naked neck barnyard mix I found on a FB group. Thought more people should see this beautiful cock.
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Creator was trying to make a show girl.
It's a silkie naked neck cross.
think I can see a bit of golden polish lace in there what an odd blend
Try placing something on the fence that makes it unstable to perch on. Maybe cardboard or whatever so if she jumps up to it she'll just fall back down instead of maintaining a grip? Though idk she might just fall over the other side of the fence if its set up wrong
Hey anons, I just lost my australorp Jeffrey this afternoon. 2 days ago she was having trouble with an egg and finally in the evening of that day a family member sort of massaged a very massive and discolored egg out. (the only dietary change she MAY have experienced was that along with a filled and stocked laying pellet feeder, she also now had access to a pullet feed feeder since a week ago) She remained kind of lethargic and mostly sat on her eggs, or if she came outside it was only to stand around and prance--I misinterpreted this as her being a bit broody or sulky over us taking that large egg from her, but I also didn't want to examine her in case she was still sore or working on a new egg. Today was the same behavior and we planned to take a look and feel for an egg in the evening, but I left home for 3 hours and when I was home at 7:30 she was dead outside in the chicken run. I don't know if its worth mentioning but when I picked her up she was completely stiff (I was unable to get my finger inside of her to see if she had been egg bound) and had almost 2in of very sticky and slimy spit that supported itself from her beak. Does anyone here know what happened to her? I'll provide more details if needed.

She was 2 years old, never had any complications before, had access to cold, clean water, and survived much higher temperatures before without issue. (Last year around exactly the same part of the month I lost a silver laced Wyandotte named Carlton. She died in her nesting box and I don't know what the cause was either. I wasn't checking up on the flock more than twice per day during that week though).
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I have 1 rooster to 3 hens and it shows.
One of my hens has a raw spot on her right wing, right about where the rooster tends to grab onto when mounting her. It's about 1/2" in diameter so it's not too bad but it's noticeable.
I realized my ratio is terribly off and I need to introduce more hens to offset the 'favoritism' by the rooster which is leaving hens battered at times.

So I hatched a few babies, but they're the offspring of my flock.

Will this short term fix result in inbreeding if I were to try and hatch eggs again?
Yes, but one generation of inbreeding chickens isn't going to ruin them.
I'd suggest clan breeding tho.

What's your situation?
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I'm doing a little research on cockfighting.

Does /chg/ have any experience or knowledge they wanna share? If you've ever been to one, what breeds are fought, etc.
and no I'm not going to become a cockfighter.
the "american game chicken" is probably the only chicken breed I've seen bred for fighting. It pretty obvious you plan on fighting them if you ever buy this breed because they're usually hundreds of dollars and aren't carried by like most breeder catalogs. If you see them don't bother phoning it into the cops just send peta a letter and some photographs and they'll harass them 10 times worse.
The really dangerous dickfighters are in puerto rico.
Also I'd suggest never attached a blade to an aggressive chicken for safety reasons.
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Ahhhhhh! Yukari jumped up onto my lap while I was sitting in the garden for cuddles!!
She is a honey. Have you had her a long time?
Chickens are about 17 weeks old now. No eggs yet but every day feels filled with possibility.
Here's Duck the rooster, whose main function seems to be immiserating the lives of the hens.
That's just it, I only got them a week and a half ago! I've always had an affinity for animals growing up, and I've been able to bond with damn near any animal, but I didn't think I could do it with chickens so soon.
They follow me around the garden and sit near me.
They get grouchy and grumbly in the few days before they start to law, plus their combs and faces get very red. Idyllic picture.
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First egg from yesterday! One of the cinnamon queens just layed another this morning as well!
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I got a broody girl. Only two has hatched so far.
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Working on my first chicken house. Never owned chickens. Gonna finish the outside then frame in a fan for airflow, brood boxes, and run power underground for a water heater and heat lamp. Going to get fenced in when done.

Haven't even thought about the actual chickens yet...

>ban evasion
Fuck you mod you fucking tranny
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Thanks! Got two yesterday. Here's Duck looking iridescent as hell.
Is my hen okay? She laid her egg like usual, no problems, but then she started acting super lethargic and keeps laying in the same spot under the coop.
It’s only midday and she usually is scratching around during this time. She ate some snacks and drank electrolyte water that I gave her, but she’s still acting pretty much the same, like she’s tired and has brain fog. The other two are acting like their usual selves. She’s never done this before.
Another pic, she also closes her eyes with her head up. I’m not sure if I should let her rest or try giving her something.
Comb turning purple now. Not eating a lot, but has been drinking a lot of water with electrolytes.
Sounds to me like she might be broody. Have you tried moving her?
Definitely sick, not sure what though.
Taking her to the vet tomorrow if she doesn’t improve.
Ah poor thing. What are her droppings like? Could she be egg-bound?
This heatwave is killing me... any tips to keeping chickens nice and cool in the summer? They e got icy water which they enjoy
A fan with a Mister. Chickens also like being half buried in cool dirt.
clip his talons anon
>chickens have been getting stalked by raccoon
>caught it one evening seconds before it got one but it got away
>completely harden the protection around the run
>found a way in anyways; entrance door wasn’t closing tightly enough
>killed my white silkie
>was stuck in the pen, saw it and ran out there and beat it to death due to a lack of weapons to kill it quickly
>also felt good because I was beyond livid and sad

I only had a flock of 6, so I’m attached to each one. Im going to miss her; she had so many quirks and had been adopted by my deceased Cochin before it passed. Remember to check everything and take no chances, even if you think something is secure. I now have two extra latches on the top and bottom of the door.
Sucks anon.
I have a lot of chickens but some are special and when one is lost its always a bad day.
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>and that's why they call me slimfast
They won't bother until one of their young is threatened then all bets are off
My birds are just about 22 weeks old now and started laying on the 11th this month.
So far they've been pretty consistently sized between 30-40 grams depending on the layer, but two days ago one of my girls laid a comparative chonker at 64 grams.
I've also had a few shell-less eggs as well, those were novel to see.

How long does it take hens to 'build up' to full sized eggs? They've given me 4-6 eggs a day so far and they're increasing slightly, about a gram or two heavier compared to the last week's egg.
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Fantastic picture. Are they your birds?
I may soon need to give up my chickens. I have four of them, they're older and laying infrequently, and I'm going to be forced to move. I'm not finding anything to rent which will allow chickens and I really don't want to give them to someone who'll just turn them into stew.
Does anyone know how to safety, even temporarily rehome chickens? Ill probably be able to buy a house later this year as prices drop, but right now it's just insanity and I can't afford it.
Make friends with local crazy chicken ladies and tell them you'll pay for their feed.
I boarded out my small flock of 9 at a farmer's woolshed for a couple of months, whilst I was moving house. They had an automatic feeder and waterer, and shelter available to them. They chose to sleep in trees at the edge of a pond. I used to visit them after work, we'd have picnics together.
So, so happy to be able to have them back with me, though.
I would happily mind someone's flock for them, there'll be lots of crazy chicken ladies and kind farmers out there.
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Some will be fullsize within a week, others will take a couple months.
Some will lay "normal" eggs for a year or two then decide to go overboard (pic related).
Does anyone know a good copy of the standard? It can be any breed. I want to make my own breed and need to know what to look out for body shape wise that'll cause issues, I know that small hips hurt laying hens.
Preferably an older copy that cares about product over dog show qualities.
If you have a pdf, it'd be greatly appreciated.
Hopefully my link works.


And you can always look at American Poultry Association
The other major associations are the British and the Australian.
Surprisingly some "smaller" entities like (Belgium I think?) have standards for breeds like Ayam Cemani when others do not.

You can also search for like "Ameraucana Breeders Club" or other breed and usually get a website with specific standards listed.
Thanks anons
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nah, pics from twitter
If you can only have one rooster, is it better to have one pure bred flock so you can breed with confidence (potentially selling chicks, eating young roosters, etc) or is it better to have a mixed flock for pic rel eggs? I've been very divided on this for some time now.
Ok, I realized the best thing to do is to just seperate the rooster and hen of the same breed into a rape dungeon. Sell the chicks from that, use the money to buy layers I need to get those beautiful rainbow cartons. Best of both.

I really like brahmas, so will probably stick with that as the variety I breed, and do my own F1 expiriments on the side. A brahma with a maran-like chocolate egg color would be dope. But on the flipside, focusing on an endangered breed would be cool too.
chicken bros, help me decide my flock. I only want one rooster and want to run a pilot breeding (i.e, chick selling) and egg-selling operation. Because I'm limiting myself to one rooster, that's gonna be the most important decision, and this will be the only purebred I can offer without having to buy/rent a stud.

Enter pic rel, the ayam cemani. It's a novelty, but its pretty cool and fetches slightly higher prices, apparently. But having such a rooster might act as leverage to trade one of my chicks for more of another, or make arrangements with other breeders to trade studs favorably. Alternatively, I could just keep it simple and go with a cuckoo maran rooster.

Anyway, the rest of the flock will consist 2-3x of the same variety as my rooster, with the remainder being popular heritage breeds that will fill out the rainbow colors as I posted earlier (maran, easter egger, etc). I'll just have to rent studs occassionally if I want to sell chicks from them.
Nvm bros I'm just going all in on Bresse. Can't believe I hadn't heard of these before.
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found this on my roosters back just before the tail, anyone know what it is? It feels rubbery and not like a zit at all, at least not a human one.
I breed Ayam Cemani.
They suck.
Very flighty/sketchy.
I've had 1 hatchling that I could pet.
And the market has died because everyone has them now.

You either breed for size or beauty.
Brahmas always sell well, as do wyandottes.
"Different" looking birds like double-laced Barnevelders or the Hamburg (pic) with its polka dots also do well.

Typically solid color birds (like white breese) are going to be freezer filler.
Whereas olive Eggers or black copper marans are going to be wanted as layers and will live long lives in someone's yard.
If you don't want to think about your birds all being slaughtered as soon as they're of size, think about bantam breeds.
That's his uropygial gland, most birds have them. They secrete a waterproofing oil that the birds spread over their feathers to waterproof them. Next time your chooks are grooming their feathers watch how they will run their beaks over the base of their tails.
Ohh fucking cool I learned something today!
Current state of my raccoon food storage box. The back is up but didn't get a pictures
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Still need to cut out the nest boxes in the front. Just did the blocking.
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I left space for blocking to add vents to both side of the front of the lean to. Still not sure if I'll need it because the backside on the rafters is open about 2 inches across the span of the roof. I guess I'll have to wait and see.
Thanks for the insights.

>You either breed for size or beauty.
What about performance? Bresse and Bielefelder both seem to be very performant dual purpose birds. Brahmas are too slow as meat birds, black copper marans don't lay enough eggs annually especially in winter when I need it most, and olive eggers arent good meat birds.

I dont care when they're slaughtered, I will be eating my own birds too.
I'm looking primarily at Bresse, Bielefelder and Plymouth Barred Rock right now, fwiw. I would like to breed an autosexing Bresse with more interesting plumage and larger eggs/carcass. Is it possible to bring auto-sexing into this line?
You could just have 2 sets of a 3 clan breeding. One to cover meat and the other to cover winter eggs.
Olive eggers aren't a breed, that's a trait.
You're going to need two sets of birds anyway to make olive eggers.
>Olive eggers aren't a breed, that's a trait
I know, I was just speaking generally. Usually it's an Americauna and something else, and they tend to be poor meat quality.

>One to cover meat and the other to cover winter eggs.
I just want the ultimate dual purpose and it seems Bresse is the closest. If it was able to be autosexed and had large eggs consistently it'd be the perfect chicken.

But rainbow eggs are cool too so maybe I'll just run Americauna and Black Copper Maran, and use their crossed offspring as olive eggers.

What would you do? What would sell best? I know chicks make way more money than eggs. And growing for meat is pointless unless you can grow a shit ton (I just want to do it for fun). I can max out around 24 chickens total btw. Wish I had more space but I don't so I have to keep everything pretty tight. Please advise. Want to make money over everything.
Ok, hold on you're distracting me anon. My original business model was getting an excellent dual purpose bird that I could breed myself. Ideally something exotic or gourmet since it may fetch a higher price.

Breeding a dual purpose bird would keep my flock young and productive since I'd always be cycling out old hens (at virtually no cost) and the excess males would be made into delish meat. Excess eggs and females could be sold for extra cash to cover my operating cost. Then if I ever got anyone interested in purchasing the meat or eggs I could lease an acre and expand using the same model.

But I'm not sure how well something like Bresse would sell locally. I'd never heard of it before, while I hear about the other common breeds anytime I walk into a farm store or talk to a chickener.

So still not sure how I want the flock to look ultimately. Dual purpose Bresse's are peak utility, but people like pretty fat birds like orpingtons or super dark eggs like marans.
Ok anon, what do you think of me doing Bresse, Black Copper Maran and Plymouth Barred Rock? The goal would be to produce something with the meat quality of Bresse, egg color of Maran, and the egg size and production of the Rock. Sound good? I kind of want to add some Bielefelder too but I'm not sure what they'd be doing here.

I can max around 24 chickens, so I'd probably just evenly split between whatever varities I settle on. I really want to work on improving the Bresse somehow.
I actually thinking the most interesting genetics for me to have on tap would be:
>bresse for best flavor and general efficiency
>cornish for one half of the cornish cross
>white plymouth rock for the other half, these tend to be better meat than egg birds
>barred plymouth rock, these tend to be better eggs than meat birds

This would immediatey give me a lot of stuff to work with. I'm basically just 100% interested in improving the Bresse.
Basically gonna buy these tomorrow if no objections. Might drop the White Rock though as on second thought it's not doing much there. So the three would be
>besse, best tasting meat
>cornish, yuge meat sack, some are autosexed
>barred rock, great layer of large eggs, decent carcass size, and is autosexing

Then I could work on a Besse x Cornish with the goal of a delicious broiler, as well as Bresse x Barred Rock as the ultimate dual purpose; autosexing with large eggs, slightly larger carcass and delicious meat.
Still autisming over this. Am now leaning toward maintaining a constant flock of Bresse, Black Copper Marans and Cream Legbars and just buying the rock's and cornish for breeding as I need them for different projects.

This would give me the ability to breed easter and olive egg F1's, as well as offer tan, brown and blue eggers from populr heritage breeds so it'd a pretty good set up I think.

What's the minimum total flock size to maintain 3 breeds and do say an annual cross attempt?
Thanks! Good to know!
Another thing you need to look at is physical color / pattern traits.
A rooster black copper Maran bred to hen crested cream legbar makes autosex olive Eggers.
Crested cream legbar is a barred breed.
Solid color male x barred female = all males will be barred (with a dot on their head at hatch) females will not be barred.
But those female hatchlings carry the barred gene so going to an F2 with them will produce 50% barred rooster, 50% solid roosters and 100% solid hens.
Barred rooster x solid hen = 100% barred offspring but they're only.partial carriers so F2 from them become randomized.

Lacing is incomplete dominant.
Splash/blue is co-dominant.
Lavender is recessive.
There are two types of white- and they affect color differently. One is dominant and suppresses black only, the other is recessive and suppresses all colors.
All white birds have "another bird" underneath the white. In theory they could be a black laced gold bird or a solid red or wheaten or splash or basically anything.

*these traits are from memory and I might have screwed one up but you get the idea.
Chickens only have 2 colors (same with goats, horses, dogs, cats and many others).
Red and black.
Buff is red with a dilute (lighten) modifier.
Same with gold.
Mahogany is red with a concentrate (darken) modifier.
All colors found in chickens are created with different modifier genes with the base of red or black, with white being the absence of color (off).
FBC /BC Maran egg color is believed to be controlled by atleast 14 genes, 2 of which are associated with the rooster sire.
Blue is (believed) 1 gene. Crested cream legbar and whiting true blue were created with Auracana/Ameraucana stock so they are the same gene. Ameraucana have gloss eggs, legbars have matte (yet another gene).
Olive Eggers are possible because the blue and terracotta genes are at separate locations on the genome.
The "blue" egg color in ameraucanas vary greatly. Most breeders specifically choose hens with the "sky blue" color because that's what sells well but there's about 40 different shades that are "breed correct" and accepted by the Ameraucana standard (pic).
Crested cream legbars and whiting true blue (and another that I forget) were bred with the "sky blue" line of ameraucana so they have a much more consistent egg color. I personally think that's not a good thing as they are just the same egg over and over.
Plus if you want olive eggs, then starting with an ameraucana that has more of a green color than blue results in better tones in the F1's- but again since breeders focus on the "sky blue" for sales it can be difficult to find ameraucanas with different shades.
And to go back a little to the solid vs barred issue.
Since the terracotta of the FBC Maran is believed to have 2 genes associated with the male side you want to breed a Maran rooster to blue egg layer.
An F1 rooster will have known genetics (if you start with good stock).
But once you go past F1 you can't tell what genes a rooster has for egg color without genetic testing ($75 last I checked but that was 5 years ago).
For the coolest egg colors you want to breed a known good F1 rooster to an F2 hen that has laid an impressive egg.
But if your F1 rooster is from a maran roo/legbar hen cross then it carries the barred gene so you can no longer autosex.
Cuckoo marans are barred but lay a lighter egg than FBC's, although if you start with a dozen hens you may get one that's close to an FBC. You can introduce those to get an F1 barred olive egger hen to have autosex F2's.
FBC Maran rooster x Ameraucana hen = olive egger rooster.
Legbar rooster x cuckoo Maran hen = 2x barred gene olive egger hen

That rooster x that hen = F2 autosex offspring.
I'll end with this.
It takes some effort to use this because you have to figure out what all the trait definitions are but if you want to make your brain hurt then check it out.

Just to clarify.
"Solid" in this context means not laced or barred. Obviously FBC marans are multi colored but that's a different category than "patterned".
And again to clarify (because I fucked this up as usual).
The crossing I described with barred breeds is "sex linked".
"Autosex" is for purebreds that have differences in male vs females like Faverolles that have different wing feather growth upon hatch- known as "slow feather" and "fast feather" traits (and males develop color in about a week).
Purebred barred breeds are also autosex because the males have a large white dot on their head at hatch and females have a small dot.
>Solid color male x barred female = all males will be barred (with a dot on their head at hatch) females will not be barred.
That's what I thought, but someone on BYC was telling me this only works on 'duckwing' types. My original goal was to make an autosexing Bresse and cross with a Plymouth Barred Rock. Would it truly be as easy as mating a White Bresse Male x PBR Female to start an autosexing Bresse line after enough generational selection for this trait?

Thanks for all the info it's basically a recap of what I've been reading.

Most of what I'm after is really about performance, not appearance. I only care about egg color because I think it'll help with chick and eggs sales, but on a personal level I don't care at all. I guess I need to decide if I'm optimizing for sales or personal breeding projects first.

For a flock of 20-30 chickens, what would you recommend? It seems for such a small flock I'm limited to one variety if I want to do spiral breeding with sufficient genetic diversity.
Anon I need you to walk me through this. Here are my priorities, in order:
>start a breeding program and begin developing a high-performance flock (24-32 chickens at most)
>maximize potential for revenue and sales

I want to start breeding and working on my flock, as well as gaining the ability to eat/sell excess birds. Breeding programs need high numbers to be effective. The fewer the numbers the less effective it's going to be. So with a 24 chicken cap, a spiral breeding program for one breed would be three groups of one rooster and seven hens. With two breeds, it'd have to be six groups of one rooster and three hens. I don't think the flock dynamics would work well having 6 roosters and 18 hens. So that all mapped out I think I'd have to stick to only doing focused breeding for a single breed.

The problem with that is that I'm so small I can probably only make money off of novelty, and a purebred flock would give mono-colored eggs and only offer one variety of chick. I've no experience seeing how important 'rainbow eggs' and pretty breeds are in terms of revenue though. On a personal level I'd prefer the efficiency of white layers and efficient birds (but not to the extent of purchasing hybrids like Cornish X that don't breed true). The only way I could offer sufficient quantities of rainbow eggs would be to forgo the breeding program entirely and just import 'egger' chicks yearly.

So I'm not sure what to do. On one hand, working on my own lines now means that when I have more space (whether through leasing, partnering with a friend, or purchasing land outright), I at least have one breed down already (plus breeding exp). On the other hand, if I provide beautiful rainbow dozens and in-demand varieties of hens for sale, I could make more money now, which is obviously good. I guess, what I should ask is, how much of a hit will I take only offering one breed and one egg color? Perhaps I'm overstating the importance of that here.
One last thing anon, I'm very nearly settled on Bresse as my breed of choice for now (a tan egg layer, so it'll come in handy when creating easters/olive F1s down the road), but I worry that it's not very marketable for the average chicken keeper (who generally don't slaughter and dislike white birds). It's a very performant bird though (for a non-hybrid), often ready at 4 months and laying earlier than most. I'd be very interested in crossing with Leghorns, Cornish and/or Rocks personally (specifically barred rock in an attempt to attain autosexing). I like the Bresse though because it's a very fast developing carcass, and if I'm going to be breeding I'm going to be processing a lot of cockerels.

But if you have any recommendations I'd be interested. If buying a breed strictly for laying, I'd much prefer an autosexing breed (e.g, Cuckoo Maran or Cream Legbar).

Well I realize I'm right back where I started: >>4256829. I'm inclined to think I should just focus on perfecting one breed, and that I'm overstating the importance of rainbow eggs and cute varities in terms of revenue. But if I can start working on one, maybe if I start seeing revenue I can convince a friend to start a spiral breeding program on another, like Marans.
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I've been breeding chickens for about a decade, about half that time I've ramped it up to multiple breeds.
Purebreds I currently breed:
(+) signifies I have multiple groups of that breed.

FBC Marans (+)
Crested Cream Legbars (+)
Ameraucanas (+)
Salmon Faverolles.
Double laced Barnevelders.
Ayam Cemani.
Wyandottes (+).

Breeds that I only have hens and just had for eggs or to use to add specific traits to play around with:
Btahmas (light, dark and buff)
Golden Comets.

On top of these I have a couple different crosses of olive egger F1 roosters that I bred to F1 and F2 hens this year.
I started breeding just to have fun with egg colors but the last couple years I've come across some extremely friendly roosters and hens (like lap chickens) and have started focusing on behavioral traits as well.
So anyways....

5 years ago my FBC marans did well. Then everybody started breeding them and 5% of the birds at the auction were FBC marans and with that saturation the selling price was no longer worth breeding them.
The Faverolles started well but tapered off quickly.
Wyandottes always do well.
Cemani only do well if they're exceptional specimens.
Olive egger hens that have just started to lay and I can tape one of their actual eggs to the crate are my best sellers.

Blue laced red wyandottes bring better prices than black laced silvers.
Splashes never do well even though they're one of my favorites.
Ameraucana X Brahma offspring hens are as large as Ameraucana roosters (obviously larger than Ameraucana hens). Splash rooster x light or dark brahma hen = solid blue offspring.
FBC Maran x Crested Cream Legbars have Maran hen coloring and small crests.
This is another aspect to think about-

BBS (Black, Blue, Splash).
1 copy of the splash gene turns a black bird into a blue. 2 copies turns it into a splash.
So if you breed a blue to a blue you get 25% black, 50% blue and 25% splash.
Most people who breed that color have blue breeders (because that's what looks cool). So if you buy chics there's no guarantee what color they'll be.
I have a splash rooster with a flock of black hens. So 100% of their offspring are blue. This makes my customers very happy, especially when I sell hatching eggs.
And the splash gene is fun to play with.
Something like an FBC Maran (red head, black body, red on wings) turns into yellow head, blue body, yellow & orange wings.
You can also turn buff birds into lemon yellow birds.
Seems like it's a ton of work to keep up with trends and you can't do interesting multi-breed stuff without room for 100+ chickens. If you could only have 24 chickens and were in my shoes what would you do? For me it seems to come down to either ordering 'egger' hens annually and selling eggs plus eating old layers, or just having fun working on my own purebred line (of which I'd prefer a dual purpose so I can eat any excess). I'm really interested in the Bresse for reasons I've stated so will probably go with that if I go with the breeding side of things over ordering eggers annually.

I like breeding (though have never bred animals only plants/fungi), it keeps me very involved and invested in whatever I'm cultivating, so I'll probably go with that. I feel like I'd be doing the 'greater good' by working on developing good genetics over offering rainbow eggs.
There's very little difference in keeping 24 birds vs keeping 100 (other than cost).
Improving a line takes massive numbers.
Typically you have 2 groups of 12 roosters and 100 hens each.
Isolate desirable offspring.
Rooster offspring from group A are bred to hen offspring from B & roosters from B are bred to hens from A.
And if you want to be taken seriously-
American Poulty Asdociation requires 50 seperate breeders with 50 individual birds each that match the proposed standard. That's 2,500 birds total.
If you just make a new hybrid and sell locally then all of your work will just be absorbed back into the gene pool.

I have about 100 breeders and at the peak of breeding season in the spring I'll have another 300 birds on property at any given time and I'll be hatching weekly. Some I'll sell as week-olds, others I'll keep.until they start laying.
You not only need pens for the breeders but also multiple growout pens for different aged hatchlings.
Wow nice anon. Just out of curiosity does this pay a substantial portion of your bills or it just for fun?

And what would you do if you were me, then? Sounds like I may be best just ordering eggers annually but I really wanted to breed and work on improving my flock with a solid dual purpose I like.
As for what I would do in your shoes-

I would take a serious look at chickens and what traits I like.
As an example:
Blue eggs will always be cool.
Frizzle cochins are hilarious.
I'd love to get a cochin line with blue eggs.
Auctions and poultry meets were shutdown this year because of bird flu so I got hosed.
I can usually get $4-$5 for hatchlings. Sometimes as much as $12. When I have nothing in them that's all profit.
Hatching eggs are usually $10-$20 a dozen.
Laying olive Eggers are $30-$50.

Timing is important.
When it's 98 degrees out nobody wants to go to auctions.
People want either hatchlings or adults, juveniles always sell poorly- I get more for week old chicks than 2 month old birds even when they're the same breed from same parents selling back to back at the auction.
Another thought-

There are multiple breeds that are listed in the conservation list- breeds that have fallen out of favor and are in danger of going extinct.


Just breeding something that's on the critical list- even if it's just one rooster with a few hens can make a difference.
More on this-

I was just reading about a breed (I forgot the name, it was weird) that had already gone extinct and someone "recreated" it and was offering them for sale.
So it actually does happen.
Unfortunately since chickens and eggs are all about production numbers now it's likely that more breeds will go extinct in the future as farms focus on the highest yield varieties
>I would take a serious look at chickens and what traits I like.
The traits I like are performance and non-hybrids. I want stuff I can breed and work on, not stuff I have to buy annually. Personally I don't care about blue/chocolate eggs, since it's just superficial. I'd rather my chickens put all their energy toward production not needlessly pigmenting an egg. I just want the perfect dual purpose bird, which would be a good meat bird as well as a layer. From that angle, breeds like Rocks, Bresse and Bielefelder shine.

But I also want money, so I'm split between catering to local markets and growing Wyandottes, Brahmas, etc vs developing my own flock. I'm definitely way more passionate about perfecting my flock, and given that it seems I only have room for one purebred the smartest thing to do for me seems to be just get on a spiral breeding system for a solid dual purpose bird I like. As a middle ground, I've considered focusing on blue or chocolate eggers and being known as the guy with the flock of super pigmented eggs.

>Unfortunately since chickens and eggs are all about production numbers now it's likely that more breeds will go extinct in the future as farms focus on the highest yield varieties
Yes, this is what I'm personally interested in but also aesthetics. I like 'efficient' aesthetics though. I think the Bresse is a beautiful chicken, but the Cornish X is a bit too far, sort of a monstrosity and hybrids are a non-starter for me. But efficient aesthetics can mean something like barring too as it protects the bird from predators via camouflage.

So what do you recommend? I feel I've taken a serious look at what I want, but still need advice. Thanks for all the help btw, wouldn't get this anywhere but here.
My dream flock for what it's worth would be purebreds of:
>White/Barred Rock
>White/Dark Cornish

And I'd cross all these with each other in an attempt to get the perfect dual breed or sustainable broiler.
*sustainable meaning non-hybrid, something I can breed myself. And using the barred rock and dark cornish I'd work toward auto-sexing traits, i.e an autosexing leghorn, broiler or dual purpose breed. This would take 500 chickens easily though, but from what I've observed it's super cheap to lease land.
That all said, my dream flock for catering to locals would be:
>Cream Legbar / Americauna
>F1's and F2's mutts as easter/olive eggers

But again I don't really care about the colors or plumage, I just know these things sell. But I'm obviously not as experienced as you. On a personal level I just want to start growing my own meat efficiently and really dialing in efficient egg laying, so all the breeds mentioned above are highly appealing
But yeah like by all means I think chickens are cute and multi-colored eggs and fat feathery chickens are awesome. That's all I've ever bought before. But as I really start to look at my flock as something that should be providing for me at minimal cost, other breeds start to shine. I don't mean to sound callous as if I don't value beautiful chickens or rainbow eggs, but if these things weren't marketable I'd only consider them as a hobby project like making art.
Very nice chicken btw, frizzle cochin?
I was actually looking at that the other day. Coicendentally 5/6 of the birds I'd like to keep are on the list. All except Bresse.
And breeder-anon, where can I go to taste different breeds of chickens? I've noticed no difference in egg taste across species, but, while never having eaten my chickens prior, have heard they all taste different. My ideal breed would be great tasting and heavy, but also a good layer.

What do you think of buying Bresse from a big hatchery like Murray McMurray? They're one of the few with some available right now, and I dont trust their lines, but it'd give me something to mess with on the cheap.
Yep. And the bantam variety are even more ridiculous.
I don't like McMurray hatchery.
From their website:

>We have been breeding Ameraucanas since the 1980s — even before they were admitted into the Standard of Perfection by the American Poultry Association in 1984.
>Our Ameraucanas are sold as a mixed flock only, and specific feather coloring is not available. Our birds have muffs, but not all will have beards.

The breed standard is muffs AND beards.
On top of that all of their birds are random colors and patterns. Breed standards are very specific on which colors have been accepted, even what color legs specific feather colors are allowed to have.
I've gone through a lot of effort to source Ameraucanas that live up to the SOP so tjat is just a slap in the face. I believe Ameraucanas are not more popular because of people's experience with these hatchery birds.
McMurray does not have Ameraucanas, those are Easter Eggers.

I still occasionally buy from hatcheries and even tractor supply- because they're easy and I can get a dozen chick's of a breed that may bot be offered locally. But 95% of thise birds I wind up dumping at the auction as "backyard mix" when they turn out to be poor specimens.
Another thing to think about is that h3ns only produce so many eggs in their lifetime.
So a 330 egg/year breed will lay heavy for 2-3 years and then suddenly quit- and usually die soon after. It takes a lot out of a bird to produce 60 grams of egg every day- look up a breed called "Deathlayers".
On the other end of the spectrum a 180 egg/year breed may lay consistently for 4-5 years and then slow down. I have a hen that's about 11 years old and this year I got about 2 dozen eggs in the spring and now she's done for the year. I'm hoping to get a few eggs to hatch next spring if she makes it through the winter.

So that's another aspect to think about. For industrial egg production a farmer will rotate out hens when their laying numbers drop. But a family with a backyard flock doesn't want little Tiffany to go out to the pen and find a dead hen once a month.
The only place I know of where you could sample meat from different specific breeds would be the French countryside.
Most places source chickens from the industrial meat complex.
I personally believe diet has more of an affect on taste than breed.
Eggs from freeranging birds have a deeper yolk color and a richer taste than birds that are pellet/scratch fed.

And back to what you want to breed-
What you like isn't necessarily what customers like.
I love cochins but they do poorly in my area.

For meat birds you want solid colors (this was told to me by an auctioneer who's been in the business longer than I've been alive). I believe this is because when it cones time to slaughter nobody stands out so they become nameless and interchangabke- like an army private with a shaved head- only the name tags are different and a lieutenant can send one to his death and repeat until the objective is achieved.
For laying hens customers either want high production or ornamental birds- either someone just wants a lot of eggs to feed their family with the lowest cost and they only interact with their flock long enough to fill up feeders.
Or there's the backyard flock that gets to roam around the yard every evening and the family wants bright colors and different patterns so they can name and identify individuals and treat them like pets.
Overall I guess what I'm saying is that every breed is a "niche".
Because of the nature chickens there will never be a "one size fits all" dual purpose breed to replace all others.

The Dorking breed can be traced back to the first century AD. Most breed standards in the book were codified in the 1800's- those were mostly breeds in existence. And new breeds are produced constantly (like Ameraucana, Australorps).
Ayam Cemani are not even accepted as a breed yet in most of the world because the wild type still vary greatly (although they've been known for a hundred and fifty years to Europeans, the big import of breeding stock wasn't until 1998).

Then there's people like Dr. Whiting

The Jersey Giant is a other interesting story.
The Black Brothers wanted to create a very large meat bird.
Which they did.
But it's such a slow growing bird that it was not financially feasible to feed it until it was full grown to make any profit from the additional meat it produced.
>I don't like McMurray hatchery.
I don't like them either, but it'd be a cheap place to evaluate the chickens. I wouldn't use them for breeding though unless they really checked out.

Speaking of, I'd really like to get some lavender Ameraucanas, such beautiful birds.

>Another thing to think about is that h3ns only produce so many eggs in their lifetime.
>o a 330 egg/year breed will lay heavy for 2-3 years and then suddenly quit- and usually die soon after.
Wow I never thought about that. I mean I knew they had a finite number of eggs in them but didn't really piece together that laying faster means expiring sooner.

Was actually just looking at these yesterday!

>So that's another aspect to think about.
Overall I'd prefer faster layers for sure, that said. I plan on culling the hens about 3 years after they hatch and using them for stew or dog food.

>Overall I guess what I'm saying is that every breed is a "niche".
Yeah, that's what it seems like, moreso than I thought. If it were possible, I feel I'd be able to find my perfect breed mathematically through considering feed conversion rate, growth rate, average dressed weight at X weeks and average egg size/quantity. From that angle I feel the Bresse is a good fit. As I said before I refuse to consider hybrids.

This is another I've considered, I heard they were selected so that even the old hens still tasted good.
Well anon, I guess I'll have to decide for myself. Given that I'll be committing to a long term project I really want to get a breed I like and that's a good fit. I've been watching tons of videos, the most valuable being from people who, like me, were looking for the 'perfect' dual purpose bird and had tried Bresse, Bielefelder, Rocks, Austrolopes, etc. This guy inp particular had tried all those breeds and settled on the Bresse:

I'm really just looking for good performance above all else, if I decide to go with breeding. But I'm still unsure whether I'd be happier breeding, slaughtering, and selling chicks/meat or just buying eggers and selling eggs.
Honestly sounds like your mind is made up on the Bresse. Nothing wrong with that.
But if you might get serious about breeding then you really need to start with the highest quality birds you can get.
Combs are a great example of how a line can turn to shit very quickly and be almost impossible to recover from.
Breed standards are very specific about the size and shape of combs, down to how many points they have. Earlobes and wattles are also in the standards.
I've had legbars with perfect coloring but shit combs. And others with perfect combs and shit coloring. To take those lines and cross to get back to the standard would take years. And then I would just be back to where a reputable breeder is and has been since before I started.

Here's another kicker for you.

President of the American Poultry Association said "if a particular bird adheres to the breed standard, and atleast 50% of its offspring adhere to the standard, then that bird IS that breed, regardless of lineage or genetics".

Basically all chickens are Red Jungle Fowl so throwing in a Legbar to get the Bresse a little larger is acceptable.
It's also curious to note things like the Cochin standard is still running on what was written in like 1870. Since then breeders have focused on heavier feathering and today's show winners do not look like something that won a show in Paris in 1920.

If you attempt to add other genetics to the Bresse then you are confined to white colored breeds. Even if you cranked up breeder stock to 100 you'd still be at the mercy of the white genes.
I've heard Black Laced Silver breeders talk about how the introduction of Gold Laced into a flock takes many generations to strip out.

After typing the last part of that previous paragraph I decided to leave it as is and explain something else.
The term "gold laced" is a bird with black edging and gold centers on each feather. "Silver laced" is black edges and white centers.
Black is the base/default color.
But then there's a transition to "Blue Laced Red", which is grey edges and mahogany centers.
This is because breeders, like mathematicians, are lazy and just use shorthand.
Many in the industry (including myself) are trying to use the full term like "Black Laced Silver" instead of just "Silver Laced". It's actually kind of a big movement in the hobby that hopefully gains traction and becomes the new standard.
hey dawg I've really appreciated the back and forth. On mobile right now but will no doubt have a bunch to write tomorrow. I am admittedly a bit set on Bresse but thats only because it seems to be the most performant dual purpose bird. Where my crossroads lie is in determining whether I'd be happier just ordering egger chicks annually until I have the room to breed properly. I sell produce at the farmers market and have always dreamed of producing and selling something more substantial like meat, so I'm really interested in jumping the gun on that, not as a commercial venture but just so I can personally eat better.

In selling produce I've garnered a repuation for quality I want to work on leveraging that by offering more, so annually ordering eggers sounds like a good move but I also love the idea of raising my own (supplementary) meat and working on my flock rather than just buying chicks.

I think I'd be happiest forgoing the rainbow eggs and just pitching the Bresse's and working on my own lines but IDK, might be a huge headache too that ultimately flops.
File deleted.
There's a thing called "chicken math".
It never works out right.
Don't expect to make a profit.
Why was my video deleted?
It was just an automatic chicken plucker.
To somebody that doesn't know about chicken plucking machines it looks like something else.
I found a black rat snake in my chicken coop today, I don’t care for killing them since they eat so many pests, but I also hate losing eggs to the no shoulder shit head, does anyone know if they come back to the coop after being relocated and how far they should be relocated? I’ve read that they won’t go farther than 100 yards to get back to a place which didn’t sound right to me, I also read they will go as far as 200 miles which sounded even farther off base.
With a flock of 30. You can do 2 sets of a 3 clan system made up of 4 hens per rooster as long as the breeds aren't too aggressive with hens.
Both those numbers seem suspect.
I have a piece of property in the woods about 20 miles away I relocate to.
But I would imagine if you could get a mile or so you would be good. Or even something closer if there's a good food source like a barn with mice.
i have no other explanation than to suspect my hen just ate a newly hatched chick :'[
It died before she ate it or it was deformed.
Another thing to ponder is that hatching eggs takes effort.
>brooder box
>heat source
>different feed
>designated pen (with wire they or predators can't get through).
And if you hatch more than a week apart now you have to have separate setups u til their sizes are more even or the smaller chick's will get trampled.
I have different size brooders to rotate them through as they grow, along with half a dozen growout pens.

A standard home-use incubator runs 42 eggs. Bur you're also limited on how many eggs you can collect in 2 weeks max- I try to keep it to one week for best fertility rate.
So at 4 eggs per hen per week you need 10 hens to fill up an incubator.
Let's say 75% hatch rate. That gives you about 32 birds. A couple will probably die because chickens are full blown "quantity over quality" in r/K selection.
First week of life those chick's have to be 100 degrees. Dropping down 5 degrees a week until they are feathered out (around a month. And don't worry, they'll self regulate if the brooder has warm and cool sides).
So after a month you have 15 roosters and 15 hens. For me that's one Saturday at the auction. I usually hatch about 200 birds a month from December to May.
First birds I hatch are to offer freshly laying hens in the fall market. Last batch is sold as chick's right before summer when it gets hot and people stop going to the auction.

Volume is the only way to make it worthwhile. Feeding breeders for a year just to sell one batch of 30 birds won't pay for feed.
And thats healthy? And arent I severely limiting my genetic variety / specimens by having such low numbers?
Pigeon General is back. >>4264613
Do these auctions require certification of some sort? Initially I thought I'd just try and sell on craigslist/fb and ebay, but weekly auctions would be awesome.

>Volume is the only way to make it worthwhile.
Yeah I'd definately want to be pumping out as many as I could get rid of. I think I'm going to start pretty small and just grow organically for the first year, building pens, learning how to breed/select, and to hatch and raise extremely healthy chickens. I'm not gonna jump right into it but build up naturally and see what I can manage. But I do love the idea of leasing some land and giving it ago if/when I'm confident in my ability and market demand. A friend owns a ton of land around me and would lease cheap.

Also, to start things out I wanted to order my 'A' flock here soon. I understand spiral breeding calls for a rooster to breed for two seasons before being cycled out (one season in their flock, one crossed). My plan right now is to order 10 unsexed birds from Greenfire Farms (they seem reputable and have good genetics). I'll breed this batch as a trial run for seeing if I can handle it and sell the offspring. Is that ok, or would that be considered inbreeding to breed a rooster with hens of the same order?

If that's ok, then if it goes well I'd order my B and C flocks, and start doing the spiral program (so my A flock would be a year or so older, if that matter).

A final question, from what I understand each flock should be a different 'line'. Does that mean I shouldn't be ordering my 2nd and 3rd line from what Greenfire is currently offering, and instead source these elsewhere?

And lastly, I've decided to start this trial run with Black Copper Marans. They're a more popular bird, so I could presumably sell and source them easier (especially from different lines). I could sell some beautiful eggs worst case too, and they're also tasty from what I've read.
looks good anon
GFF is well known in the industry, they're a large operation. Their line of Ayam Cemani match the proposed U.S. standard better than most.
Because their breeding pool is so large the chances are that none of those 10 chick's will be directly related.
The big issue with FBC/BC Marans is the number of genes responsible for the egg color (14+/-). Because of how the color is applied, a bird (in theory) that lays 3 eggs a week will lay darker eggs than a bird that lays 5 eggs a week- because the egg had more time to have the color applied. This is one of those 14 or so genes.
There are maran lines that lay chocolate tones and others that lay brick red tones. Crossing different lines to ensure overall healthy birds can introduce genes that become difficult to strip out of a breeding group. So 14 pairs from one line and 14 pairs from another line is potentially 56 individual genes you're going to have scattered around your flock. Humans are the only organism that have had a comprehensive genome analysis. In comparison only a single dog has had its genome mapped (a female boxer). So we just don't know how much of a variance there is between different lines of chicken breeds- most knowledge we have is just old fashioned observation and theory.
And just for the record- feathered leg breeds have a greater tendency for webbed toes.
>one of my birds has some blood in the left eye
what do?
>Because of how the color is applied, a bird (in theory) that lays 3 eggs a week will lay darker eggs than a bird that lays 5 eggs a week- because the egg had more time to have the color applied. This is one of those 14 or so genes.
Thanks! I was actually wondering about this. One of the reasons I was opposed to BCMs was that by selecting for darker eggs you're selecting _against_ efficient egg production, since darker eggs are layed slower.

Or so I thought, I saw on BYC that some were getting grade 7+ darkness and still getting 5 eggs a week. I asked about it on there but didnt really get a sufficient answer. But intuitively it makes to me that it would take more time / energy to apply more pigment to the egg.
>Because their breeding pool is so large the chances are that none of those 10 chick's will be directly related.
And cool, sounds good. If you wanted a three clan flock where each clan is 7 hens and one rooster, how many unsexed chicks would you order initially? Ordering 50+ would be nice, but at $30 per chick I was hoping I might be able to get away with ordering 10 and hoping for three cockerels and I'd just split the remaining hens between them. This would mean my first round of selection likely wouldn't have much to choose from though. Just curious what you'd advise here so I can get a reasonable order placed.
I’ve got 11 chickens, 2 of which are australorps, both australorps are bald on their ass ends, where as the rest of the chickens have the vast majority of their feathers.
I know that chickens will stress peck their feathers, and there used to be one hen in particular that would pluck feathers out of the other hens.
I haven’t seen that specific chicken pluck any feathers in a very long while, and one of the Rhode Island reds that had her feathers plucked has grown them back where as the australorps haven’t.
There’s not any mites in their coops or evidence of them that I can find and I’m honestly at a loss as to why these two girls haven’t shown grown their feathers back. If anyone has any advice or has seen a similar situation and could provide some context or anything I’d really appreciate it.
Isolate it from other birds incase it's being bullied.
Maran breeders try to balance deepness of color vs max egg production.
I have 6/7 on the scale but to get 9's you'll see a definite decrease I production.
In theory you're looking at a 50/50 split but I've bought 6 bittys and wound with 5 roosters before.
>$30 per chick.
That's insanely overpriced.
I just checked and they want $59 per day old chick. That's ludicrous.
I've watched 8 month old laying hens that have popped out a shade #7 egg while at the auction go for $15. Marans rarely go over $20 here because the market is saturated.
Is there a rooster with them?
No there’s no rooster with them
A little, but not to a dangerous degree. This is bare minimum to keep from inbreeding as long as you are smart at picking which ones of the chicks go where when they're old enough.
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They have aesthetic talons. Wish they where big enough.
I occasionally get hens with stripped back feathers because of overzealous roosters and it can take quite some time for them to grow back.
Are there any pics starting to come back in?
Why is the cemani rooster being weird?
I'm thinking of selling mine. Not enough market interest to have a whole pen for a very niche breed.
*are there any pins starting to come back
Oh ya- just to clarify.
Brown eggs are a "dye" that's overlaid a white egg. It can be scrubbed off.
"Blue" eggs have the pigment in the shell material. The inside of the egg is blue and if you crack the shell all the edges will be blue.
why do they like wet dirt so much
Because climate change.
Cooler to walk on, and wet dirt is usually where you'll find bugs and worms to eat.
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Magnificent beast
Hey /chg/, i think one of my chicken is eggbound, according to google(walks like a penguin, acts like shes strained etc.), anything i can do to help her?
I tried bathing her in warm water, couldnt keep her in more than 5 minutes, does that even work, any tips?
Forgot to mention, but she already popped out an egg a few hours ago, but shes still acting the same, could it be something else?
What does her vent look like? Have you felt her underneath? Belly soft or strained? Is she eating/drinking, how are her bowels?
pomf~ what are we gonna do on the ground
I think this is what i should look at, right? Shes eating and drinking as usual, surprisingly. Her belly is soft, but i think it was harder yesterday. I think she walks a little bit better than yesterday, too.
That's the one. No prolapse visible?
Glad to hear she is sounding better.
could be a sour crop, is she jerking her head around like she's trying to clear something? does her crop feel like it's spongy and full of water and overly distended?
you can massage her crop and hold her upside down to get her to puke it all out, but you want to be careful and hold her mouth open so she doesn't choke on her vomit
also a quick way to check if you think she is egg bound next time is to just lube up a finger and pop it in her and feel for an egg
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buc buc buc buc

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