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Jersey Giants: "slow growers" - what does that mean? - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 
All we want is a dressed bird between 4-5 pounds. We butchered some blue and black Orpingtons last year that were 16-weeks or so old and they ended up dressed over 4 pounds, so we know it can be done.
Edited by BeaverQB - 1/28/16 at 10:10am

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

 

Psalm 91:4

Reply

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

 

Psalm 91:4

Reply
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebuggena View Post

Top weight is not the same as processed and dressed weight. What they are referring to is the adult weight of a live bird and it's based on birds that meet the breed standard. While pullets reach reproductive maturity by 20 to 25 weeks, they keep growing until about 9 months old and cockerels can take even longer to finish growing completely. "Weeks to maturity" really means 'weeks until pullets can be expected to start laying.' Hatchery sourced birds are bred for egg production, so they don't get as big birds that have been bred to meet standard. You aren't going to get really true dual-purpose birds from hatcheries. Hatcheries put egg production above everything else. 

If you aren't opposed to breeding your own, you might want to get a Buff Rock or Buff Orpington rooster and a few Light Brahma hens. Then you can breed your own red sexlinks. The cross breeding results in birds that mature and grow faster than the parent breed and the pullets will lay a bit better. You will also be able to sex the chicks fairly easily by coloring.

Can definitely verify this! My chicks are orp/light brahma and are actually growing quick! My friend hatched out her BCM and my chicks on new years, and they're about 1/3 of the size of my orp/brahmas!
Edited by JacksFarmNGardn - 1/28/16 at 10:05am
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaverQB View Post

All we want is a dressed bird between 4-5 pounds. We butchered some blue and black Orpingtons last year that were 16-weeks or so old and they ended up dressed over 4 pounds, so we know it can be done.


Why not just go with Orpingtons again? It seems like they would be a very good heritage bird choice for your purposes.

post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 

We will certainly try them -- we didn't love the way that the dark feathers made the dressed bird look, so we're going to get some White Orpingtons from McMurray this time (along with a couple other breeds just as a comparison - probably Brahmas and Delawares since we've pretty much nixed Jersey Giants from our list because of this thread).  The one caveat was that the blue and black Orps were from a local breeder, so I'm a bit concerned that we won't get quite as hearty of stock from McMurray and the White Orps might be smaller than the blue and black Orps we got locally.

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

 

Psalm 91:4

Reply

He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.

 

Psalm 91:4

Reply
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeaverQB View Post
 

The one caveat was that the blue and black Orps were from a local breeder, so I'm a bit concerned that we won't get quite as hearty of stock from McMurray and the White Orps might be smaller than the blue and black Orps we got locally.

That could happen with the MM Orps, but they will still be larger birds than the Delawares.

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