Hello, I am new to BYC, raising chickens, and farming.
We have only raised one flock of chickens so far. Last spring we raised 10 Red Rangers that we bought from Tractor Supply when they were 10 days old. We bought them in March and slaughtered them at 11 weeks. We were very pleased with the quality and quantity of the meat they provided...especially considering how young the birds were.
We then bought our second flock in September. This time we decided to buy Buff Orpingtons because I heard they were supposed to be great mothers. We learned that raising baby chicks took a lot of attention, and we are hoping that mother hens could take care of some of that for us. So, in September we bought a straight-run of 50 day-old chicks from Stromberg's. We lost 3 in the first week, but then raised the remaining 47 until early January when we harvested 12 of the smallest roosters (at 16 weeks old). After harvesting these 12, we are now left with 6 roosters and 29 hens.
SORRY FOR THE LONG BACKGROUND INFO...HERE ARE MY ISSUES/QUESTIONS:
The Buff Orpingtons seemed MUCH smaller than the Red Rangers. The 11-week old Red Rangers were not only bigger/heavier (4-4.5 lbs cook weight) than the 16 week-old Buff Orpingtons (3 lbs cook weight), but the Orpingtons had almost no breasts compared to the Red Rangers.
What do you think is the issue? Do Orpingtons just grow that much slower than the Red Rangers? We also fed the Red Rangers a different feed than the Orps. The Rangers spent most of their lives eating the grower/starter crumble feed from Tractor Supply. We started the Orps on that, but then switched over to a Laying Mash feed (pellets) from our local mill at around 10 weeks. I tried to upload a picture of the tag from the local feed, but it didn't take. I know the feed is 20% protein. Also, we didn't give the Rangers any grit at all, and we give our Orps very little. Maybe I should be giving them more grit.
Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
Edited by hveggeberg - 1/30/16 at 2:53am