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Start Your Egg-venture! Tips for Hatching a Backyard Egg Business - Page 4

post #31 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepBeep View Post

I have not experienced any of my chickens or guineas deliberately pecking open an egg and the guineas leave them all over the coop so there is plenty of opportunity, but if one happens to get cracked on accident and it's not in a nesting box my chickens and guineas will swarm it and eat it in no time...

If you do ever feed the shells back to the birds, it's best to bake them for a bit so that any egg residue is cooked and they thus won't develop a taste for 'raw' eggs...

Yeh I do! I usually wash them out really good! Then I bake them for at least an hour in the oven at a low temp to dry them out really good. Then I crush them up in a pot using a potatoe masher or I use a bowl and a pill bottle using the lid to mash the eggshells up until nice and tiny. Since my guineas like crumbles I can mix it into their food and they eat it! I will offer oyster shell and grit separately so they can eat as much as they want.... Just mixing it in their food at the moment since I need to figure out how I am going to dispense it / how to mount it in my barn. My Dad and I fixed up a lower section of our barn to house our birds. We had to speed up the process due to an injury (male guineas attacked a hen to the point she was gushing blood).... Had to separate them and do first aid to save her. She is doing well in feather rehab as I call the bird hospital. I have her inside with another hen who is missing feathers. Both hens are super happy and their feathers are slowly growing back!! The girls greet us every time we go on the enclosed back porch! I swear sometimes they are asking "Do you any stink bugs? Any bugs? Any onion grass? Millet? Any treats?" LOL! They are sooo friendly!! They are even laying eggs! If you have any ideas how to dispense grit and oyster shell let me know! I need ideas! Thanks! :-)

I could see how a broken egg could lead to the birds eating the eggs which would be bad! I am a newbie in terms of owning birds so I am still learning! :-) I am hoping to get some baby chicks if I can convince my Dad!
Edited by Gwynny7 - 4/7/16 at 12:00am
post #32 of 39
A couple of pieces of PVC make a great dispenser for grit an oyster shell...

I made mine out of 2" PVC pipe with a 4" PVC cap



Attached to wall with keyhole hangers...



You can see them in the right of the picture...


Edited by MeepBeep - 4/7/16 at 12:03am
post #33 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10AcreChick View Post


Thank You, LofMc! That was just the answer I was looking for!  I checked the bag last night and this last bag of chick starter I bought does not claim to be medicated (first bag was), so I wasn't worried about the layers getting to it, anyway, but that is good to know. 

Do you know, would a Buff Orp x RIR breed a good sized bird for butcher? I have BO chicks and a BO roo chick right now, and am debating whether to butcher out my RIR hens this fall or not. I would let the RIR ladies live on and hang out if I knew that they wouldn't bring down the weight of any offspring. I bought the BOs for meat purposes (and laying), but won't be able to tell which brown eggs are BO x RIR and which are BO x BO when I go to incubate the eggs of these chicks (and whoever else uses the nest) when they get to that age this fall.

It would depend on whether you are using hatchery quality RIR or breeder quality heritage RIR. My Rhodebars are infused with heritage quality RIR and are a nice dual size gaining both egg production and carcass from the heritage RiR. The RB hens remain decent layers and the roo I butchered came to a decent weight (even though I had to butcher him a bit earlier than planned due to family events).

On the other hand, the hatchery quality RIRs I have had, aka Production Red, had little meat on them and the laying hens were very light weight, even scrawny. If you have that kind of RIR, you would boost the BO egg production but pull down weight.

The BO's I've had have all been hatchery quality (several different batches). They were okay to mediocre layers but carried a good carcass weight. I ended up selling them as I wanted better layers, but I always thought they would have made a decent dinner.

So take a good look at your RIRs. If hatchery, they were bred for early maturation, easy feed to egg conversion, but not really for meat. You likely would drag down your carcass weight of the BOs the first generation. However, you would boost egg production. You could then take that RIRxBO and breed back to a good solid BO roo. That would then add carcass weight back in. Keep doing that, and you should regain size with better egg production than the original BO.

Many breeds (like the Rhodebars) will infuse good quality RIR blood to boost egg production but breed back to the desired breed to regain its traits. Buckeyes are another notable breed that will occasionally infuse RIR blood to boost egg production but breed back to Buckeye successive generations until predominantly Buckeye with the meat qualities that breed is known for.

Good luck on your project.
LofMc
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
post #34 of 39

Thanks, I think I'll do that.  They are hatchery BOs and Production Reds from the feed store. I wasn't aware BOs weren't as good egg layers as RIRs, until you told me that. That's useful to know.

10 BO, 12 EE, 1 Australorp, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 kiddos and a DH.
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10 BO, 12 EE, 1 Australorp, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 kiddos and a DH.
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post #35 of 39


Is it a concern that I would be breeding the BO x RIR hens back to the same BO rooster for several generations?

10 BO, 12 EE, 1 Australorp, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 kiddos and a DH.
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10 BO, 12 EE, 1 Australorp, 4 cats, 2 dogs, 2 kiddos and a DH.
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post #36 of 39
On the subject of corn, it is high in starch but relatively low in crude protein 8-10% . It contains no calcium or B12 and only very small amounts of ascorbic acid
( vit C ) , choline , folic and panothenic acid. It is not a ' complete feed ' and while the high starch content will help to fatten your birds up for the dinner table it lacks many of the nutrients and essential amino acids required for longevity in your flock.
A good quality all round pellet should be the basis of your birds diet and of course we all know that they love their treats, but treats are not for everyday consumption , after all your kids love chocolate but you don't feed it to them everyday.
If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say , " in the Old days all we ever fed our chooks was wheat " , I'd be wealthy. Truth is , in the old days that's all they had, progress and science has come along way since then so make the most of the information at your fingertips and research. smile.png

http://livestocktrail.illinois.edu/porknet/paperDisplay.cfm?ContentID=494
post #37 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by 10AcreChick View Post
 


Is it a concern that I would be breeding the BO x RIR hens back to the same BO rooster for several generations?

 

Not from the genetic poultry articles I've read....as I understand it...but only if you start with good quality, unrelated parents and use top selections to breed back, and ultimately together. This can quickly improve a line (or break one if you choose poorly). It is imperative you cull any defective or undesirable bird and use only the best selection for breeding.

 

Typically the pattern for line breeding is:

 

Roo x Hen

F1 (first generation) daughters back to father; sons back to mother

F2 those grand-daughters back to Roo, grand-sons back to Hen

F3  From the F2 breeding results, choose the very best and breed F3 siblings together.

 

By the  F4 point, you line breed this F4 progeny back to their F3 parents for several generation to fix the line, and then begin to mix and match the 2 lines you've created (say an F2 male to an F6 female). I've heard many breeders have two original separate lines going so that they can cross breed at this point to avoid too much inbreeding with resulting deformities (low infertility, poor hatch rates, curled toes, splayed legs). But I've also read you can actually make matters worse by adding in too many birds too quickly. Not breeding beyond 2nd generation back to original seems to be the rule of thumb.

 

The above formula is to breed for specific traits you wish to target (a customized bird to meet your table and egg needs). If you choose top notch birds, and cull appropriately, line breeding can fix and settle your line quickly and help hold your line. (With proper culling, some lines are very old).

 

I'm just at the beginning of my breeding journey for olive eggers and only working on my F1 at this point (babies yet), so it will take a few more years experience to be able to say personally whether this plan works well in actual practice for my flock. 

 

I'll link the genetic breeding information below that was recommended to me. 

Laws governing the breeding of chickens http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=chi.087299559;view=1up;seq=18

 

Line Breeding http://www.the-coop.org/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=28027

 

BYC Line breeding thread (gives pretty much all the pros/cons/how to's) http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/734859/inbreeding-and-line-breeding-poultry/30

 

Read, read, read. Genetics (for me at least) is learned a little bit at a time.

LofMc


Edited by Lady of McCamley - 4/7/16 at 10:11pm
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
Reply
post #38 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fancychooklady View Post

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard someone say , " in the Old days all we ever fed our chooks was wheat " , I'd be wealthy. Truth is , in the old days that's all they had, progress and science has come along way since then so make the most of the information at your fingertips and research. smile.png

Along with that in the 'old days' chickens were rarely confined to a small run, while the soil and plant life they foraged on was ripe with bugs and variety not found in most urban areas or even many rural areas anymore due to extensive pesticide use, pollution and just overall destruction of the land in general...

But, lets face it even human nutrition has come a long way in the last 100 and even 50 years... I certainly don't eat the same diet my ancestors were eating in the 'old days'...

At the end of the day chickens can 'survive' on a mostly corn only diet, but they certainly won't thrive...
post #39 of 39
i use a flat backed bird feeder hung at 8" height for ostyer shell hung on run wall
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