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B.Y.C. Dorking Club! - Page 304

post #3031 of 5134

Does anyone actually have sg bantams?

Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
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Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
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post #3032 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow House Farm View Post

So, I know that in NH alone we have Reds, SGs and Whites.  My goal is to show our Whites in January 2014 at the Northeastern Poultry Congress.  It would be great to put together a big class of Dorkings.  The Congress, being in Springfield, Mass, is pretty accessible.  So, how about it?  Let's get 25+ Dorkings there.  It's the perfect time to show Dorkings.  Who'se in?

Good Luck!  Even a small showing would be a good start!  Hope you can drum up some competition!

Currently raising LF Dominiques and LF SC Red Dorkings

 

 

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Currently raising LF Dominiques and LF SC Red Dorkings

 

 

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post #3033 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow House Farm View Post

Within a pound of Standard weight as a threshold.
I thought they would not achieve standard weight until around two years of age? Is that right? I was wondering more about average weights at 4-6 months. Or, if you guys process yours much later than that, I would love to know what age you do most of your processing and about what weight you are seeing. Thank you for this reply, by the way. Somehow I totally missed it until just now! smile.png
Edited by cukooformarans - 1/25/13 at 9:36am
post #3034 of 5134
Ah ha!!! This is the kind of information I was looking for! I have tried to find it several times and failed. Since it is only from a year ago, I am assuming it is roughly accurate. Is that correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow House Farm View Post

Well, there's a lot to get one's head around.  Currently our cockerels born this time last year are between 8 and 9 1/4 pounds.  But that's live weight.  Dressed weight is a different beast.  At six months, they probably weigh live weight up to six pounds and then dress out to between 4 and 4/12 pounds.

Dorkings are not the birds of corporate business and never have been.  Although early maturity is a good thing, it needs to be early maturity within the confines of breed character.  Dorkings are a capon breed.  Thats what they're built for.  If I slaughter them at 10 months, they're approaching 6lbs/dressed without actually caponizing.  If you consider the carcass, our strain is rather meaty, and the meat is of high quality.  This is the goal.  Big is just big.  Cochins are as stringing as turkey.

The push towards early maturity has to do with the emmergence of 20th century corporate agriculture, the NH being the first breed that truly illustrates that push.  They're a great breed, but they're not a Dorking and vice versa.  If one is interested in maturity rate then NH's or Delawares should really be the focus of one's push.  It would ravage Dorkings to try to do the same to them besides wherein would be the value?  It would take years of selection pressure, and it would still be redundant.

If we consult the cook books of years ago when heritage fowl was still the norm.  One notices quickly that the usual size required for recipes is 3 1/2/lbs, often 2- 2 1/2./lbs.  Only when one is seeing a roasting recipe will one see a requirement for a bird over 4/lbs.  The next step is capons. 

We have been groomed to assume that bigger is better, but such is often not the case.  The Standard of the Whites was changed.  They were originally smaller with meat of very high quality.  We now breed for a larger bird, but at the time that the shift was being pushed, poultrymen of the time were warning that an increase in size might very well alter the quality of the meat and for what?  Big over good?  It is an interesting study in priorities.

Now, as for live weight, I have of late been discussing all of these issues with a breeder from Canada who's been working with Dorkings for over 40 years.  He is adamant that a Dorking isn't a Dorking until he's two years old.  Now, on an interesting note, he asserts that there's a window at about 13 weeks when a Dorking will show you what he's destined to become.  This makes a bit of sense to me.  I'm going to pay close attention this year to feed curiosity.

post #3035 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cukooformarans View Post

Ah ha!!! This is the kind of information I was looking for! I have tried to find it several times and failed. Since it is only from a year ago, I am assuming it is roughly accurate. Is that correct?

Awesome!  Glad you found it.

 

So, I just candled my first settinh of Dorking eggs, set last Sunday night, eggs collected in this ridiculous cold, birds without any insulation or light for stimulation: 82% fertility.  I'm pretty pleased.

Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
Reply
Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
Reply
post #3036 of 5134

I'm having a hard time right now with this rediculous cold spell...  all the eggs i'm finding are frozen solid and the shells split. dog's eating good tho.

Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing...)
Welcome to the Zoo!  Horses (both LF and Bantam LOL), Standard Poodle, cats, pet birds & chickens.

Dorkings, SFH, bantam Cochins, BLRW, EE's & others.

And of course, my wonderful Hubby, who puts up with me and keeps me in check when I start to get crazy.

Feather Anatomy  -  Genetics  -  SFH Breeder's Club  -  My Website  -  Incubator Basics

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Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing...)
Welcome to the Zoo!  Horses (both LF and Bantam LOL), Standard Poodle, cats, pet birds & chickens.

Dorkings, SFH, bantam Cochins, BLRW, EE's & others.

And of course, my wonderful Hubby, who puts up with me and keeps me in check when I start to get crazy.

Feather Anatomy  -  Genetics  -  SFH Breeder's Club  -  My Website  -  Incubator Basics

Reply
post #3037 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ki4got View Post

I'm having a hard time right now with this rediculous cold spell...  all the eggs i'm finding are frozen solid and the shells split. dog's eating good tho.

 

That stinks!  I wonder what the difference is.  So it's that cold even in VA?

Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
Reply
Heritage breeds poultry are a doorway to something more vast, something more beautiful.  When we choose to be dedicated to one or two breeds and breed them well, we save their utility for future generations.  Heritage fowl are a special resource.  To be safeguarded, they need breeders that are willing to breed them well, remembering always their heritage as useful farming fowl.  Pax et bonum.
Reply
post #3038 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellow House Farm View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ki4got View Post

I'm having a hard time right now with this rediculous cold spell...  all the eggs i'm finding are frozen solid and the shells split. dog's eating good tho.

 

That stinks!  I wonder what the difference is.  So it's that cold even in VA?

 

the last 3 days have averaged 20 or less during the day... today's actually up to 38 but i keep reminding myself that January's our worst month...  warmer temps will start soon (i hope).

Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing...)
Welcome to the Zoo!  Horses (both LF and Bantam LOL), Standard Poodle, cats, pet birds & chickens.

Dorkings, SFH, bantam Cochins, BLRW, EE's & others.

And of course, my wonderful Hubby, who puts up with me and keeps me in check when I start to get crazy.

Feather Anatomy  -  Genetics  -  SFH Breeder's Club  -  My Website  -  Incubator Basics

Reply

Karen - k.i.forgot (it's a ham thing...)
Welcome to the Zoo!  Horses (both LF and Bantam LOL), Standard Poodle, cats, pet birds & chickens.

Dorkings, SFH, bantam Cochins, BLRW, EE's & others.

And of course, my wonderful Hubby, who puts up with me and keeps me in check when I start to get crazy.

Feather Anatomy  -  Genetics  -  SFH Breeder's Club  -  My Website  -  Incubator Basics

Reply
post #3039 of 5134

I'm on my 3rd hatch of white Dorkings. Not getting a lot of eggs but the ones I do get are fertile.

Love many, trust few, and paddle your own canoe.

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Love many, trust few, and paddle your own canoe.

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post #3040 of 5134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwhip View Post

I'm on my 3rd hatch of white Dorkings. Not getting a lot of eggs but the ones I do get are fertile.

 

Nice, Jeremy...

How do your Dorkings compare with other heritage breeds in terms of being a 'table' bird? I would not mind trying my hand at 'harvesting' some cull birds. I am a 'white meat' gal (-; I prefer a finer texture as well...I can roast a tasty chicken but I will say my buttermilk recipe iron skillet fried chicken is my family's favorite along with fried okra and sweet corn. Just sayin' (-;

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