Taking a break from breaking dozens of cookies with my son and thought I'd share some of my most recent favorite photos of my 12-week old "babies". I'm not sure there will be many more photo sessions as they're becoming increasingly resistant to be photographed, and heavy to hold on one hand as I usually do. I'll start with the boys.
This is Blaze. I've already selected him as a cull, but he's a pretty bird.
Chance - a possible cull, but I'm still watching him.
Dutch - Love his feathering, but not so much his shape. He's in the same category as Chance right now and will at least miss the first cull.
Lance - Again, love the feathering. He looks a lot like his older brother from the Fast Five flock, Zazzle, but he's smaller. He's lighter than I would prefer, but I like his muscle density and body shape. I'll probably cull him, but not right away. I want a few more weeks to observe him.
Ozzy - My favorite. He doesn't look much bigger than the others, but he weighs significantly more than all but Zazzle who weighs just one ounce more than him despite being a week older.
Pepper - My favorite personality among the boys. I'm actually looking for every possible excuse to keep this guy. He's just a little lighter than Ozzy, but more streamlined. I'm sure he carries an outstanding egg production gene and I will be looking for placement of him with my best laying birds...which means I may need to dispatch one of my older boys. Pity.
Ramses - good body shape and less feathering, but the lightest and smallest of the boys. And he constantly pecks at my hands and legs, begging for attention. Very annoying. He's a cull.
Raymond - I'm holding on to this guy for a while. Not only am I in love with his feathering, but I'm blown away by his very wide back and solid musculature despite his light weight. I suspect his father is my big NN rooster, Shiloh, who had modest growth until about 16 weeks and then suddenly bulked up like crazy. I can stand waiting a bit longer for a meat bird to peak if he's got a magnificent shape. (Admittedly this photo doesn't do him justice....but he was extremely uncooperative during the photo session. He just wanted to sit on my shoulder.)
Ruby/Rudy - A definite cull. Everything about this bird mystifies me. It's weight is smack dab in between the smallest of the other boys, and the heaviest of the girls. He shows all the markings of a cockerel, but still behaves more like a pullet. Gorgeous? Yes....but not what I'm looking for. I'll probably wait for it to start crowing before culling, just to satisfy with finality the questions in my mind about its gender.
Taz - finally! The last one. This guy caught me by surprise by having a massive growth spurt these past few weeks. Only Ozzy tops him in weight in this group, and his back, thighs and breast are nice and wide and meaty. He's with Raymond in the "wait and see" category.
Edited by DesertChic - 12/29/15 at 2:58pm