Originally Posted by DesertChic
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.
I love how you and Fire Ant Farm post pictures with comments like that. If I may.. what makes Blaze a cull? He looks rather good in type in that picture.
Is Dutch a splash or dominant white carrier? I was a little surprised to see a white tailed bird in the group.
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.
Do you feel around on their breasts and legs to see where all the weight is? Fire was great in pointing out a NN cull boy that weighed the most.. but was simply tall and skinny... not a good type for meat. I have seen this many times, an impressive looking bird... not so impressive when picked up and handled.. with another "smaller bird" being shockingly heavy and meaty all over.
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.
Oh I hate this kind of variation on chicken math.. not exactly what one wants but oh so sweet. Sigh...
I would caution a little bit by not relying too much on type=egg production. Rely much stronger on whether his mother(and father once you have several generations) was an excellent layer. If she was not an exceptional layer, then working on a "layer body type" is not going to result in increase of egg production. Commerical leghorns are skinny only because they also selected for high feed efficiency along egg production. But you can make a skinny hen that only lays 10 eggs per year....
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.)
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.
Yep wait and see, hellbender is very right in saying a lot can change in few weeks.