I got my 9 week weights on my German New Hampshire chicks. They are roughly the same weights as the hatchery NNs from Ideal at that age (this is just comparing boys to boys). I went through a lot to get these special GNHs from a very good breeder, so I was a bit amused. That being said, though, I've been happy with the look and health of the GNHs overall and as I have three girls will be keeping a quad for breeding for at least a couple years. I plan on crossing the GNHs with my NNs.
I was thinking - if the GNH boys can roughly match the growth of NNs while being fully feathered and at the "disadvantage" of having to "spend" all that protein on feathers, perhaps when brought into the NN line there will indeed be a size benefit. (And, of course, there are variables that cannot be controlled, at least in my management/abilities, with regard to season, feed, etc.).
I suspect that I MIGHT find that any growth advantage may come a bit later in the GNHs than in NNs and will need to keep the for GNH boys longer to evaluate for a keeper (provided they don't start trying to kill each other). I only say this because the sole *hatchery* New Hampshire pullet I kept in the NN flock (about 8-9 months old) is heavier than the other NN girls, with a very nice body shape/conformation for a dual purpose/meat bird. Polly is a good girl and keeps Mr. Snapeity Snape Snape the happy (she's a bit of a favorite).
I gotta tell you, if there's not added benefit in crossing in the GNHs, then this is a lot of work for not much return, although it is temporarily engaging/amusing. If that happens I may give up all fancy schmancy cross attempts (and their associated cost and trouble) and just keep a mixed NN flock (with maybe another batch of Ideal chicks added in) and breed the big 'uns.
- Ant Farm
(Cross-posed to the Breeding for Production Thread - please forgive any duplication on your eyeballs...)
Interesting- they look so big in pictures but I was also thinking 'wait until butcher age'. Recall how Tank seemed to be just tractoring straight ahead and now look at him and Snapito...
In any case, the GNH should throw in their handsome oh so typy looks into the mix...