Originally Posted by Fire Ant Farm
...Some of my goals:...
- Heat tolerance is essential where I live ...
- Late sexual maturity will make (anything) easier...
- Good relationship with the flock/potential to be a good leader -...
5. ..Bane ...is my largest male ...He is top of pecking order... Good body type. But I don't think I will end up keeping him ... he is just not all that social with the rest of the flock -...He also started crowing at 9-10 weeks - ...that's not something I want to select for.
If you refuse to do any of those cooling maneuvers, your flock will self-select for heat tolerance, regardless of feathering.
Later sexual maturity means you must keep the juveniles longer to decipher what you are growing out. That will inflate your feed bill and require you to build a great many more pens. I would argue for earlier sexual maturity and calm, peaceable temperaments. Earlier sexual maturity indicates higher vigor, which is probably the single most prized factor in our flocks.
I think you need to be aware that a cockerel's apparent personality is suppressed unless he is the alpha male. A previously peaceful/docile cockerel may become a real psycho when he gets to be top dog. And any bird which is confrontational when not the top bird is likely to become a bigger bully when he is alpha.
The "shape of the growth curve" is just obsessing about your data, not a real-world goal. Nobody eats growth curves. We eat chickens. Just set a goal date or weight, and cull the smallest.
I am not sure what you are considering butchering size. Cornish game hens are just Cornish chicks butchered at a smaller size. If it is at least 1.5 lbs, it is big enough to be a game hen. So no need to keep the runts until they are 6 months old. Twelve-13 weeks is a good age to cull as well, with the butchered birds making great fryers.
Just in case I have been too tactful, KEEP BANE! With his superior size, desired type, early sexual maturity, and peaceable temperament, he sounds ideal to me.
Edited by neopolitancrazy - 12/3/15 at 7:23am