A Bielefelder Thread !

iahills

Hatching
7 Years
Feb 12, 2012
3
0
6
I'm curious what folks have experienced for growth rates with Bielefelders. Anybody out there have weights recorded for their cockerels at 12-16 weeks?
 

elizmartin

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
949
66
181
N.W. Washington
I'm not sure if I'll get any chicks hatch out of the batch of biele eggs I ordered. Out of ten eggs, five are duds. The other five all have bad air sacs. If I get ONE chick out of this I'll be pleased, and with my luck, it'll be a rooster.

Sigh.

Doesn't anyone ship via ground anymore? It's been several years since I did shipped eggs, but when I did, nearly everyone used UPS ground. Everyone wants to send via Priority Mail (air) now, and that's not good. The eggs can (probably will) end up in an unpressurized cargo hold, which damages the air sacs.
Another need to know is that some flights carry dry ice, so need to make sure eggs and birds are sent with the same care as dogs and others.
 

elizmartin

Songster
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
949
66
181
N.W. Washington
Desertchic, a swamp cooler should be sufficient to keep them alive, but if they are still struggling, you can try giving them water to stand in (I like black masonry tubs for this -- easy to dump and rinse out daily) and select a lower protein food or even consider restricting food -- two or three meals a day rather than free choice, with the biggest meal in the evening. You don't want them at all obese in the summer. You can feed chickens to death in hot weather.

Do any of your chickens make whistling/bubbling noises when they breathe? Listen closely. Upper respiratory crud is common in the summer, and it kills, because they can't shed heat as easily when they have the snots.

If you're selecting for heat tolerance, pick birds with larger combs/wattles and longer legs. Surprisingly, big bodied birds seem to do well overall, however -- I think it's because they have a large thermal mass and they overheat slower than little birds. I lost a lot more leghorn types than marans when I was breeding, and some of my marans were as big as bieles. (I selected for size because most of my customers wanted heritage meat birds. They didn't care about the eggs, but they absolute loved those big marans cockerals.)

If all else fails, I'm looking for bieles. ;-) ;-) :)

(I'm really not sure about the eggs I ordered. The seller sent them via air rather than ground, and some of the air sacs are in questionable condition. They're under a hen and so far, so good, I've only had one dud, but it'll be the last week where I lose them due to compromised air sacs. I've had hatched shipped eggs with bad air sacs before, but the hatch rate goes WAY down.)
I used to have a problem every year with that bubbling noise, and worried because the hot moist humidity then cold night seem to bring it out. i don't seem to have it as much since i started using fermented feeds, and apple cider vinegar.
 

KMoran

Songster
7 Years
Jan 27, 2012
756
6
103
Arlington, WA
Hello, I am interested in getting bielefelder's in the near future. I have done some research but I do have a few questions I have been unable to find answers to, I am hoping someone can help. I plan on pasture raising a flock of between 20-30. Can you tell me the average age the start to lay? I heard it is longer then the normally 24 weeks. Also what age do the cockerels mature enough to butcher? I plan on raising them as a dual purpose meat & eggs. Thank you so much or your help.
 

DesertChic

Crowing
5 Years
Nov 13, 2014
4,788
3,897
426
Southern Arizona
I'm curious what folks have experienced for growth rates with Bielefelders. Anybody out there have weights recorded for their cockerels at 12-16 weeks?

I chart and graph the growth of all my breeds. I've got six Biel cockerels in my flock.

My 12 week avg = 3.62 lbs. with the largest cockerel weighing in at 4.02 lbs
My 13 week avg = 3.90 lbs with the largest cockerel weighing in at 4.60 lbs

I skipped a few weeks because of other life issues. Mine are 18 weeks now and overdue for a weigh-in, which I plan to perform in the next few days.
 
Last edited:

DesertChic

Crowing
5 Years
Nov 13, 2014
4,788
3,897
426
Southern Arizona
Hello, I am interested in getting bielefelder's in the near future. I have done some research but I do have a few questions I have been unable to find answers to, I am hoping someone can help. I plan on pasture raising a flock of between 20-30. Can you tell me the average age the start to lay? I heard it is longer then the normally 24 weeks. Also what age do the cockerels mature enough to butcher? I plan on raising them as a dual purpose meat & eggs. Thank you so much or your help.


The age at which you wish to butcher is personal and subjective. Personally, I usually wait until about 18-weeks to start butchering because I like a big, meaty carcass to braise and slow roast. You can see in my post above the weights my cockerels have reached at 12 & 13 weeks.

Right now my flock is 18 weeks old and while the cockerels are all crowing enthusiastically, the pullets are still developing and haven't reached POL. I've read others' posts indicating that standard POL for this breed is 24 - 26 weeks. Given my girls' development, I really don't expect anything before 22 weeks.Their wattles are just starting to extend and redden ever so slightly and certainly not enough to suggest they're ready to lay.
 

ChickCrazed

Songster
6 Years
Jan 14, 2014
1,068
475
178
Lebanon, Indiana
Is anyone working on getting (or breeding towards) the other color that is standard in Europe? Are there any pictures? Is it similar to the crested cream legbar color? It would be kind of a fun project to tackle since the Bielefelders seem to be taking off in popularity.
 

RWD

Songster
9 Years
Jan 2, 2011
347
36
138
Wartrace TN.
Hello, I am interested in getting bielefelder's in the near future. I have done some research but I do have a few questions I have been unable to find answers to, I am hoping someone can help. I plan on pasture raising a flock of between 20-30. Can you tell me the average age the start to lay? I heard it is longer then the normally 24 weeks. Also what age do the cockerels mature enough to butcher? I plan on raising them as a dual purpose meat & eggs. Thank you so much or your help.

Most of mine start laying from 26 - 28 weeks of age. Sometimes they will start 24 - 25 weeks but then they will stop after 4 - 6 days of laying for 1 - 2 weeks then start back consistent. The group of roos that I am raising for meat are only 12 weeks old and I plan to take them to 18 - 20 weeks for butchering. Also the roos I am raising for meat have not been heavy eaters.
 

VistaSRJ

In the Brooder
6 Years
Dec 18, 2013
51
12
31
Western Slope, Colorado
My Coop
My Coop
Is anyone working on getting (or breeding towards) the other color that is standard in Europe? Are there any pictures? Is it similar to the crested cream legbar color? It would be kind of a fun project to tackle since the Bielefelders seem to be taking off in popularity.
This comment has me a little curious and confused. I looked up the Crested Cream Legbar, and my Bielefelders already look like them. What are the two colors supposed to look like?
 

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