Are any of these breeds considered "heavy" breeds?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kiaya611, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. kiaya611

    kiaya611 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 5, 2007
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    I have 8 breeds and I am building nest boxes and I have been given different dimensions depending on if the chickens are "standard" or "heavy". SO...Since I am new at this, and at the risk at sounding stupid...I wanted to ask all of you more experienced people out there what I have and also if at some time in the future I were to try another breed that might be a "heavy" breed, would it be a good or bad idea for me to build nest boxes that would accommodate the larger breed from the start even though I might only have "standard" sized breeds now?

    I know I don't want 2 hens trying to use one box at the same time, but I also wouldn't want to have to build another whole set of boxes if I were to change breeds and it wouldn't harm the "standard" breeds to have a slightly larger size box now. I am talking about the difference between 12X14X12 to 14X14X12 (which was recommended in the Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens book). The difference being the width. Of course with the difference in the width, you can no longer get 8 boxes out of a standard piece of 8' lumber.

    With all of that said...I have the following:

    Araucanas
    Australorps
    Brahmas
    Buttercups
    Delawares
    Dominiques
    Orpingtons
    Wyandottes

    Unfortunately the "Storey" book called all of these breeds "large" (I assume as opposed to Bantum) but didn't specify if they were considered "heavy or "standard".

    As always, thank you in advance for your help.
     
  2. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have Buff orps and Barred rocks, when I was looking for nesting boxes to buy I found most places considered those heavy breeds and needed the larger box. I ordered mine from Strombergs and am happy with them. I'd make the larger ones for sure. It's not going to hurt the standard hens to lay in a slightly bigger box and that way you're covered. My chickens all seem to prefer one box though. They don't crowd in all at once (I don't think) but the majority of the eggs are in one box, someone from the other forum called this "the supreme nesting box" so that's what I call it. [​IMG] Jen
     
  3. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    My chickens will lay in the same box and sometimes together. The two leghorns lay their white eggs together almost al the time. Size doesnÂ’t seem to matter my nesting boxes seem to be a one size fits all.
     
  4. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    Steven, most of your breeds are heavy and going with the larger nest boxes is a smart move. The extra cost will be well worth it down the road.

    It is funny that you don't want hens competing over a nest box, because they always seem to want to lay in the same box.

    While you need to provide 1 nest for every 4 hens, it still will end up with a line to lay in that box on that day.

    It' important not to have them so far off the floor that the hens will have trouble jumping to them.

    I offer both ground level nests and also 18" off the floor. daily I get eggs in both, lately more off the ground level nests, but options are important.

    Happy hens lay alot of eggs, while stressed crowded hens are miserable and don't do well.

    bigzio
     
  5. akahn01

    akahn01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2007
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    please excuse my lack of knowledge but what is a "heavy breed"
     
  6. thechickenfarmer

    thechickenfarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A heavy breed is a standard chicken that tends to get bigger. If you ever go to a poultry show you can really see how chickens differ in size.
     
  7. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

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    Andrew, the chickenfarmer is correct. Heavy breeds are also considered dual purpose, meaning both for eggs and meat.

    Some breeds have been developed into either just great egg layers, or huge meat birds not good for and will not live long enough to be egg layers, cornish cross for example.

    Dual purpose chickens are in alot of cases heritage breeds and have been around a long time. Backyard flocks are responsible for a good gene pool.

    bigzio
     
  8. akahn01

    akahn01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2007
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    so if i were to get a heavy breed would i need to get bigger nests? and is a buff orpington a heavy breed?
     
  9. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

  10. JamesC

    JamesC Out Of The Brooder

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    The following are the Standard weights for Large Fowl Chickens, these are weights for mature hens only - taken from the APA Standard of Perfection 2001 edition:

    Araucanas 4 lbs
    Australorps 6.5 lbs
    Brahmas 9.5 lbs
    Buttercups 5 lbs
    Delawares 6.5 lbs
    Dominiques 5 lbs
    Orpingtons 8 lbs
    Wyandottes 6.5 lbs

    Bantams of the above breeds will weigh approx. 1/4 of those weights.

    Keep in mind that these are weights for birds that are bred to the Standard and strains sold by hatcheries don't necessarily follow the standard, so could be over or under these weights, but they are a good guide.

    James
     

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