big birds and smaller birds?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by certifiedchef, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. certifiedchef

    certifiedchef Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Ok, just when I thought I was beginning to understand backyard chickens, I went to the show in Stockton today - saw A LOT of beautiful chix, saw the breeds that I have BUT THEY WERE ALL LIKE 3X the size of my girls! Saw Harmony Oaks and we chatted, seems online hatchery and feed store birds are smaller than show birds. My question is why?? I am sure it has to do with breeding, but why are $2 chicks so much smaller! Inquiring minds need to know
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Depends on what breeds, hatchery stock is headed one way and show birds another.
  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    It's because hatcheries breed for one thing - Egg production.

    Show Quality breeds go for the standard, which includes proper weight, size, roundness, height, etc. They go for the original purpose, quite often being dual purpose, which requires some meat on the bone. Hatcheries don't really care for this. They care about having chickens that lay enough eggs to sell enough chicks, that's about it. [​IMG]

    I too was very shocked when I met my first non-hatchery birds. I thought there was something wrong with my flock! But, not really, it's just poor hatchery breeding.

    Consider this - My Brahmas from Murray McMurray weigh 5-6 lbs. A normal Brahma hen should weigh 9 lbs. True Ameraucanas should be a moderate sized breed, hens around 5-6 lbs. . .

    Check this out. Isn't it just sad?

    The hen on the far left is a Brahma, who is being dwarfed by a blue Ameraucana just to the right of her. The silver laced birds are Wyandottes, who also should be bigger and FAR rounded and fluffier than Ameraucanas. But instead, they're gamey and small. . .


    This is a Brahma at the same size as an Araucana, a smaller breed than even Ameraucanas.

  4. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    I agree pretty much the same experience
  5. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    Yeah, I went to my first poultry show this month and could not believe all the really big chickies. My hatchery blue wyandottes are puny against the LF wyandottes at the show.
    Games are real popular down here so the majority of the chickens at this show were game chickens. There was LF games and tiny bantam games that you could put in your pocket. Cochins came in second as far as amount of contestants followed by Brahmas.

    This nice thing about the show was seeing what the actual size should look like for the different breeds and seeing the birds that are at or close to the actual standard.

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