BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The (American) Livestock Conservancy has several downloadable "manuals" for improving productivity in dual purpose (aka heritage) chickens.
    http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/chicken-manual
    They also have a chart showing toe punches, and other useful chicken-related info.

    Best wishes,
    Angela
     
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  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    The answer I hoped for:
    Year 0....buy the best two trios you can find
    Year 1.....weigh at 16 weeks and keep the heaviest 20% of the pullets and cockerels
    Year 2....trap nest the pullets from year 1 and hatch from their eggs in year 3 ... most large eggs February through October
    Year 3....cockerels from year 1 (20%) are selected for ??? and used on pullets from trap nest year 2
    ?
    ?
    ?
    ?

    Maybe repeat years 1,2,&3

    since I don't have any experience I will ________ this year (have not yet filled in the blank)
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Here is a hickup , just to show an example. WHen my buckeye chicks were shipped to me, the breeder and I exchanged several emails. When my pc crashed all those emails went kaput with it. I no longer know which pen had which toe punch. (3 pens) The saving grace is that a modified toe punch was used, actually a notch was cut out, so all the birds are clearly marked. I can pen them correctly, but the rotation order now becomes my choice. AND I"M TERRIFIED!!! lol

    Time spent watching the birds is time well spent. Even my boys( my kids) can spot white feathers, and other peculiarities. Like how broad over the shoulders. My youngest noticed the coloring of the males is different than the girls. TOdays discussion ended with: rarely is a bird nearly perfect.

    THis is where I think of horse breeding. Given the mare to be bred, what is the best stallion to breed her to. It is about knowing each animal fairly well to make the best judgment, then going for it and evaluating the offspring. And even the best of the best can produce crappy offspring time to time too. It is about the averages and to keep improving the average. ( Some bad traits that show up can drop a parent from the breeding pool too.)

    And I agree with picking two different breeds to excel at meat production and egg production. Took me a few years to figure out why Don Schrider had both buckeyes and brown leghorns. lol I don't need the buckeyes to be one a day layers to meet my families needs. And I think, with a lower calcium demand, these birds can forage off the land better than higher production layers. THis is based on looking at the amount of calcium needed to produce a hard shelled egg. & eggs a week if far more calcium than 3-4 eggs a week.

    ocap--baby steps, and you will get there.
     
  4. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The way I look at it, I plan to keep enough hens of my favorite breed to meet our family's egg needs even in the depth of winter. The extra eggs in spring become chicks, which will be either new breeders, or meat in the freezer. (The 2 of us can eat ~ 2 dozen eggs/week, and ~ 50 chickens per year.) The extra (eggs/meat) is relatively easy to give away, so I get to breed more and overwinter more to improve my one-breed flock that much faster.
    Beat wishes,
    Angela
     
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  5. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

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    Well I going to downsize some. I'm going to concentrate on my Naked Necks, Easter Eggers, and my Green Egger Nsked Neck project.

    The NN's and EE's so I'll have some new blood for the GENN project. Then in a couple of years I'll probably faze out the EE's because I should have the GENN's built up. Well ae how that goes.
     
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  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    It sounds like you have it figured it out.
     
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Plans are a good place to start.

    I down sized today too. My one sulmtalier kicked the bucket. Cant do much with one bird. So her loss has saved me purchasing more hatching eggs and following the Sulms at this time. She was darn cute though . . .. . .loved the head dress. I had wanted to try these birds as they are reputed to be meat type birds. THey are off my table now.
     
  8. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

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    Grinder's Switch
    Yep...Looks like you ARE the one with a plan![​IMG]
     
  9. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    Will that plan yield a productive dual purpose chicken?
     
  10. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

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    Grinder's Switch
    No. I'll simply draw down what I have come to understand. We just sold most of our egg producing stock because we finally tired of the dealing with the public. WE had produced prolific layers in Australorp and Naked Neck and they could have been eaten, as many of them were over they years, because we caponized many of them and that made them a reasonably good bird for the table but without surgical intervention, there was more bone than meat, and that really was more suited for tasty chicken soup.

    The NNs have pretty good breasts and were better than the Australorps but not much that I have ever eaten in the poultry line can compete with Cornish birds (we have only used Dark Cornish) and Buckeyes; and by caponizing them, the product was improved by more than 100% in every dimension.

    As mentioned before, we are bringing the NN into the equation to capitalize on their superior breast and to utilize the benefits of hybrid vigor , perhaps in a round-robin scenario.

    So...There you have it.

    EDIT:Let me hasten to add this...it all depends upon what one is wiling or forced to settle for. The Australorp and Turken can be caged and 'fatted' to make them a bit more flavorful but despite what many will try to say, at least in my opinion, there really is no chicken that can satisfy the requirements of both function to maximum advantage..eggs and meat. It will be one or the other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
    1 person likes this.

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