BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    That's what drives me crazy. I haven't found actual egg numbers corresponding to comments of *good*, *poor*, or *excellent* for the 1890s to about 1910. The actual numbers don't seem to come until later. The time period that I am most interested in is the 10 years on either side of the century mark. That was the time that Javas were most often being hailed as *excellent* layers. Well I know that their idea of *excellent* would not be what today's idea is, but trying to figure out what they thought *excellent* meant is frustrating. If I had a more definite point of reference, then it would be easier to see how far Javas have fallen in egg production, or if they have fallen in egg production at all. To me, I think they can still stand some improvement. But it would be nice to have more specifics than such a subjective and relative term as *excellent*.
     
  2. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    This is the date range I've come across also for the change in thought for preference towards 200+ per year layers. I think it was most clearly obvious in the book, "Poultry Husbandry" by Morley A. Jull. The book was published in 1938 and reflects back frequently to the late 1800s up through publication time, indicating the shift in mindset through that date progression. "The Call of the Hen", as mentioned above, was the other book that really showed emphasis on this quest. That was written in 1914, I believe. It seems the industrialization of our society was limited to factories, but also our agricultural animal accomplices. [​IMG]
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Nice conversations all!!

    Here is my 2 cents. Flocks morph to fit the farm they are living on. WHile breed info is a good starting p lace for comparison, it is important to get the details which is flock by flock.

    I had a flock of sheep that were good grazers, Out every day, moving over section of pasture day by day. THen we moved. TO a wooded set up. Hay tossed to the flock everyday.THe years passed and the generations turned over. THen I needed a new ram.While watching the new boy to see how he was settling in, he was trying to graze!! He covered the whole pen searching for graze.Then I realized, dang, I had turned my grazers into pen pigs. So while this is sheep. My point is that each flock represents the management style of the farm and caretakers.

    ANother point is laying ability like good fair poor layers, don't tell you survivability, or health, etc. Nor does it tell egg size. The silver spangled hamburg is a smaller , quicker bird, and lays lots of smaller eggs. THis is based on reading, seeing one rooster at a show and having one tiny hatchery rooster. THis bird has a place in the right situation.
     
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  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  5. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    This is true. What's difficult is trying to convey all of these things to people when they come to you asking questions. I've had folks contacting me more often than usual about Javas and have had comments and questions on egg production. Having a tangible frame of reference to help them visualize the differences in Javas and other birds as well as differences in time periods and situations would make things easier for them to understand. Shoot, it might make things easier for me too, to see where we were, where we are, and where we need to be with the breed.

    Granted, you can't always have specifics for every variable to completely map things out for folks, but when you're dealing with a breed that has not had new observations taken and new info written about it in modern times, it makes it more difficult for some folks to comprehend. The articles that have been written about Javas in recent history are essentially just referencing antique information. There isn't good info to compare and contrast Javas then and now with anecdotes about how things are working for Javas and their keepers with modern food and husbandry methods. I know what I have observed and experienced, and can give folks that info when they come asking questions, but I still feel like there is information missing somewhere between the antique literature anecdotal info and observations of Javas today. I may never find that puzzle piece that seems to be missing.
     
  6. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

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    Lots of things changed. Breeding out broodiness by crossing with non broody breeds and selecting for removing broodiness. The addition of lights in the winter up North and etc. The feed does make a big difference as well as keeping laying hens over the winter.

    Without lights, some breeds far enough North will lose three to four months of laying. When you read about Leghorns laying 280plus eggs a year, it should say with light in the winter.

    It is not a stretch to say a breed is an excellant layer if it lays, on average, 140 egg over 8 months. That would be a bit less than 5 eggs a week.
     
  7. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    This is something that I've thought about too and it could play a key part in things.
     
  8. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    Actually, this has been presented as one of the methods used by the production mills for putting out meat and eggs so quickly. I don't recall having encountered any specific studies, but I've repeatedly seen mention that the constant availability of food contributed to both the increased weight of chicken at an early age (meat!) to greater egg production. And the nutritional quality of the feed is a huge variable.
     
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  9. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Thinking about it that way helps to give me some insight into our old fashioned birds that would most likely not have had supplemental light in winter. And most of them were being bred and shown from folks in the northern part of the country.

    Makes it come back again to a person's expectations of what they're looking for in their birds and how their husbandry will affect the birds.
     
  10. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    A lot of things changed during that time. There was an exodus of sorts to the cities. Industrialization brought jobs, and the jobs were in the cities. As the populations within the cities grew, so did the amount of people that needed to be fed. A lot of people that like to criticize modern agriculture forget that there is an entire world out there that cannot feed themselves. Many of us prefer a better way, but we have not demonstrated that we are capable of feeding the masses either. We realize the most efficient food production system that the world has ever known. Only in Western society are we spoiled enough to complain about our surplus.

    This is also the time period where the production of grain became more mechanized. The Great Plains was largely settled and "tamed". The Railroad system was able to deliver. The Midwest was more and more big Ag., and even the Draft drawn harvesters were quite impressive. The Midwest became the largest producer of food in the world. This meant a surplus of grain to feed poultry which by nature are seed eaters needing a lot of energy to maintain their high metabolisms.

    These huge changes naturally changed our view of the world. The world in fact did become a much different place.

    Our understanding of genetics was evolving to. Great advancements in breeding livestock was taking place. If we do a survey a livestock breeds to include poultry, it is interesting to see when the majority of these breeds were developed. Not to mention that advancements in transportation meant an exchange of genetic resources not seen before. It was not long ago that our view of genetics was in terms like "percentage of blood". We still use these percentages to illustrate though it does not accurately account for actual inheritance.

    A lot was changing, and changing fast.
     

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