BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    The poultry industry is built on soy and corn. Soy being a high energy feed. They do compliment each other well.

    Corn is easy to harvest by hand, and you can get more corn per acre than the other grains. If my health was not the way it was, I would be planting corn.

    I like the white millet cultivars because they are easy to harvest, and very fast to mature. I can get a couple crops. I would cut it, and let the birds have it. I used to use it in a rotation.

    Sorghum is good for our dry summers.

    Oats are more complete on their own than the others.

    I tried Amaranth. The seeds are too small and do not mature uniformly. Much is lost. My birds did not get excited about them, but the songbirds did.

    I want to try drying blueberries for my birds this year. If I have any extra. My wife sells them all.

    Boiled potatoes mixed with grain is not a bad supplement. The Europeans use to do this. Particularly post war. You can get a lot of potatoes from a small area. I read some studies where sweet potatoes were used to decrease the reliance on imported grains.
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    602
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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
     
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    16,722
    602
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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
     
  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL. Did I say North Korea? No, not North Korea. It was South Korea. I do not think I have heard anything from N. Korea. LOL. I would be interested to know about their poultry though.
     
  6. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Midlands, South Carolina
    If I was where you were, and wanted to grow potatoes, I would grow them in towers. Don't you have rocky soil?

    Oats make a good palatable grass when young and tender. It tolerates being cut. It would not be a bad cool season grass. If you can get seed cheap.

    That is the thing with planting stuff. It has to be worth the cost. It is easy to pay too much in time, labor, and money. For me anyways.

    Don't discount Amaranth on my account. You might feel differently. They are beautiful plants. I grew them with sunflowers, and decided that the sunflowers were worth the effort.

    I have tilled and planted bags of sunflower seeds.

    They sell deer forage mixes here. Our deer season runs from August, into January. At the end of the season, we can find these mixes on clearance. There is still enough time to get into the ground, and get a good stand before it gets hot and kills it. These mixes have been helpful to have and cut and carry greens to the breeding pens.

    I learned years ago, that tilling and liming a section in the pasture was helpful. The tilling up the sod would bring weed seeds up to the surface. I would let the birds in once there was a stand. There would also be more insects etc. in this stand. They would rummage through the stand of weeds more than the rest.

    For many years, I had some crocodiles (yes they ate chicken) in a greenhouse. I experimented with growing tomatoes in buckets of sand and a planting mix. I would use the croc's pond water as fertilizer and water. Eventually, I figured out that I needed more light. I did finally have them well started and used these plants "to extend the season". I would feed the tomatoes to the chickens. I was concerned about Salmonella. I thought I had something. I was thinking about raising breeder fish like this. Tilapia.
    Once the internet became the norm, I realized others were already doing it. It was not as interesting to me then. The fun was figuring it out.

    When I started playing with chickens etc. the internet was not the norm. Poultry books was hard to find. Very few was raising them. I had to figure out much the hard way, but the fun was in figuring it out. Now we have a lot at our finger tips.

    I enjoyed playing around. Every winter I would dream up something new to try. There are a lot of possibilities. It amazes me how creative people can be.

    Now my health is different. I will have to figure out new things eventually. I do some reminiscing because I enjoyed trying things. That is why I talk about creating a line of utility bantams. Too big to show, but too small to show. There are a lot of utilitarian advantages to the smaller birds.
    I cannot imagine not tinkering with something.

    A lot of things I talk about are things that I have done, but some are not things I am doing now. I am adapting and changing.

    I have some time, I guess. I have some boys home to help. I am trying to double time it with these Catalanas, and try to get a few to pick up on them. I picture needing to change though. The good thing about miniatures is I can still tinker. I can do the same things, just on a smaller scale.
     
  7. RedRidge

    RedRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Uh no! We milk both cattle and sheep. Our forage is ONLY grazed between 4 and 8". Never more than 8 and never less than 4. It's all about genetics.
    I tell people all the time, we don't raise cattle, sheep, poultry and rabbit. We simply raise forage and use the animals to convert that forage to meat, milk and eggs. ;-)
     
    4 people like this.
  8. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you tried feeding them kale? It grows extremely well in winter months and my flock absolutely loves it. I offer mine most of the greens you listed above except henbit, which I've never heard of, and offer the excess kale from my garden simultaneously. They always devour the kale first. I'm also growing them (and us) some true comfrey, English plantain, white yarrow and lambs quarters. I might try growing some nettles for them this year as I've been told the chickens usually love it, and it's good for people too. I'm just not looking forward to those stinging spines. [​IMG]

    Luckily my chickens also seem to love the nasty nut grass that grows in our tired desert soil. Now that the winter rains have stimulated its growth here I'm going to be pasturing the chickens in various sections of my yard for their benefit and mine.
     
  9. Heron's Nest Farm

    Heron's Nest Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A weed is simply a "plant out of place" as my horticulture professor used to say.

    We grow kale year round. We harvest seed from a bed ever couple of years and that keeps us going. The seed has amazing viability life so storage is easy. The birds love it! It's is not as high in calcium as chard, but I never seem to have calcium problems as we range our flocks.

    My breeding pens are seeded with grasses, kale, dandelion of course and clover. Next to the breeding pens is an area that grows an amazing amount of chickweed. I can rotate letting the birds out and they really appreciate it.

    We are lucky to live in an area that is organically focused. We have an amazing feed available here, non pelletized that is all local grains. Peck and Scratch is the name. you can get it corn free, corn and soy free, but I always leave the corn in. My hens love it and feed is supplemental, so I feel the corn is a treat. Of course we only use GMO free certified feed.

    Anyone else willing to chime in on my question about what traits you cull for when growing for egg production?
     
  10. LindaB220

    LindaB220 Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Arielle, you can't get much smaller than me. I'm starting with one Blosl White Rock pair and a XW trio. Two pens right now. Later I will add another pen to make a combo of the two strains. Blosl for the silver gene and fab feathering and the XW for the shape. Win win. Per Fred. On another note, life does get in the way and I'm having to put all egg and chick buys on hold for a couple of months so I can have the XX##& knee surgery that I've been running from. Get it out of the way. I'll have it done probably around the last of Feb. sigh
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015

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