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 hoop type houses are versatile and a good place to start. At the least, down the road, they could still be used for growing birds out.

    I am ever evolving. I have a lot of wish I had done this or that. I have seen a lot of set-ups, but I have never seen a perfect one. A lot has to do with how much money you want to put into it. I, to satisfy my guilt, have reduced mine to using scraps for 75% of it. It is fun being creative with the limitations, but then there is always compromise.

    I built these with scrap lumber and some purchased tarps. I have sheet insulation under the tarps, and over the framing (on the roof). It makes for a cooler enclosure in our hot summers. They are 8' x 10', and I think they are appropriately sized for 8 hens. I like to move them with a coupe wheels, and a dolly (hand truck etc.). I have some bent rebar for stakes for when I expect the weather to be bad. They are easy to move.

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    My boys put this row of 5' x 5' cock pens/ breeding pens together.

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    These are good for broody hens, but I have since put a gable roof on them. My middle son put this together when he was 11. After doing one with me of course. I also use them as quarantine pens for new birds etc.

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  2. jbkirk

    jbkirk A Learning Breeder

    Do any of you know if the bielefelders are imported by GFF are any good? The main reason I'm asking is because the auto sexing thing is making me start think about getting some!
     
  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Typical of the better Beilefelders in Germany? No. I would be reluctant to call them by their name. Still it seams that many enjoy them.
     
  4. jbkirk

    jbkirk A Learning Breeder

    I mean compared to the average American chicken!
     
  5. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

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    There are American breeds that do just as well or better--Auto Sexing is over rated really--Are you going to kill the males at hatch? What is the plan if you know.

    I raise up the cockerels and eat them.
     
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  6. jbkirk

    jbkirk A Learning Breeder

    It would be more to sell them right away and not waste money.
    EDIT: Or to give them to someone who would eat them.
    EDIT: Would there be another breed which is auto sexing which would be a better producer?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  7. ronott1

    ronott1 Daily Digest Guru Premium Member Project Manager

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    Most sell day old chicks as straight run with no guarantee of gender.

    Rhodebars are here
    Welbars I do not know about

    Both are dual purpose.
     
  8. Heron's Nest Farm

    Heron's Nest Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow! Lot's of great posts.

    I agree that bigger lipped nesting boxes are nice.

    I agree that there is usually a reason for strange behavior. Paying attention can lead to some strange realizations.

    As for pens, if my husband were offering I would take it! I have my original pen that has a house split in three, leading to three yards. These are my breeding pens. I take who I want at night and set them in there. I eat the eggs for 9 days to avoid other roosters genetics and then collect eggs. Anyone think this isn't long enough?

    I have a 18 x 50 greenhouse that I grow my new chicks in in the spring. It has a electric poultry netting (moveable) attached to it so they get new pasture. This also allows me to run the birds between our three greenhouses and eat every blade of grass down to a manageable height during spring when it is too wet to mow and things grow like crazy!

    I am dividing up the orchard this year. I want to keep my orpingtons (chocolate, gold laced, spangled and hopefully soon silver laced) separated. This will allow for ease of care and no need for a separate breeding area. [​IMG]

    I love the idea of a grow out pen for roos. I just find myself rushing to a decision. Good to know keeping them all together would be a better option. I'm gonna work on that one. ANyone know how loud a grow out pen is?

    I think it really comes down to working with what you have. I have a little land to work with, so I have options if I can get materials to safely fence them. You (anyone), at minimum need a way to only collect the eggs fertilized by your desired male. I think you could get extremely creative on how to make that happen. I do think that conditions could make this difficult and stress the birds e.g. too many males fighting and not breeding (controllable factors). But even a small space can be made to work with trap nests, even small cages for a limited time and careful monitoring. If the desire is there, you can work with what you have.

    Great questions! Really has me reexamining my program! Thanks.
     
  9. jbkirk

    jbkirk A Learning Breeder

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
  10. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Nine days is probably not long enough. Two weeks may be enough, but it could be up to 30 days. You can be sure by candling them. Otherwise, it might be best to wait it out.

    The cockerels are not especially loud until they begin to reach sexual maturity. Once they start crowing it depends on the birds, and how many you have. They will crow all the more if they can see females. They will compete more if they can see females.

    They will crow less together than they will if they are in individual pens. They all begin trying to mark their territory.
     

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