BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    You read my mind!! lol I plan to maintain the notching of the original parents. BUt get stuck when I have multiple batches thru the hatching season. I have breed and raised enough chicks to know that careful making when young is vital to tracking who is who when they grow up a bit.
     
  2. Heron's Nest Farm

    Heron's Nest Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    SO what are you tracking in a chicks youth? I can see weights being one thing. Do you band at birth?

    I am thinking of banding this next set of Chocolates and taking copious notes, but a bit intimidated about keeping up on rebanding.
     
  3. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    here is one type of band that won't require removal as they grow

    https://nationalband.com/products/zip-890/
     
  4. jbkirk

    jbkirk A Learning Breeder

    So can you cut webs at a day old?
     
  5. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why clear land instead of erecting a visual barrier? like a $10 tarp along the fenceline between the male and female pens. Just a thought.
     
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  6. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Currently, I have 2 pair of breeders and I can tell them apart with a single glance. They have numbered leg bands, but I refer to them by name. As I put eggs into the egg fridge (doubles as a wine fridge in the off season,) I mark them with the date laid and parents' initials. I have a hatching "fence" in the designated incubator to keep the families separated if I ever get the second pullet into lay, and am hatching from both hens simultaneously. I learned to wingband last year, it worked well and my only complaint is that I need reading glasses to read the itty-bitty numbers. I have a bunch of colored zip ties for this year, so I can determine parentage at a glance (without bifocals!) I am going to give toe-punching another go this year, they grew together last year. I also have a notcher, and will use that if I can't get the hang of toe-punching.
    Angela
     
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  7. RedRidge

    RedRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I toe punch as they come out of the bator according to the breeding pen they came from. Each breeding pen has a corresponding color also, but those colors don't come into play for a few months. I use two different types of bands, spiral for youngsters that "catch my eye", and numbered spirals as they become older. The numbered spirals are usually put on in descending order at about 3-4 months of age... highest number being my favorite on that day. So let's say I have a group of 120 chicks, 30 from each of 4 pens. The toe punch on day 1 assures I'll always know their heritage even if a band is later lost. Then I watch that group and as they develop I put small spirals on the ones that catch my eye - no numbers, just a spiral. If that chick is from pen 1 it gets a white spiral, pen 2 an orange spiral, and so on. By the time they are old enough to easily sex I have probably spiraled say.... 1/3 of them. The remaining 2/3 are now irrelevant - they become layers and grow outs. The 1/3 with spirals are then given a numbered band. This happens about 4 months old. If I have 12 with white spirals, then I assign a band number according to who i like the best on that day. So #12 I like the most, #1 I like the least. These numbers and colors stay with them for life.
    Now, as the chicks grow, I make notes. Even though I don't change their numbers, I'm likely to change my preferences. I have a pen from last year that had a group of pullets numbered 15-24. 3 months after assigning these numbers I may have a note that says.
    15,17,19,18,20,23,22,21,16,24
    Yes, they do change. And yes it is knit picky at this point because these pullets were 10 out of 60 or 70.
    BTW, last year number 16 beat 24 and earned BOV at the APA nationals.

    I'm very visual, so the colors really help me know which line is which.

    Here's a side note/hint:
    I get people wanting chicks each year. And they do tend to get in a hurry - people can be impatient. Lol
    People who get chicks in April or May likely get chicks who didn't get a spiral. Those who are patient and wait until August will likely get chicks who already have assigned numbers.
    Patience is a virtue. ;-)
     
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  8. RedRidge

    RedRidge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    @Arielle I raise a combination of East Freisian and Lacaune (I also now have a very limited amount of awassi genetics).
    I used to own the first licensed sheep dairy in the southeast and milked 150 twice a day. I sold the business after winning the governors cup 3 years ago and milk only about a dozen just for us and a few herd shares.
     
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  9. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    Really? Do you do anything to it first? Add it to their food? ????
     
  10. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a much smaller number of birds than some so it's easy for me to know each bird at first glance. That said, I'm also a totally anal, detail oriented person and keep records on everything...and I mean spreadsheets, individual journal entries, etc. I take photos of my chicks every week to maintain a visual log of their progress, plus record weights (for the first four weeks and then on specific target dates thereafter), temperaments, behaviors, POL, etc. As they get older I band the birds I plan to breed with individually colored zip ties I buy in bulk on eBay. Though I know it's not necessarily advisable, I name all of my birds, so I identify potential breeders by name for paired matings and then will band the off-spring with the parental colors once they hatch. I've considered toe punching and my husband offered to do it for me, but for now this system works and permits me to quickly identify heritage with a quick glance at the colored leg bands. The truth is, I'm a softie when it comes to animals. Even if I'm raising them for meat I just feel better knowing I gave them a good life before butchering them.
     

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