BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

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    The breeds I've decided on for meat birds I'm thinking now might be harmed by to much protein after reading these comments. Jersey Giants and Langshans. I was thinking back to when I first became a BYC member and someone on the upstate NY thread posted pics of her new great dane puppy. I commented that I had had a boxer and fed him high protein large breed Eukanuba (pre wife and fam days I survived on ramen noodles and beer Lol) and he ended up ten pounds heavier and much more filled out than his two brothers that my friends had and fed cheap dog food. She said it was the worst thing you could do to a great dane, they needed a low protein diet, a special diet to help them grow slow, or they have all sorts of health issues. I looked it up and she was right. Now I'm thinking these giant birds might need the same idea being they take a long time to mature??
     
  2. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In regards to fermented feed, I tried it and thought my birds did well on it, but didn't like the fermented crumble, (plus my husband constantly complained about the smell of fermented fish meal.) Also, with my work schedule, (12 to 24 hour shifts,) it is much more convenient to have large feeders of dry feed that are replenished on a weekly basis. I realize this leaves some available overnight to feed rodents, but I can't check on the chickens multiple times per day.

    I totally believe the scientific research that supports probiotics in the diet of all non-ruminants, and all ruminants off pasture. Thank you, Beekissed, for drawing my attention to it with your "old-timers" thread. I can see that increased surface area in the small intestine, and increased health of the intestinal mucosa would have enormous and far-reaching benefits. I have decided to try a powdered probiotic called SuperDFM Poultry in their water. So far, it dissolves well in their water, not gunking up the nipple waterers.

    I can't speak to the exact amount of protein my birds require as I recently changed breeds, and don't know how they will respond to my system. My previous breed, Dorkings, did phenomenally better on 30% protein than on 20%; other heritage breeds may do the same, I don't really know. However, SARE quotes white clover as being about 28% crude protein (http://www.sare.org/Learning-Center.../Text-Version/Legume-Cover-Crops/White-Clover.) The various sprouts seem to supply between 20 and 35% protein (http://www.healthyeatingadvisor.com/sprouts.html.) Freeze-dried mealworms exceed 50% protein, (http://www.amazon.com/Tasty-Worms-Freeze-Mealworms-Approximately/dp/B00L5PAZEA,) and dried black soldier fly prepupae apparently run ~ 40-44% protein, (http://www.feedipedia.org/node/16388.) It appears to me that a chicken's natural summer diet is quite high in protein. I am sticking with the 30% protein ration I currently use until I see that the chicks have problems with it. If they have problems I will switch to 20%. Either way, I get lots of high-N fertilizer to improve my sandy soil.

    Best wishes,
    Angela
     
  3. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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  4. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    You bring up some interesting ideas.

    1. Carbs are certainly important to a human diet. There are recommendations in the qty of servings per day. There is also a difference between good enough and ideal. I also would not compare the traditional diets of people that died young, and had poor birthing rates. Surviving is one thing, and thriving is another. I would agree however, that we could afford to eat far less and do quite well. We do tend to eat too much. There is a biological reason however, that we crave carbs and fat.
    Most of the extreme versions of 0 carb diets are ideological and faddish to be frank. We are better served by a balanced approach and catering our carb intake to our activity level. Ofcourse there ay be good reasons to take a radical approach for a time. Humans have proved to be adaptable. Chickens can survive off bamboo leaves or brown rice alone, but it does not mean it is ideal. Far from it.

    2. Chickens are not people, and people are not chickens. Your resting heart rate is probably in the 60s. Maybe a little more or less. The chickens resting heart rate is 200+. Enough to kill some people. I have had my HR get to 220 a few times and I assure that it is not comfortable, and it wears you out. Athletes our age are pushing and maintaining their HR @ 150. The differences in respiration, digestion, etc. etc. are sharp and dramatic. An equivalence in dietary requirements cannot be had.

    3. You are correct that the protein amounts in the bagged feeds is a relative minimum for them to do well. That does not mean that doubling it is the answer either. We tend to drift towards extremes. I assure you, and I encourage you to try it, that if you took two batches of buckeyes from the same parents, fed one 20% and another 28% that at one year (if all else was equal) they would be in the same place. One batch you spent more money on, and another less. Certainly we will see a difference @ 12-16 wks, so if they are broilers . . .good. Eating birds is another story. pullets is another, and breeders are another.
    There is a tendency to see early results, and draw definite conclusions. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Where they are at in 12 wks. and in 52 wks. is two different things. Genetics will rule at 52wks.
     
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  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Quote: I agree! My youngsters often look rangy compared to other people's birds of the same breed and age, but I raise mine on foraged feeds primarily and use the formulated feeds as a supplement to that. As a consequence, those with birds raised in a coop and pen setting, on formulated feeds for the entirety of their lives and fed free choice, will see a more sleek, larger bird at a certain age. When they all mature, mine look the same as theirs and perform similarly as well, so genetics has more to do with their actual size at maturity~if feeds are not deficient in some manner~than does feed type and amount of proteins, IME.

    I have found the same to be true of meat birds...it's not what or how much they are fed that determines their ultimate muscle content at maturity. If that were the case, we could all feed our boys up on some primo feed as youngsters and have NFL linebackers at the finish, regardless of their genetic traits.
     
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  7. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Depends on how high of protein you were thinking of going and how fast you were thinking of pushing the birds.

    We raise Javas. In the 1800s, many large black birds were called Javas, including Langshans sometimes, because there were both feather legged and clean shanked birds being called Javas back then. So there is a possibility of having original Langshan blood in the Java's ancestry. The standard weights for Langshans are the same as for Javas. The Java was one of the breeds used to create the Jersey Giant. Many people did not want the Jersey Giant accepted into the Standard because they said that it was nothing more than an oversized Java. There is old literature that says there were Javas in the 1800s that were as large as what the standard wt is for the Jersey Giant.

    Knowing this about the breeds you have chosen and how we've done with our Javas, I would say that you do not want to skimp on the protein. Yes, too much growth too fast, like in the dog, is a problem. But I have not seen this occurring with our Javas. They develop HUGE bones to support their weight well. My husband is still in awe every time we roast one and have this huge leg that looks like a small turkey leg you'd get at a fair. And most of the males we butcher are the ones that are smaller than the standard weight.

    We had been using a 24% chick feed from Tractor Supply labeled for quail/turkeys,/games but they have now dropped the protein level in it, so we are going to have to find a different chick feed for this year's chicks. For those older than 3 months, we use the Purina Flockraiser that is 21% protein. We have not had any problems with organ damage due to high protein or problems building a good skeletal structure. My husband is a veterinarian that sees birds as patients, so he knows what he is looking at when he butchers chickens. So don't be afraid to go a little higher than the usual 16-20% chick feed and layer feed that most folks buy for their backyard egg layers.
     
  8. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

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    My quest is for the biggest capons possible. The reason I want to go high protein is not to speed up growth but to save $. Javas were a breed I seriously considered before deciding on White Jersey Giants and the Langshans. I still might try them down the road but at the moment the chicken math is really making the wife mad Lol! The part of preserving a breed appeals to me also, why I decided on the white giants, Javas are I think in the same category of it seems people don't notice or care, haven't hard of anybody having javas. Why I want to go with high protein is I would like to minimize the amount of feed I have to buy $$. Knowing they are a super slow growing breeds. The plan was; free range, tons of free cottage cheese, ground whole fish also free, duckweed free, and heck maybe a fresh road killed deer ground up Lol, anything to save $. I tried feeding the chickens I have when they were growing 40% solids condensed whey that I also get free high in protein also, mixed with their grower pellet feed, but they didn't seem to care much for it, so I stopped that.
     
  9. hellbender

    hellbender Overrun With Chickens

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    I'll likely never re-post it but you should look up my Formula for chicken feed. It's on this thread somewhere. [​IMG]
     
  10. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    As long as they have access to some complete nutritional feed to make up for anything that they don't get from foraging and the other higher protein items you mentioned, I don't see why you can't try this, at least with some of them. Really, until you start raising them and see how it goes and what things look like when you butcher, you're just not gonna know how they will do. We've tweaked our feeding several times in the last few years as we watched everyone grow out and saw what the carcasses looked like. No reason not to try it out on some of them and see how it goes. Then you'd have something to compare rather than doing the entire flock that way and not being sure if what you were seeing was related to food, genetics, or something else.
     

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