BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    Hmm....That makes sense since deep litter is essentially a form of composting. I live in the desert SW and have been using DE in my deep litter and it's still been decomposing normally. I even use DE in my straw bale garden without moisture issues. Interesting. Now I'm going to be watching all of this more closely.
     
  2. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    I do not want to encourage complicating it for anyone. We should get to know when and how they grow out though. Otherwise we do not know much. We should be able to look back at a point and see our progress or not. Every breed is different and should be different. Every project is different. I would not want a NH to grow out like a Red. I would have a different mindset for a laced variety of Wyandotte than I would a White Wyandotte etc.

    The main point is get to know them, and establish some system to improve them.

    I say this because I do not want others to think I am saying to make a graph. Simply weighing them at 8wks, and then 12 or 16 wks is good enough. With observation you can see what they are doing. After knowing what they are doing you can get away with weighing them at a single target date. We should know what their curve is looks like though. A point to look at is when you start seeing all of the feathers laying around. They are molting into their adult feathers, and growth will be much slower from there. They are devoting more protein and energy into the replacement of feather. They have reached a big chunk of their adult size. Do they have any meat on them at this point? They should if they are a dual purpose bird with an emphasis on meat. when you start seeing all of that feather everywhere, weigh them, and note the date. Maybe dress a couple. Examine them. How much did they gain while molting. No what age are they at? How much are they eating? 4oz per day? 5oz? How much longer do you think they need to grow? How many do you want to?

    I have been mentioning this to "raise the bar". To encourage a process and intentional rather than casual effort. To know them. To think about it. Everyone comes up with their own way. You have to work with what you have, but we should know what we have. Our goals should be realistic. We should not let them dictate all of it forever though. Nothing changes like that.

    Picking the biggest bird is easier said than done. There are a lot of considerations to make with a pure breed. The more complicated the color, the more considerations and selection points. A percentage should be grown all of the way out for evaluation.
     
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  3. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    It would take a lot of DE to change the moisture content in deep bedding for any length of time. DE is useless in the bedding, and useless against parasites. DE has some potential in some applications, but very few concerning our birds. If it makes us feel better by spending the extra money, then so be it.

    ETA: Wood ash is a good addition to dusting material. Dust baths help rid the birds of parasites, but do not count on it. Confined birds are sitting ducks.
    Management aids prevention, but like it or not, it takes something toxic to actually kill mites. Once they become established, it requires an actual effort to get rid of them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
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  4. Beer can

    Beer can True BYC Addict

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    Put them in a pillow case and use a hanging fish scale. I'm joking but it would work. I got a bunch of crap on one thread for suggesting someone transport their chickens in feed sacks, it didn't go over good with the people on that thread. That's how my father always did it. Once you get them in the dark sack they calm right down and don't even move, kinda like covering the head of a scared horse.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2015
  5. gjensen

    gjensen Overrun With Chickens

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    Turn the lights back on, or wait. The length of day is the biggest factor. If you have birds molting now (an odd time), did you trigger a molt by cutting the lights off?

    You want the lights on a timer, and for them to cut on in the morning. It cannot change from day to day.

    As late into the winter, it might be best to wait now. I do not where you live or what you have. They should b increasing on their own by now, or soon.
     
  6. DesertChic

    DesertChic Overrun With Chickens

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    No worries! I wasn't accusing you of pushing anything or complicating anything. It was more of an "aha!" moment for me as I'm a very visual person and a graph makes perfect sense. My quirky sense of humor doesn't always translate well into text, but I'm actually quite grateful for the revelation. I'm all for more information so that I may make informed decisions and appreciate your and others' wonderful little nuggets of insight.
     
  7. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dueling Rooster, Freezing water? Sounds like you have a source of electric within the coop? TSC and other pet stores have gallon plus heated dog dishes which some of us chicken lovers use. Made of heavy duty plastic and the plug wire is wrapped with nonabrasive coil protectant wire. Have not had a day as yet with frozen or frosted water! Priced around $20.00 or less? Good investment to save on maintenance!
     
  8. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beer can! I'll buy into the sack idea. This is how I take my chickens to the butcher. Yes, they do calm down and your father was a smart man!
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    That's how folks always did it back in my youth, as few had those fancy wooden crates, but everyone had feed sacks and bailing twine. It does settle them down and keeps them from injuring themselves by flapping around. I've even transported by tying the legs, putting down an old sleeping bag, placing the birds on it and laying a flap of the sleeping bag over them. Worked like a charm in the absence of crate OR gunny sack.
     
  10. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Beekissed, Heres a tip for the legs. I buy a package of ponytail elastic stretch bands. I double them and stretch over their feet and onto their ankles.
     
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