BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. bmvf

    bmvf Chirping

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    So, it finally got above freezing this week and suddenly I realize how much needs to be done either before or soon after the new baby (due in 2 weeks) arrives. I have my 6 small fruit trees to prune, new grape vines and berries to plant, and the entire garden to work and plant when the snow finally disappears. I'm hoping to go organic-ish no-till using raised beds which need to be formed. Also this year we're attempting to go to spring seasonal calving with the dairy herd. Breeding will start in 5 weeks and will be a hectic/frantic push to get cows pregnant by the end of May.

    I also want to do another hatch and may use one of my new Delaware males on my NH's. I did 2 hatches this year with my NH's and had miserable results. First batch 10 hatched of 42 eggs. As I PM'd @gjensen , 18 of the unhatched had fully developed chicks that appeared to die a few days before the others hatched. I had issues with my hot water system 3 days before hatch and the room the incubator was in got hot with temps in the incubator spiking above 102 degrees (circulated air). So I tried again with a new batch of eggs within the week with worse results. I started with 35 eggs and removed 3 infertile at candling. I had 7 hatch. Two unhatched eggs that I had time to open had fully developed chicks again. So there goes my temp spiking theory and I'm back to square one. All chicks except for two that I helped hatch (yes I know not to help) are doing very well. None will be used for breeding stock.

    I had a very successful hatch last fall with this incubator, but did it in a different location and with different birds. I don't think it's the new birds. I noticed this past time when I removed the incubator that the temp gauge was near the motor for the auto turner. Could it have showed a warmer temp than the rest of the incubator? Also, I only used one thermometer although this is one I used last fall for the successful hatch. The incubator was kept in the supply room of my milk house where I keep my vacuum pump, furnace, rear of the bulk tank, hot water system, etc. It's very warm and dry there even with temps dropping outside to negative digits. It was tough to keep humidity levels up in the incubator especially late at hatch. Adding water in the morning would raise it, but by evening I had to add more water. Also, I didn't know if the loud noise of the vacuum pump and the possible vibration would cause any harm.

    One other question, if I want to switch roosters, is 4-5 weeks is long enough? The Del males will be 5 months old in three weeks. And that reminds me..... I also have to butcher the lesser male Delawares and any pullets I don't want. They're starting to fight with each other. Maybe today.....
     

  2. hellbender

    hellbender Crowing

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    Grinder's Switch
    I have no answers but I was wondering what you do in your spare time? [​IMG]

    I call myself a farmer. We plant enormous gardens and many acres in corn. We raise a goodly herd of beef cattle etc but we don't get into things that really requires serious effort.

    My hat is off to you, sir.

    EDIT: Let me expound on the 'serious effort' part. yes, there is serious effort put forth on the things we really enjoy doing...for everything else, we pay someone else to do it.

    bmvf...I hope when you retire, you can sit back and relax too.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2015
  3. RedRidge

    RedRidge Songster

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    Cock fighting is illegal yes. But for many around here it is still very, very common. ;-)
     
  4. RedRidge

    RedRidge Songster

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    For some of us, farming is both our livelihood and our retirement. Retirement is not an age, it's an ability to support yourself without someone else writing the pay check.
    We sold the commercial dairy and cheese processing facility, so no longer have any employees. I milk 2 cows, 6 sheep, keep about a dozen adult cows, 2 bulls, 60 head of sheep, 200 head of poultry, and I won't bother counting the rabbits and bees. We have 3 gardens, but only one is year round. Retirement is loving what you do. I guess I retired when I was 35.
     
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  5. RedRidge

    RedRidge Songster

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    As far as mean cocks... in my experience the hatchery cocks are nasty. I keep a dozen standard bred and they are sweet as honey.
     
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  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Songster

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    Hellbender, Good point of interest. The restrictions and sale of susceptible live stock to my knowledge is regional and territorial. I know of a few friends that had to go through testing and approval of their stock before they were cleared to sell. This is the time of year when bird species migrate and most definitely could be carriers of Al. Yes, it is good to be cautious and question your supplier. What are the signs a person would look for? I assume dead bird species other than your chickens might be one of those cautions?
     
  7. hellbender

    hellbender Crowing

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    Oh, I fully understand your position. Both my father and grandfather were full-time farmers...before and after they left their second job in the coal mines. I was fortunate to have had a reasonably successful career and other circumstances that allowed me to be a 'Hobby Farmer' for the last 27 or so years and it's been interesting.

    I have made certain changes around here that I should have done more than 20 years ago but I didn't ...so I must have liked the laborious part more than I remember...especially when arthritis and other injuries lay me low...[​IMG]

    Yet another EDIT: My life was and is, in my mind, far easier than was my parent's and I fully intend for my kids to have it easier yet but they all could thrive in the world without any assistance from me because they were born with a strong work ethic and I've made sure they exercised that ethic, just about every day of there lives. [​IMG]
     
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  8. hellbender

    hellbender Crowing

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    Grinder's Switch
    I'm only guessing because we've been very lucky, not to have suffered AI to any point it could be noticed but I suspect sneezing/coughing,wheezing...low or no food intake...You might want to google this for a comprehensive understanding and if I'm off the mark PLEASE let us know what you find!
     
  9. gjensen

    gjensen Crowing

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    4-5 wks is long enough. Often two weeks is enough to get eggs candling clear, but not always. Two weeks without a male, and one with the new one is usually enough. There are exceptions, and supposedly it can be up to 30 days. I candle my eggs after two weeks. If all or the vast majority are candling clear, then I put in the new male, and wait another week. The process always ends up taking around 4wks.
     
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  10. gjensen

    gjensen Crowing

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    The bad thing and good thing about AI, is there is no not knowing something is wrong. They will start dropping like flies.
     

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