BREEDING FOR PRODUCTION...EGGS AND OR MEAT.

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

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    neopolitancrazy, Yes, I will try to snap some photos of the blue orp gals and post. Dont look for blue coloring per say because mine are either black or a silver gray with black neck hackles. I dont have any splash varieties as yet. Drat, they are the pretty ones!
     
  2. southernmomma

    southernmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've really enjoyed the climate of the thread as of late~ I'm one of those (mostly) lurkers but I do make the effort to glean ALL the info instead of bits and pieces. So thank you for the egg white debate :)

    Mobile pens are genius but most "designs", like bnjrob mentions, are not acutally all that mobile, lol. We need diesel strength to move ours also and are planning another that is actually mobile. If you use a cattle panel and wrap it with a smaller opening wire you can have a pen in a day. A single panel is pretty easy to make a low/wide pen or a short/high pen. Perfect size for a single cock and they are cheap to purchase. With panels you don't need much lumber for the skeleton.

    I would love to see more numbers, results, etc talked about.....I hope all that are planning their breeding season can come back and talk about lay rates of a pullet year, weights, rate of growth, maturity, carcass quality, yada yada yada...

    gjensen poses questions to force an introspective look at ones own goals~ whether you are the original poster of the thoughts or someone just reading.


    If anyone has a line on a specific hatchery/breed broody I would appreciate a heads up. I'm not interested in cochins or silkies and am thinking of acquiring a back-up plan.

    Cheers,
    M
     
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  3. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

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    @southernmomma The tractor I'm planning on is going to use cattle panels, sorta hoop house mobile tractor.
    I believe many breeds can make good broodies, comes down more to the individual bird. All bantams are pretty much known for being good broody hens, doesn't have to be a silkie. My father used a black Japanese for years, hatched out hudreds of eggs. He traded a rabbit for her, great investment. She was very hardy, took our cold winters well, I don't think a silkie would without coddling. And though she was small, she sat on large numbers of eggs, and held her own against the RIRs, none of them messed with the chicks. She even sat on and hatched out eight turkey eggs once right after hatching a bunch of reds.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
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  4. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Mobile pens can easily be lightweight enough to move, provided they are small enough, or they are made out of lightweight materials like pvc pipe or very thin wood products like many pre-fab chicken houses. But you trade off durability and chicken safety.

    Honestly it drives me crazy to have people lamenting about their poultry losses when they made pens out of things like PVC and hog panel tied on with zip ties. That is not going to withstand a persistent predator attack (especially of a dog/coyote), and it isn't going to stay put in high winds. And the tarps and lightweight sheet metal on these cheaply made, lightweight things, especially the large style chicken tractors that seem to be popular - they make a great sail to send the pen across the pasture or into the next county in a storm.

    You don't see farmers and ranchers building horse and cow barns out of bamboo and rope, but that's exactly the sort of thing that many chicken keepers build their pens out of because they don't consider their chickens to be valuable livestock. And chicken wire....it keeps chickens in but it won't keep a predator out, yet people use it because it is cheap and easy.

    For us, we can't just make a call and get replacement birds if any are killed. And for anyone that is seriously breeding for a trait, even if they are just using cheap birds they got at a feed store, they're going to feel the loss if they lose birds because the housing was insufficient for all possible problems.

    That's something that I see happen often, especially with new chicken owners - trying to be too cheap, too easy, too light, or too cute with their chicken housing, only to find out that it doesn't stand up to a worse case scenario. Building too cheap, too easy, too light - surefire ways to waste money either in poultry losses or in time and money later in having to redo or completely remake chicken pens.
     
  5. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

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    Thanks @bnjrob you've given me one more thing to consider on my tractor plans, high winds, I lost a steel garage once to high wind, I'll save that for another post. My plan is for a large, long one, eventually two. I think the hog panels with with hardware cloth will keep out any predators. A actual coop will be on one end, no tarp except in winter, I think I will stake it down then, don't plan on moving it in winter anyway. I'm pretty shure I should beable to move it around, I think the key is big wheels on the coop end. I can move a large utility trailer, and have dragged around a popup camper around by hand.
     
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  6. southernmomma

    southernmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you can ease up on the heavy-duty materials a bit if you have a system that supports it. ie electric fences and or guardians. I think tarps are very useful and come in different styles (light to heavy to lined) that, again, are useful if you have a system to support it ie stakes for the pen and cross ventilation that reduces the 'sail' effect.

    I know a real farmer, in person, that produces broilers for 2 farmers markets and several restaurants using pvc pens with tarps. They utilize stakes, hot wires and guardian dogs. They are a legit, profitable business.

    There is no right or wrong way; there just needs to be a complete system in place that supports each aspect of your management style. @bnjrob , it sounds like you have a system that works for you and your surroundings.[​IMG]

    I agree that many folks tend towards half-assed construction and then wonder how and why they have no poultry left.[​IMG]

    M
     
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  7. Beer can

    Beer can Chicken Obsessed

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    On that steel garage, bought a Arrow kit one, looked kinda like the sheds you see at home depot. Except this was powder coated instead of painted, little heavier framework and actual steel roof trusses. 14'x31' with a large roll up garage door, and high open ceiling. I paid $4,000 for it, came in boxes. My old Case 530 ck backhoe fit in it perfect, just had to extend the boom until I got in and then bring it up, plenty of room. We planned on moving so I figured I'd make it somewhat movable. Bolted it down to a frame of 4x4 treated, filled in with gravel for floor. We moved the next winter, brother inlaw bought our trailer and I was going to move the garage in the spring. The only thing I can figure happened when we had a day of 80mph wind gusts is the roll up door must have blew in first, the whole thing was on its roof on the other side of the trailer, completely mangled, nothing salvageable except for scrap tin and I had four double light four foot florecent shop lights in it, all bulbs still work.
    Nope didn't have it ancored down, and no insurance on it.
     
  8. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Exactly. A good system will let you skimp on some things. The reduce-reuse-recycle craze has been really bad about teaching people how to use scrap materials to make cheap animal housing, but I rarely see any emphasis on making sure that it will work in your situation. Or what to do in order to make it work.
     
  9. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL - nothing like learning from mistakes, particularly someone else's. We learned from other folks mistakes and then a few of our own, which is why we have a variety of different houses built as we discovered things we liked and disliked about each of them.

    Depends on the situation with those big wheels. Our first and largest/heaviest tractor wound up bogging down with very little moisture in the ground. We wound up having to put two axles and 4 trailer tires (real vehicle tires) on it in order to be able to move it anytime other than August when the ground was hard packed and we hadn't had rain for more than a month. Even large wheel barrow type wheels were not enough - the width of the tire was too narrow and would just get rutted in the pasture unless the ground was hard and cracking. One of those things you sometimes have to play with until you find the right tire diameter and width to make it work as well as you want.
     
  10. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Crap. You'd have thought it would be heavy enough being that large.
     

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