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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    Ha ha, to most all of you that answered this, not much dedication of data came into play with your answers! It appears you may gather it but when it gets right down to it, you know more about your birds and breeds than the data shows? Even though shes the best egg layer in your whole flock as the data shows, you would have other issues holding you back.
    I liked the statement that birds that eat less produce more eggs!
     
  2. neopolitancrazy

    neopolitancrazy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ROFL!! I drove my husband crazy a couple of years ago weighing chicks every week or two. I think that much data was/is overkill. Instead of open-ended data collection, I am more focused on specific goals this year. I want my flock to produce broilers/fryers with a decent amount of meat on their bones, so I will weigh chicks at ~ 8 weeks (broiler age) and ~16 weeks (fryer age). We will butcher the lightest one third at those ages. I also want my birds to reach the Standard weights in a reasonable amount of time so will weigh at 6 months and 12 months. I will use that data (plus a few other points) to choose the next generation of breeders. So, no, the smallest ones don't hang around long enough to come into lay.
    Best wishes,
    Angela
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I think your first question was vastly different and overshadowed by your second question. First you asked how important data was to us, then you asked us if our data revealed a bird such as you described if we would breed her. If we were taking down data and it revealed such a bird, then I would say that, according to your particular goals, then the data on that bird would help you make a decision on whether you would breed her or not.

    Since we don't currently have data on an ugly, featherless, scrawny good layer, we couldn't possibly provide data on her or determine how much of our decision would come from direct data, now could we? Did you want us to produce some theoretical data for the theoretical situation, then demonstrate how we would apply it to your theoretical questions...is that the goal of your questions?

    I'm a little confused. [​IMG]
     
  4. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Easy there, Hoss. Some of us are going for more than just egg production - my goal is decent (not good, not excellent) layers with the cockerels being meaty enough to bother with learning to caponize. If my goal was ONLY egg production, then yes I would use the ugly small egg machine. Hatcheries do that all the time. [​IMG] It is what fits their business model.
     
  5. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much time do I have to figure out ROFL ? So you are more into data of meat birds than egg laying? IMO I think some but not all data is very important. Some breeders breed for speciffics and data along with other things that seem to be most important. Each chicken breed can be very different. If you get to know the breed long enough, you almost know what to expect from them.
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My apologies people! I had read an article on here and that person said this year they were going to collect all sorts of data including point of lay. I was just creating a "what if " scenario to see how much value people actually placed on data verses their personal observations and goals. To me, all that data collecting doesnt mean a thing if you cant apply it to what you want to do! :gig You might be seeing something totally different than what the data shows.
     
  7. dfr1973

    dfr1973 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ROFL = Rolling on the Floor Laughing = [​IMG]

    The big thing about breeding for dual purpose is it is a balancing act. You can breed for egg production and get one general body type. If you breed for meat production, then you get a different body type. Think commercial strains of white Leghorn and the commercial strains of Cornish-Rock. Those are the extreme ends of the spectrum, and somewhere in between are the dual purpose breeds. Even among those of us looking for eggs AND meat in one breed will still have a different yardstick in our minds of what we are aiming towards. Now toss in different breeds. Then just for fun, toss in the variable of who is starting with what on hand to breed with (P generation) and then some of us are more towards the beginning than others.

    Also, not all of us are compulsive about collecting hard data. That would be me! LOL I am going by what I see, and who looks like he'd be most beautiful in a roasting pan surrounded by potatoes and carrots and garlic cloves. The cockerel who looks the tastiest will be my breeder (already named Azar). Same over in the broiler pullets tractor - the pullets who look like a nice tasty meal will be breeders. In the Wyandotte pullet tractor, I am needing to loosen the standards a bit to include, "Who will not be crushed by Azar in the breeding pen?!?" [​IMG] The pullets are all already selected from egg laying lines, since they are hatchery stock ... which is why I will not be using a small one because that would be too small. I might go out one morning to find a pullet pancake when Azar gets grown. [​IMG] Another angle on the meat side of utility is how they flesh out, not simply total live weight. I want to see lovely round breasts and nice meaty thighs and drumsticks. Who will look the best on my holiday serving platter? That is the one I want to breed my future holiday capons from!

    I planted two trees this morning that I didn't originally plan on - my neighbor brought them over in one hand with his shovel in the other asking where I wanted them. I am going to spend most of the afternoon inside here at the computer if you are wanting clarification or more in-depth discussion. This is helping me articulate my goals, and now that I've mulled over your original question, I have a better idea of what I will tolerate in the breeding pen for this next year, and what I will exclude despite any other positive attributes.
     
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Isn't personal observation and goals data, whether it is written down or not? Isn't it stored in your mind as you go about choosing what you want to do with your flock each season? Just because it isn't written down doesn't mean it isn't "data".

    The definition of data is this:


    Quote: I'm not real big on writing things down either, but I do keep data in my mind on each of these chickens. It's not in clear cut bullet charts and broken down into numbers but a general, overall picture of their performance, appearance over a season, their general feed consumption, etc. I spend a lot of time out there in observation and collection of that data, so just because it isn't written down and can't be placed into a spread sheet doesn't mean I can't have goals and good results from my breeding efforts.

    This year, however, I want to be able to write down things, as I am losing my short term memory. Have been doing so for the past few years now and, since I know this, I feel it's better if I can refer to my notes to see when this one or that one started laying, when she molted, what chicks feathered out quicker and how that played out in their development, etc. I'll never remember it all if I don't. I'll even have a time remembering to write it all down! It's a challenge to get into this when one is already too old to keep things straight. [​IMG]

    Of course I'll use that data for my breeding strategies, that's why I'm taking that down. I want to breed for a good POL so I won't have to feed birds for 8 mo. before I see any food out of them. That also will accomplish earlier maturity on my males, so they will be a goodly size when I butcher them out....I don't want to feed them any longer than I have to do to produce food.

    I want to breed for good production, so attempting to record egg yields is important to my breeding strategy. I don't like feeding animals that are not worth the feed. Recording their abdominal capacity and pelvic measurements will help me in determining what birds are built for good laying of large and extra large eggs, and large quantities of that, and which are not. That data will be utilized to breed birds built for laying. I don't have trap nests so I have to accumulate all the data from these measurements as I can.

    So far, in my small pool of data, Hogan's measurements are showing me a few things...particularly about the layers I already possess and why they are or are not good layers, according to his methods. So far I can see real accuracy in his points of evaluation of their bodies and he's right on the money....that one hen doesn't have the capacity or width that would indicate a good layer and sure enough, she's not, though according to her breeding and breed she should be better than she is. Same for another hen. Another hen is a great layer and her measurements correspond accordingly to his charts.

    I love testing his methods and will continue to do so in this year's breeding pens.
     
  9. gevshiba

    gevshiba Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I jumped into turkeys pretty fast 4 years ago. I built a tractor out of old trampoline legs, wood, pvc, welded wire and tarps. I had never built anything before. My turkeys lived about 6 miles away from where I live, in a heavy predator prone area. That summer and fall, we had some horrible straight line winds out of the NE. Every time, I was sure my tractor and birds would be gone. Every time, they were still there. The tractor wasn't always in the same place, but it was right side up. One day, a friend came and took the turkeys to her place and showed me how to butcher them. That night, we had big winds again. I went over to feed the horses and my tractor was gone. The wind had picked it up and blown it several hundred feet. It was laying upside down, stopped by a pasture fence. All we can figure is, those birds must have been holding that pen down for dear life, every time the wind blew. That tractor was retired after that.
     
  10. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Bee I wish I had a brain as resourceful as yours!! I tend to prefer written data in general rather than rely on memory. OR at least MY memory. lol
     

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