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Chicken Breed Growth Rates

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Homestead Style, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Homestead Style

    Homestead Style New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2012
    North Alabama
    I have tried to research and find a chart that shows the different growth rates of chickens. However, I have not been very successful. I am trying to find out what the fastest growing chicken ( outside of Cornish Crosses ) is in months or weeks. It has been over 20 years since I have raised chickens, so I am out of the loop on the different breeds and growth rates.
     
  2. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
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    The henderson chart indicates whether they mature early or not which is a semi indicator. early maturing lays eggs earlier but also attains their weight sooner is my guess. However most early to mature is also lighter weights with the exception of ameraucanas they are late maturing and small.

    If you find one that talks about body size at age I'd love to get a link here in your post.
     
  3. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2011
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    Some of the best birds you will find are delawares or del x hamp (Indian rivers) I have had both. The del x hamps were ready for butcher in 16 to 18 weeks. Delawares have been ready in the 18 to 20 week range. My Indian rivers grew larger than the delawares too, but that can all depend on strains. My dells are hatchery and my rivers were non hatchery birds.
     
  4. Homestead Style

    Homestead Style New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2012
    North Alabama
    Great Info from you both. Going by the Henderson chart, it seems that the New Hamps and Dels is a solid choice. I wonder how Rocks and New Hamps would fare together? My goal here is to choose the optimum birds I can breed and still achieve a fairly descent growth rate. I know Cornish Crosses don't fare well after they reach full weight, so breeding a second gen. cross isn't a good idea. Anything less than a six month growth would be ideal for me.
     
  5. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Less than 6 months gives you lots of options. What weight are you trying to achieve in 6 months?
     
  6. Homestead Style

    Homestead Style New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2012
    North Alabama
    Between 6 and 8 lbs. would be ideal. I want to use the same hens to lay, raise and slaughter the chicks for my freezers. I will have 10 hens and 1 or 2 roosters for production. Minus the 21 day hatch period, I was looking for a 4 to 6 month broiler weight between 6 and 8 lbs.
     
  7. naillikwj82

    naillikwj82 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2011
    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Only if a person starts with large fowl exhibiton stock can they expect to exceed a 3 1/2 pound carcass wieght. Hatchery stocks have been pushed for egg producing birds, not meat production. Remember QUALITY IN = QUALITY OUT.
    Also for some wieght gain, and better meat quality consider caponizing the cockerals. When you narrow your breed choices down, I would suggest finding the appropriate club to locate a breeder in your area and make arrangements to acquire a Trio of birds to start your flock.
     
  8. WinklerFarms

    WinklerFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tru but hatcheries also breed for quick maturing. I have some hatchery birds and both the RIR and black australorp would be more than 4 pounds processed. They are about 5 months old. It can depend on what hatchery they are from.
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Rule of thumb. The smaller the breed, they faster they mature. If you are raising meat, then a bird ready to butcher in 4 months needs to weigh more than 2 pounds live weight. Those little leghorns grow up really quickly, but they don't put much meat on your table.

    Fast maturing probably should not be your best criteria. You also need size and good feed conversion.

    If you raise Pekin ducks, they are a heritage breed and self-replicating. Some strains lay a huge number of eggs and you can grow an 8 pound live weight duck in 8 weeks. Or even more. Some of mine were over 9 pounds at 8 weeks.
     
  10. kizanne

    kizanne Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now if only I liked duck! I think they are the cutest little things I'd get them their own nice little pond but me and hubby don't really like duck.

    I do like several of the chickens though.

    Homestead - I'm currently working with several birds to do pretty much the same thing. One of my hopeful projects right now is crossing a black broiler with a red broiler. They are both hybrids so the result I'm sure will not necessarily be consistent. However, if I like the general bird that comes out of the mix then I can keep these hens and roo for 3-4 years. I couldn't keep the same lines going forever like you can with heritage birds. I kept the red girls cause the reds grew consistenly and the girls at about 20 weeks were 6.2 pounds. I kept the black roo because he grew to a nice size rather quickly (no CX quick). He also is mating but not crowing much. He doesn't spur me either. His mating seems to be fertile as I have several eggs in the incubator now that seem to be developing and when cracked I see the bullseye. Not cracking too many right now though I'm loading my bator.

    I have other mixes I'm working with as well. I have several americauna eggs in the bator fertilized by the broiler or my 10 pound Orphington roo. I threw those in cause we did in some americauna roos earlier this year and they were surprisingly meaty for a small bird and very tasty. Hoping the Orphington will fill them out a little. The hens can be easter eggers or sold on craigslist. Since I sell fresh eggs having a few easter eggers never hurt.

    Also have some Barred rock x Orphington in the bator.
    A few Marans x Orphington really have high hopes for this one.

    Have some quality French copper marans eggs and barnvelder eggs on order for about 2 more weeks to fill the bator when this batch comes out in 2 weeks. Long term plan is marans or barnvelders x delawares or wyandottes.

    Just working with what I have grown and laying right now. Have some teen delawares too though they are craigslist probably hatchery stock. Keeping the largest and processing the rest.
     

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