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dark brahma weights

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by currychick, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. currychick

    currychick New Egg

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    Mar 16, 2012
    Curry County, OR
    Hello,
    I'm new and wanting to start breeding dark brahmas for conservation and productivity (consuming the eggs and culled birds along the way.) I have a few questions:

    1. Anyone have live weight records from their own use of dark brahmas as meat birds? I'm not sure what ages would be recommended for documenting for culling . . . I know for some breeds it is recommended that you weigh at 8 weeks and then again at 12 weeks. Given the slow growth, I'm thinking of weighing and physically handling the birds at 12 weeks and then again at 24 weeks. Will they track (largest younger still be largest later)? Or I'm thinking there may be some anomalies where early developers may not grow as large ultimately? Does anyone have records or experience to share?

    2. Has anyone tracked their rate of lay? I'm wondering if those that start to lay first will 'burn out' with weight or rate of lay compared to a slightly later layer? Anyone figure out an average start of lay that or rate of lay to select for in breeding for standard (utility)?

    3. Are there any dark brahma breeders that focus on utility (winter laying, large roasting carcass, and other productivity features the brahmas were once known for)? Internet searches find a handful of breeders focusing on show birds, but I'm wondering about utility brahmas (that meet the breed standard in utility as well as appearance)? Recommended brahma sources?

    Thank you! I just want a home flock, but with my assumptions, I think a conservation spiral breeding program would generate more than sufficient eggs and meat within a self-sustaining flock - and improving the productivity of the flock would be a fun objective.
     
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    I have never considered Dark Brahmas to use as meat birds mainly because I don't know if it would be cost effective to feed them for 24 weeks vs 8-10 weeks for Cornish cross. You will have to keep a log and keep us informed on your project. It will be interesting. :thumbsup
     

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