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Feed Efficient Breed?

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by tulie13, Oct 28, 2009.

  1. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there a chart or guideline on what breeds tend to be the most feed efficient when it comes to egg production? I have Buff Orps, EE's, and one Speckled Sussex left in my flock of hens after an outbreak of coccidiosis, and I'm looking at getting some more chicks in the spring.

    My friend saw some Silver Laced Wyandottes at a fair, and the guy who raises them was bragging about how feed-efficient they were. They are a "dual purpose" bird, and as such I figured they would be similar in feed consumption to Buffs and Sussex, not sure about the EE's as they are a smaller bird. But am I wrong on that assumption? Are there significant differences in feed efficiency between different breeds of "dual purpose" birds?

    My intent (and my friend's) is to have egg layers that may end up being eaten down the road, for sustainability purposes. To have a source of eggs and "possibly down the road" meat. Obviously the economy is nuts, and in the spirit of self-sufficiency, we went with dual purpose birds for that reason. And with the economy and long-term sustainability being concerns, it would make sense to also get the most feed-efficient birds that meet our other goals (dual purpose).

    What say you fine chicken folks? THANKS!
     
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Pure feed efficiency, or ability to forage when free ranging?
     
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    This chart shows egg production, but not feed conversion. The production bred white leghorns are the top feed conversion/egg layers.

    ETA: but there isn't much meat for eating.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  4. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Pure feed efficiency. The guy my friend was talking to keeps his Wyandottes in a coop and run, so they can't really forage. He claims that they eat less than his other birds but lay 275-325 eggs per year (we are in NW Florida, short winters).
     
  5. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    I'll see what I can find. I expect white leghorns would come out on top in pure feed efficiency, though.
     
  6. tulie13

    tulie13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks - I got this off the Henderson's chart: economical eater; better adaptable to confinement then some Mediterranean; enjoys free range; flyer; flighty; spritely, noisy, nervous, usually avoids human contact

    It does sound like a Leghorn would be "feed efficient" based on this description, but they are fairly small birds so wouldn't necessarily be good "dual purpose". [​IMG]
    Personally, I also wouldn't want "flighty, noisy, nervous" birds, either... [​IMG]

    I guess the whole thing is about balance, which is why we have "meaties" and "layers" and "dual purpose" birds. I am definitely interested in finding out more, but when it comes down to it, I am raising redworms to supplement protein, and I WILL end up letting them free range for food if "the economy collapses". [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    If you want friendly, feed efficient dual purpose birds that will handle confinement but are good foragers and are not flighty, get Rhode Island Reds or New Hampshire Reds.

    You won't get as much in eggs for your feed as with leghorns, but RIRs are a great dual purpose bird.

    If you want a lot of eggs for your feed bill but want a more human friendly bird than leghorns, get production sexlinks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2009
  8. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would sure guess that for feed per egg production Leghorn would be hard to beat. After that they sexlinks would run in there also. I used to think RIR but I have some Heritage stock that seem to eat like horses. They look great and are growing good but lord they put the feed away.
     
  9. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Pearl White Leghorns.
     
  10. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    Dual-purpose that bulk up will eat a lot more than "pure layers" ... so you have to decide if you want more eggs for your feed, or do you want dual-purpose birds ...

    I like RIR for dual-purpose, they're easy to care for and they're good foragers.
     

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